|
|
DailyTidings.com
  • AHS '65 grad returns for wedding, book donation

    Shirley Johnoff helped her husband write a book that sparked interest at CBS
  • For the past 13 years, Ashland High School graduate Shirley (Jackson) Johnoff knew that her husband's stories as a youth probation officer were worth telling, and Hollywood seems to agree.
    • email print
  • For the past 13 years, Ashland High School graduate Shirley (Jackson) Johnoff knew that her husband's stories as a youth probation officer were worth telling, and Hollywood seems to agree. Carl Johnoff's self-published book "The Powder Blue Negligee," which contains fictionalized vignettes of Carl's experiences as a youth probation officer, so impressed an executive at CBS, that he had an agent seek the Johnoffs out to work on developing a pilot series.
    Just before the Ashland Public library doors opened on Monday, Shirley and Carl Johnoff surprised the Ashland Public Library with a copy of "The Powder Blue Negligee." For branch manager Amy Blossom, the timing couldn't have been better. Later that day, the library hosted a presentation with Rhoda Maxwell on how to self-publish books, and Blossom was able to share the Johnoffs' story with local writers.
    "We had 35 people, and they were just thrilled," Blossom said.
    "It was so timely because they came in that morning," Blossom said, "I had no idea they were coming in, so it was exciting."
    "She's the actual reason all of this happened," Carl Johnoff said about his wife, "It's not possible for me to say 'no' to Shirley."
    The book is a combined effort for the Arizona couple. Although the book tells Carl Johnoff's stories, Shirley helped Carl write the book by typing his handwritten notes and made sure everything in the manuscript was consistent and well organized. She was also a major source of encouragement throughout the process, Carl Johnoff said.
    "My wife, who is the absolute dead-center of the universe for me, said, 'Look, those are neat stories,'" Carl Johnoff said.
    The Johnoffs published the book in 2008, and in May the couple received a call from Richie Kern of the talent agency William Morris Endeavor explaining that a CBS television executive had read his book and the network was interested in developing a television series based on "The Powder Blue Negligee." According to Carl Johnoff, CBS had spent years searching for material to use for a series on probation and parole without luck. Executives have also given the book to producer Shawn Hayes, better known for his acting role as Jack McFarland in the TV series "Will & Grace."
    "He's going to be the producer of my series," Carl Johnoff said about Hayes.
    While producers in Hollywood rush the pilot's development for a planned fall premiere, the Johnoffs enjoyed a visit to Ashland to attended Shirley's daughter's wedding in Lithia Park.
    Reader Reaction
      • calendar