Johnnie Johnson, a University of Durham graduate, is a former headmaster and schools inspector. Since his retirement in 1988 he has written more than twenty non-fiction books ranging from true crime and superstition to local history and the supernatural. Writing as Allen Makepeace, he is the author of two novels: AND SUCH GREAT NAMES AS THESE set in World War One and WINTER HUNT, an early nineteenth century crime story. Both are now available as e-books. His third novel, NEVER TRUST NOBODY, this time using the author name Johnnie Johnson, published in 2015, is in both print and e-book formats.
A VIRGIN IN THE PHILIPPINES, Johnnie's highly praised memoir about a country he loves, is available only as an e-book.
The very successful SUPERSTITIONS AND CURIOUS BELIEFS OF OLD SUSSEX has been at No 1 in the Kindle Bestsellers list. Recently it has been republished as an e-book. This book is of interest to people living beyond the boundaries of Sussex. Many of the beliefs recorded are similar to those in other parts of the world.
TOP-DRAWER VILLAIN, an account of the career of a gangster, offered Johnnie the opportunity to work for the first time as a ghost-writer. It's a tale of violence, police corruption, prison regimes and has been accepted as a genuine reflection of life beyond the law.
OLD FART AT LARGE - only 20,000 words in length - is anecdotal but Johnnie is so fond of this book that he has offered a longer than customary extract:
'Old men forget, so they say. And it’s true. These days I can never remember where I left my keys or my glasses; I suddenly find myself in the sitting room or a bedroom and ask myself, ‘What the devil am I doing here?’; our wedding anniversaries pass by without my noticing... Yet events from the distant past regularly nudge their way into my mind with the utmost clarity.
For instance, I vividly recall seeing my first naked woman; then there were the childhood Saturday nights when my father dosed us all with liquid paraffin to ensure easy bowel movement; nor can I ever forget, as a young serviceman, grappling hand to hand with Germans - lovely girls all of them; like some kind of out-of-tune memory, there’s my unhappy introduction to the condom; echoing down from long years past comes the near catastrophic professional error from a position under my desk and involving a very senior official. Even now some of these occurrences make me shudder; others I can at last laugh about. For example, I still derive some wry amusement when I think about that business with my trousers.
But enough: all that stuff (and worse) is in Old Fart at Large.'
Johnnie has been a winner of the South East Arts Prose Prize, a finalist the Fenner Brockway Peace Prize for Literature and runner-up in the international Alpha to Omega Short Story Competition. AND SUCH GREAT NAMES AS THESE, was declared the 'best novel' by the National Association of Writers' Groups.
Johnnie Johnson lives with Fay, his Filipino wife, in Eastbourne, East Sussex.