Alan Jones was born in Montana. He worked as a ranch hand for several years but eventually chose to become a contractor-builder, his lifetime occupation. He still found time to teach safe boating for many years and wrote many formal lesson plans. He started thinking about stories passed down from his father. These stories happened when his grandfather pioneered in Montana in the late nineteenth century. Those stories were scary to a young boy.
A Land of Predators (Frontier Challenge), written as a novel about the settling of Montana, uses those true stories as a base to build on. Cat's Journey (Ghost Gold) is a spin off where he gave his imagination a little more leeway.