“Listen only to imagination.” – Mark Twain

This blog will be sort of a personal diary for me. It will be a place where I talk about my books, the writing life, old memories, women I have known, classic literature, experiences as a tabloid reporter, weird life experiences, crazy jobs I’ve had, places I’ve been, things I’ve learned and people I have known. You would be quite accurate if you called it John I.’s Ramblings. 

Where do you get book ideas?

Funny how people always seem to ask me that.   I can remember, as a young writer, asking that question myself.    First, book and short story ideas are everywhere, but you must exercise caution in choosing them. You might get an idea from an experience, an observation, some artistic influence, some snippet of conversation,

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Audrey McCarver

Good-bye, Audrey!

In the late spring of 1969, I was working as a reporter with The Gadsden Times in Gadsden, Alabama. One morning when I came into work, the city editor said he had hired a new proofreader then, moments later, he introduced me to a smallish, bright-eyed, dark-haired, very pretty, nineteen-year-old who gave her name as

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Honore de Balzac… the Greatest Novelist?

In the early sixties, a group of well-known literary pundits got together to decide who were the greatest novelists of all time. Their conclusion was that Leo Tolstoy wrote the greatest novel in “War and Peace”, but they also decided that the French novelist Honore de Balzac was the greatest novelist simply because he produced

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Review of A Gathering of Old Men

A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest J. Gaines examines the complex relationships between whites and blacks during the early 1970s in rural Cajun Country Louisiana. Gaines’ portrayals of his characters come across as earthly, warm and as human as the Louisiana countryside itself. The title of each chapter names the person who is narrating

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Latest review of The Bird of Time

“I am a John I. Jones fan! Okay, this story was so darn good, so full of interesting characters, and so well written, that I’ll never forget it…especially the conclusion. Jones is a talented storyteller and writer, and his skill shines in ‘The Bird of Time’. Lifetime friends and brothers from different mothers, John Chance

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Zora Neale Hurston

It was once said of Mary Ann Evans (the English novelist who, under the pen name George Eliot, wrote the classics Middlemarch, Mill on the Floss and Silas Marner) that “when you read her work, you knew you’re in the hands of genius.” The same can be said of Zora Neale Hurston, author of “Their

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Origins of the Poe Book

I have been a writer, a scribe, a man of letters, a guy who puts words on paper for as long as I can remember. I have been a reporter (for about a million years) and a fiction writer since around 2012. I denote that special year because that was when I completed Alabama Stories,

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