After a career in the advertising and public relations fields as writer and creative director, Don Johnson is now concentrating on his first love of historical and character-driven fiction. he is a former member of Western Writers of America and the Greater Dallas Writer’s Association, has had several novels and non-fiction books published and many short stories and articles.
Born in Devol, Oklahoma in 1927, he grew up in West Texas after his family moved to the Woodrow community south of Lubbock in 1937. He graduated from Lubbock’s Cooper High School and attended Texas Tech before enlisting in the armed forces during World War II.
During his life so far he has been an aviator, medic, lab technician, farmer, cowboy, rancher, laborer, advertising copywriter, creative director and advertising agency owner. He has published articles, short stories, non-fiction books, and book-length fiction.
He now lives in Palestine, Texas with his wife, Judy, where he enjoys a study of regional history and writing about it. His writing efforts are directed toward bringing interesting and believable characters to life.
Where to find Don Johnson online
Where to buy in print
Thunder On Monastery Ridge
Thunder On Monastery Ridge is set in the late 1800’s. Daniel has been at the monastery since his ill mother brought him as a small child. He has been reared by the monks and as a young man has been accepted into their society. Rebecca has been brought from the orphanage to labor at The Willows for a despotic old man and his long suffering wife.
The faded roses of yesterday waft back with compelling intensity, touching the lives of those today in a sad yet often uplifting way.
Fern Smith-Brown has written large the souls of Josiah Johnson, Cassie De Carlo, and Sam Sloan in this finely crafted novel of the past. It explores the 30s with trains, hobos, and hard times. But always speaks of love.
The likable Quentin Abbot is a moderately successful contractor in Dallas with a comfortable relationship with his accountant, the attractive and competent Wendy. But, when his father is killed in the small town of Terwilliger on the Mexican border, it plunges him into an unfamiliar world of tremendous wealth and power which threatens his value system, his relationship with Wendy, and his life.
Off the Cuff
This is a series of essays on life— as it is, as it was or as it might have been— as seen from a singular perspective.
On the CentIpede's Back
Ty Coltrane spent his life "on the centipede's back." Yet he always looked on life with "a glow and a glee." The women who idolized him and fed his passion by night, the men who jousted with him at cards and dice will soon forget him. The world outside his own tiny circle never knew him at all. He was a genuine war hero, but the public's attention to such matters is notoriously short lived...
“Here is an authentic look at the power and passion of the great Lone Star State 150 years ago. Will not disappoint.” — Deana James, author
“This is an action-packed story of tough folks caught up in the turbulence and violence of Southwest Texas at the close of the Civil War." — San Angelo Standard-Times
This book is three stories:
The Homeplace: The boys tell Clint he'll enjoy the "home" in Houston. But, they didn't tell him at first that he'd have to give up his dog.
Maude's Place: Maude wants so much to make a good impression on her family from "back east." But her cafe and its clientele are most unimpressive.
India Rope Trick: A rodeo roper's fame & fortune rest in his magical catch rope.
Just a short time ago, Coker Spence was an ordinary college student with good grades...a best friend...a wonderful girl...promising future. All gone now. He waits to confront a dangerous and determined enemy. He doesn't expect to survive — but still — he's no longer the easy-going West Texas boy he once was. He is now a killing machine. He may die, but they'll not find easy prey here tonight.
Play the Pipes Softly
A small lump no larger than a child's marble is doing to Cody MacDonald what front line combat, a host of angry girlfriends, and a herd of wild-eyed bulls failed to do. Looking back on his life gives him little comfort. He believes his life has amounted to nothing positive — that he brought only heartache to every woman he ever loved. Nurse Marla doesn't think so and sets about to prove it.
A Texas Elegy
This is a story of Texas — the way it was — the way it can never be again. The old time cowboy life is rapidly disappearing from Texas, disappearing under the pressure of new methods and new technology. Here is the story of Whit Rutherford and his little crowd of cowboys who try to keep things as they were. They fail of course, but it was a grand fight while it lasted.
Glenn Darcy, a likable farm boy from the hills of Tennessee, is driven by the whip of poverty into a lifestyle he despises. He confronts powerful enemies who want nothing more than to destroy him and his family. But what of the elfin, pale-haired girl from the ridge? She is a Martin, but is she an enemy? A friend? More than a friend?
Don Johnson’s tag cloud
Smashwords book reviews by Don Johnson
- Hollow Bones
on April 02, 2011
Unrestrained ambition can have unintended consequences, and Lir got them in abundance. This is a moving dark fantasy. Sparse prose tells a wonderful tale of the results of ingratitude and self-centered desire. Well written with well defined characters.
Don Johnson, author
- The Seven Writerly Sins
on April 14, 2011
An excellent handbook by the old word meister himself. Harvey Stanbrough boils what would normally amount to reams of narrative into a few terse paragraphs that say it all.
Whether you’re a neophyte scribbler or a seasoned pro, you’ll find this book helpful and easy to assimilate. A bargain for anyone who wants to improve his/her craft.
- Same Ol' Bull Same Ol' Rodeo
on April 14, 2011
One of America’s finest poets has proven that he knows his way around the bucking chute as well as around an apt quatrain. An authentic taste of the attitudes and language of these unique Americans who risk their lives every time they explode into the arena just for our entertainment. As with the very best of fiction everywhere, you can learn as you enjoy. A big thumbs up to condensed story that touches every nerve.
Don Johnson. Author
- Wiccan, A Witchy Young Adult Paranormal Romance
on April 14, 2011
The storyline held high hopes for an interesting read. Unfortunately, a strange plot was buried under an avalanche of "information dumps" and unnecessary verbiage. It's as though the author was trying to stretch out the storyline. A good try though. The book was thematically ambitious. It just fell a little short. I'd like to see her try again.
Don Johnson, author