“Did I mention this book is delightful? It is delightful…you will laugh out loud.”
“Readers will find themselves captivated.”
“Magnificently poignant, funny and wholly original."
"Johnson proves it's possible to write a comic novel that, at times, is heartbreaking."
When I was riding my pony all over the farm I grew up on in Tennessee (pictured above) I had no idea that I'd end up living in Los Angeles decades later, the mother of two young children who were (then) afraid of horses. But at fifty, such was my lot. They were children of Hollywood, not of horse farms.
One day as I walked down the block we live on, I was overtaken by the thought that being a mother who's given birth to a child who's different--specifically, Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird--would be the sort of unexpected plot twist that would change a person's life forever. The more I thought about that particular idea, the more I thought it might make an interesting book. Here's where I mention I had never tried to write a novel before.
Nonetheless, five years and a lot of typing later, that idea coalesced into my debut, Be Frank with Me. It not only sold but ended up translated into many languages, became one of six finalists for the American Bookseller’s Association (ABA) award For Best Debut, the 2016 President’s Pick at Books-a-Million and a winner of an Audie award, the audiobook world's version of an Oscar. (Much of the credit for that win goes to the brilliant audiobook reader, Tavia Gilbert.)
Like Frank before it, my second novel, Better Luck Next Time, made ABA's IndieNext list of most anticipated titles for the month, was an Amazon Editor's Pick as the best of fiction published back in January and became an LATimes bestseller. What's more, it was tapped to be Barnes & Noble's selection for its monthly national book club. I wish my father were alive for all this, as his time working as a "cowboy" on a divorce ranch outside Reno inspired the book.
Since I left the farm I've lived in Charlottesville, Virginia (college at U.Va.), Massachusetts (Boston University, to study writing), and NYC/Hoboken, NJ where I settled--forever, I thought--while I worked at and wrote for national magazines. However, I met the funniest man alive, who I've been married to for thirty years now. He's a television comedy writer, which explains how I ended up living in California and, eventually, writing two novels sprinkled with a bit of Hollywood stardust.
“Doesn't a romantic comedy set at a 1930s Nevada dude ranch teeming with about-to-be-divorced women owe a certain debt to the era's big screen classics? Then again, it’s hard to believe a cinematic version could be any more fun.”
--The New York Times
“Johnson’s rollicking novel soars.
“Funny, charming, the perfect antidote
to our stressful times. Highly recommend.”