Johnson, Carolyn M. 1949-
JOHNSON, Carolyn M. 1949-
Born April 3, 1949, in Brooklyn, NY; daughter of L'Marr J. (a machinist) and Anona B.J. (a legal secretary) Johnson. Education: Hunter College of the City University of New York, B.A., 1973; St. John's University, M.L.S., 1975, M.A., 1980. Politics: Independent. Religion: "Moderate Christian." Hobbies and other interests: Listening to classical music, reading, photography, genealogy, collecting stamps.
Office—Libraries Unlimited, 88 Post Rd. W., P.O. Box 5007, Westport, CT 06881-5007.
Cataloging librarian at a university library in New York, NY, 1977-78; New York Botanical Garden, Bronx Park, NY, cataloging librarian, 1979-80; Libraries Unlimited, Westport, CT, librarian, researcher, and writer, 1980—.
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
First prize, space age poetry category, New York Poetry Forum, 1981.
Discovering Nature with Young People: An Annotated Bibliography and Selection Guide, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1987.
(Under name Carolyn Johnson) Using Internet Primary Sources to Teach Critical Thinking Skills in the Sciences, Libraries Unlimited (Westport, CT), 2003.
Contributor to books, including Book Talk 5, edited by Joni Richards Bodart, Libraries Unlimited (Westport, CT), 1992; and The Booktalker, edited by Joni Richards Bodart, Libraries Unlimited (Westport, CT), 1993. Contributor of articles, poetry, puzzles, and reviews to periodicals, including Writers Digest, Queens Parents Paper, Christian Librarian, New Library Scene, Modern Haiku, and Puzzlemania.
Carolyn M. Johnson told CA: "I have always been interested in reading and writing. My early memories are of my mother reading fascinating stories to my sister and me. During my elementary school days I started writing poems. One, about Abraham Lincoln, was chosen and posted on a bulletin board in the principal's office. Another I wrote about an inventor; yet another I recited during a school play.
"In high school and college, I studied English and American literature. At one point along the way, I thought about writing as a career but was not sure exactly what I could do or if I could earn enough money to make a living at it. My mother suggested that I might study to become a librarian. That seemed like a good idea: something that fit my interests and personality. While studying for my library degree I worked for library department professors, who gave me opportunities to write articles and reviews. While pursuing a master's degree in English and American literature, I began writing literary puzzles and haiku poems.
"At one point I thought that perhaps I could center my writing interest in the field of librarianship. That idea turned out to be a pivotal one. Ultimately, one turning point came when I was working in the library at the New York Botanical Garden, where I cataloged many books daily. One day I thought that I could write an annotated bibliography for a publisher whose books I was cataloging. I sent a query letter to that publisher, and eventually my book was published as Discovering Nature with Young People: An Annotated Bibliography and Selection Guide.
"Soon after that, I wrote Using Internet Primary Sources to Teach Critical Thinking Skills in the Sciences. That book gave me two opportunities of interest. I had always been interested in science, had taken basic courses whenever I could, and tried to keep up with what was happening in the field. I had become a scientific scholar. Also, the fascinating invention of the Internet provided me with a great source for research.
"I have never forgotten about or given up my interest in poetry, even while developing my interest in children's books and writing for children. With fits and starts I wrote and was published sometimes. Still in search of publishers are manuscripts I have written through the years—manuscripts of middle-grade novels, short stories for young readers, beginning reader books, and poems for children of all ages.
"With my nonfiction writing, I aim to provide something educational presented in a fun yet instructional way, all the while sparking interest in worthwhile subjects. I hope to interest young readers in reading and in subjects that I find interesting. In my fictional writing I aim to present something intriguing and interesting, while sneaking in something educational or worthwhile to learn.
"I would advise other writers to cherish the moments of inspiration, and be sure to write them down as fast as possible, for they are fleeting. Appreciate the time when you get an acceptance letter and see your work in print. Be aware that the challenge you have accepted for yourself yields results in various ways and builds your character as a writer and a person. Listen to the children within you—the one who always lives in you and the one who is a personification of your early experiences and memories, plus the ones who visit you as your young characters. Observe and listen to children you know or meet. Be persistent. Then keep writing, and writing, and writing."