Tonawanda News


June 16, 2013

Kenmore native has first novel published

Tonawanda News — Kenmore native Tim Johnson didn’t have the stereotypical tormented writer experience when he wrote his first novel, crime thriller, “Savannah.” 

There were no late nights and long days filled with writer’s block, a fact some writers might be envious of. 

But that doesn’t mean Tim, who has lived in Toronto for the past 10 years, didn’t work hard to complete the book about a man in dire straits after he’s unable to pay some gambling debts he owes.

Tim, who has worked as an elementary school teacher for the past 11 years, never had much of a desire to be a writer growing up, or even once he went to college. It was just something he started doing about five years ago — he wrote amusing little short stories to keep his cousin entertained during his long hours in an IT job. 

Slowly he started showing more and more of his work to friends and family, culminating in the short story that was the basis for “Savannah.” Enough people showed interest that he decided to expand the story into a novel.

“Two summers ago I sat down and literally everyday I wrote,” Tim said. “I would write for 2 or 3 hours until my mind went numb and my writing got sloppy. I had never written anything like that ... 104,000 words.”

“But I found that when I’m at home and it’s just me and it’s quiet I can really get going,” he said, adding that he kept thinking, “This is fun, I’m having fun.”

He described the first draft as “rough and sloppy,” so with the help of a co-worker, and now, personal editor, he rewrote “literally every sentence.”

Tim could have spent his summers off from school hanging out with friends or doing fun, outdoor activities, but he said he was inspired by his grandmother, Dorothea Johnson, of Kenmore, to keep at it each day and finish the job.

Text Only
  • SUN LIFE Volunteers honored 1 040614.jpg Women Who Move the City (and beyond)

    April 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • SUN LIFE POUND 1040614j jpg.jpg Rock n' roll fitness

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - crib notes RGB Enough of this winter -- it's time for spring

    Midway through separating the bits of dog food from the shredded paper towel pieces on the saturated bed sheet that had been strewn across the dining-room table, I finally realized I’d had enough.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB Dear readers, it's me, Kenny

    I have bad knees. I have been told to blame my grandmother. I have also been told to blame her for my love of animals. Today, we celebrate the 100th Critter Companions column.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE mummies 1 033014.jpg 'Mummies of the World' exhibit arrives in Buffalo

    As visitors arrived for the recent NCAA basketball tournament games in Buffalo, a much older group of visitors arrived via motorcade at the Buffalo Museum of Science — but these newcomers to the Queen City wouldn’t be seeking out a place to have a beer between games or where to find the region’s best chicken wings.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - double trouble RGB Years later, still spending sunny days on Sesame Street

    I always knew we’d hit “the Elmo years.”

    Going into parenthood, it seemed like a given. Both my husband and I  were “Sesame Street” fans from childhood ourselves, and we were happy enough to pass it on to a new generation. And we knew, having friends with children of the applicable age, that in this day and age “Sesame Street” equalled Elmo, the squeaky-voiced “furry red menace” (thus dubbed by Oscar the Grouch) of parents everywhere.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Local Restaurant Week 2 033014.jpg Back for another bite

    As spring finally starts to unfold in Western New York, residents are likely eager to get out of their houses — and organizers of Local Restaurant Week hope they’ll consider eating out as they do that.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wineries invite visitors to take a Taste of the Trail

    If one weekend of food and wine pairings is a good thing, two weekends of food and wine pairings must be even better.

    For the first time, the Taste of the Trail event, which takes place Friday through April 6 and April 11 to 13 on the Niagara Wine Trail, will be split into two weekends, with half the trail’s wineries taking part the first weekend and half the second, said Elizabeth Maute, wine trail coordinator.

    March 31, 2014

  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Rewards for playing nice

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE signs of spring 1 032314.jpg Region's favorite signs of spring gear up for season

    Ah, the signs of spring: The birdsong, the flowers, the green grass, the flowing waters of the Erie Canal or Niagara River ... and the words “Opening soon” on the marquee of your favorite seasonal business.

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo