TOPEKA (KSNT) – Bestselling author Craig Johnson was at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library on Monday for a book signing session for his book “The Longmire Defense” which was released on Sept. 6, 2023.

“In my 40’s I started thinking about what I wanted to write,” Craig Johnson, New York Times bestselling author said. “At that point in time crime fiction was riddled with urban stuff and I thought, what if you did something about the Sheriff in the least populated county in the least populated state, that would be different than everybody else.”

Friends of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library were invited to a reception with Johnson in Claire’s Courtyard Monday evening and later enjoyed a Q & A session in Marvin Auditorium.

“Whether you have ridden behind 200 head of cattle or snapped green beans on a front porch in a rocking chair, you know a good story when you hear one,” Johnson said. “So, you don’t ever want to forget to tell a good story.”

Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Walt Longmire mystery novels, which are the basis for “Longmire,” the hit Netflix original drama. The novel “The Longmire Defense” was released September 6, 2023. “Spirit of Steamboat” was selected by the Wyoming State Library as the inaugural One Book Wyoming.

The A&E TV series Longmire, based on Johnson’s novels, premiered on June 3, 2012, with cast members Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Bailey Chase, Adam Bartley, A Martinez, Zahn McClarnon and John Bishop.

As of September 2021, Johnson has authored 23 books featuring “Sheriff Walt Longmire”. They have been translated into 14 languages and have won numerous awards, including the Nouvel Observateur Prix du Roman Noir and the SNCF Mystery of the Year.