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Sunday, 30 December 2007
Getting to Know Peter N. Jones
Topic: Author Interview
  Peter N. Jones the Person

1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being

For me, the three words that most resonate with me are compassion, advocacy, and integrity.

2. How do you think others would describe you

 As the big Nordic looking guy in the corner.

3. Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing

That's easy, the outdoors and indigenous peoples. To some extent, they go hand in hand in my mind.

4. Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them.

Sorry, no pets, just mother nature's children.

5. What is your most precious memory?

Again, I don't think I have one. I try and focus on everything and nothing, leaving behind a memory of good times and happy places.

6. What is your most embarrassing memory?

When I was in 5th grade I forgot to take off my night shirt, so I had to wear my coat all day at school so no one would know.

7. If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

Playing outside and advocating for indigenous peoples rights and the environment.

8. In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

On June 28th, 2097, exactly 123 years to the day, Peter N. Jones' ashes were spread over the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Always a work horse, Dr. Jones continued his work in advocacy and research of indigenous peoples and the environment up till his final moments. He died of fatigue trying to speed hike the Ten Mile Range in the Colorado Rockies.

Known for founding the Bauu Institute and Press (, a research and publishing house focused on issues of importance in the environmental, psychological, and social science fields, he also went on to climb all of the Colorado 14,000 foot mountains in 19 days, publish several books, and tirelessly give his time to those who asked. He will be missed by many. His final words were, "where one falls, another arises."

Peter N. Jones the writer

9. Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

No, I still struggle every day and have no confidence.

10. What is going on with your writing these days?

I'm working on streamlining it. For me writing is a constant process; every time I read my own work I always see ways of improving it.

11. What are your future goals for your writing?

Just getting better. Since I don't really dabble in fiction (yet), my primary goals are to work on getting my writing more concise and clear. For me this involves going over, and over, and over, and then over again the same piece, slowly massaging it until I think it is clear in meaning, yet precise in syntax.

12. Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

I have no pattern. I blog or do emails in the morning. I write at night, or in the afternoon. Basically, whenever I get a moment. Sadly, my brain doesn't turn off too easily, so even though I may not be writing, I do think of my work. I plan areas for future research, question my arguments, and dwell on random facts.

13. Why do you write?

Because I don't like talking. I always mess up my thoughts if I have to come up with them on the spur of the moment. Writing gives me the time to make sure my brain was working correctly when I had that "great idea."

14. What writer most inspires you?  Why?

None, for me it is the information that inspires. I remember books more than I remember writers. In my case, that would be just fine. If they remember my book or article or argument then I'm happy.

15. How do you define your writing?

All over the board. Justice oriented, nonfiction, anthropological, psychological, action oriented, philosophical, and hopeful.

16. In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

Anything, as long as someone is saying something!

Peter N. Jones the details

17. Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog?

Sure. I'm Director and Editor of the Bauu Institute and Press (, an environmental, psychological, and social science research and publishing house. I am also Editor of the Indigenous Issues Today ( news blog and Publisher of the New Great Books ( blog. The former explores indigenous issues from around the world, such as sovereignty, access to natural and sacred sites, global warming impacts, and much more. The latter publishes short blurbs and reviews of books from all genres and modes of publication.

18. Is there a place where readers can reach you?

Sure, email is the easiest:

19. Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

My two current ones are: American Indian mtDNA, Y Chromosome Genetic Data, and the Peopling of North America, and Respect for the Ancestors: American Indian Cultural Affiliation in the American West. I have a book on shamanism in North America coming out in Spring of 2008.

20.For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

 Learning an enormous amount about American Indians, the early history of North America, and the current anthropological understanding of the peopling of the New World. Although the books are fairly academic in much of their content, I hope I've done a good enough job to make them accessible to a wide audience.

In Conclusion:

21. Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

I don't really have much more to say... I'm a fairly humble person. Thank you for having me. Cheers.

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 30 December 2007 4:13 AM EST
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