About Author

Donald P Johnston

Donald P Johnston
  • Genre:

    Science Fiction
  • Country: United States
  • Books: 3
  • Profession: Author
  • Born: 23 September
  • Member Since: Sep 2022
  • Profile Views: 4,473
  • Followers: 43
  • VISIT AUTHOR: Facebook, Amazon,
BIOGRAPHY

I was born in East Texas a long time ago.

When I was five years old, I found a tattered science book with several pages missing. The first intact page showed a monarch butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. That incident was the ah-ha moment that drew me into the world of science.

Upon completing high school, I joined the Air Force and served as a jungle survival instructor in Panama. While in Panama, I wrote a weekly gossip column for the base newspaper and won 2nd prize in a short story contest. After that, there was a 60-year gap in my creative writing. Following my military service, I enrolled in Stephen F. Austin State University and got married. After graduating in biology and chemistry, we moved to Houston where our only child, a son, was born. During the early years of my career, I wrote numerous technical articles and research reports and published several articles in trade journals but no fiction until recently.

In 2014, my wife of 53 years passed away, leaving me the patriarch of a small family--a son, a daughter-in-law, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. My family is my pride and joy.

I have been a member of Sugar Land Baptist Church since 1997 and have led Bible study classes throughout that time.

Donald P Johnston's Books

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Book
The Alamogordo Connection: Hard science fiction laced with political satire
$2.99 kindleeBook,
The Alamogordo Connection: Hard science fiction laced with political satireby Don JohnstonPublish: Jun 11, 2020Science Fiction
The Dar Lumbre Chronicles: A Hard Science Fiction Novel Laced With Political Satire
$2.99 kindleeBook,
Stock-Picking Revisited
$0.99 kindleeBook,
Stock-Picking Revisitedby Don JohnstonPublish: Sep 19, 2021

Donald P Johnston Interview On 27, Jan 2023

"Donald P Johnston grew up in rural East Texas. While serving in the Air Force in Panama, he wrote a weekly gossip column for the base newspaper and won second prize in a short story contest. He has worked as a bacteriologist, chemist, senior chemist, and lab manager. He has been a member of Sugar Land Baptist Church since 1997 and has led Bible study classes throughout that time."
Where did you grow up? Do you think your background has colored your writing in any way?

I grew up in rural East Texas a long time ago. My parent’s home was in the edge of the piney woods, a location rich in flora and fauna. My brother, sister, and I learned a lot about nature by growing up in this environment.

Growing up in the country definitely colored my writing. My published novels have scenes set in natural locations, i.e., jungles, rivers, deserts, parks, etc.

How did you discover your passion for writing?

When I was five years old, I found a tattered science book with the first ten pages missing. The first intact page showed a monarch butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. I believe that incident was the ah-ha moment that drew me into the world of science.

While serving in the Air Force in Panama, I wrote a weekly gossip column for the base newspaper and won 2nd prize in a short story contest. During the early years of my career as a chemist and biologist, I wrote numerous technical articles and research reports, some of which were published in trade journals. However, during that time, I wrote no fiction.

Seventy-five years after the monarch butterfly incident, I retired from the corporate world and began to write as a hobby. Naturally, sci-fi was my genre of choice.

Are there any other writers in your family? Who’s your number one fan in your family?

I’m the only writer in my family. My brother and sister are my number one fans (it’s a tie). They both think I’m the next Philip K. Dick (haha).

Why did you chose to set the novel, The Alamogordo Connection, in 2045?

2045 is 100 years after the first atomic bomb test in the White Sands National Park. A meteor strike near the Trinity Site 100 years later seemed like a good way to kick off a sci-fi novel. The location also provided the opportunity to mention the UFO crash at Roswell in 1947, secret aircraft tests over the White Sands, and the like.

What makes you get out of bed and write every day? Do you think an author can be a bestseller if they don’t have a passion for writing?

My creative juices flow early in the morning, so I get up at six-thirty, have a light breakfast, and write for about three hours.

I don’t believe anyone can write a novel (bestseller or otherwise) unless they have a passion for it.

How much did you research while writing your novel, Stock-Picking Revisited?

I kept investment notes over twenty years before writing the book, so I had all the information needed. Still, it took a lot of work to get the notes in order to present them properly. Though the book is less than 100 pages long, it took about as much work as a 75,000-word novel.

Note: This book discusses the stock market, so it’s not a novel.

Who and what was your inspiration for you book, The Dar Lumbre Chronicles? What were the hardest and easiest parts of writing the book?

My protagonists are composites of eccentric scientists I’ve known–the “who” of my inspiration. As for the “what,” I’ve always liked political satire, so I decided to mix the two and see what happened.

I’ve worked as a bacteriologist, chemist, senior chemist, and lab manager; therefore, writing a scene about a lab experiment was easy. The hardest part was the world-building. To make it easier, I chose the Houston area, a “world” I know, for my setting. The hard part about that approach was deciding what the area would look like 100+ years in the future.

Do you ever wish to write stories about your travel experiences?

No, not in the sense of writing a “travel guide.” However, in my novels, the protagonists travel to places I’ve been, i.e., Disneyland, The White Sands Missile Range, jungles, rivers, beaches, state parks, zoos, museums, etc.

What is one thing that has changed after being an author? Do you miss anything?

Very little has changed; however, one thing has–a few of my friends (fans) introduce me as their “favorite author.” I like that! I gave up a couple of hours of TV every day to write but don’t miss it at all.

In what sort of ways do you hope to inspire people by your writing?

Rather than hoping to inspire them by the content of my writing, I hope to inspire them by demonstrating the persistence required to write a novel. I have several friends who have been writing for years, but have never finished anything.

Since I’m comfortably retired, I don’t write for a living. To some degree, this frees me to write for myself.

Have any of your books taken an unplanned positive turn as you were writing them? Which unplanned plot twist or character are you especially proud of?

I don’t outline a novel in great detail before starting it; therefore, unplanned plot and character twists pop up repeatedly. One of my favorite twists occurred in The Dar Lumbre Chronicles. The protagonists were searching for a missing scientist who’d been frozen in cryonic suspension and stored at an unknown location. The location turned out to be beneath a ride in Disneyland. They found the missing scientist; moreover, they found Walt Disney there as well. Naturally, they revived both of them.

What are some author milestones you’ve achieved so far? What more do you hope to achieve in ten years’ time?

I didn’t start writing fiction until I turned eighty, so my first goal was to live long enough to become a published author, which I did! I’ve published two more books since then and expect to publish my fourth this year.

Another goal was to put one of my books in a bookcase between novels by Philip K. Dick and Ray Bradbury. I’ve done that too. They’re lined up this way: The Man in the High Castle, The Dar Lumbre Chronicles, and Fahrenheit 451. They look good together!

At my age (86), a ten-year schedule seems a big reach, but my plan is to write a book every two years as long as I live. It’s great fun–I’m never quitting.

What are some traps that new authors tend to fall into? Any advice on how to avoid these traps?

I believe the major trap is failing to set a regular writing schedule and sticking with it. The only way I know to avoid this trap is by developing more self-discipline.

What are you currently working on? When can we expect your next book?

I’m working on a political novel entitled By Means of Peace which will be finished around July 2023.

What book ideas are you currently working on? How has you experience at AllAuthor been?

After finishing By Means of Peace, I plan to start another novel immediately, The Photosynthesis Gene. In this sci-fi novel, human hemoglobin will be replaced by chlorophyll so people can survive by photosynthesis, just like plants (please don’t steal this idea!).

My experience with AllAuthor has been good. Since joining, I’ve had increased sales and reviews. In addition, the author interview helped me organize my profile.

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