Born in Rensselaer, Indiana, a small farming community with a Catholic college, Nath Jones was raised by East Coast parents who made their home in a cornfield town.
Nath’s memories of sixteen years in Rensselaer are full of dirty bare feet, bicycle tires, crawdads, and summer theater. She also sang in the college choir from third through tenth grade. In a town where tractors pull bouncing tanks of anhydrous ammonia down one-lane highways, singing Latin Requiems and Gregorian chant made for an interesting childhood. Her first job for a hybrid seed company was walking beans and detasseling corn.
After her sophomore year in high school, Nath Jones left Rensselaer and attended the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities on the Ball State University campus in Muncie. This public boarding school for gifted students was an opportunity for Nath to understand how much diversity of perspective there is. She studied Russian, ran cross-country, played tennis, and made many lifelong friends. Her freshman year of college at Indiana University was almost anti-climactic after the intellectual and academic rigor Nath experienced at the Academy.
She quit college and joined the U.S. Army Reserve, becoming a 91B/91Q-Y7, which at the time made her an Army Medic and Pharmacy Technician with Sterile Products training. In October of 1995 Nath Jones went to basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. She survived the gas chamber, the bayonet course, and led her company through the Ozarks on a road march. At one point, she was able to do the most pushups of any female present for the PT test–seventy-two in two minutes. Although never deployed to active duty combat Nath trained with her unit or individually at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Fort Snelling in Minnesota, Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, and Fort Lewis in Washington State. She separated from the reserves as an E-5, buck sergeant.
For one year she studied at St. Joseph’s College in her hometown. During that time she trained with the college’s cross-country and track teams. She also volunteered for Science Olympiad and took an interesting course about the history of Rensselaer as disclosed by its architecture.
Then she went to pharmacy school at Purdue University. Nath will always be a Boilermaker. The years in West Lafayette were some of her favorite. During that time she worked as a waitress, a format editor, a receptionist in Purdue’s renowned Writing Lab, a volunteer EMT for the Stadium Rescue Squad while Drew Brees was quarterback, and was an intern for Schering-Plough pharmaceuticals researching hydrogel dosage forms and working in the tablet coating division. She graduated with a B.S. in Pharmacy in 2002.
During her first year as a pharmacist in central Indiana, she worked for independent pharmacies in central Indiana learning a great deal about ostomy care, wound care, home health care, compounding, and hormone replacement therapy. From there she transitioned to employment with a large retail chain where she worked for seven years.
In October of 2010, Nath Jones left her job as a pharmacist to pursue writing full-time. She is in the process of releasing four ebooks over two years.
Her writing compilations include both fiction and nonfiction. Poetry erupts, as it must in any life, and is offered as counterpoint.
Mixing genres produces a mosaic effect in the work and evokes a sense of both beauty and truth. The forms serve each other. What work fiction cannot do may easily be achieved by the lyric essay. Poetry delves and rip-rises. And the light that cannot quite illuminate the recesses of a given life shines brightly from realms of fictive characterization.
Her characters are more elusive than endearing but persist in rural, communal settings. The American denial of failure as a reality permeates her work. The writing explores what is at once ideally American and essentially human.
She is especially interested in the areas where these concepts seem at odds. The American ideals of power, success, and influence are contrasted with claims on dignity, individuality, and humble hope in her characters. The stories also explore the tenacity of life and its formation through a yielding adaptation.