One of the perks of being a writer is being able to meet other people with a passion for storytelling. Today, I’d like to introduce you to author Linda Baten Johnson.
Me: Hi, Linda. Welcome to my blog. My first question for you – when did you first realise that you wanted to write a book?
Linda: I’d published magazine and newspaper articles and lots of readers’ theater scripts, but never felt compelled to write a book until I learned about the Friendship Train.
Americans, from school children to large companies, gave generously to help save the starving of Europe after World War II. I’d been a history teacher and never heard this wonderful story. In a gesture of thanks, France sent a Train of Gratitude or merci cars to the United States filled with gifts from the French people, another story I’d never heard. I wanted young people to learn about this part of our history, so I wrote The Friendship Train.
Me: That is fascinating. It sounds as though your love of history is an inspiration for your stories. Where else do you find inspiration to keep writing?
Linda: I’m a member of the CenTex Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. At a meeting early this year, our president Becky Dean told us about a submission request for romance novellas from Lovely Christian Romance publishers. Becky encourages us to set new goals and writing a romance was a challenge since most of my writing is for middle graders.
My inspiration for writing my recent book, Her Christmas Cowboy, came from my roots in the panhandle of Texas, where I knew some charming cowboys and strong women.
Me: I look forward to reading your new book. What are some of the other books have you written?
Linda: The Friendship Train and Homer the Racehorse came out in 2012. This year, Her Christmas Cowboy was published by Lovely Christian Romance and Orphan Train Riders, Kathleen’s Vision was published by Chapter Books 4 Kids.
Me: It sounds like you’ve been busy the last couple of years. What are you working on now?
Linda: I’m currently writing a Young Texans series of chapter books. I’m very excited about this because I get to do a lot of research, which is one of my favorite things, and combine it with storytelling, another favorite thing. I’m setting a fictional story in an important time in Texas history. Tiny’s Emancipation, about Juneteenth, and Elsie and the Hurricane, about the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, are in process now. These chapter books will include study guides.
Me: Your novella Her Christmas Cowboy was released earlier this year. Can you tell us more about this book?
Linda: May I quote part of the book description from the back cover?
“Elizabeth’s dreams of having a loving husband and family have been replaced with the practical realities of spinsterhood, but her secret wishes are renewed when she receives a letter from her sister hinting that she has found the perfect man for Elizabeth – a Texas cowboy. Maybe God does have a man for Elizabeth, but in Texas, not Missouri.”
The target audience is women or teens who enjoy a good Christian romance. I guess the name of the publisher says it all – it’s lovely Christian romance.
Me: I look forward to reading it. Now for my last question – what is something people may find unusual about you?
Linda: That my husband and I have moved sixteen times, or that I’ve been on three national TV game shows – The Price is Right, Family Feud, and Scrabble.
Me: Haha, well done! Thanks for telling us about yourself.
Linda Baten Johnson has spent many hours packing and unpacking as she and her husband George have lived in 20 different places in the United States and enjoyed a stint in England. In between moves, Linda earned her Master of Arts degree in English and history, worked as a realtor, a teacher, and logged many volunteer hours, but her greatest satisfaction came in watching her three unique daughters become delightful women.
Growing up in White Deer, a small town in the panhandle of Texas, which boasts one blinking light, Linda won blue ribbons for her storytelling ability. She loves telling stories, reading stories, and sharing stories with fellow writers and church friends. In addition to writing and reading, she enjoys spending time with four amazing grandchildren.
Click on the images below to view Linda’s books on Amazon and read a free sample.