Linda Brooks Davis

Let’s Chat! Jill English Johnston

Welcome, everyone!

Jill English Johnston joins our chat circle this week. I’ve known Jill for several years through our local American Christian Fiction Writers group. We also attend the same church, although on different campuses.

Jill’s beautiful Christian devotionals, Praise and Wonder, showcase her husband Jon’s photography. She’s offering a print copy of Praise to someone who joins the chat below.

If I were asked to describe Jill English Johnston in a word or two, I’d say gentle soul. I think you’ll agree.

P.S. By the way, thank you for your service, Jill! 

Jill English Johnston Before Writing

I was born in Erie, Pennsylvania and raised in the country in northwestern Pennsylvania (near Edinboro), where my entire extended family also lived. My parents were blue-collar workers. Dad worked in a shop (Lord’s manufacturing making airplane parts). Mom worked odd jobs (Avon sales, egg farm, toy manufacturing, waitress, donut shop). Family was important, dysfunctional and crazy, but our main social circle. 

I loved to read, dreamt of traveling, and quite honestly, didn’t have my family’s cynical outlook on life. So I never quite fit in. I always thought I was an optimist. Then I met my husband and realized I was only the least pessimistic of the people surrounding me. I loved to read (books were my escape) and loved to write (had so many stories in my head). I dreamt of one day being published and influencing/encouraging young hearts as writers like Tolkien, Lewis, L’Engle, and Cleary had done for mine.

y dad served 4 years in the air force. Since my family didn’t encourage college and I wanted to travel and do something different than minimum wage jobs, I joined the navy.

I trained as a weather observer/forecaster and was stationed all over (many years in Asia). I planned to get out and do something different every step of my service time. But marriage, kids, and life kept me reenlisting—for 24 years!

Finally I retired in 2010, two years after my husband, and we moved to Texas and built our what-we-could-afford-dream home.  It includes my own study with a great view, plenty of bookshelves and lots of space to spread out, research and write. 

Jill English Johnston’s Debut Experience

ovels take a long time to write, especially when learning how. After moving to Texas, the Lord provided me amazing encouragers and writer’s groups who helped me on my writing/learning journey. I’ve attended workshops and conferences and have written hundreds of thousands of words, but have only finished one novel (book one in a trilogy) and have several trilogies in various stages of completion.

With the appearance of Amazon and Create Space (now part of Kindle Direct Publishing), I decided to publish my own devotional. Two things motivated me.

  • One: I wanted to have something to sell at our writer’s group annual Christmas book sale and

  • Two: My husband, Jon T Johnston, is a hobby photographer and has thousands of pictures on his computer. In 2017, I combined our talents and designed and self published our first book in our Be Still series together, Praise: Proclaiming the Glory of God (based on verses in Psalms). I did it mainly because I could, for the experience and also to share my husband’s photographs with others. 

What’s up With Jill English Johnston now?

his past Christmas, we published our second book in the Be Still seriesWonder, Contemplating the Mysteries of God. It is based on verses in Isaiah. The book was even more fun than the first because we took a camping road trip so my husband could take the pictures while I wrote a devotional for each passage/photo. This year we’re working on the third book in the Be Still series, Explore. It will be aimed toward young people, with plenty of photographs of God’s creation and questions to inspire/encourage. 

I’m still working on my novels. I plan to soon send proposals to editors/agents for the one I’ve finished, Mists of Time (book one in the Time Trilogy). While I wait, I will continue to work on the second book, Echoes through Time and outline the third, Truths in Time.

Jill English Johnston

I also write devotionals for my blog, my church facebook page and my writer’s group annual Christmas Advent devotional. I teach on prayer and serve as prayer ministry leader at my church. This month I will facilitate a writer’s workshop, aimed at those wanting to explore the idea of writing and listening to the Lord’s leading/direction.

How to Find Jill English Johnston





About Jill English Johnston

Jill English Johnston pours her heart and soul into writing both fiction and non fiction. Ever since childhood, she’s appreciated the power of story and is delighted God has finally brought her to the place where she, too, can put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, wings to words.

With her passion for prayer and prose and her husband’s love for capturing God’s glory in pictures, Jill English Johnston and Jon T Johnston, work together to create photo devotionals, the Be Still series.

They currently live in New Braunfels, Texas and spend their time writing/taking pictures of God’s creation, watching sunsets, kayaking, hiking, cycling and traveling to visit grandchildren, children, family and friends.

~ ~ ~
Dear Lord, You keep Your handprint ever before us. In Creation. Families. Love. Joy. And wonder. We praise You as the Origin of everything good. We pause to thank You for gifting writers with words and callings to write stories that lift You up and encourage others. Please bless each word Jill writes to Your glory.
~For Jesus’ sake

7 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Jill English Johnston

  1. Jill,
    I am encouraged by the fact that you kept writing and keep writing on those three novels you spoke of. They are still awaiting publication yet, you continued to write. 🙂 I am inspired to write more on my own novel geared for Middle agers and designed to encourage their faith development. Thanks for writing and for the chance to enter the giveaway.

  2. Jill, your blog evidences the humility that God desires for all His children. What a pleasure to meet you on paper. Do you attend any of the ACFW conference meetings in San Antonio? I would so enjoy having the opportunity to do so. My husband and I live in the Valley, and the trip that could be 4 1/2 hrs., for us becomes 6-7! My husband suffers with his back problems and stopping often is a must. Hope to make many new friends at one of the meetings, and you as well, Jill. God bless you richly!

    1. I’d love to give you a hug, Jane. Your heart is so good. We have an ACFW writers’ group in SA that meets 1x per month. Jill is an officer. Friend her on Facebook, and you can message her. (I’ve gone inactive for awhile.) She’s Jill Victoria English Johnston on Facebook.

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