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John Jakes is a bestselling author that writes historical and speculative fiction. Born in 1932 in Chicago, Illinois, Jakes attended DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana (Creative Writing), and Ohio State University (American Literature).
Order of Johnny Havoc Series
|1||Johnny Havoc||1960||Description / Buy|
|2||Havoc for Sale / Havoc Meets Zelda (Short Story)||1962||Description / Buy|
|3||Holiday for Havoc / And The Doll Who Had 'It' (Short Story)||1963||Description / Buy|
|4||Johnny Havoc and the Siren in Red / Making It Big||1968||Description / Buy|
Order of Lou Largo Series with William Ard
|1||Make Mine Mavis||1961||Description / Buy|
|2||And So to Bed||1962||Description / Buy|
|3||Give Me This Woman||1962||Description / Buy|
Order of II Galaxy Series
|1||The Planet Wizard||1969||Description / Buy|
|2||Tonight We Steal the Stars||1969||Description / Buy|
|3||The Wagered World||1969||Description / Buy|
Order of Brak the Barbarian Series
|1||Brak the Barbarian||1968||Description / Buy|
|2||Brak vs. The Sorceress / Witch of the Four Winds||1969||Description / Buy|
|3||Brak vs. the Mark of the Demons||1969||Description / Buy|
|4||When the Idols Walked (Short Story)||1978||Description / Buy|
|5||The Fortunes of Brak||1985||Description / Buy|
Order of Gavin Black Series
|1||Witch of the Dark Gate||1972||Description / Buy|
Order of Kent Family Series
|1||The Bastard||1974||Description / Buy|
|2||The Rebels||1975||Description / Buy|
|3||The Seekers||1975||Description / Buy|
|4||The Furies||1976||Description / Buy|
|5||The Titans||1976||Description / Buy|
|6||The Warriors||1977||Description / Buy|
|7||The Lawless||1978||Description / Buy|
|8||The Americans||1979||Description / Buy|
Order of Planet of the Apes Series
|1||Planet of the Apes||1963||Description / Buy|
|2||Beneath The Planet of The Apes (Short Story)||1970||Description / Buy|
|3||Escape from the Planet of the Apes||1973||Description / Buy|
|4||Conquest of the Planet of the Apes||1974||Description / Buy|
|5||Planet of the Apes Movie Novelization||2001||Description / Buy|
Order of North and South Series
|1||North and South||1982||Description / Buy|
|2||Love and War||1984||Description / Buy|
|3||Heaven and Hell||1987||Description / Buy|
Order of The Crown Family Saga Series
|1||Homeland||1993||Description / Buy|
|2||American Dreams||1998||Description / Buy|
Order of John Jakes Standalone Novels
|1||The Texans Ride North||1952||Description / Buy|
|2||Wear a Fast Gun||1952||Description / Buy|
|3||The Devil Has Four Faces||1958||Description / Buy|
|4||The Seventh Man||1958||Description / Buy|
|5||I, Barbarian||1959||Description / Buy|
|6||The Imposter||1959||Description / Buy|
|7||Strike the Black Flag||1961||Description / Buy|
|8||Veils of Salome||1962||Description / Buy|
|9||Sir Scoundrel||1962||Description / Buy|
|10||The Man from Cannae||1963||Description / Buy|
|11||G. I. Girls||1963||Description / Buy|
|12||Traitors' Legion||1963||Description / Buy|
|13||Arena||1963||Description / Buy|
|14||Secrets of Stardeep||1969||Description / Buy|
|15||The Asylum World||1969||Description / Buy|
|16||The Last Magicians||1969||Description / Buy|
|17||The Hybrid||1969||Description / Buy|
|18||Six-Gun Planet||1970||Description / Buy|
|19||Black in Time||1970||Description / Buy|
|20||Monte Cristo #99||1970||Description / Buy|
|21||The Star Virus/Mask of Chaos||1970||Description / Buy|
|22||Time Gate (Short Story)||1972||Description / Buy|
|23||Mention My Name in Atlantis (Short Story)||1972||Description / Buy|
|24||On Wheels||1973||Description / Buy|
|25||Fortune's Whirlwind||1975||Description / Buy|
|26||To an Unknown Shore||1975||Description / Buy|
|27||King's Crusader||1977||Description / Buy|
|28||A Night for Treason||1978||Description / Buy|
|29||Excalibur!||1980||Description / Buy|
|30||California Gold||1989||Description / Buy|
|31||On Secret Service||2000||Description / Buy|
|32||The Bold Frontier||2001||Description / Buy|
|33||Charleston||2002||Description / Buy|
|34||Savannah, or A Gift for Mr. Lincoln / Savannah Christmas||2004||Description / Buy|
|35||The Gods of Newport||2006||Description / Buy|
Order of John Jakes Short Story Collections
|1||The Best of John Jakes||1977||Description / Buy|
|2||The Best Western Stories of John Jakes||1991||Description / Buy|
Order of John Jakes Plays
|1||Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol||1999||Description / Buy|
Order of John Jakes Non-Fiction Books
|1||Famous Firsts in Sports (Short Story)||1967||Description / Buy|
|2||Great Women Reporters||1969||Description / Buy|
|3||Mohawk: The Life of Joseph Brant||1969||Description / Buy|
John Jakes Anthologies
|1||Swords Against Tomorrow||1970||Description / Buy|
|2||Six Science Fiction Plays||1975||Description / Buy|
|3||Deadly Arts||1985||Description / Buy|
|4||Tales of Mystery||1986||Description / Buy|
|5||New Trails: Twenty-Three Original Stories||1994||Description / Buy|
|6||Hollywood Fantasies: Ten Surreal Visions of Tinsel Town||1997||Description / Buy|
|7||A Century of Great Western Stories||2001||Description / Buy|
|8||The Spider Chronicles||2007||Description / Buy|
|9||Science Fiction Gems, Vol. One||2011||Description / Buy|
|10||Science Fiction Gems, Volume 9||2015||Description / Buy|
Jakes blames his parents for nurturing his love of books and the library. That passion eventually paid off. The author went on to write dozens of books and hundreds of short stories in various genres, including mystery, science fiction, and children’s literature.
During the height of his career, some people theorized that John Jakes was actually a pen name encompassing multiple authors. This was the only way they could explain Jakes’s prolific production rate.
But that theory was never proven. Success did not come overnight. The author started publishing his stories in high school. As a young adult, Jakes occupied various positions in advertising. Although his work kept him busy, the author found opportunities to experiment with fiction.
He remained in relative obscurity for two decades. But then the ‘American Bicentennial’ stories came along and made the author a star. The positive reception to the series encouraged Jakes to become a full-time writer.
He would often downplay the quality of his work, arguing that he was simply doing his best. But critics praised the author for his natural storytelling abilities, taking note of the careful plotting and extensive historical research.
No matter what he said, critics refused to dismiss him as an ordinary science fiction writer.
Interestingly enough, Jakes almost gave up on his writing dreams. Even though readers liked his earlier works, the income from his publishing efforts was too low to justify the hours he spent writing.
Jakes remembers writing a novelization for ‘Planet of the Apes’ and making fifteen hundred dollars. The experience made him bitter, and he wondered whether he had wasted his life by pursuing fiction for the last 20 years.
Fortunately, Lyle Kenyon Engel had tasked Don Moffitt with writing a series of novels that would follow the same family over several generations. The offer was fortunate because Don was unavailable, so he recommended Jakes.
Lyle reviewed Don’s writing efforts, taking note of the solid research and believable characters. It was enough to convince him to offer Jakes the job. The series initially consisted of five books.
But the story’s popularity compelled Lyle to extend the author’s contract. If Lyle had his way, he would have kept the series going indefinitely. But Jakes refused because he wanted to leave the audience wanting more.
John Jakes Awards
Jakes’ accolades include Ohioana Book, Career Achievement, Western Heritage Literature, Professional Achievement, and Porgie Awards.
John Jakes Books Into Movies
‘The Bastard,’ ‘North and South,’ ‘The Seekers,’ and ‘The Rebels’ received television adaptations.
Best John Jakes Books
The author has written fiction under the ‘Jay Scotland’ pen name. His books have sold tens of millions of copies. Jakes’ best novels include:
North and South: ‘North and South’ follows George and Orry. George is the child of wealthy ironworkers. When readers first meet him, George is traveling to the US Military Academy.
Along the way, he encounters Orry, another son of a wealthy family. George and Orry strike up a friendship after joining forces to fend off several aggressors. Later on, they are forced to test their mettle against Elkanah Bent, a sadistic upperclassman.
Eventually, the story expands to include the pair’s friends and family, including George’s brothers, abolitionist sister, and Orry’s siblings.
‘North and South’ is the first book in the ‘North and South’ series. At 800 pages, it is pretty long, but only because it chronicles three generations of two American dynasties.
The Bastards: Phillipe knew what he was owed. After all, he was the son of the Duke of Kentland. Unfortunately for Phillipe, he was an illegitimate child, and no one recognized his claim.
Having been stripped of his birthright, Phillipe was forced to start afresh. He cast his old life aside and went to the New World to start over. Unfortunately, America was not the paradise he expected.
For all its opportunities, the colony was rapidly approaching a tipping point, and now, Phillipe had a decision to make. Unexpected circumstances would soon test his allegiances.
‘The Bastard’ is the first novel in the Kent Family series.
When Does The Next John Jakes book come out?
John Jakes doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is The Gods of Newport and was released on November, 7th 2006.