It was a distinct pleasure to welcome New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J.A. Johnstone, husband John, and Senior Editor Gary Goldstein of Kensington Books to the Jonesboro, AR ACT! for America April meeting.
Johnstone and Goldstein were speaking to the group about the new Phoenix Rising series of books that were inspired by today’s headlines….specifically about Islamic terrorism. It just happened that the Boston Marathon bombing occurred on the very day that the two were to speak to ACT! for America. They also appeared on Paul Harrell’s radio program earlier in the day. Here is a short promotional clip of Phoenix Rising, the first book in the series. Please pass along to all your friends and contacts who may be interested, because this is another great avenue to potentially wake people up to the threat of radical Islam. Those who may not be politically aware, but who are avid readers, may be inspired to research Islam after reading this exciting new book.
Goldstein, who lives in New York, said that the news of the bombing made him think of “9-11 all over again.” Goldstein recounted his experiences of being in a building not too far from the twin towers. Later that day in a surreal experience, he and his wife witnessed the towers falling. He said that he thought that New York was definitely safer since 9-11 due to some pretty serious safety measures that the city had implemented.
JA Johnstone is the niece of William W. Johnstone, who was a popular and prolific writer known mostly for Westerns, but was actually admired for the great diversity of his writing talents. For example, the Ashes series is about a post apocalyptic world. Also, in the Code Name series “bomb-throwing madmen rule nations and crime cartels strangle the globe.” Goldstein noted that William W. Johnstone “built Kensington Books,” and was “the heir to the Louis L’Amour mantle.”
JA was an all around assistant, typist, researcher, and fact checker to her uncle. Bill, as he preferred to be called, took JA under his wing and began tutoring her at an early age. After-school hours were often spent retyping manuscripts or researching his massive American Western History library as well as the more modern wars and conflicts. JA worked hard–and learned.
When JA’s mother was going into labor to have her, Bill, who was a teen-ager at the time, ended up being the one who took her to the hospital. “Bill said he was the first man who held me,” laughed JA.
One thing that her famous uncle taught her was to listen to the readers. He also impressed upon her the importance of “keeping the historical facts accurate.”
That sentiment was echoed by Goldstein who noted that what separated Bill from the rest of the pack in his writing was three things; time, place and authenticity. “He knew what people liked and was “a man of the people.”
Courtesy of JA, Goldstein, and Kensington press, everyone in attendance received free copies of the first two books in the Phoenix Rising series, Phoenix Rising and Firebase Freedom.
Until next time,