Steven James
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Steven James
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Steven James is the author of more than thirty books, including the critically acclaimed Bowers Files, an eleven-book series of psychological thrillers which includes Opening Moves, Every Crooked Path, Every Deadly Kiss, Every Wicked Man, The Pawn, The Rook, The Knight, The Bishop, The Queen, The King, and Checkmate. The series has received four Christy Awards[1][2][3] and numerous other honors.

His latest book, Synapse, a standalone sci-fi thriller, released on October 8, 2019.[4] The book received a Publishers Weekly starred review in July 2019[5] and a Library Journal starred review in October 2019.[6]

Personal life

Steven James was born in Wisconsin in 1969 and earned his M.A. in Storytelling at East Tennessee State University in 1997. He lives with his wife and three daughters in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee.[7]

The Bowers Files

Steven James' most famous books to date form the psychological thriller series The Bowers Files. Each book delves into the life of Patrick Bowers, an Environmental Criminologist. Each book is its own story, but they all tie in together in various points. The crimes are gruesome and sadistic but presented without verbal profanity. Romance is shown, but it's presented without graphic sexuality.


Steven James is a nationally bestselling author whose award-winning novels continue to gain wide critical acclaim and a growing fan base. Best known for his psychological thrillers, he has received dozens of honors and awards for his books, including four Christy Awards. His novel Every Wicked Man won the 2018 International Book Award for best Mystery/Suspense.[8]

Suspense Magazine, who named Steven's book The Bishop their Book of the Year, says that he "sets the new standard in suspense writing." Publishers Weekly calls him a "master storyteller at the peak of his game" and RT Book Reviews promises that "the nail-biting suspense will rivet you."

Equipped with a unique master's degree in Storytelling, Steven has taught writing and storytelling on four continents over the past two decades, speaking more than two thousand times at events spanning the globe.

Steven's groundbreaking book on the craft of fiction, Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules, won a 2015 Storytelling World Award and was recognized as one of the year's best resources for storytellers; his latest book on writing, Troubleshooting Your Novel, also won a Storytelling World Award. Both books were published by Writer's Digest Books.

Widely recognized for his storycrafting expertise, Steven has served for a number of years as a Master CraftFest instructor at ThrillerFest, North America's premier training event for suspense writers hosted by International Thriller Writers.[9] Steven also regularly teaches Novel Writing Intensive retreats across the country with renowned international bestselling author Robert Dugoni.[10]

Steven's short fiction has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times[11][12].


  • 2019 Christy Award for Mystery/Suspense/Thriller (Every Wicked Man)[13]
  • 2018 International Book Award for best Mystery/Suspense (Every Wicked Man)
  • 2018 Storytelling World Award (Troubleshooting Your Novel)[14]
  • 2015 Storytelling World Award (Story Trumps Structure)[15]
  • 2012 ECPA Book of the Year - Fiction (The Queen)[16]
  • 2012 Retailers Choice Awards Finalist (The Queen)[17]
  • 2012 Christy Award - Suspense (The Queen)
  • 2012 International Thriller Award Finalist for Best Original Paperback (The Queen)[18]
  • 2011 Library Journal's One of the Best Christian Fiction Books (The Queen)
  • 2011 Christy Award - Suspense (The Bishop)
  • 2011 INSPY Award - Mystery/Thriller (The Bishop)
  • 2011 INSPY Award - Thriller/Suspense (The Knight)
  • 2010 Suspense Magazine Book of the Year (The Bishop)
  • 2010 RT Book Reviews Best Inspirational Suspense (The Bishop)
  • 2010 The Christian Manifesto's Lime Award (The Bishop)
  • 2009 The Suspense Zone Book of the Month, November (The Knight)
  • 2009 Suspense Magazine Top 10 Books of (The Knight)
  • 2009 The Christian Manifesto's Lime Award - Best Fiction (The Knight)
  • 2009 Christy Award - Suspense (The Rook)
  • 2008 The Suspense Zone Reviewer's Choice Award (The Rook)
  • 2008 Best Crime Thriller Christy Award, Finalist (The Pawn)
  • 2007 A Peek At My Bookshelf (The Pawn)


The Bowers Files

Title Year Publisher ISBN Notes
The Pawn 2007 Revell (Baker) 978-0451412799
The Rook 2008 Revell (Baker) 978-0451412812
The Knight 2009 Revell (Baker) 978-0800732707
The Bishop 2010 Revell (Baker) 978-0800733025
The Queen 2011 Revell (Baker) 978-0800733032
Opening Moves 2012 Berkley (Penguin) 978-0451237767 Prequel
The King 2013 Berkley (Penguin) 978-0451239785
Checkmate 2014 Berkley (Penguin) 978-0451467348
Every Crooked Path 2015 Berkley (Penguin) 978-0451467355 Prequel
Every Deadly Kiss 2017 Berkley (Penguin) 978-1101991572 Prequel
Every Wicked Man 2018 Berkley (Penguin) 978-1101991596 Prequel

The Jevin Banks Experience

Title Year Publisher ISBN Notes
Placebo 2012 Revell (Baker) 978-0800734251
Singularity 2013 Revell (Baker) 978-0800734268

The Blur Trilogy

Title Year Publisher ISBN Notes
Blur 2014 Skyscape (Amazon) 978-1477847275
Fury 2015 Skyscape (Amazon) 978-1477827468
Curse 2016 Skyscape (Amazon) 978-1503933453

Other Fiction

Title Year Publisher ISBN Notes
Quest for Celestia: A Reimagining of The Pilgrim's Progress 2012 Living Ink Books 978-0899578866 Originally published in 2006 by Thirsty
Synapse 2019 Thomas Nelson (HarperCollins) 978-0785225256


Title Year Publisher Notes
Sailing Between the Stars: Musings on the Mysteries of Faith 2006 Revell (Baker)
Never the Same: Stories of Those Who Encountered Jesus 2005 Zondervan/Youth Specialties
Becoming Real: Christ's Call to Authentic Living 2005 Simon & Schuster
A Heart Exposed: Talking to God with Nothing to Hide 2009 Revell (Baker)
Story: Recapture the Mystery 2006 Revell (Baker)
How to Smell Like God: True Stories Burning with the Scent of Heaven 2002 Standard Publishing Reprinted 2005
Praying from the Gut: An Honest Prayer Journal for Teens 2004 Standard Publishing
Sharable Parables: Creative Storytelling Ideas for Ages 3-12 2005 Standard Publishing Part of The Steven James Storytelling Library
The Creative Storytelling Guide for Children's Ministry: When All Your Brain Wants to Do Is Fly! 2002 Standard Publishing Part of The Steven James Storytelling Library
30 New Testament Interactive Stories for Young Children 2007 Standard Publishing Part of The Steven James Storytelling Library
30 Old Testament QuickSkits for Kids 2004 Standard Publishing Part of The Steven James Storytelling Library
30 New Testament QuickSkits for Kids 2004 Standard Publishing Part of The Steven James Storytelling Library
Bible Story QuickSkits for 2 Kids 2008 Standard Publishing Part of The Steven James Storytelling Library
Crazy and Creative Bible Stories for Preteens 2005 Standard Publishing Part of The Steven James Storytelling Library
30 Old Testament Interactive Stories for Young Children 2007 Standard Publishing Part of The Steven James Storytelling Library
Believe It! 2003 Standard Publishing
Jawdroppers: 36 Shocking Stories for Students Based on the Sayings of Jesus 2001 Standard Publishing
Drama for Real Life: 16 Scripts About Choices that Shape Us 2006 IVP Books
Gather Round the Dinner Fable 2006 David C. Cook
Worship Sketches 2 Perform 2000 Meriwether Publishing
24 Tandem Bible hero Story Scripts for Children's Ministry 2004 Standard Publishing Part of The Steven James Storytelling Library
24 Tandem Bible Storyscripts for Children's Ministry 2004 Standard Publishing Part of The Steven James Storytelling Library
Astonishing Tales of Spiritual Truth: Gripping Stories Based on the Sayings of Jesus 2005 Standard Publishing
More Worship Sketches 2 Perform 2002 Meriwether Publishing
On the Edge: A Collection of 17 Hard-Hitting Christian Monologues for Youth 2004 Christian Publishers LLC
Story Trumps Structure 2014 Writer's Digest Books
Troubleshooting Your Novel 2016 Writer's Digest Books


  1. ^ "Christy Awards 2001-2010 Winners and Finalists" (PDF). 2013-03-14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-01-24.
  2. ^ "Christy Awards 2011 Winners + Finalists". 2013-03-14.
  3. ^ "Christy Awards 2012 Winners + Finalists". 2013-03-14.
  4. ^ "Synapse". Thomas Nelson. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "Synapse". Publishers Weekly. July 26, 2019.
  6. ^ "Synapse". Library Journal. October 1, 2019.
  7. ^ James, Steven. "Bio". Steven James. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ "International Book Awards - Honoring Excellence in Independent & Mainstream Publishing". Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ "ThrillerFest XV | July 7 - 11, 2020 | Grand Hyatt | New York City -- The Premier Conference for Thriller Enthusiasts". Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ "Welcome". Voice of Imagination. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ James, Steven (July 29, 2019). ""Artificials Should Be Allowed to Worship"". The New York Times.
  12. ^ James, Steven (March 16, 2020). ""Criminals Should Serve Their Sentences Psychologically"". The New York Times.
  13. ^ "The Christy Awards".
  14. ^ "2015 Storytelling World Resource Awards". Retrieved 2019.
  15. ^ "2015 Storytelling World Resource Awards". Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ "2012 Christian Book Award Finalists Announced - ECPA". Retrieved .
  17. ^ Abraham, Felicia. "Retailers Choice Awards 2012 winners announced". Christian Retailing. Retrieved .
  18. ^ "International Thriller Writers - Past Nominees and Winners". Retrieved .

External links

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