Paula Judith Johnson

Biography

My passion is writing. Even before knowing how to form the letters of the alphabet, I remember scribbling make-believe words.

My first novel (actually a long, short story) was written during 8th grade as an English project. During the summer that followed, ablaze with the concept of writing fiction, I convinced the sister of my heart to join me in writing a medieval-type tale of war between The Beatles and The Dave Clark Five. The Beatles prevailed, of course, since we were both avid fans. Although both of these early works are lost to posterity, they still conjure a chuckle of fond remembrance.

It was also during 8th grade that I wrote Beauty, which you will find in The Thought of You. It is a poem expressing the yearning of a young heart. I was crushed to earn a poor grade and hid the work away, showing it to no one except the sister of my heart. During high school drama class I learned to use emotions to give life to my characters on stage. What I learned was easily transferable to writing.

At the age of 20 I moved to the north Oregon coast where I met and soon married Wayne Brown. During our first months together, I often wrote love notes to my husband. Soon he was writing love notes back to me. Wayne and I have been married for over 40 years now. The Thought of You is a condensed compilation of those early notes and poems about other people we love.

As life when on, writing took a back seat. For 18 years I worked in the banking industry, and then transitioned my career into investment advisory services. Most of my creative efforts were directed toward home, garden, and hobbies.
Time flies—whether you have fun or not. That realization smacked me in the face when my oldest brother Steven W. Johnson’s book Not Much of a Crime was published in 2006. I hadn’t written creatively in over 30 years!

With my husband’s health in a precarious state and a business to grow, it was challenging to find time to write. But I asked myself, “If not now—when?” And the answer was simple—now, or never. I considered my energy cycle and decided the best time to write was early in the morning. Surprisingly, with passion and desire firing me, it was easy to reset my internal alarm clock. Getting out of bed at 5:00 a.m. gives me two hours to write before “real life” calls me away.
Some mornings the words flow effortlessly. Those mornings are rare jewels to be cherished. Other mornings, I scrape along a barren, rock strewn path picking up little pebbles, one by one. Either way, I love the process of waling alongside my characters, crying with them over their losses and rejoicing with them in their triumphs. After all, they are my friends. I hope they become your friends, too.

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in many cities in California. From Fresno to San Diego, you name it and I probably lived there. One place that remained constant throughout my childhood was a rustic cabin my parents owned in the Bass Lake area. As I recall, that’s about 40 miles from Yosemite. The cabin was rustic as in no electricity, no gas, no plumbing. We dug our own outhouses, jury-rigged running water from 55-gallon barrels we filled from a neighbor’s well (they lived a half miles away), lugged propane tanks for the cook stove and block ice for the refrigerator, when the kerosene ran low we went to bed with the sun and heated the place with the best darned fireplace in the county.

Since we moved around a lot during my childhood, I always considered that little, one room mountain cabin as my “real” home. I believe that helps me to “see” smaller communities in historical setting. When writing contemporary stories, I prefer to situate them in small towns.
Tell us a little more about yourself.
The contrast between big city life and the neighborliness of the small community surrounding that rustic cabin convinced me early on that I wanted to live in a small town.
On Labor Day 1973, I arrived in Clatsop County, Oregon—which boasts a population of about 35,000. Within a short time, I met and married Wayne Brown, my husband of 40+ years. In 1976 we built a starter home in Gearhart—population 397! Gearhart grew. After 29 years, we moved 15 miles north to Hammond, where we’ve lived since 2006. A number of years before relocating, the Powers-That-Be decided autonomy was too difficult, or expensive, or whatever and merged Hammond with the larger city of Warrenton. As of the last census, the two cities have around 5,050 residents. My guess is that Hammond has less than a couple thousand.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Paula Judith Johnson online


Where to buy in print


Books

Second Time Around
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 98,700. Language: English. Published: February 13, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Nathan Peters is enthusiastic about the challenge of his new job—until meeting his attractive counterpart. Mandy Kearney is a firebrand—one he remembers all too well. Mandy Kearney knows Nathan Peters—and wishes she didn’t. Handsomely hot and incredibly insufferable, she overheard him brag that he could seduce her within a week. Just let him try because Mandy’s determined to put him in his place.
Starting Over
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 88,970. Language: English. Published: October 20, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
Discarded by her fiancé and fired from her job in fashion design, Britney Thompson feels The Big Apple chewed her up and spit her out. Britney thinks the small tourist town of Seaside, OR is perfect for starting over until she meets Justin Peters, a charismatic attorney like her former fiancé. Women love him and he loves women—lots of women. But can Britney and Justin find a lifetime of love?
Sweetbriar
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 96,550. Language: English. Published: August 4, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Adult
In the turbulent years before the War of 1812, American Bradley Anderson lusts after beautiful Beth Avery. But Lady Beth, daughter of the 4th Earl of Rockwell, chooses to remain in England and marry a fellow Englishman. While free-spirited Louise Jetter, desires to cast aside the restrictions of her Puritan upbringing, risks all for love as America and England clash in the rising tide of war.

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