It is an honor to have written the biography of David Johnston, who hailed from Oak Lawn, Illinois, and found his way to volcanoes when the science was about to expand with knowledge. David was a young volcanologist when Mount St. Helens ended its 123-year dormant period in 1980. When the volcano blew, he was on a ridge northwest of the mountain’s summit and was killed. This book tells the story of the Illinois boy who was taught to duck-and-cover at age 5, who heard sonic booms at 14 (reminders of the Cold War), and who saw Vietnam in his future. Thousands have heard of Dr. Johnston the scientist, but few have heard about the 30 years that came first. Always we want to honor the heroes among us. David was one of many heroes in 1980. Honoring the 57 who died, the team who worked before and after the eruption to unlock the puzzle that was Mount St. Helens, and fostering an understanding of the science David so loved, the science he was trying to further when he died, these are the takeaways for this book. University of Illinois Press (UIP), with their stellar editors and peer review process, was the best publisher to bring out this book. The book is available in paperback and ebook.
My first book, The Female Assumption: A Mother's Story, Freeing Women from the View that Motherhood is a Mandate--which won a 2014 Global Media Award from the Population Institute--shines a light on the importance of our words and assumptions. Not all women want or are able to achieve motherhood. Yet there are many paths to a fulfilled female experience, and many aspects of deep, meaningful love. This book is one part autobiographical; one part biographical in terms of women's experiences (both those with and without children); and one part deep research into women's history. Its audience is every female, and every person who speaks with females about their lives.