Johnny Skull’s life experiences from 1998 to early 2006 are explored as flashbacks during his wedding celebration in the fall of 2007.
This book, the third in the Johnny Skull series, documents the young newspaperman’s odyssey from the time he graduates from college in Arizona, until just before he takes a job at The Valentine Voice, the setting for the first Johnny Skull novel.
Unlike its prequels – “Small-Town Weekly,” which documents the day-to-day operation of a small-town weekly newspaper, and “Small Pebbles, Long Shadows,” which follows an investigation that eventually exposes an Islamic terrorist plot to destroy the American way of life – “Happiness is the Road” follows Johnny’s career through seven different jobs as he learns the publishing business.
In Texas, at his first job that lasts only one day, he is run out of town by the sheriff’s daughter. In Kentucky, he saves the life of his next boss and earns a job at a newspaper in Maine. In North Dakota, he rescues a newspaper from mediocrity and brings it into the twenty-first century. In Colorado, he starts a brand new weekly newspaper, only to lose his job just before 9/11/01 when a new owner acquires that newspaper. In Arizona, he resurrects a failing mining magazine to its former exemplary status, and becomes a successful fine art photographer. As the communications director for a trade organization in Washington, he goes head to head with his new boss who has some strange views on intra-office relations. And, in Nevada, he helps a congressman get elected.
But the story also reveals the dark side of ex-Marine Johnny Skull, as he uses the lessons he’d learned from his grandfather to avenge the honor of his friends.