Welcome to Webpage of JL Oakley

Welcome to my website. So glad you came by. I love history and stories, gardening and just being outdoors. (I’ve been tent camping since a baby). I’m a writer, historian and a reader.

I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, listening to my mother’s stories of life in early 20th century Boise, Idaho. Several of them were about the boys from “New Joisey” occupying a side camp up the creek from my great-uncle’s ranch. Desperate boys from back East, they were members of the Civilian Conservation Corps doing reclamation projects in the rugged area of the Lowman/Banks area. From these stories, I wrote TREE SOLDIER, set in 1930s in the North Cascades Mountains of Washington State.

I’ve lived in the Northwest for over 35 years. When I’m not writing, I enjoy delving into local history, looking for little surprises that tell a larger story of my area and the nation’s past, fodder for more novels or non-fiction pieces. I can be found in my garden conversing with chickadees or teaching history hands-on to local grade school students. I churn excellent butter (don’t forget to wash it!) and can spin up a storm.  For two years, I was a speaker for Humanities Washington, speaking on the CCCs in that state from 1933 to 1941. Now that my time in the speaker bureau is over, I’m excited to have been invited by the CCC Legacy to be on their speaker’s list. So honored. I love to talk about the CCCs.

I was honored as a recipient of the 2013 Mayor’s Award for writing and history in Bellingham. (I write every day no matter what!)

Jøssing Affair FINAL smallerNOVELS:

Since I launched my WW II novel, The Jossing Affair,  at  Village Books, one of the top 5 indie bookstores in the country, the  novel has been flying off the shelves there. So excited to finally bring this award-winning book out. It is popular with #book clubs.  It recently received a finalist award from Best Book Award.







Timber Rose, the prequel to my award winning novel, Tree Soldier, is IndieBRAGG logo on TRdoing nicely. In addition to being  a 2015 finalist for the prestigious WILLA Literary Award, the novel was picked by the Pulpwood Queens Book Club as a February read.


Audio_v2 TSTree Soldier continues to touch readers whose communities and families had boys in the Civilian Conservation Corps. You can get the novel in audiobook form.  Audible, Itunes and Amazon.