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Carla Joinson Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Writings, Sidelights

Female. Education: Southern Illinois University, B.S.


Agent—c/o Author Mail, Dial Press, Dell Publishing, 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036.


Writer. Formerly worked as administration supervisor, Lansing, MI; freelance writer. Military service: U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, attained rank of second lieutenant; food service and operations officer with 44th Services Squadron.


Society of Children's Book Writer and Illustrators.


March of Glory, Royal Fireworks Press (Unionville, NY), 1994.

How to Keep Your Life after You Lose Your Job: Retaining Your Assets, Pride, and Sanity during Unemployment, Denpeters Press (San Antonio, TX), 1996.

A Diamond in the Dust, Dial Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Contributor to numerous publications, including Mother Earth News, First for Women, Parenting, Catering Today, and Texas Highways. Contributing editor, HR magazine.


Carla Joinson followed a varied career path on her way to becoming a professional writer. Earning a college degree in nutrition, she then served in the U.S. Air Force as part of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). After working in Michigan as an administration supervisor, she eventually moved to Texas, where she made the break in to freelance writing. Joinson has gone on to publish numerous articles in magazines and has also successfully moved into the field of children's writing with the novel Diamond in the Dust.

Diamond in the Dust takes place in 1905 in the coal-mining town of Buckeye City, Illinois, where fifteen-year-old Katie lives with her pregnant mother and six brothers. Due to the strains poverty has placed on the family, Katy's mother decides it is time for the teen to make her own way in the world. Katie now faces a life-changing decision: Following her heart and marrying coal-miner Michael would mean a lifetime spent in Buckeye City, but following her lifelong dream of moving to St. Louis and becoming a teacher requires a leap of faith. When tragedy strikes her family, Katy is provided the opportunity to leave, and she embarks up an adventure that will change her forever.

According to Linda Riesterer in a review for Book Report, in Joinson's "highly recommended" novel "Katy is an engaging main character fighting to plot—and change—the direction of her own life" despite a lack of understanding from friends and family. Also reviewing Diamond in the Dust, a Publishers Weekly critic commented that, "While the plot occasionally verges on the melodramatic … Joinson succeeds in creating compelling conflicts, and she doesn't take the easy route in resolving them."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Book Report, September-October, 2001, Linda Riesterer, review of Diamond in the Dust, p. 62.

Publishers Weekly, April 9, 2001, review of Diamond in the Dust, p. 75.

School Library Journal, June, 2001, Katie O'Dell, review of Diamond in the Dust, p. 150.


Carla Joinson Web site, http://www.carlajoinson.com (March 19, 2005).*

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Dan Jacobson Biography - Dan Jacobson comments: to Barbara Knutson (1959–2005) Biography - Personal