Sarah Johnson

About me

Librarian, HNS book review editor, readers’ advisor, author of Historical Fiction: A Guide to the Genre and Historical Fiction II. I first joined the HNS in 1998 after seeing Richard Lee’s post about the Society on a Usenet group. Shortly thereafter I signed on as a US-based reviews editor and got the word out about the magazine to American readers and publishers. Now, 15 years later, I serve as the overall book review editor for the Historical Novels Review. I’ve been reading and collecting historical novels for many years and also review for Booklist and Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. I’ve also written for Bookmarks Magazine and Canada’s Globe & Mail. For my full-time job, I work as a reference and electronic resources librarian at Eastern Illinois University, which means I answer research questions, teach workshops, and work with electronic journals and e-books. My husband and I share our home in rural Illinois with too many cats and about 10,000 books.

From my website

Barbara Wood's Land of the Afternoon Sun, a saga of 1920s Palm Springs, California

The abundant natural beauty of Palm Springs, California, forms the backdrop for the newest entertaining novel from Wood, who has mastered many historical settings in her prolific oeuvre.In 1920, when disinherited English nobleman Nigel Barnstable relocates to the desert village with his heiress wife, Elizabeth, residents are bemused by the…

Twelve authors of historical fiction who were originally famous for something else

It’s said that everyone has a novel inside them. The dozen writers mentioned in this post first became famous for other reasons – politics, show business, royal heritage, and more – but each has also written at least one work of historical fiction. Who else can you name that belongs…

Interview with Alana White (Come Next Spring) about YA fiction, the Smoky Mountains, and her family history

Alana White's Come Next Spring, a classic YA novel set in a farming town in the Smoky Mountains in 1949, was first published by Clarion Books in hardcover 25 years ago.  It's been newly reissued by Open Road, and with a new cover.  The heroine is 12-year-old Salina Harris, who…

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