With an acclaimed novel, a successful career and a new baby on the way, Solomon Jones is at the top of his game. At 33, Jones has been dealt more than his share of reality, but he has bounced back and used his experiences to touch the lives of many.
A native of North Philadelphia, Jones was an accomplished student at Masterman with a supportive family and many friends. Yet, he fell into the empty void induced by drugs, first starting off with marijuana and beer and soon graduating to cocaine.
Jones completed rehab twice and remained clean for several years, but the temptation sucked him back in. He lived at the Ridge Avenue Men’s Shelter, where he was introduced to writing. Here his love for writing developed, and he began to pull himself out of the black hole.
“Education was the key to me turning my life around. I decided to go back to Temple University and get my degree,” Jones explains.
Not only did he graduate in 1998 with a Journalism degree, but he also met his future wife. Since then, he has been published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia magazine, and the Philadelphia Tribune. In 1995 Jones joined the Philadelphia Weekly as a freelancer, which soon escalated to a staff writer position in 1999.
Pipe Dream, his first novel, was released on July 31. Jones’ experiences as an addict, police dispatcher and journalist combine to create the tale of an addict running from the police for a murder that he did not commit.
On a recent book tour, Jones was moved as he met readers whose lives were touched by his words.
“Never give up,” Jones said. “As cliché as it might sound, I am proof that changes can happen.”
Solomon Jones will be holding a reading at the Temple University’s Barnes and Noble on Sept. 26, 2001 at noon.