Jack A. Nelson
The son of a Norwegian immigrant, Jack Nelson grew up in Bellflower in Southern California.
A former journalist, he has been attracted to actual events in his books. In this newest non-fiction book, FLASHES IN THE NIGHT: THE SINKING OF THE ESTONIA, he has chronicled the gripping drama of souls facing their own mortality on tiny rafts on a storm-wracked sea after their ship sank at midnight. After interviewing survivors and doing research in Sweden and Estonia, he has been able to put the reader into the scene to explore the feelings and the actions of those who survived and those who did not.
This Estonia sinking book was recently awarded third place in the 2011 International Book Awards.
His novels are usually built around factual events--as in the case of the disappearance of the young artist Everett Ruess in 1934 in Southern Utah. The young romantic wanderer/poet has become a cult figure throughtout the American Southwest, and his disappearance remains a mystery, as related in Nelson's 2008 novel TO DIE IN KANAB: THE EVERETT RUESS AFFAIR.
Nelson studied journalism at BYU, American literature at the University of Utah, worked as a city desk reporter on the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, edited a weekly in California, and returned to BYU as a television-radio writer for the PBS station there. He quit that job to spend three months in Mexico City to write his first novel, which was never published.
He returned to Utah to marry the gorgeous coed he had been courting for a year, and took a one-year teaching assignment at BYU. Then he and Patrice spent two years at the University of Missouri, where he received a doctorate in journalism. He then taught journalism at California State-Humboldt, the University of Utah--and ended up back at BYU teaching journalism for 25 years. Now retired from teaching, he and Patrice live in Provo, Utah. # # #