BOOB Girls author coming to Jefferson Saturday, May 9

Comedy-mysteries for ‘seasoned’ women

Joy JohnsonGet ready to laugh – a lot! The Jefferson public library presents Joy Johnson, author of the BOOB Girls series on May 9, from 10:30 am to noon at the Greene County Community Center.

Since her retirement six years ago, Joy Johnson has written comedy-mystery novels for “seasoned” women. The BOOB Girls: the Burned Out Old Broads at Table 12 are laugh-out-loud novels featuring four retired widows living in the Meadow Lakes Retirement Community in Omaha, NE.

Johnson gives nearly 100 humorous BOOB Girl presentations annually. The series is presently being made into a musical by two Omaha artists and is being pitched in Los Angeles as Table 12 for a possible television series.

Johnson lives in Omaha and has three children and six grandchildren as well as a tabby cat named Margaret Thatcher. Like her characters, she is a lively, interesting and courageous widow.

Prior to writing the series, Johnson co-founded Centering Corporation, North America’s oldest and largest bereavement resource center with her late husband, Dr Marvin Johnson, and Ted E. Bear Hollow, Omaha area’s center for grieving children. She was an internationally recognized speaker on grief before writing the novels.

Johnson says we can attack our grief and sorrows with a good laugh. And as one of her characters says, “Laughter is exercise. It’s jogging on the inside.”

Johnson is a native Iowan, born and raised in Creston, where she learned to write by working in high school and college on the local newspaper, The Creston News Advertiser. Johonson is proud that her local library in Creston changed her life as a young girl. That’s a story she plans to tell at the event.

There are six books in the series: The BOOB Girls: The Burned Out Old Broads at Table 12, BOOB Girls II: Lies, Spies and Cinnamon Rolls, BOOB Girls III: Sandhills and Shadows and BOOB Girls IV: Murder at Meadow Lakes. Book five is The Secret of the Red Cane, in honor of all women who grew up with Nancy Drew who is 80 years old now and a BOOB Girl herself.   The newest release, BOOB Girls VI, is titled From the Eye of the Moose and is a take-off of the old Abbott and Costello scary movies. All the books have laugh-out-loud components.

“I have a soapbox in the books,” Johnson said. “I think older women, the seasoned Nancy Drews in our lives, are beautiful and not just spiritually or emotionally but physically. Just look at us. Our faces are chiseled by tears and laughter. Our hair is blown thin and white by winds of experience and there is so much knowledge and wisdom in our heads they can’t hold it all so it trickles down through the rest of our bodies and that’s why we get thicker as we age.”

One Burned Out Old Broad who was a BOOB Girl fan was comedian Phyllis Diller. Five years ago Johnson received a card. “It had a bright red stiletto on the front and inside it simply said, ‘Thank you for writing this delightful book. Phyllis Diller.’ Believe me, I checked the address and it was Hollywood. The next morning I wrote to her and asked her to endorse the books. She wrote back right away and said, ‘Use these words. The BOOB Girls are the GOOD Girls. It’s on the cover of every book.”

Will there be a seventh BOOB Girls adventure. “Definitely,” the author said. “Book VII will be Ten Little Puritans, and will feature a haunted Bed and Breakfast in Salem’s Crossing, NE.”

Characters in the books are characters indeed. Maggie Patten is a retired rancher from the Nebraska Sandhills of western Nebraska, Hadley Joy Morris-Whitfield is a retired socialite, Dr. Robinson Leary a retired black professor and Mary Rose McGill represents mature housewives. New BOOB Girls, including a spy and a gypsy appear in the books as well as a retired homicide detective named Marge Aaron. “Say it fast and it’s margarine so she’d butter be good,” Johnson quipped. The comedy-mysteries show us there is life after retirement and laughter can be found, even in widowhood. All the BOOB Girls are both – retired and widowed.

The author has one wish for her audience — “ to laugh so hard tears run down your leg!”

“It will be a morning filled with laughter! Joy spreads joy wherever she goes.   She also leaves her audience with some simple truths and profound thoughts,” said library director Jane Millard. A set of BOOB girl books will be given as a door prize and light refreshments will be served.

This event is co-sponsored by the Greene County Lincoln Highway Association. It is free and open to the public.

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