Ray Johnston


Surf, sand and sun are in the blood of almost every boy and girl raised on Sydney’s northern beaches. Ray Johnston is no exception and one of his treasured memories goes to prove it. One sunny day on assignment in northeastern China he found himself cracking waves at Qingdao Beach: the only person in the water - with hundreds of fully-clad, well-shod tourists watching from the sand.

Nowadays Ray lives with his family in Canberra, over a hundred kilometers from the sea; but be assured, when he’s not drafting a novel or travelling overseas, he’s planning a trip to the beach.

Ray’s first novel, White Ghosts Black Shadows was published in 2010. Before that he published technical works in linguistics and texts for EFL students, having cut his teeth as an author and publisher producing books in indigenous languages in Papua New Guinea.

Ray holds master's degrees in educational psychology and organisational psychology and a PhD in linguistics. He is an honorary lecturer in the School of Culture, History and Language at the Australian National University an honorary English teacher at the ANU college, an associate of the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language at ANU, an associate member of SIL-PNG

Read Ray’s Smashwords Interview at https://www.smashwords.com/interview/Rayjohnston 

Smashwords Interview

People are asking about your new book. What's it about?
It's a story about conflict and the search for love that takes us into the hearts of three people each pursuing a dream: Justin, a jaded, obsessive historian; Ruth, a rich girl on vacation and Miriam, a poor girl on the run. They meet on a tropical island where a shadowy special forces officer known as the Coastwatcher served during the war, and as the truth about him emerges they become enmeshed in a love triangle like no other. When disaster turns their dreams to ashes, Ruth and Miriam refuse to give up hope and through them Justin finds the path to redemption.

This story poses questions: Is a new start too much to hope for? What is redemption, and who needs it? Is there such a thing as destiny? Why are we here and what are we doing that counts? And how can we find a way through the uncharted delta marked in its corners with the words friendship, love and passion?

I've included a short summary of the story in response to the fourth question.
What motivated you to become an author?
I believe I have something to say. I entertain my readers with old fashioned story-telling and colorful characters and invite them to walk a pathway of laughter, suspense and tears that leads them to places where deep themes of life such as abandonment, betrayal and redemption are encountered. My first book "Black Ghosts White Shadows" addresses the human psyche in the shadow of death. Who can you trust? Who do you follow? The second book "The Rich Girl, the poor Girl, the Coastwatcher and me" challenges the reader to decide whether a new life is too much to hope for when dreams turn to ashes.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Ray Johnston online

Where to buy in print


The Rich Girl,The Poor Girl, The Coastwatcher And Me: Anecdotes And Reminiscences From The Collected Papers Of Justin Bornmann
Price: Free! Words: 60,890. Language: English. Published: April 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Australia & New Zealand, Fiction » Inspirational
On a tropical island, the truth about a shadowy war hero called The Coastwatcher connects Ruth Feingold, a career girl on vacation and Miriam Lazar, a poor girl on the run, with jaded historian Justin Bornmann in a love triangle like no other. The women set the disillusioned man on the path to redemption and prove that although love is a battle zone, it need not be a war

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