Long time Fuquay-Varina resident, Jenny Johnson Dickens, had her debut novel, The Taxi, released by Oaktara Publisher, Wheaton, IL in February. She writes under the pen name of Jenny Johnson.
With an academic background in Literature, Speech Pathology/ Audiology and Special Education, Dickens has written non-fiction for 34 years as a university professor at Fayetteville State University coauthoring book chapters, journal articles, and conference proceedings related to her professional field. She also served as a Fayetteville State University Teacher of the Year.
Semi-retired, Dickens continues at the University as an adjunct professor of Special Education. Dickens states, “When I decided to slow my professional career, one important item on my retirement ‘never-too-late’ list was to write fiction.” She is also the author of award winning short stories and poetry. Dickens characterizes her debut novel, The Taxi, as faith-based romantic suspense fiction. The idea for The Taxi was sparked by an actual scene she observed during a vacation in the North Carolina mountains.
The Taxi features a young newspaper reporter and aspiring novelist who is always on the lookout for promising plot ideas. One weekend, while absorbed in her morning coffee and newspaper at McDonald’s, she sees a battered white taxi waiting outside. The taxi and its occupants intrigue her. Why would someone take a taxi to a fast-food restaurant? Curious, she follows the taxi and its unusual fellow travelers…and finds herself thrust into the midst of a deadly plot—and entanglements she has trouble managing. A mysterious musician asks her to take on a startling responsibility that could alter her life forever. The stakes become high as her response takes her from her home in North Carolina to an African country in political turmoil.
Dickens enjoys balancing life these days among work, writing, and family responsibilities. “What I don’t see myself producing,” she says, “is a book on how to have a relaxing retirement.” She is completing her second Jenny Johnson novel, Copper’s Run, with a post-911 ‘starting over’ theme, and researching her next with a Civil War setting and the working title By the Light of Your Face.
The Taxi (by Jenny Johnson) is available through Oaktara Publishers at oaktara.com and also through amazon.com, amazonkindle.com, barnesandnoble.com and christianbook.com in print and e-book format.