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“I was born with an overwhelming love for stories. Fairytales, fiction, non-fiction, I didn’t care, just as long as someone was willing to tell me a story -- or read to me until I was old enough to do so for myself. That was early on! I remember lazing away hours, as a kid, my imagination lightfooting amongst the pirates and princes, gypsies and hoboes, wild horses, The Hardy Boys mysteries (much more interesting to that tomboy than Nancy Drew!), and most beloved of all, my grandmother’s collection of Gene Stratton Porter’s books -- history, natural history, and fiction, all rolled into one. They’re strange reading for a kid, the language is not that of Disney or MTV, but I loved losing myself with the Girl of the Limberlost and Freckles. I wanted to be like Porter when I grew up...and didn't miss by all that far ...”


Her work in the writing field includes natural history, essays on science and creativity, art instruction, poetry, and even a bit of fiction now and then.

Johnson has written and illustrated -- her own work and that of others -- for a number of national magazines, including The Artist's Magazine, Sports Afield, Watercolor Magic, Harrowsmith Country Life, Sierra, Country Living, Country Journal, Science Digest, Early American Life, Sketchbook, Muzzleloader, Women's History, Woodworker, Woman’s Day, and the Mother Earth News. Her writing and artwork has been included in a number of nature anthologies and art books.



Photo by Paul Childress
She has worked with a variety of national publishing houses, including North Light/F&W, Time/Life, Random House, Scholastic, Globe Pequot Press, Gibbs-Smith Publisher, Tehabi, Van Nostrand Reinhold, Walker Publications, Prentice-Hall Press, Penguin, Sierra Club, Stackpole and others.

Several of her books have been published in other countries, including Japan, Holland, Germany, France, Russia, Australia and England.

See book and magazine list.

See list of Johnson's magazine articles.



A writer of the past would have used tools like these, from Johnson's book Living History; Drawing on the Past.



Pen and ink drawing from Johnson's A Naturalist's Cabin; Constructing a Dream; the cabin provides a quiet place to write without interruptions.


"A blank journal book at hand allows us to keep notes for future articles, poems, field observations -- anything we want..."

Live journal:
Kate Quicksilver

Fellow writers:
Charles de Lint
Jane Yolen
Hannah Hinchman

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