Lynn-Steven Johanson was born un-hyphenated in Storm Lake, Iowa, and he grew up on a farm three miles from the small, northwest Iowa town of Marathon. He graduated from Marathon High School, and two years later earned an Associate in Arts degree from Iowa Lakes Community College. After transferring to Wayne State College, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education. Returning to college some years later, he received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
His teaching experience includes stints at Aquinas High School, David City, Nebraska; Concordia College, Seward, Nebraska; Buena Vista College, Storm Lake, Iowa; Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois; and Spoon River College, Macomb, Illinois.
Lynn and his wife, Joyce, have lived in Macomb, Illinois, since 1989. They work for the College of Education at Western Illinois University and have three adult children.
While Joyce is a nationally known exhibitor and breeder of Lhasa Apsos (dogs from Tibet), Lynn, who has been a gear head all of his life, occupies himself by building and driving street rods. He also enjoys singing in the local choral society. If that is not enough, he is also a skilled carpenter, an avid photographer, a genealogy fanatic, and a connoisseur of craft beers. Reading crime fiction is one of his many pastimes, and his favorite novelists are David Baldacci and Jonathan Kellerman. Lynn has many acquaintances, but he considers his cat, a Russian Blue named Boris Badenov, his best friend.