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[edit]

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[edit]

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 story crafting 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 New York Times Bestselling author Robert Dugoni.[10]


  • 2019 Christy Award for Mystery/Suspense/Thriller (Every Wicked Man)[11]
  • 2018 International Book Award for best Mystery/Suspense (Every Wicked Man)
  • 2018 Storytelling World Award (Troubleshooting Your Novel)[12]
  • 2015 Storytelling World Award (Story Trumps Structure)[13]
  • 2012 ECPA Book of the Year - Fiction (The Queen)[14]
  • 2012 Retailers Choice Awards Finalist (The Queen)[15]
  • 2012 Christy Award - Suspense (The Queen)
  • 2012 International Thriller Award Finalist for Best Original Paperback (The Queen)[16]
  • 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[edit]

  • The Pawn (September 1, 2007)
  • The Rook (August 1, 2008)
  • The Knight (August 1, 2009)
  • The Bishop (August 1, 2010)
  • The Queen (September 1, 2011)
  • Opening Moves (September 4, 2012)
  • The King (July 2, 2013)
  • Checkmate (December 2, 2014)
  • Every Crooked Path (December 1, 2015) [17]
  • Every Deadly Kiss (July 4, 2017)
  • Every Wicked Man (September 4, 2018)

The Jevin Banks Experience[edit]

  • Placebo (November 1, 2012)
  • Singularity (November 5, 2013)

The Blur Trilogy[edit]

  • Blur (May 27, 2014)
  • Fury (April 28, 2015)
  • Curse (May 24, 2016)

Other Fiction[edit]

  • Quest for Celestia: A Reimagining of The Pilgrim’s Progress (re-released 2012)
  • Synapse (October 8, 2019)


  • Sailing Between the Stars: Musings on the Mysteries of Faith
  • Never the Same: Stories of Those Who Encountered Jesus
  • Becoming Real: Christ’s Call to Authentic Living
  • A Heart Exposed: Talking to God with Nothing to Hide
  • Story: Recapture the Mystery
  • How to Smell Like God: True Stories Burning with the Scent of Heaven
  • Praying from the Gut: An Honest Prayer Journal for Teens
  • Sharable Parables: Creative Storytelling Ideas for Ages 3–12
  • The Creative Storytelling Guide for Children’s Ministry: When All Your Brain Wants to Do Is Fly!
  • 30 New Testament Interactive Stories for Young Children
  • 30 Old Testament QuickSkits for Kids
  • 30 New Testament QuickSkits for Kids
  • Bible Story QuickSkits for 2 Kids
  • Crazy and Creative Bible Stories for Preteens
  • 30 Old Testament Interactive Stories for Young Children
  • Believe It!
  • Jawdroppers: 36 Shocking Stories for Students Based on the Sayings of Jesus
  • Drama for Real Life: 16 Scripts About Choices that Shape Us
  • Gather Round the Dinner Fable
  • Worship Sketches 2 Perform
  • 24 Tandem Bible hero Story Scripts for Children’s Ministry
  • 24 Tandem Bible Storyscripts for Children’s Ministry
  • Astonishing Tales of Spiritual Truth: Gripping Stories Based on the Sayings of Jesus
  • More Worship Sketches 2 Perform
  • On the Edge: A Collection of 17 Hard-Hitting Christian Monologues for Youth


  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 2019-05-10.
  5. ^ "Publishers Weekly". Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  6. ^ Steven, James. "Synapse". Library Journal. Retrieved 2019-10-09.
  7. ^ James, Steven. "Bio". Steven James. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  8. ^ "International Book Awards - Honoring Excellence in Independent & Mainstream Publishing". Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  9. ^ "ThrillerFest XV | July 7 – 11, 2020 | Grand Hyatt | New York City — The Premier Conference for Thriller Enthusiasts". Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Welcome". Voice of Imagination. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  11. ^ "The Christy Awards".
  12. ^ "2015 Storytelling World Resource Awards". Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  13. ^ "2015 Storytelling World Resource Awards". Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  14. ^ "2012 Christian Book Award Finalists Announced - ECPA". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  15. ^ Abraham, Felicia. "Retailers Choice Awards 2012 winners announced". Christian Retailing. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  16. ^ "International Thriller Writers – Past Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  17. ^ Sarah, Frobisher. "Every Crooked Path". Every Crooked Path. RT Book Reviews. Retrieved 8 November 2017.

External links[edit]