Jada Davis was born in 1919 on a West Texas farm, one of eleven children.  He knew brutal poverty as a child, often hired out by his father to pick cotton.  Davis later observed that he was so poor that the Great Depression made no difference in his family circumstances.
When he could escape farm chores, Davis was a voracious reader of novels, histories and poetry.  He found that he could make extra money by writing short pieces for magazines and newspapers.  He briefly attended a small college before signing up for the US Army in the 1930s.  In the ill-equipped Army of that time, Davis trained in a cavalry unit in horseback deployments across the Southwest.
At the beginning of World War Two, Davis was stricken with tuberculosis.  He spent the duration of the war in a sanitarium reading classics.  When he recovered at war’s end, he felt a need to perform a heroic service for his country.  Davis volunteered for atomic medical experiments being performed on servicemen at that time.
After marrying Mary Alice Calhoun, Davis earned a degree from the University of Texas at Austin.  He worked as an editor of several West Texas newspapers, where his muckracking into city contracts and civil rights abuses made him a controversial figure.  He later owned a bookstore with his wife, while writing novels—one them, One For Hell, earned Davis critical notoriety.
His agent and editors urged him to move to New York, where he would perfect his skills.  With two sons and a mortgage, he opted instead to take an offer to join the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, where he worked as a PR executive until his retirement.
Jada Davis died in 1996.

  • Midnight Road
  • 978-1-933586-54-0
  • In this superb coming of age story from the author of the acclaimed One for Hell, we meet 15-year-old Jeff Carr as he learns to cope with the harsh realities of life while growing up in Texas in the 1930s. Filled with attempted murder, hidden secrets and family scandals, Midnight Road is published here for the first time, with a new introduction by Rick Ollerman. "One of those books that will stay with you a long time after you've read it, haunting you with its power." —James Reasoner, author of Dancing With Dead Men.

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