The first thing that caught my attention before opening the book were the words on the cover ... "Never Dead is an E. Lynn Harris meets Stephen King." I love Stephen King and my love for E. Lynn Harris is beyond what my words can express, so when someone says that I take notice. After reading this selection, I'm not ready to compare Jumata Emill Jones with E. Lynn Harris or Stephen King. I will say this.. Jumata Emill Jones is in a category of his own.
Never Dead is a welcome change from what I have been reading lately... I was pleasantly surprised with the twists and turns he dared to take with this book. His writing style is captivating, stimulating, and very memorable. There were times I was nervous as I was read the words in this book.
I applaud this author for giving the readers a solid read.
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Jumata Emill Jones was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His first foray into writing occurred unexpectedly when he was just nine years old and wrote a skit about the dangers of drug use as a class project for his elementary school’s “Just Say No” campaign. After seeing great potential in his work, Jumata’s third-grade teacher, Mrs. Fleming, encouraged him to cast some of his classmate
in the skit and he was allowed to showcase the mini-production to his entire class.
After that experience Jumata became a self-proclaimed author and publisher. While his friends played outside after school, Jumata jotted down every colorful story that popped into his juvenile mind and bound them together with construction paper and staples before giving them to his mother to read every night before she went to sleep––unfortunately his mother has held on to many of these primitive works. She has them tucked away in the attic of her home.
Between junior high school and college, Jumata wrote a bevy of short stories, plays, young adult serial novels and a host of completed and unfinished novels––none of which he ever tried to publish for whatever reasons. After dropping out of college after just three semesters in 1996, he worked an eclectic mix of jobs for several years, which included being a waiter, a reproduction clerk at an engineering firm, and a dealer in a casino. During this time he wrote sporadically. In 2004, disenchanted with the obscure path his life was taking, Jumata returned to college and earned his BA in Mass Communication from Southern University in Baton Rouge. After graduation he immediately joined the work force as a journalist for the local newspaper in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
During the summer of 2009, Jumata began writing feverishly again after a brief hiatus––due to his return to college––and completed several short stories and a novel. More confident in his work than ever, Jumata attempted to secure an agent and finally get his work published. He nearly had his foot in the door but was ultimately unsuccessful due to the wobbly economy and its backlash on the publishing industry. Instead of giving up, Jumata stepped out on faith and launched his blog, “Urban Nightmares” as a way to release his twisted tales to the world and hopefully build a fan base that can prove to large New York publishing houses that he’s worth the gamble. Jumata believes, passionately, that readers are ready to add a new voice to their bookshelves.
In April, he published his debut novel "Never Dead" to rave reviews.
Jumata now divides his time between being a journalist and a author. He is already hard at work on his second novel, as well as a collection of short stories.