Tim McGuire: Gathering String is a ‘delightful read’

Tim McGuire describes Mimi Johnson’s novel, Gathering String, as “a delightful read” in his blog, McGuire on Media.

“The book engaged me, intrigued me and rewarded me,” wrote McGuire, Frank Russell Chair for the business of journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.

The blog post was about self-publishing, reacting to author Jon Talton’s decision not to appear in a panel discussion with a writer who was self-published. McGuire, a friend of Talton, criticized the author’s dismissal of self-published writers, citing Mimi Johnson as a author he was glad had self-published. McGuire describes her as a “world-champion tweeter,” one of the few people his wife, Jean, follows on Twitter.

McGuire’s observations about Johnson and her writing:

When I first met Mimi she said she was a writer. I will admit I viewed her as a bit of a dilettante because she couldn’t point to anything she had written.


A few months ago that changed with the debut of Gathering String, a book published by the self-publishing arm of Amazon. In my mind that made Mimi a real, live writer.


I found Gathering String a delightful read. It’s part political intrigue, part paean to an emerging journalism world and part mystery-thriller. It has a little whiff of romance novel to it and sometimes I feared melodrama was just around the corner. Yet, the book engaged me, intrigued me and rewarded me. It had enough surprises to keep me in the game.


After some discussion of Talton’s criticism of self-publishing, McGuire added:

I am incredibly happy Mimi Johnson got her words in print. It would have been shameful if her work got blocked by an overworked, arbitrary and capricious decision-maker in a publishing house. 

To clarify, Gathering String is not actually in print. It was published as an ebook (though a print edition is a possibility).

Joining McGuire in recent praise for Gathering String is Amazon reviewer Kjohnson:

Gathering String was a great way to kick-off to my summer reading. From the prologue I was hooked … I love the way the author writes about each of the characters. She made me believe in them. Be they sympathetic, likable, or detestable, they kept me coming back for more.


Gathering String is a story with a lot of energy and pace – think news deadlines, has a great cast of characters, and is a mystery that will keep you hanging until the very end.


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  1. Pingback: Mimi Johnson planning Iowa book tour for Gathering String | Gathering String

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