Jon Steele first job was as a one-eyed waiter in the Park Hotel in Great Falls, Montana. He was sixteen years old, and wearing an eye patch after being hammered in the head with a golf club. He graduated from Great Falls Catholic High School two years later (sans eyepatch) pretty much at the bottom of his class. By the age of nineteen he was the world’s worst postman in the US Mail in Cedarhurst, New York. His undiagnosed dyslexia and proneness to daydreaming meant he was constantly delivering mail to the wrong address. He then worked as a liquor store clerk, school janitor, cashier at a 24 hour restaurant, and cold caller for a shady aluminum siding company. Thinking he might make a good priest, he then studied at the Mercer School of Theology in Garden City, New York until he realized his future lay in sex, drugs, and rock and roll. He became the presenter of the 6 to 10 evening slot at the legendary KBCO-FM in Boulder, Colorado until he was fired for—actually he never knew why. The Station Director simply called him one morning and said, ‘You’re fired,’ and that was that. He moved to Washington, DC where he lied his way into a part-time job as a soundman for the British TV News company ITN. He quickly learned the ropes and became a full-time cameraman/editor. He travelled extensively through North and South America covering major breaking news stories. He was transferred to the Moscow Bureau where breaking news often came with the sound of bullets and bombs. He found an unholy salvation for his sins by living at the sharp end of television news—and he made his first attempt at writing by documenting a year in his life as a front line cameraman. It would take him seven years to complete the book that would become War Junkie—an explosive, genre bending work of reportage. Steele was transferred to the Hong Kong Bureau during the final years of British rule, while still finding plenty of time to chase bullets and bombs around the world. He was later transferred to the Jerusalem Bureau where the bullets and bombs were plentiful.
His career with ITN ended in Baghdad, when on the day before Iraq War II began and wracked with PTSD, he put his camera on the ground and quit. He went into seclusion in Switzerland, living by the grace of friends and strangers. And it was one midnight in Switzerland that a stranger took Steele to Lausanne Cathedral to meet le guet de Lausanne—the man who spends his nights in the belfry to watch over the town and call the hour with the ringing of the bells. Steele began to construct an imaginary world where a modern day Quasimodo believes Lausanne Cathedral is a hideout for the last angels on Earth. That imaginary world became The Angelus Trilogy—the critically acclaimed mystical noir series made up of The Watchers, Angel City, and The Way of Sorrows.
Jon Steele continues to live and write about in Bourg-en-Lavaux, Switzerland.