Linda Baten Johnson loves reading and writing, especially about historical events. She currently volunteers as a docent for the Frisco Heritage Museum where she dresses in costume and tells Frisco second-graders about the lives and difficulties of pioneers to the Blackland Prairie of Texas.
She manages to write at least two books a year when she is not having fun with friends and family. Linda is the author of 14 books, including those of romance and books for young readers.
Welcome to my blog. Please tell us about your novella, Magnolia Morning.
Magnolia Morning is part of the state flower series and represents Louisiana. I chose to write about this state flower and include a fictional account of the love story of my great-grandparents, which began after the Civil War.
Energetic, hard-working Martha Bodine and her mother survive the war, but Captain Bodine does not return from the Confederate Army when expected. Threatened with the loss of their farm unless Martha agrees to marry a neighbor, they offer lodging to a controversial Northern gentleman, which causes a rift between them and those in the community.
Peyton Anderson, a soldier in Captain Bodine’s unit pays a condolence visit and offers to help the feisty Martha and her gentle mother get on their feet, but he has his own family obligations and practical concerns about their situation. Even his best efforts may not change the course mapped out for Martha’s life or his own.
Where did you get your inspiration for this story?
This is loosely based on the story of my great-grandparents.
What kind of research did you do?
We had letters my great-grandfather wrote to “Most Honorable Miss Martha” and in them, he described sections of Louisiana and his hopes and dreams. My two sisters and I went to Louisiana to find some of the places they lived. We also visited a living history museum in the state to get a feel for the time period, and enjoyed good Louisiana food. Yummy.
Tell me about one of the main characters and what you love about him or her?
I tried to be true to what I knew about my relatives. Martha was not a beauty. She had a rounded figure, freckles and a no-nonsense attitude, but she was a loving and caring woman. I hope that comes through in the book.
Where is your website so my readers can check out your recent and past books that you have written?
My website is www.lindabatenjohnson.com. I would love for readers to visit.
Thank you for this wonderful interview. I have read this novelette and enjoyed it. Here is my review below:
“This is an adorable story that has a few surprises toward the end! Knowing it was loosely based on the love story of the author’s great-great grandparents made it even more fun. I was taken into the past during the 1860s after the civil war and learned what life was like. I loved Martha’s character right off and how feisty she was. It’s fun to learn about our ancestor’s and what their lives were like, especially after hardships from the civil war and how they recovered. I totally enjoyed this story.”
–Written by Linda Weaver Clarke