I love true stories told with the verve and passion of fiction.


And I love British literature and history.


Put those things together, and you get my two books of creative nonfiction.


My most recent book, An African in Imperial London: The Indomitable Life of A.B.C. Merriman-Labor, tells the fascinating story of a young African who traveled to the heart of empire to make a name for himself as a man of letters. Read more about An African in Imperial London.  

Danell Jones
Danell Jones and her husband Tim Lehman

I also wrote a quirky book for aspiring writers called The Virginia Woolf Writers’ Workshop: Seven Lessons to Inspire Great Writing and a chapbook of poetry inspired by the great Mojave entitled  Desert Elegy,

I’ve done lots of smaller projects, too–articles, book reviews, book chapters. I wrote an introduction to Woolf’s novel Jacob’s Room for Barnes and Noble, published an article on the Dreadnought Hoax, and contributed chapters to These Living Songs: Reading Montana Poets on Montana Poets Grace Stone Coates and Tami Haaland. A few years ago, I did a fun piece for Reflections West radio show about living in the stark, lonesome places of the West. Take a listen.


As an undergraduate, I studied literature and creative writing at the University of California, San Diego. Later, I moved to New York. where I earned a Ph.D. in British literature at Columbia University and was awarded a Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities and a Bennett Cerf Award for my work on Virginia Woolf.  I also had the good fortune to win the Jovanovich Prize for poetry from the University of Colorado. I have been a finalist for a few things, too, including the Breadloaf Poetry Prize and the PEN/Nelson Algren in Fiction.


Four Dances, Montana
Monks House Garden Gate
Currently, I teach part-time at Montana State University Billings and offer community classes through the wonderful Big Sky Writing Workshops.

I like to be involved with my community, so I serve on the Billings Public Library Foundation Board and the Montana Center for the Book Advisory Committee.