I discovered Caroline Johnston as I was looking for Christian novels set in Scotland. I was thrilled to find out that she was in a couple of my favorite author groups!
From my interactions with Caroline, and from what others who know her better have told me, Caroline has lots of energy and a great sense of humor. I could see her personality coming through as I read her novel, Raincoats & Sunglasses. Stay tuned until the end to see my review!
What aspects of your childhood led to your love for writing?
When I was seven, my teacher was checking over our Monday morning diary updates. She expressed deep frustration at how little we were all writing and encouraged us to write more. I can’t remember her exact words, but whatever she said ignited something and my school writing went from sentences to pages. My love of short stories and essays continued throughout school.
I forgot about my love of writing for a long time. But, through a friend’s encouragement to ‘dream big’, I searched for forgotten dreams and came back to writing.
I now have two series:
Christian Young Adult – What If? and Why Not?. These books follow a group of 14-year-olds, some of whom are Christians, as they explore friendship, faith, and identity.
Contemporary Christian Fiction – Raincoats & Sunglasses and Snowboots & Sunglasses. These novels focus on three main characters: Kirsty, Jennifer, and Paul — and their search for love, joy, and peace.
What do you love about living in Scotland?
I love Scotland and am proud to be Scottish. I love the wild, rugged scenery. My happy place is being out among the hills, trees, and lochs. Scotland has a reputation for terrible weather and I’ve played on that for the Raincoats & Sunglasses series (FYI: our weather isn’t that bad!). For the most part, we’re a friendly bunch. Our national animal is the unicorn, which I think is brilliant!
Tell us about your latest writing project.
As I mentioned, I have a contemporary series called Raincoats & Sunglasses. The title came to me one day when I was walking to work. At that time, I lived and worked in Glasgow. I noticed how many women did their morning commute in Raincoats & Sunglasses. And I thought it would make a great title for a book (and I wasn’t even writing then!). I had a lot of fun using raincoats and sunglasses, not just as weather accessories, but as props for Kristy and Jennifer to hide behind. It was originally written as a stand-alone book, but people kept asking me what happened next. And so, last year I published the second book in the series, Snowboots & Sunglasses. This book continues the story of the three main characters from Raincoats, only this time they go from the dreary winter rain and darkness of Scotland to the snowy slopes of the French Alps.
I’ve just finished the first draft of the final book in the series, Raincoats & Wedding Dresses. It will be coming out March 2023. The story incorporates the Scottish weather, love, joy, peace, and kilts and ceilidhs.
2023 will also see the next book in the What If? series. I’m aiming for November/December for that one.
What is something unique about you that your readers might not know about?
I can’t cope with hot weather. For example, when we were on holiday in Canada several years ago, I got too hot on a pony trek and fainted while riding. Thankfully, I just slumped forward and stayed on the horse.
What is your advice for aspiring authors?
To quote a popular sports brand, just do it. Just start. Take one step at a time. Write the first draft, then edit, edit, edit and see where that takes you. Join online author groups (do a search on Facebook under your genre). It’s not always an easy journey, only a few make the big bucks, but it’s a wonderful journey. Along the way, you’ll grow and develop as a person and as an author. And you’ll meet amazing author friends.
Here are Caroline’s links: