A Glimpse of Linda O. Johnston

May 2, 2019 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , , , with 2 and 1
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Linda O. Johnston

Linda O. Johnston’s first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the year. Since then, Linda, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published more short stories, novellas, and over 50 romance and mystery novels, including the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime.

She currently writes the Superstition Mysteries and the Barkery Biscuits Mysteries for Midnight Ink, and also writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne.

Linda enjoys hearing from readers. Visit her website at www.LindaOJohnston.com and friend her on Facebook.

I’ve been friends and reading author Linda O. Johnston for many years and it’s a pleasure to do this Q & A with her today. Welcome Linda to Jann Says . . .

Jann: I remember reading your first novel, A Glimpse of Forever, in 1995. What is your writing process and how has it changed since then, if it has?

Linda: My process has changed a lot from what it was back then. When I started getting my novels published, I was a full-time lawyer with young kids. Back then, I would get up an hour before anyone else in the household and write for an hour, then bring printed copies to edit at lunchtime. Now, I’m a full-time writer, and my sons are grown and living elsewhere. My dogs will often tell me what to do—time to eat, time to go out—and occasionally my husband interrupts for something important, but otherwise I spend most of my day on the computer writing, editing and promoting.

Jann: If you could go back in time, is there one thing you would do differently with your writing career?

Linda: Not really. I feel as if I’ve been very fortunate. I’m still working on turning my stories into best sellers, but I’m happy with where I am, too. I’ve had more than 50 books published!

Jann: Many authors, including you, have a deep love for animals, but they don’t necessarily have them play such big roles in their books. You write in several different genres—mystery, romantic suspense, paranormal romance and romance. Throughout all of these genres, animals are a focus. Why?

Linda: I love dogs! I’m a dogaholic. A cynophilist. I didn’t always include dogs in my writing, although one of my favorite time travel romances from way back when is Once a Cavalier, where Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, the breed I particularly adore, were the avenue that allowed my heroine to travel in time back to the court of King Charles II of England, where the ancestors of today’s Cavaliers were lap dogs to the courtiers to take the fleas off them. And my own Lexie was the model for the Lexie in my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet Sitter Mysteries, my first cozy mystery series. Kendra was a lawyer who lived in the Hollywood Hills with her Cavalier Lexie. At the time, I was practicing law, I live in the Hollywood Hills, and one of my Cavaliers was Lexie. Unfortunately, dogs’ lives are shorter than ours, so Lexie is no longer with us, but I still have two Cavaliers: Mystie and Cari. They always inspire me to write—and to give them treats!

Jann: Book #5 is a Barkery and Biscuits mystery, For A Good Paws, which is coming out this month. Tell us about the series, characters and story.

Linda: In my Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries, protagonist Carrie Kennersly is a veterinary technician. She bought a bakery, Icing on the Cake, from a friend who had to leave their town of Knobcone Heights, California, and Carrie turned half into a barkery, Barkery and Biscuits, where she bakes and sells healthy dog treats she developed as a vet tech. In the first book, Bite the Biscuit, Carrie became a murder suspect and had to figure out whodunit to clear herself. In the subsequent stories several of her friends also become murder suspects so she has to help them, too. Since I always include romances in my mysteries and suspense or mystery in my romances, Carrie has a romantic interest, Dr. Reed Storme, a veterinarian at the clinic where she still works part time as a vet tech. Her brother Neal lives with her in her home, and one of her closest friends is Councilwoman Billi Matlock, who owns a day spa and Mountaintop Rescue, an animal shelter. Carrie also has several assistants at her shops who are also her friends, and several other townsfolk appear a lot in her books including the head vet at the clinic, Dr. Arvus Kline, and the owners of Cuppa Joe’s, a coffee shop.

In For A Good Paws, Carrie takes notice when she hears that a local killer is being paroled. Mike Holpurn, the parolee, was convicted ten years ago of murdering Flora Shulzer, who was then mayor of Knobcone Heights. On his return from prison, Holpurn confronts Flora’s husband Henry Shulzer, whom he claims was Flora’s murderer. When Henry is found murdered, the town assumes the killer is Holpurn, but Carrie’s not so sure… and she gets involved once more in solving a murder.

It’ll be the last in the series, since the publisher, Midnight Ink, is closing. I might find another publisher or self-publish more… but I suspect I’ll go on to a new mystery series.

Jann: How do you stay motivated? What drives you to keep writing?

Linda: Writing is who I am. Even when I tell myself to take a rest, my mind still keeps churning and I take notes!

Jann: What are you dying to try next?

Linda: Another mystery series! And also a possible stand-alone story featuring dogs. My problem about doing that is a good one: time. I’m busy with deadlines, writing four new Harlequin Romantic Suspense books.

Jann: Do you ever run out of ideas? If so, how did you get past that?

Linda: My mind is always at work, whether I’m awake or asleep, at the computer or anywhere else. Ideas are never the problem. I’ve plenty of them. But time to do something with them is more of an issue with me.

Jann: Thank you Linda for sharing with us today. Looking forward to the release and reading For A Good Paws!


A Few Books by Linda O. Johnston

BAD TO THE BONE

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BAD TO THE BONE

BEAGLEMANIA

Buy now!
BEAGLEMANIA

BEAR WITNESS

Buy now!
BEAR WITNESS
COLTON 911: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE
COLTON FIRST RESPONDER (The Coltons of Mustang Valley)

COVERT ALLIANCE

Buy now!
COVERT ALLIANCE

FOR A GOOD PAWS

Buy now!
FOR A GOOD PAWS

GUARDIAN K-9 ON CALL

Buy now!
GUARDIAN K-9 ON CALL

HER UNDERCOVER REFUGE

Buy now!
HER UNDERCOVER REFUGE

HOUNDS ABOUND

Buy now!
HOUNDS ABOUND

PICK AND CHEWS

Buy now!
PICK AND CHEWS

PROTECTOR WOLF

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PROTECTOR WOLF

SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER

Buy now!
SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER

SHIELDING COLTON’S WITNESS

Buy now!
SHIELDING COLTON’S WITNESS

THE MORE THE TERRIER

Buy now!
THE MORE THE TERRIER

TO CATCH A TREAT

Buy now!
TO CATCH A TREAT

TRAINED TO PROTECT

Buy now!
TRAINED TO PROTECT
UNDERCOVERING COLTON’S FAMILY SECRETS

UNLUCKY CHARMS

Buy now!
UNLUCKY CHARMS

VISIONARY WOLF (Alpha Force)

Buy now!
VISIONARY WOLF (Alpha Force)


Author bio
Author bio
Jann Ryan grew up with the smell of orange blossoms in Orange County in sunny Southern California, where she has lived her entire life and dreamed up stories since she was a young girl. Never an avid reader, she was in her thirties when she picked up her first romance quite by accident. She fell in love with happily ever after and has been reading romances ever since. Wanting to put pen to paper, Jann joined Romance Writers of America. Currently, she is working on a romantic suspense series set in Stellar Bay, a fictitious town along the California central coast to fulfill her publishing dream.
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    Jann Ryan grew up with the smell of orange blossoms in Orange County in sunny Southern California, where she has lived her entire life and dreamed up stories since she was a young girl. Never an avid reader, she was in her thirties when she picked up her first romance quite by accident. She fell in love with happily ever after and has been reading romances ever since. Wanting to put pen to paper, Jann joined Romance Writers of America. Currently, she is working on a romantic suspense series set in Stellar Bay, a fictitious town along the California central coast to fulfill her publishing dream.
  • Great Linda! I’ve read a couple of Linda’s novels. They are fun and captivating!

  • lindaojohnston says:

    Thanks, Will. I enjoy yours and Janet’s, too!

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