Gerald D. Johnson was born in Mobile, Alabama, and is an indie author with heartfelt stories. Ever since he was a kid, Johnson knew he was born to be a writer. Inspired by James Baldwin and the playwright August Wilson, Johnson decided to pursue his dreams and contribute to Black novels. In 2013, Johnson released his first book, “Unbreakable Bond,” and that was the first of a few more to come. In 2019, the children’s novel, “The Eye to My Storms,” and the family drama, “Alabama Sunrise,” hit the literary scene and received rave reviews, which landed Johnson on several podcast interviews. To add to the dynamic set of genres, in 2021, “A Dream Deferred,” was published to tackle racism, hatred, and opposition to being born Black. The book was inspired by Langston Hughes’ poem and Lorraine Hansberry, “A Raisin in the Sun.” Johnson considers himself to be a contemporary writer with an urban twist. In September 2022, the book ‘Maple and Honey’ will be released, telling the story of two older women who reveal their past to a young mistress.
1.) Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Gerald D. Johnson from Mobile, Alabama. I am the author of the novels, Unbreakable Bond, The Eye to My Storms, Alabama Sunrise, and A Dream Deferred. Besides writing, I’m a visionary and a career counselor for at-risk youth.
2.) You just started a company called Johnson’s Journal Publishing. Please tell us what inspired its creation.
I had many people who asked me: “How do I write books?” People would tell me that it’s their dream to write a novel. However, they don’t have the time or don’t know how to get started. I imagined all the great untold Black stories that will never be read and it bothered me. A good friend of mine made the suggestion that I start a publishing company. The idea lingered and never left me. So, with much prayer, I decided to leap out on faith! I want to help give guidance and the opportunity for dreams to come true. I want to contribute to African American literature and bring powerful Black books to the forefront, whether it’s fiction or an autobiography. We need more narratives to edify and highlight the Black experience.
3.) What is the mission of Johnson’s Journal?
The mission is to contribute to the Black narrative one page at a time. Johnson’s Journal seeks to bring authentic Black stories to the hands of readers. The desire is to publish books that are life-changing and inspiring to initiate deep conversations, laughter, love, and fulfillment.
4.) What are some of the immediate goals you have for your company?
Johnson’s Journal will be releasing its first book, “Maple and Honey” in September 2022, and the previous books will be re-released under Johnson’s Journal Publishing, LLC. Also, Johnson’s Journal is seeking the first five aspiring authors or authors seeking representation to join the literary movement.
5.) Tell us about the types of stories you are looking for from authors.
Johnson’s Journal is open to all genres that dare to be different or thought-provoking. The goal is for readers to trust that when they pick up a book from Johnson’s Journal it will be an unforgettable journey.
6.) Tell us about the meaning behind the Johnson’s Journal logo.
A Black man who thinks is powerful. I am a firm believer that representation matters. Once you see the logo, you will know it’s Black-owned.
7.) How will your company make an impact in the publishing industry in the next five years?
Hopefully, with so many novels! I want people to be pleased with the decision that they published with Johnson’s Journal. I can definitely see a book tour with fellow authors. I also want Johnson’s Journal Publishing to turn into productions. It would be a dream come true to have books transitioned to the stage.
8.) What does being Black creative mean to you?
It means being unapologetic and following my spirit. It’s an expression of freedom to define who I am without rules or limitations. It’s my own stamp of approval that my gift matters.
9.) You are also an author yourself. If you had to pick one of your books for a reader just discovering your work, which would it be and why?
I would say, Alabama Sunrise. This novel has it all! I had the most fun writing it because the characters are so daring, yet vulnerable and misunderstood. There is such a wide range of emotions and comical moments that will keep readers engaged. The family in Alabama Sunrise has so many secrets and subplots to keep you wondering, “what’s next?” It’s an untangled web that ties together at the end.
10.) Please share your website(s) with our readers.
11.) How can authors get in touch with you to work with Johnson’s Journal?
12.) Where can readers buy your books?
You can purchase from Amazon or directly from me at http://johnsonjournal.com
13.) Where can we find you on social media?
Audra Russell is a blogger, freelance writer, and published author. She holds two undergraduate degrees in journalism as well as a Master of Science degree in Education. She also completed the Wesleyan University online Creative Writing Specialization course series.
She is an avid reader and writer’s advocate. Her passion for promoting the works of up-and-coming authors inspired her to create her podcast, Between the Reads, as well as her website, Read It Black to Me. Her debut novel, BLOOD LAND, was published on August 29, 2020, as her fiftieth birthday gift to herself. She lives in Maryland with her husband of more than 20 years, her 3 amazing children, a 12-year-old perpetual puppy, two dueling cats, and her lone surviving chicken of 8 years who she affectionately renamed Gloria (she will survive!)