Award winning author Evelyn Allen Johnson has always counted writing among her greatest passions. Her latest novel, My Neighbor’s Island, is on sale in hard copy and for e-book download online.
In her previous books, Pillar of Salt and Get the Show on the Road, Evelyn shares her passion and hopes to show people that black families have the same struggles as everyone else.
Get the Show on the Road is a poignant story of love, passion and ambition as a beautiful young woman, Africa Jones, strives to escape poverty by working and attending college to become a professional nurse. “I wrote Get the Show on the Road to help people understand each other,” Evelyn says. “All they read about is the crime and drugs in the black community. I wanted to bring a new perspective in similarity and make people more familiar with one another.”
Quite unexpectedly, Africa meets and falls in love with a handsome, young physician, Kevin Hildenbrandt, from a wealthy family. Although Kevin’s invalid and aristocratic grandmother, Mrs. Hildenbrandt is supportive, Africa quickly learns the pain of family rejection. “The young woman was rejected by the young man’s family because they felt she was not good enough,” says Evelyn. The ups and downs of this tumultuous love affair weaves a story of trust and doubt, passion and disillusionment in a setting of both poverty and affluence.
Pillar of Salt is a powerful novel of life which has existed for an extended period of social turmoil in America, dating back the era of the great depression. Diversified characters set out the reality of the period in which they live, as a single parent father struggles for survival of his family and attempts to raise and educate his son in a multi-ethnic, northern community. Neighbors interact during many crises to strengthen their neighborhood bond. Jess’ son, Johnny and his childhood friends; Larry and his pretty, vivacious little sister, Dottie and beautiful Mary Ann grow up with deep ties of love and loyalty which later approach disaster in the face of existing reality. Although religion is a salient factor, a destructive bitterness thrives. Jess’ ambition for his son, Johnnie’s reactions, love and tragedy bring this eye-opening, shocking novel to a historic conclusion.
“The setting for Pillar of Salt is similar to the neighborhood where I grew up,” Evelyn explains. “There is very little record of black life in north. I wanted to bring another perspective to people and show that everyone was affected in this type of life. There still was discrimination and segregation, which brought tragedy into lives of all, both the wealthy and the poor.”
A Registered Nurse, Cum Laude, Evelyn graduated from Howard University’s School of Nursing, formerly Freedman’s Hospital School of Nursing. She later obtained a B.S.N. and P.H.N. from California State University at Los Angeles. She has vast nursing experience including Public School Nursing and Nursing Administration.
She is an award winning author, having received the Vassie D. Wright Award for her novel, “My Neighbor’s Island”, a novel about a well to do black family moving into an all white neighborhood. Mrs. Johnson has also written numerous other works including a book of poetry, “A Nurse’s Notes”. She plans to write two more books, both based on slavery and stories told to her by her Great Grandmother, a daughter of an African Princess and her master.
Evelyn currently resides in Los Angeles, having recently lost her beloved husband Ray Johnson, Sr., an attorney and former Tuskegee Airman. They are the parents of three adult offspring, Raymond, Jr. an attorney; Marjorie Johnson Warren, a physician and Robert, a dentist.