Growing up in White Deer, Texas, a small town that boasts one blinking light, Linda Baten Johnson won blue ribbons for storytelling, and the dream of making up tales to entertain was born. As an adult, Linda spent many hours packing and unpacking as she and her husband George have lived in 15 different places in the United States and enjoyed a three-year assignment 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.
One volunteer assignments was a National Park lighthouse in Michigan where she and her husband lived in the assistant keeper’s cottage. That posting inspired Mystery of Desolation Point, and she used historical records as the basis for the middle-grade novel. Linda loves to research and all books include an historical element. In her Young Texans Series, she focuses on specific Texas topics such as the Galveston Hurricane, the original 300 settlers, and Juneteenth.
She currently writes squeaky-clean romance novellas, cozy mysteries, and books for young readers. She loves incorporating history into her stories, even family history about the love story of great-grandparents in Magnolia Morning, or her brother's experience working in a CCC camp in Rich in Love. The Matchmaking Widow focuses on a woman determined to make people happy, one of the traits of her own mother. Several of her books have been converted to audio for listening pleasure.
Linda quickly learned the benefit of good critique partners and support network organizations such as Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and American Christian Fiction Writers. In appreciation for authors and friends who helped her achieve her goals, Linda welcomes the opportunity to visit school classes or civic groups to discuss books, the writing process, or The Friendship Train of 1947, a little-known event which shows America at its best as they provide food for starving Europeans after World War II.
One thing people find interesting about Linda is that she has been on three television games shows. She and her family appeared on Family Feud, and she was on Scrabble, a show Chuck Woolery hosted, and on The Price is Right. At the time, contestants had to sign a document saying they participated in not more than three game shows in a ten-year period. Linda believes it is much easier to come up with answers when folding laundry on the couch at home than in a television studio.
One of Linda's fondest memories is working with adult literacy programs and helping learners with problems encountered by adults without mastery of English. She gained gratification from helping a mother write a note to the child’s teacher, aiding in the completion of a student's job application, and organizing paperwork to apply for citizenship. She will never forget the excitement and the pride on one student’s face as she shared the news that she had passed her test to become a U.S. citizen.
My wish is that you have special friends in your life who encourage and support you.
Tidbits of Trivia
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because our home is filled with family, friends, good food, and reminders of our many blessings.
Squash is my favorite food.
Bungee jumping is NOT on my bucket list.
I've been on three television game shows: The Price is Right, Family Feud, and Scrabble.
I grew up in White Deer, a small Texas town boasting one blinking light, and I'll always be grateful for the lessons learned and the encouragement and care of the teachers and friends in that community.
I won blue ribbons in regional storytelling competitions in elementary school and realized telling stories was something I enjoyed.
I love to travel and have been in all 50 states and 20 foreign countries.
I regret not maintaining relationships with friends from all the places we lived.
Teaching is exciting. I've worked with children, adults, and also with individuals learning English as their second language.
I lose track of time when writing, researching, or reading. As a result, I've stayed up all night many times and burned more meals than I should have.
I sang on the stage of Royal Albert Hall in London with the Valley Forge Sweet Adelines.
Our last home was Round Rock, Texas. Yes, there is a round rock which was a landmark for cowboys driving cattle to market.
We now live in Frisco, Texas, and I'm learning more about this community by volunteering as a docent at the Heritage Museum.