cropped-kyle-age-2-in-kentucky-0011.jpgJ. Kyle Johnson lives in retirement among the beautiful mountains and lakes of East Tennessee with his lovely spouse of 47 years (the ‘Little Suzi’ of stories found at jkylejohnson.net). Most of his writing can be classified as historical fiction (or ‘creative nonfiction’) based on actual characters and events associated with family and friends.

Kyle was born in Kentucky but raised in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He received his bachelor and master degrees from Tennessee Tech University.



4 Comments on “About

  1. Hey, cousin! I’m David Smith, son of Claude & Joanna Smith. I remember you as a child when our parents visited each other. The had a great friendship.

    Cousin Mary recommended your book, Firedamp. I followed up and bought a copy. As an English major and English teacher (30 years), I found it a really good read… well-crafted plot and memorable characters.

    I was especially impressed with how perfectly you captured the speech patterns of our Bell County “homeland”.

    Flipping points of viewbetween Sam and Jonetta was also a masterful touch for developing perspective and enhancing character empathy.

    Congratulations and thanks. If you ever want to get in touch,drop me an e-mail.

  2. Great to hear from you, Tracy, and thanks for reading the book! Hope your mother enjoys it, too. Who knew we had so much in common?

    I plead guilty to using Verda’s name, though I came by it honestly. I was searching through census records for Bell County, Ky, names (to validate some I was already using) and found several ‘Verda’s’, a venerable and authentic name for women in that region. I confess to naming the switchboard operator after you-know-who, but only coincidentally!

    Best regards,

  3. Hello Kyle! I just finished Firedamp and loved it! I purchased the book for my 81 year old mother for her birthday. She was raised near Harlan in a coal mine camp and her father was a coal miner. I never met my maternal grandfather because a mining accident took what was left of his life after black lung couldn’t take him. My great grandfather died in the Fraterville mining disaster in 1902. I loved the way you “honored” the language of the era and location. That alone really drew me in to the story.

    It’s great reading a piece of your work after our days at Central Employment on the turnpike in Oak Ridge. I’m happy that you’re chasing your dream. It’s an honor to know you! Now, one last thing. In Firedamp, the Chief’s daughter/switchboard operator, Verda. Really!? – Tracy

  4. J. Kyle, I shared many of the same experiences you relate growing up in OR. The Easter Egg hunts, “Carbide Christmas Parties” at the high school, and catching lightning bugs were all a big part of my childhood. My parents built that first ‘mansion’ LOL of Oak Ridge at 110 Providence Rd. The wooded areas across the street, and the lot next door, were gold mines for lightning bugs and my Mom would make us go out every nite w/ her to catch bugs. Remember we took them to a house on Plymouth Rd to cash the frozen bugs in. My little brother and I would find “coke bottles” to cash in, in the creeks around the pool, Grove Center, and the high school to cash in at the White Store. Early they were worth .02 later .05.
    I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis as more serious. I was in Kindergarten at Willowbrook. I could tell by what my parents, especially my mother were saying that we were in a serious situation. All of us 5 yr olds had our dog tags made at school, in case we were separated from our parents. I had them all the way up til high school, wish I still did, what a story they told.
    An area that was very important to me that you don’t mention were the two ball fields at “Midway” where the present Civic Center now stands. I played full field baseball there as a 6 yr old in 1963 in some type of city league. It was great. I would also walk down there on summer nights w/ older guys from my neighborhood and watch men’s fast pitch softball, and older boys baseball. When they said they were going to remove those fields it was a catastrophic experience for me, those 2 fields were so cool to me.
    Anyway, I could write another 5 pages on the joys of growing up next to ORHS, and what it’s fields, creeks, dumpsters, and events meant to our lives.
    I enjoyed reading your story and hope you do well on your book. Look forward to talking to you about growing up in OR in the future.

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