- Ex-Girlfriends (2004) and others
- Perfect Mother (2000)
- Remember September (1999)
- Adam Sandler: Not Too Shabby (1999)
By Tangi Holmes (SHS)
Jon Salem was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 1967 to James and Donna Salem. He is the youngest of four children His siblings are Tim, Betsy, and Jennifer. Jon Salem became interested in writing while still in elementary school. That interest stayed with him all the way through high school and on into college. After he graduated from Central High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Salem entered college where, among other things, he studied the life of Jacqueline Susann (Clarion-Ledger). At the University of Alabama, he majored in marketing as an undergraduate and in American Studies in the master’s program. Jon Salem moved to Jackson, Mississippi, about six years ago with the idea of becoming a writer in mind (Salem). His dream finally came true when he wrote Remember September and received excellent reviews. After the release of Remember September in 1999, Salem set out to write another book, The Perfect Mother, which will be released this summer (July 2000).
Salem has also written Adam Sandler, about how a class clown went from “least likely to succeed” to one of the biggest comedy stars in America. It is the first biography about Sandler and was published to tie in with the release of Sandler’s movie, Big Daddy. It is written primarily for ages nine through twelve. To write it, Salem interviewed everyone who knows Sandler from first grade teachers to former managers and movie directors. He says, “I had a fabulous time researching and writing this book.”
In an e-mail interview with Salem, he says that his favorite author is Jackie Collins because he enjoys writing the way she does. However, his favorite book is Valley of The Dolls by Jacqueline Susann because while in college at Alabama State, he helped revise Susann’s novel (Clarion-Ledger). Salem is unmarried. His main concern now is the release of The Perfect Mother. See Amazon page for more recent novels or FictionDB.
Jon Salem also writes under the names Kylie Adams and Jon Jeffrey (Man of My Dreams, 2004).
A Review of Remember September
by Tangi Holmes (SHS)
Jon Salem’s Remember September is a suspense/thriller type of book. Most of the story takes place in Houston, the heart of Texas. The book stars a beautiful and intelligent Stephanie Hart. She is a hardworking lawyer for the rights of abused wives and their children. She is also the mother of a teeny bop nine year old daughter, Tuesday, and is a wife to a devastatingly handsome doctor. With a dream job and perfect family, Stephanie is reminded of the terrible past by notes that say “Remember September.”
The book starts with a prologue like no other. Young Stephanie is troubled by the yelling of her mother’s boyfriend. She decides its time to end it. After she secures her little brother, Monty, away into his hiding place, she heads toward her mother’s bedroom. When she opens the door, her mother yells at her to leave, but Jimmy Scott (the boyfriend) has his own idea in store for Stephanie. Stephanie’s mother is knocked out cold when she tries to stop him. Next thing that happens, Stephanie is holding a knife with Jimmy Scott’s blood all over it.
Now (twenty years later) Stephanie is all grown up and enjoying the life she has. Brother Monty is a gorgeous news anchor for the best station in Houston and mom is, sorry to say, in a nursing home. Stephanie begins to receive frightening letters that say “Remember September” and that remind her of the one terrible day in her past. Stephanie, although frightened, pushes it aside as if it were a joke being played on her. It isn’t until a friend shows up dead that she starts to realize what the notes really mean.
Jon Salem’s Remember September is a great book. Set with life-like characters and a theme so perfect, it’s bound to keep the pages turning only to get you to the surprising end. You will use your imagination to the extreme, but don’t use it too much because there are some parts that might not be that pleasant. I really enjoyed this book. It’s one of the best that I have read in a long time. I suspect that Jon Salem will need to get some speeches ready as long as he writes like he is now.
E-mail Interview with Jon Salem (May 2000)
by Tangi Holmes (SHS)
When and where were you born?
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1967
What are your parents’ names and your siblings’?
Parents–James and Donna; Siblings (all older)–Tim, Betsy, and Jennifer
Who is your favorite author?
So, if you can, what is The Perfect Mother about?
THE PERFECT MOTHER is about a troubled birth mother who, many years later, sets out to destroy the lives of the family who adopted her baby girl. This book features a major subplot involving a teenage heroine, a character I really enjoyed writing.
What is your favorite book?
VALLEY OF THE DOLLS by Jacqueline Susann
What author has influenced you most?
Jackie Collins, because she writes fast paced stories about wild, beautiful people, which is exactly what I like to do.
When did you start getting interested in writing?
My interest in writing began as early as elementary school, when I wanted to write my own super hero adventures.
Has Mississippi influenced you in your writing or in any way at all?
I can’t say that Mississippi has influenced my writing because when I moved here six years ago I already had that dream firmly in mind. It is, however, a state that is very friendly to its authors, even if they are not natives.
Where did you attend high school and what was it like?
I attended Central High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Like most people’s high school experiences, it was a mix of the best and the worst times. Overall, it was fun, though–lots of laughter.
Though you are still quite new, what do you have to say is your best work?
I don’t think I have written my “best” work yet, but the one that means the most to me is REMEMBER SEPTEMBER, as it was my first sale and received a positive reception from critics and readers.
How long did it take to write Remember September?
It took me seven months to write REMEMBER SEPTEMBER.
What was college like?
I attended the University of Alabama, majoring in marketing (undergraduate) and American Studies (master’s program). It’s a beautiful campus and a great school. I learned so much and received much encouragement from the faculty there.
Do you have a wife and kids?
No wife and kids–I’m single.
How did you come up with the idea for Remember September?
It’s strange how ideas come to me, sometimes in the shower, at the pool, while I’m running. I wanted to write a woman in distress stalker story and the ideas just evolved from there.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
My best advice to aspiring writers is to discover the kind of books you like to write and read as many of them as you can. Then develop an iron discipline to write your own stories.
Do you have any advice for high school students?
I would advise high school students to do the same. If I could do it all over again, I would have become much more serious about writing much earlier. I know that I would have been published years ago if I had.
So how has your success of writing change you (if it has)?
Because I’m so new to the publishing industry, I really don’t feel “successful” yet. I do feel fortunate, however, because there are so many writers trying to break in. Right now I’m just worried about the next book!
- List of titles by Salem’s books as Kylie Adams here.
- Amazon is a great place to read reviews of this book and other books by Jon Salem.
- Read reviews of Adam Sandler by Salem here.
- Amazon page for Kylie Adams lists most Romance novels by Kylie Adams.
- Barnes and Noble also provides reviews of Remember September.
- Fiction DB discusses Adams and the romance books.
- Lindsay, Virgi. “Easygoing novelist knows how to find his ‘dark side’.” Clarion-Ledger 23 Nov. 1997.
- Patterson, JC. Review of Remember September, by Jon Salem. Clarion-Ledger of Books 5 Sept. 1999: 4G.
- Salem, Jon. Email interview. May, 2000.