Monday, June 4, 2018


Caleb Johnson grew up in Arley, Alabama, studied journalism at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and earned an MFA from the University of Wyoming. He has worked as a small-town newspaper reporter, an early-morning janitor, and a whole-animal butcher, among other jobs.

Johnson applied the Page 69 Test to Treeborne, his debut novel, and reported the following:
From page 69:
There sat Lyle Crews on a tumped-over barrel, coveralls now rolled down to his waist, singing, Love lifted me. Love lifted me. When nothing else could help, love lifted me… [Janie] admired how hard singing was for him. Truth, she knew, only hard things were worth doing. The Seven had to be preserved, her aunt kidnapped. Hard. Life ain’t easy Sister. She began to see a confederate in Lyle Crews as she watched him repeat those lines over and over.
This excerpt from page 69 of my debut novel, Treeborne, takes place during a pivotal moment for young Janie Treeborne. Most of her life before the summer in which this scene takes place, Janie thought she knew exactly who she was. Things suddenly changed. Janie did something bad. Now, watching Lyle Crews sing a hymn, she begins reckoning with herself and her decisions. This moment one of her many comings of age. Really, the scene is representative of what much of Janie’s portion of the novel is about—how she looks upon change and the past.
Visit Caleb Johnson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue