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Mark Johnson

KJZZ StoryFest Author 2019

About Mark Johnson

I was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and am a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Today I live happily in Scottsdale, Arizona, among the saguaros and palm trees.

Since retiring in 2014 from a multi-faceted career in Chicago as a communication professional, I’ve written three memoirs about my life and experiences in North Carolina, Missouri, Illinois and Arizona.

From Fertile Ground, my first book, is a three-generation memoir and writer’s mosaic about love and loss. It explores the importance of family and desire we all have to create our own path in the world.

My second book, Tales of a Rollercoaster Operator, includes twenty-six indelible stories from my childhood in Missouri in the 1960s. It was a semi-finalist in the nonfiction category of the 2017 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards.

The Missouri Historical Society selected both books for its collection of stories related to the history of the LGBTQ community in the Midwest.

My latest book, An Unobstructed View, chronicles an ironic year of surprise and transformation when my life takes an unexpected detour on the way west from Illinois to Arizona. It’s an inspiring story of promise, perseverance and reflection told through twelve months of tremendous personal change.

Readers can learn more about my books—and follow my blog—on my website