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About the Author

Firstly, J A would like to thank God for everything she has ever had and everything she has now.

J A Stevens grew up in small town in Iowa. As a very young child, during the summers, she would visit her cousins or go to her grandparent’s farm. She didn’t have any particular chore on the farm, oh no, her job was to run around pestering the animals and farmhands, getting into places she was told not to go and eating all the strawberries in her grandmother’s huge garden or, heeding her mother’s warning, would gorge herself on little green apples, under the shade of a tree, laying on the lush grass, until her belly ached.

In town she was a member of a small neighborhood gang. (Ages ranging from 6-10). There wasn’t any crime that was noteworthy and they had a lot of freedom. Playing Four Square under the street lights or Kick The Can until at least 10 PM. They also enjoyed throwing snowballs at passing cars or ringing peoples doorbells, then making a run for it before they answered. They even produced a number of musicals in Mike and Melanie’s garage. Nobody ever showed for their opening night. Beth’s and Nancy’s grandmother’s basement was where they always had their annual haunted house.

On Halloween, they would seize the night and comb the entire town, especially the north end where they gave out the really big candy-bars. Disguised as their favorite superhero, villain or creature, guided by the light illuminating from the many jack-o-lanterns lining driveways and sidewalks, they would frantically run around the town under the late autumn moon with their bags of sugared treasure and they wouldn’t return home until almost 11 PM. School night or weekend, it mattered not on this glorious and festive occasion.

Saturday afternoons were strictly for a matinee. Plant Of The Apes, some type of Hammer Horror Film, a Frankenstein or mummy movie, Abbott and Costello, but most always there was something with Peter Cushing starring in it like, Terror Island or Dr. Phibes Rises Again. Sometimes it was a Japanese horror classic. Ahh yes, the greats. On Friday nights after roller skating, there was Creature Feature. (It ran the same genre as did the theater.)

On many occasions, the movie playing was way too scary to watch by one’s self. J A would then knock on her mother’s bedroom door, asking if she could please sit up with J A until the movie was over. Monica would sigh softly and with the slightest hint of irritation, asked, “If the movie is that scary, do you really think I should let you watch it?” J A simply responded, “But it is a really good one.” Knowing that the only thing her odd, little only child truly loved was movies, Monica dutifully headed for the couch with pillow and blanket in hand. Thanks Mom!!

J A and her friends were very enterprising as well. Kool-aid stands, mowing yards, raking leaves or shoveling snow. Sometimes after a really hard rain in the spring and summer, with a flashlight in hand, they would collect big fat worms from the neighbors gardens at night and the next morning ride their bikes down to the river and sell them to the people fishing.

Scouring every square inch of the town for bottles and cans was not below their standards either. J A and Teddie would sell their wagon load of glass and precious metals to Old Walt Fye at his junk-yard and he would pay them with silver dollars. Anything to get enough money to buy a Hollywood magazine with color pictures of their favorite movie or television stars.

Their personal freedoms were boundless and J A and her friends enjoyed every moment of their carefree, unregulated, innocent, small town childhood.

That all changed in the summer of 1975. The dead body of a young girl from town was found floating in one of the popular swimming holes, (rock quarry). She had gone to the county fair the night before and was never seen alive again. Some say it was carnies, others think it might have been someone she knew. She had received several blows to her head and they never did find the shoes she was wearing when she left her home. Investigators searched the entire quarry area and divers spent days looking for those shoes, but they were never found. That was when J A realized that death and murder were not just in the movies, but a reality.

The tragedy did not stop J A from continuing to see horror movies or read scary books. She has also read quite a few of the classics as well as romance novels and she enjoyed each and every one of them. She began to take writing seriously in high school because of one particular teacher, Mr. Doug Meinecke. His enthusiasm toward all his student’s creativity was truly inspiring. He would respectfully acknowledge each individual’s effort, no matter how strange or silly the subject. Thank you Mr. M.

J A moved to Arizona in 1986. She buckled down and published her first novel. It was a hectic and demanding period, but having support from family and friends was encouraging, especially Jeff. Thank you Coach Brown!!! She has almost completed her second novel. Look for it in 2015.