A warm welcome to this week’s guest Tom Johnson. Reading a little about his life it has been anything but boring!
Tom Johnson was born July 26 1940 in Seymour, Texas. His dad was a cowboy and cook, giving his family an itinerant lifestyle. Tom changed schools often, as his dad’s jobs were relocated. His dad wanted him to follow in his footsteps, but a cowboy’s life didn’t appeal to him. Instead, during his high school years, Tom dreamed about becoming an entomologist. He loved biology and math, but was weak in other subjects. He read every book he could find on insects, reptiles, and arachnids, as well as paleontology. His dream was simple – buy an old car and small mobile home that he could pull behind the car and set up in the desert where he could study the animal life. Having something of a raw artistic talent, he wanted to write and illustrate books recording the life cycles of desert animal life.
However, his life changed when he joined the Army and spent a 20-year career in law enforcement. Afterwards, he and his wife started the publishing imprint of FADING SHADOWS, and published a hobby magazine for 22 years, and several genre titles for nine years.
Fading Shadows Books http://fadingshadowsbooks.blogspot.com
They published writers and artists from all over the world, and met many of the publishers, editors, authors, and artists from the pulp magazines of the 1930s and ‘40s. One of those he met was Walter Gibson, a writer and magician who created the famous character The Shadow. Tom had been a fan of The Shadow radio drama as a child, and later found the novels. Gibson wrote almost 300 Shadow novels, as well as helping bring the character to radio and comic books. They corresponded until Walter’s death.
Tom was a voracious reader from an early age, beginning with comic books at age 7 and reading novels by age 10 or 11. He has never stopped reading for pleasure, though his interest in genres have often switched from SF to western, to hardboiled detectives, the classics, and back to science fiction again over the years. In his own writing readers will often find something about his love of zoology, whether insects, reptiles, or saber-tooth cats. Tom had a stroke in March 2002. Now retired, they devote their time to keeping Tom’s books in print, as well as helping promote other writers.
They settled in Tom’s hometown of Seymour, Texas, home of the Whiteside Museum of Natural History, and the red-bed digs near the town where Permian fossils have been discovered for over a hundred years. A 250 million year old amphibian, the Seymouria, was discovered in the red-beds and is named after Seymour. One of the main predators of the Permian was a large finback reptile called a Dimetrodon, and a statue is displayed outside the museum. Several of Tom’s books are on hand in the museum.
With over 80 books in print that he has contributed to, Tom has slowed down now. He is still writing children stories while promoting his books still on the market. Plus, he still has hopes of one day seeing his short novel, Pangaea: Eden’s Planet, made into a film.
Pangaea: Eden’s Planet: Seven astronauts en route to Mars encounter a time warp in space that disables their ship. Crash landing back on Earth, they discover an alien planet sixty million years before the dinosaurs. Pangaea, the super continent, is filled with danger and terror, as they must survive against fierce reptiles that ruled the Earth 250 million years in the past! Surviving in a prehistoric world gone mad where even the environment can turn against you, survival is all you think about. But even in the harshest of times, two people will find their destiny in an Eden modern man cannot imagine.
There are lots of places where you can connect with Tom:-
Tom’s Blog http://pulplair.blogspot.com
Tom’s Face Book Page https://www.facebook.com/tomginger.johnson
Tom’s Books http://jur1.brinkster.net/index.html
Tom’s Amazon Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008MM81CM
ALTUS PRESS http://www.altuspress.com
Thank you Tom Johnson for being my guest today.