Biography & Memoir

Call Me Director

Memoir of a Police Reformer

By E. Winslow (Buddy) Chapman and David Wayne Brown

Non-Fiction | Memoir

Some big-city police departments today face calls for change, and some no doubt could stand revision and improvement. This book tells about a crusading police director in Memphis who accomplished major reforms at one of the nation’s largest police departments. E. Winslow (Buddy) Chapman’s record in Memphis could show today’s reform-minded leaders where to start and how to do it.
Chapman, the 39-year-old executive assistant to the Mayor of Memphis, Tennessee, became the first, and so far, only civilian to hold the top job at the Memphis Police Department. It was 1977. For decades Insurance companies have labeled Memphis the “Murder Capital of America.” The MPD was a police force that had been in crisis for more than a decade and was in dire need of leadership and reform.
Chapman took charge as the new Memphis Police Director facing entrenched police corruption, multiple federal civil rights investigations and judicial consent decrees, an unhappy police union wanting more pay and promotions, and a long public record of police abuse, especially against black citizens. He also took office under the resentful gaze of a city police chief – a man protected by civil service rules, and who could have been a model for any good old boy anywhere. The chief fought Chapman’s every move and even attempted to force him from office through a ham-handed attempt at extortion.
Chapman’s reforming spirit speaks to contemporary times.

Patsy Cline

In Her Own Words

By Mike Freeman and Cindy Hazen

Non-Fiction | Biography

Patsy Cline was one of the first women in country music to have a crossover hit. She was among the first to sing in Carnegie Hall. And she was the very first to headline her own show in Las Vegas. Musically, she was a female version of Elvis, even to the point of using his background singers, the Jordanaires, on her recordings.

Dixie Chicks

Down-Home and Backstage

By James L. Dickerson

Non-Fiction | Biography

In Dixie Chicks: Down-Home and Backstage, James L. Dickerson tells the behind-the-scenes story of the band, drawing from interviews with former band members, scores of insiders, and the band’s enormous Internet fan base. This book recounts the early struggles to make it in the male-dominated country music world, the sometimes-fun and sometimes-wild adventures of life on the road, and the intimate details of the Chicks’ evolution from bluegrass purists to country-pop divas.

Living on Deadline

The Amazing Adventures of a Southern Journalist

By James L. Dickerson

Non-Fiction | Memoir

At a time when print journalism is rapidly fading away as the primary defender of American democracy, there is a need for a book about the day-to-day life of a working journalist. In addition to providing exciting stories about investigative reporting and the author’s innovative take on investigative editorial writing, Living on Deadline pulls back the newsroom curtain on the many intrigues and dramas that often accompany news reporting, along with the scandals and unprintable news that sometimes happens behind the scenes at a daily newspaper or monthly magazine.

Award-winning writer James L. Dickerson, who has 50 years of experience as a published writer, is one of the most successful journalists in the South. He has been a staff writer for three Pulitzer Prize-winning newspapers while writing for magazines and authoring more than 30 books on investigative history and investigative biography (one of his investigative biographies Colonel Tom Parker: The Curious Life of Elvis Presley’s Eccentric Manager was purchased by Warner Bros. for director Baz Luhrmann for his upcoming Elvis movie starring Tom Hanks). Of course, having a movie based on something you have written is every journalist’s dream.


A Memoir of Women, Men and Power

By Karen Hinton

Non-Fiction | Memoir

This is a compelling coming-of-age story, set both in small-town Mississippi and big-city New York, with a long layover in the nation’s capital. Karen Hinton chronicles her life from tiny Soso, Mississippi (pop. 408), to the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), where she played on the Lady Rebels basketball team, had embarrassing encounters with literary luminaries such as William Styron and Willie Morris, and received a degree in journalism . . . to stints at two newspapers, where she worked as a reporter—the Jackson Daily News and the Rocky Mountain News—to working on the political campaigns of two Black political candidates, one of whom was elected to Congress, thus becoming the first Black representative from Mississippi since Reconstruction.

Hinton went on to become one of the most colorful and outspoken political communications professionals in Washington and New York. Best known for her role as press secretary to both former Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo and New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, Karen played what Politico dubbed the “Helen of Troy role” in the clash between the former Governor of New York and the Mayor that the New York Times called “one of America’s ugliest political feuds.” The Wall Street Journal has noted “the wisdom she dispensed in a Southern twang” in dealing with the strutting and chest pounding of New York’s two most powerful leaders.


The Curious Life of Elvis Presley’s Eccentric Manager

By James L. Dickerson

Non-Fiction | Biography

Based on unprecedented, original research and interviews with insiders, this authoritative biography of Colonel Tom Parker (1909-1997), Elvis Presley’s lifelong manager, includes new revelations and insights into the music industry’s most notorious and mysterious manager. Investigative journalist and music writer James L. Dickerson looks at topics such as Parker’s illegal entry into the United States, his work as a carny with Royal American Shows, and his management of country singer Eddy Arnold, his partnership with Hank Snow, and how he manipulated Elvis Presley and his family to seize control of the singer’s career.


The Record Producer Whose Genius Changed American Music

By James L. Dickerson

Non-Fiction | Biography

Lincoln “Chips” Moman was known as the “Steve McQueen of the music business,” perhaps because he liked fast cars and beautiful women, and flew his own plane. But also because he had the charisma and good looks of a Frank Sinatra. You never heard much about him because he was reclusive, probably only averaging one or two interviews per decade.


Lil Hardin Armstrong, First Lady of Jazz

By James L. Dickerson

Non-Fiction | Biography

Along with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, Lillian “Lil” Hardin (1898-1971) was arguably the third most crucial figure in the creation of popular jazz, but today her important contributions are largely unknown today because of past and present hostility of male jazz critics. Today’s “Me Too” generation should embrace Lil Armstrong for the pioneer that she was. No other genre of American music has been quite so inhospitable to women as jazz, which makes it perfect timing for the reprint edition of this important book. Publishers hope to soon see this book in development for a motion picture.

That’s Alright, Elvis

The Untold Story of Elvis’s First Guitarist and Manager, Scotty Moore

By Scotty Moore with James L. Dickerson

Non-Fiction | Autobiography

When Elvis Presley first showed up at Sam Phillip’s Memphis-based Sun Records studio, he was a shy teenager in search of a sound. Sam asked guitarist Scotty and bass player Bill Black to work with Elvis—and the music they created as the Blue Moon Boys launched what became known as rock ‘n’ roll. Scotty and Bill toured with the young singer, and played on all of his Sun sessions and his first recordings for RCA; Scotty also served as Elvis’s manager. With Bill Black and Elvis both dead, Scotty is the only remaining member of the original trio who can tell the true story of how Elvis transformed popular music—and how Scotty created the guitar sound that has become the prototype for all rock guitar that followed, prompting Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards to proclaim, “Everyone else wanted to be Elvis—I wanted to be Scotty.”

Available formats: eBook only in USA. Paperback available in Canada and worldwide

Scotty & Elvis

Aboard the Mystery Train

By Scotty Moore and James L. Dickerson

Non-Fiction | Music Memoir

When Elvis Presley first showed up at Sam Phillips’s Memphis-based Sun Records studio, he was a shy teenager in search of a sound. Phillips invited a local guitarist named Scotty Moore to stand in. Scotty listened carefully to the young singer and immediately realized that Elvis had something special. Along with bass player Bill Black, the trio recorded an old blues number called “That’s All Right, Mama.” It turned out to be Elvis’s first single and the defining record of his early style, with a trilling guitar hook that swirled country and blues together and minted a sound with unforgettable appeal. Its success launched a whirlwind of touring, radio appearances, and Elvis’s first break into movies. Scotty was there every step of the way as both guitarist and manager, until Elvis’s new manager, Colonel Tom Parker, pushed him out.
With both Bill Black and Elvis gone, Scotty Moore is the only one left to tell the story of how Elvis and Scotty transformed popular music and how Scotty created the sound that became a prototype for so many rock guitarists to follow. Thoroughly updated, this first-person edition delivers guitarist Scotty Moore’s story as never before. This title was published by University Press of Mississippi.

Memphis Man

Living High, Laying Low

By Don Nix

Non-Fiction | Memoir

Memoir of Memphis songwriter, producer, and recording artist who has developed a cult following as a result of his many musical adventures during the 1960s and 1970s. A member of the Mar-Keys, an instrumental group that recorded the hit, “Last Night,” Nix is associated with Beatle George Harrison, Leon Russell, John Mayall, bluesman Furry Lewis, Albert King, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and others. He penned the blues-rock anthem, “Going Down.” The book contains many rare photos taken by Nix.

Nicole Kidman

A Kind of Life

By James L. Dickerson

Non-Fiction | Biography

Nicole Kidman is a Hollywood superstar, a stunning beauty and an incredibly talented performer who delights critics and audiences alike. She is easily one of the most accomplished and complicated actresses of her generation. The daughter of a prominent Australian psychologist and feminist activist, she has remained in the headlines not just because of her acting, but also because of her marriages to actor Tom Cruise and country music star Keith Urban. Written by a former mental health professional, this investigative biography traces her life from birth to the present and takes a behavioral approach to explain her life choices.

“A fascinating look at a fascinating lady. Dickerson is a writer capable of painting a word picture of a complex lady in a most intriguing way.” – Michael Levine, World-renowned Hollywood publicist to the stars

Available Formats: Trade paperback, hard cover, and eBook

The Hero Among Us

Memoirs of an FBI Witness Hunter

By James Ingram with James L. Dickerson and Introduction by former Mississippi Governor William F. Winter

Non-Fiction | Memoir

Jim Ingram is to the FBI what Elliot Ness was to the Treasury Department—a larger-than-life symbol of American justice, a Klan-busting crime-fighter who was involved with some of the highest-profile FBI cases of the 1960s and 1970s. In his memoir, Ingram provides insider information about those cases.
Jim Ingram was the primary source in journalist Jack Nelson’s 1993 bestselling book, “Terror in the Night: The Klan’s Campaign Against the Jews,” which focused on the FBI’s infiltration of the Klan in an effort to protect Mississippi Jews. Jim Ingram passed away in August 2009 of cancer but worked on this memoir with co-author James L. Dickerson right up until his death. Following his death, the FBI supplied Dickerson with more than 1,400 pages of previously classified documents to supplement Ingram’s recollections. Interestingly, after nearly 30 years with the FBI, Ingram was brought out of retirement in the 2000s as a cold-case investigator of Mississippi civil rights-era murders, casting him into his fifth decade of crime fighting.

“Jim was always a big case guy—a long ball hitter. He didn’t hit singles. He took the ball out of the park.” – Retired FBI Special Agent Bill Stokes

Ashley Judd

Crying on the Inside

By James L. Dickerson

Non-Fiction | Biography

A revealing investigative biography of the actress and newly emerging social activist that begins in childhood and continues throughout her acting career. Discover the inside story of the actress who has starred in movies such as “Heat,” “Kiss the Girls,” “High Crimes” and “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.” Journey with her as she makes the transition from actress to social activist, addressing the General assembly of the United Nations on matters of the greatest importance. This book was a #1 bestseller on

Available formats: Paperback, hardcover, and eBook

Natalie Portman’s Stark Reality

By James L. Dickerson

Non-Fiction | Biography

A biography of the Oscar-winning actress. Natalie Portman has starred in dozens of films, including the Academy Award-winning Black Swan, Cold Mountain, V for Vendetta, Star Wars: Episodes I, II and III, and her first major film, The Professional. A consummate actress, she has been called the Meryl Streep of her generation. In Natalie Portman’s Stark Reality, James L. Dickerson traces Portman’s early development, from her Israeli roots to her first appearance in Hollywood—and takes the reader step-by-step through her professional and personal triumphs and challenges, including her 2012 marriage to Benjamin Millepied. Not only does this insightful biography look into the “who, what, where and when” of Natalie Portman’s personal life and professional career, it also examines the all-important question of why she has made the decisions she has throughout her life. The author was featured in a Biography Channel look at the actress’s complicated life.

“A child actor who kept her stardom in adulthood, Natalie Portman’s resume grows her into a future film legend. Natalie Portman’s Stark Reality is a biography of the young Hollywood starlet and her youth into her career that spans many popular films as well as her tough personal challenges as they came. Natalie Portman’s Stark Reality is a must for Hollywood memoir and biography collections, not to be missed.” – The Midwest Book Review

Available formats: Paperback and eBook

Faith Hill

The Long Road Back

By James L. Dickerson

Non-Fiction | Biography

A revealing biography of the Mississippi-raised country/pop star that examines her life from birth to superstardom to her failed 2012 comeback attempt as a recording artist. This book was a Top 10 bestseller on when it was released in 2012. The book was updated in 2013.
From humble beginnings in Star, Mississippi, Faith Hill soared to the top of the country and pop charts, becoming one of the most successful female recording artists in history. Her albums have sold millions. Up until the end of 2000, everything she touched turned to platinum. Early in 2001 she announced that she was taking time off from her recording career to spend more time with her children and her husband, Tim McGraw. It was a fateful decision that sent her career into a decades-long tailspin.

Faith Hill: The Long Road Back tells the inspirational story of the Grammy-winning singer’s rise to stardom and her subsequent fall from grace. Drawing on interviews with Faith Hill, her childhood friends and teachers, music professionals, and fans, this intimate portrait of Faith Hill examines her adventurous Huck Finn-like childhood, her first marriage and divorce, her hardscrabble years as a struggling artist in Nashville, her love affair with the man who became her husband (country superstar Tim McGraw), her thoughts on marriage and motherhood, her heartbreaking search for her birth mother (and her subsequent death), and her triumph over her husband’s alcoholic secret life. Complete with photographs and insider information on the music industry, here at last is the whole story behind the life and music of Faith Hill-country music’s most tenacious pop superstar. This book is an expanded and updated reprint of the author’s 2001 biography, Faith Hill: Piece of My Heart.

Available formats: Paperback and eBook

Trader Jon’s

Cradle of U.S. Naval Aviation

Text by James L. Dickerson, Photographs by Steve Gardner

Non-Fiction | Biography

“Trader Jon’s was a place where Naval Aviators went to relax, swap stories and enjoy each others’ company. I cherish the memories of my time spent there.” – U.S. Senator John McCain

Trader Jon’s: Cradle of U.S. Naval Aviation is a history of one the most famous bars in American history—and a tribute to all the U.S. Navy Aviators who passed through its doors. A gritty strip joint in which local women made good money taking off their clothing, it also was the secret location for the initiation of Newbie flyers for the legendary Blue Angels and Thunderbirds. When Trader Jon’s owner, Martin Weismann, died in 2000, the bar was closed and his memorabilia collection, valued at more than $2 million, was purchased by a Pensacola law firm and donated to the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, where it will be preserved and maintained in Pensacola. Among those who mourned the bar’s passing is Retired Vice Admiral Jack Fetterman, who recalls Weismann as someone who never said anything bad about anyone: “You talk about bonding, and you talk about brotherhood, and you talk about what naval aviation was all about. Trader kind of provided that foundation.” One measure of the Navy’s deep regard for Weismann is the singular honor it afforded him by naming a runway after him—TRADR-ONE.

Available formats: Paperback and eBook

The Bravo! Way

Building a Southern Restaurant Dynasty

By Dawn Dugle

Non-Fiction | Biography

Faith, fear, and focaccia bread. A recipe for a thriller? Or building blocks for a successful business?

Opening a restaurant is about as risky as dancing on a hilltop beneath a metal umbrella during a thunderstorm. Researchers tell us that 60 percent of new restaurants fail the first year and 80 percent fail before the 5th anniversary. All of this is why the upcoming 25th anniversary of a popular Jackson, Mississippi, restaurant is of such interest. How did owners Jeff Good and Dan Blumenthal beat the odds? There are lessons to be learned from their experiences, whether you are planning to open a restaurant of your own, or writing a business plan to open any business. Everything was about to change in Jeff Good’s life because he was about to lose his job, only to find himself, instead, partnering with a friend named Dan Blumenthal to launch not only a restaurant named BRAVO! in Jackson, Mississippi, but also two other trend-setting eateries, the ever-popular Sal & Mookie’s and Broad Street. The restaurants are the brainchild of two passionately driven, but very different, visionaries. Jeff Good: a gregarious, larger-than-life networker who never met a stranger; and Dan Blumenthal: a focused and intense culinary wizard who thrives on adrenaline and controlled chaos. It’s a yin and yang relationship that has been at the heart of the business from the beginning.

BRAVO! Italian Restaurant and Bar will celebrate 25 years of business in 2019. It’s an institution in Mississippi—a destination restaurant, where on any given night, you’ll find people on first dates, fiftieth dates, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, getting engaged or just having a night out with friends.

Available formats: Hardcover, paperback, and eBook