The Johnsons Create Novel: "The Casserole Ladies"
Billy and Linda Johnson are a husband and wife writing team living in Florence, Alabama. Both have deep Southern roots. Linda hails from Sewanee, Tennessee. The small, slow-paced town roosts on top of a mountain, half way between Nashville and Chattanooga. Sewanee was an idyllic academic throwback to an earlier century, an environment long since become passé. Her childhood provides ample fodder for a 1950’s melodrama that may one day be put into words. She attended college in Sewanee at The University of the South where she majored in Political Science.
Billy grew up in Panama City, Florida and also attended college in Sewanee, where he met Linda. They got married after graduation and spent twenty years moving all around the country during Billy’s career as an officer in the Navy Medical Service Corps. Along the way, the Navy sent him to graduate schools for degrees in Healthcare Administration and Information Systems. The Navy taught him many things, but perhaps the most valuable lessons were in how to survive in a carnivorous bureaucracy. After the Navy, Billy held executive management positions in several hospitals before retiring in 2015, a decision he has never regretted.
During forty-seven years of marriage the couple had two wonderful children, a girl and a boy. The older girl endured many of the seventeen moves they made, most of them cross-country, while the younger boy participated in only four, all on the east coast. After graduating from Randolph-Macon College in Virginia, their daughter married and now lives in Virginia with her husband and five-year old daughter. Their son also graduated from Randolph-Macon but passed away in 2015 from a heart attack after a seven-year battle with a brain tumor. It was his son’s desire to become a writer that inspired Billy to pursue writing after his retirement.
Linda earned her writing creds at Sewanee. The University of the South is renown for its English and Literature Department. She attended classes taught by one of the country’s pre-eminent Shakespearean scholars, William Harrison. Billy majored in Economics at Sewanee, but took classes in literature as well. These classes taught him the fundamentals of good writing. His first published works were articles in professional journals. During his last year in the Navy, he single-handedly authored a Naval Warfare Publication on Fleet Hospitals. This massive document provides guidance on employment of large Navy mobile medical facilities. These are the same hospitals set up by the Navy in New York City during the COVID-19 crisis in 2020.
THE CASSEROLE LADIES is Billy and Linda’s first collaboration. The book is a screwball comedy about five older unmarried women on a quest for postmortem romance. Just published in March, many consider it to be humorous tonic after a dreary year of lockdown. The idea for the book came about after the wife of an elderly neighbor died. A stream of cars poured into his driveway in the following weeks and months. Billy and Linda noticed a number of these were driven by older women without companions. Many of these women carried dishes of food into our neighbor’s house. “Looks like another Casserole Lady” became one of Billy and Linda’s wisecracks when this happened. One of these ladies’ cars eventually became a permanent fixture and THE CASSEROLE LADIES was born.
Having lived in twelve different cities in nine different states, Billy and Linda developed a lot of close friends over the years. They still communicate with most of them. Several of the characters in THE CASSEROLE LADIES exhibit personality traits found among their friends. Some of the book’s events retell humorous incidents derived from these friendships.
Billy and Linda are working on a Casserole Ladies sequel with a target publication date in 2022. Billy anticipates publishing another book, ATTACK OF THE iFONES, this September. That book is a collection of his short stories, some humorous and some dramatic. He also has a book in the works about the conflict between Cuban and the United States from 1960 through 1983. Besides writing, Billy and Linda spend much of their time traveling and enjoying life in general. You can visit Billy’s Facebook page at