Mimi Johnson headed for Ohio after successful Gathering String tour in Iowa and more good reviews

Recent reviews praise Gathering String for its memorable characters and relevance.

Nathasha wrote the 15th five-star Amazon review (of 21 overall reviews):

Gathering String is a great political journalism thriller, with good character development and pacing. I also enjoyed how the novel makes references to digital and social media and the changing journalism industry. It’s a very relevant and timely novel, and overall great read.  

North Dakota journalist Francis Materi wrote the sixth four-star Amazon review:

This is a book with memorable characters and an engaging story, timely and well told. Finishing “Gathering String” made me want to read another chapter; made me want to know what happens next. That’s about the best compliment I can pay to a work of fiction.

After a successful book tour in Iowa, author Mimi Johnson heads to Dublin, Ohio, this week to discuss Gathering String with a book club.

The Iowa tour also included a book club visit as well as public readings at Beaverdale Books in Des Moines and the Shenandoah Public Library.

If you’d like to schedule a visit to a bookstore, library or book club in the Washington area, you may contact the author at mimi (dot) johnson (at) me (dot) com.

Mimi Johnson discusses Gathering String on KMA radio

Mimi Johnson leaves for Iowa today for a book tour promoting Gathering String. In advance of the tour, she was a guest on KMA radio in Shenandoah, Iowa, Friday. You can listen to the full segment.

One correction: In the lead-in, the hosts refer to Mimi having “worked at” the Washington Post and Omaha World-Herald. She contributed to both publications as a freelance writer, but has not worked as a staff member for either newspaper.

Author Mimi Johnson to discuss Gathering String in Iowa book tour

Mimi Johnson will be discussing her novel Gathering String in three Iowa cities next week.

The Iowa book tour starts with a private appearance in Jefferson on Tuesday, Oct. 2, with a Greene County book club, invited by blogger Carla Offenburger, whose goodreads review is a cover blurb on the Gathering String print edition.

The first public appearance of the tour will be at Beaverdale Books, where Johnson will read from the novel and answer questions Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 6:30 p.m.

She will read again Thursday, Oct. 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the first public event at the renovated auditorium at the Shenandoah Public Library. In advance of that appearance, she will be a guest this Friday at 9:45 Eastern time, 8:45 a.m. Central, on Dean and Don on KMA radio.

Iowa bookstores, libraries or book clubs interested in scheduling other events or journalists interested in interviews may contact the author at mimi (dot) johnson (at) me (dot) com.

Johnson is an Iowa native who grew up in Essex and lived in Des Moines for seven years and Cedar Rapids for two years. Much of Gathering String is set in Iowa and three of the four main characters are Iowans.

The book is available from the Kindle Store (including the Kindle app for iPad, computer or phone) for $5.99 and as a paperback for $16.



Gathering String: ‘This ending was perfect,’ ‘nails’ the sex scenes

Gathering String has 10 five-star reviews on Amazon, two-thirds of all its reviews. The latest review, by “SBurke,” says:

This is such a fun, suspenseful, and entertaining book! … When I finished Gathering String, I found myself disappointed that I had come to the end of the story. But a book’s ending can either make it or break it … and this ending was perfect.

BryanC” also reviewed Gathering String, giving it four stars:

I was moved to buy a Kindle just to read Mimi Johnson’s novel, Gathering String because Kobo/Indigo isn’t yet carrying this title (we already own a Kobo). Glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, especially the twists and turns involving the many interesting, authentic and flawed characters. … This book could also serve as an ethics study in journalism schools because, `tho it is fiction, the heart-wrenching challenges facing the principals mirror real-life in current-day newspaper and online journalism.

Buffy Andrews continued her praise for Gathering String on Twitter last night, bringing some hints from author Mimi Johnson about the sequel she’s working on:






Gathering String is free today; see what Brian Smith was shouting about

Gathering String is free today at the Kindle Store (the price goes back up to $5.99 Sunday).

Lynn Hicks of the Des Moines Register wrote about Gathering String (second item in the linked roundup), saying the novel was “getting strong reviews from Iowans and journalists around the country.”

Another of those reviews came this week on Amazon, from Iowa journalist Brian Smith:

I don’t know the last time I was this excited to read a book. I was so hooked and found myself rooting for and against different characters. I don’t know the last time I actually yelled out loud while reading a book. I can’t wait for the sequel.


Gathering String reviews: ‘I couldn’t put it down;’ ‘exciting tale’

Five-star reviews continue to come in for Gathering String.

John Robinson, retired editor of the Greeensboro News & Record, got so engrossed in Mimi Johnson‘s novel that he neglected his personal health:

I sat on the beach with “Gathering String” and risked third-degree sunburn because I couldn’t put it down. It’s a romance, it’s a thriller, it’s a crime whodunit. A wonderful first novel. I hope she’s writing a sequel.



Novelist Richard Hine, author of Russell Wiley Is Out to Lunch, also reviewed the book:

You don’t have to care about the future of news or the machinations of election-year politics to enjoy “Gathering String’ by Mimi Johnson. But if you happen to be a news or politics junkie, you’ll take special delight in this gripping tale of love, adventure and one big secret that, if uncovered, could change the fate of the Presidential election. … This exciting tale builds to a powerful and satisfying conclusion.


The book is $5.99 at the Kindle Store. You don’t need a Kindle to read it. You can use the Kindle app for iPad, iPhone or computer.

Gathering String tops Amazon political fiction list

Mimi Johnson’s Gathering String ranks No. 1 in free political fiction on Amazon right now, 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, a promotional free day. The novel also ranks No. 7 among free contemporary fiction offerings and No. 23 among all free books on Amazon. The price goes back up to $5.99 tomorrow.

Gathering String is beating considerable competition in all 3 categories: 21 offerings altogether in political fiction and more than 100 in both contemporary and all books (the rankings just show the top 100).

If you have read Gathering String, especially if you’ve taken advantage of a free day, the author/publisher would appreciate a review or at least a like.

In addition, Gathering String is the selection for an Iowa book club:

And another happy reader tweets:

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.


Goodreads reviews give Gathering String 5 stars

Iowa writer Carla Offenburger wrote the first of two 5-star Goodreads reviews of Mimi Johnson’s Gathering String:

Loved this book! Every page was worth it. I miss the characters and hope I get to see them again in a future sequel.

Chris Hubbs, an Iowa engineer, wrote in the second review:

Johnson has an ear for dialogue and an eye for authentic detail.

Hubbs also reviewed Gathering String on Amazon:

She writes characters that you feel like you know, and puts them in a story that will keep you turning pages until you reach the end.

Hubbs tweeted his enthusiasm for the book:


Gathering String: ‘You mourn reaching the end of it’

High praise for Mimi Johnson’s Gathering String in this tweet:


Another review for Gathering String posted on Amazon by Iowa native “DocRoc7”:

There are many Iowa locations and descriptions that endeared this story to me, such as the Tall Corn Inn, Jay’s Drug Store, the Iowa Governor who is running for President, Swede Erickson (Mimi is from Essex a small town with a large Swedish heritage), Farragut Admirals girls basketball team and so many other little insights that most won’t recognize. With each new chapter I anticipated another mention of familiar spots that had be cleverly woven into the story, not unlike “easter eggs” that are often found in video games. It’s paced well with flashbacks, foreshadowing, romance and intrigue. … Now the challenge is to re-read the novel again through the eyes of a non-Iowan and focus more on the characters and less on the settings. As a first novel “Gathering String” shows a depth of creativity with promise of greater things to come.