Mimi Johnson’s debut novel, Gathering String, available from the Kindle Store for $5.99, is already getting enthusiastic attention:
Don Fry, author of Writing Your Way, offered this review on Amazon:
This debut novel comes at a time of great stress for journalists looking for new ways to perform old roles. All the old rules and many of the traditional techniques and assumptions are in flux, and much may be lost, and soon. Mimi Johnson’s novel introduces us to Sam Waterman, a swashbuckling reporter familiar from TV depictions of the press; actually, most newsrooms have at least one. Sam works for a website, Politifix, but still resists changes to his profession as he hunts for another killer story. Jack Westphal, athlete turned editor of a small-town paper, embraces the future as the killer story develops in his own backyard, involving Swede Erickson, the governor of Iowa. Tess Benedict, Waterman’s former love and Westphal’s new one, complicates all the relationships. This is the kind of novel I love to read, the kind that engrosses you in the action while making you want to yell at the characters.
In a Facebook comment, Fry elaborated:
It was easy to review because it’s such a compelling story. Journalists will recognize themselves in it.
On an excellent free promotional day March 31, Gathering String rose to #2 in free political fiction at Amazon:
Gathering String, No. 2 in political fiction, March 31, 2012
At Poynter.org, media critic Andrew Beaujon speculated about how much of the novel was based in fact:
In the six years it took Mimi Johnson to finish her debut novel, “Gathering String,” she moved one of the protagonists from a job at a prestigious but money-losing daily newspaper in Washington, D.C., to a Washington-area website that aggressively covers politics. “No good comes from forcing Politifix to suck hind tit,” an editor tells Sam Waterman, a reluctant refugee from print, before forcing him out to the boondocks to cover an Iowa governor who gave the story of his presidential announcement to The Lindsborg Journal.
Steve Buttry, the author’s journalist-husband, discussed writing lessons from Mimi Johnson’s experience writing Gathering String:
Pursue your dreams. Writing is hard work. Mimi has dreamed for years about being an author. She has three other novels in various stages of writing. She had a contract for doing a non-fiction book on which she had done considerable work, but it fell through because of circumstances beyond her control. She didn’t give up. She kept working until she published her book.
In another Facebook comment, Renee Dietrich told Molly Rossiter:
Assuming the author was a friend of yours when I saw the post on FB the other day, I downloaded “Gathering String” from Kindle on my iPad. … I just finished it. Great read! Tell your friend congrats and good job. I definitely saw a lot of familiar sights and people from my news days.
As the comment above notes, you don’t need a Kindle to read Gathering String, though it is available initially only through Amazon. You can download the Kindle app for your iPad or other tablet or even to your laptop computer. Add your comments about Gathering String below, or in a review at Amazon.com.
On Google+, author Buffy Andrews told the Washington Post: “‘Gathering String’ by Mimi Johnson … was a really good read. Journos would love it.”
Tim McGuire tweeted about reading the book:
For occasional quotes from or news about Gathering String, follow @WaterPhal on Twitter: