About Brooks Johnson
Jeannie Johnson is an amazingly creative spirit and she is half of the Brooks Johnson writing team. Ellen Brooks, (1940 – 2013), was the force behind this duo and her life narrative will be celebrated in a later post. Jeannie was born in 1941. At age four she was in a Tom Thumb wedding at church and started to feel the energy of performing. By age nine, she was singing on the back of a flat bed truck to make believe audiences. The make believe became real and by her early twenties she was aiming for a career in acting, singing, writing, and directing in community theatre.
Jeannie attended San Francisco State University and majored in Theatre Arts. She learned to play the guitar and sang with a local band at country music nightclubs. She moved to Nashville in 1977 and became a professional songwriter and singer. She finally signed a contract to sing with a band and travel around the country! Half way through their travels the touring car was hit by a Mack truck and injuries stopped her guitar playing. Now she was forced into just singing but that became a blessing as she moved into writing.
Her writing career blossomed into more than songs. She learned the Nashville music industry scene that involved her fellow singers and musicians. They trusted her as one of their own and thus her wisdom and judgment helped to create The Nashville Newsletter (1994 – 2003) that was followed by thousands. The writing became stronger and novels were being written by 1995. The first of these was “Deeper Than the Boomshaw” followed by “The Eye of the Storm.” Southern fiction with humor, love, and mystery filled their books.
About Ellen Brooks
Ellen Brooks was always a writer. Her first paid published work occurred when she was eleven years old. It was a poem that tells all you need to know about what kind of person and what kind of writer she would be. She didn’t know her mother had found it and sent it to a national publication until it was published and she received a small check. After her mother’s death the original was found in a large candy box where she had kept letters and cards Ellen sent her throughout her adult life. There were letters from Washington, D.C. where she worked for the Bureau of National Affairs; Palo Alto, California where she worked and studied at Stanford University, and Nashville, Tennessee where she worked for over 20 years as a professional writer.
Ellen published a wide range of nonfiction articles and short features. She was a radio newswriter, a television game show writer but mostly an entertainment journalist specializing in country music. Her celebrity interviews and articles appeared in
Country Song Roundup Magazine, Music City News, Songwriter and numerous other entertainment publications. For nine years she was editor and primary writer of The Nashville Newsletter, a weekly publication about the activities in the country music industry in Nashville, Tennessee.
When Ellen became too ill to leave her home, she turned back to the novels she and co-writer Jeannie Johnson had written. They started and planned new books which they wrote as one – Brooks Johnson. Her writing always remained true to the ideals of the eleven year old Ellen, letting her stories and characters be down to earth, real, heartwarming, sometimes funny, and always in good taste. Her poem titled “Did I” asks if she had done her very best. The answer is yes.
Now, at age 74, Jeannie is healthy and ready to publish the books. She continues to write every day. Her Nashville Trilogy will come out in 2017 – 2018 with the first two title being “Killin’ Time” and “Who’s Your Daddy?”
Brooks Johnson is the professional name for the writing team of Jeannie Johnson and Ellen Brooks. Ellen and Jeannie, niece and aunt respectfully, raised as sisters, became lifelong writing partners. Ellen coached Jeannie in her writing from an early age and encouraged the career that emerged. Ellen passed away a few years ago after a lengthy illness. After facing her grief and dealing with life’s trajectory, Jeannie jumped back into her love of writing and is now publishing their books. The dream of the Brooks Johnson team was and is to provide healthy and enjoyable reading for those who love southern living and live it every day.