Author Bio

Markus Egeler Jones was born in a small town in the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina. His family traveled back and forth between the hollers of Appalachia and the hills of Southern Germany, so he wouldn’t forget his German grandparents. He moved to Kentucky to earn an M.F.A. at Eastern Kentucky University’s Bluegrass Writers Studio. He continued west one state at a time, teaching at the collegiate level, until he landed in the Northwestern corner of Nebraska. He is an Assistant Professor of English at Chadron State College. When not writing or teaching writing he moonlights as a stone mason, or a house husband, or sometimes even, because it makes his wife happy, a bird watcher.

For those of you who would like to read a longer more story-like bio:

As a child, I listened to my German grandmother tell me fairy tales in her native tongue. She cast a spell on me. Those stories laid the foundation for a lifetime of day dreaming and discovery. 

I write because I love the surprise. Sometimes the way words feel together surprises me and sometimes what a character does in a story comes out of nowhere. This surprise feels like discovery to me. It's Lewis and Clark winding their way across the wilderness of America. It's Neil Armstrong stepping out onto the moon. It's a natural instinct. We yearn to discover and writing is an endless landscape waiting to be discovered. 

After those early years listening to my grandmother weave her spells, I made it through high school and vowed to never darken the doors of a school again. Teenage years can be the worst. My grandmother, however, had different ideas. She made me promise to go to college, and after a gap year or two or three, I don't remember anymore, I eked into the ranks of Appalachian State University's undergraduate class. Here I met professors who wrote poems and stories for a living. More accurately I suppose they taught for a living, because they wrote poems and stories. This place of creativity was nothing like High School.

After a few years of teaching English as a second language in places like England, Germany, and China, I returned to the states and received my M.F.A. at Eastern Kentucky University. Again, I found myself surrounded in a creative and nurturing atmosphere. Here I struggled to write fiction. Real fiction. Fiction with tension and meaning and consequence.

Since the M.F.A. one door after another has opened, and after several wonderful jobs at the University of Kentucky and Lincoln University in central Missouri, I landed in the panhandle of Nebraska where I am currently an Assistant Professor at Chadron State College. I am not sure what is better, teaching writing or writing writing. What I do know is that I am on exactly the path my grandmother must have envisioned so long ago, on that cold winter day, in the forests of southern Germany.