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Stranger Than Fiction

Myka Allen-Johnson left her teaching job after she had her life threatened, thumb broken, and hair torn out. But that was just the warm-up routine. Now she’s here to talk about how crazy her life has been since then, after she became a real estate professional.

It’s telling that, though her very first experience with real estate (as a teen accompanying her house-hunting parents) involved encountering a dead body, Johnson is still in it to win it. In her book, Tales From Sales: Outrageous, Hilarious and True Stories From Home Sales, Johnson navigates the silly and macabre with a larger-than-life Texas attitude.

As you may remember, we’ve reviewed the true-stories-in-real-estate type of book before (most recently Rosalind Russell’s). What makes this collection different is that all these stories happened to one woman in a little Texas town called Killeen. While this singular approach does remove some of the variety, it also gives these stories the personal touch that is often missing from compilation-based books.

Johnson introduces us to characters from the bearded lady whose air conditioner was eaten by a pack of wild dogs to the god-fearing mime to the woman who chewed a model home out of almost all of its fake wax fruit. Johnson also introduces us to some unique properties, from Elvis Presley’s old house to a place so soaked with cat urine that the walls had begun to yellow (she sold both). It’s not all hilarious, though. She talks bravely through the several times she’s almost died on the job. She also includes two tear-jerking stories about military families she’s worked with (Killeen is home to Ft. Hood, one of the largest military installations in the world).

Johnson, now broker/owner of StarPointe Realty, published the book this year through a print-on-demand company known as Xlibris. As you might expect from a self-published imprint, there are a few minor errors, and the few images included are pretty low-resolution. Thankfully, Johnson includes enough moxie and humor that I’m more than willing to forgive (just don’t tell my freelancers I said that).

Meg White

Meg White is the multimedia web producer for REALTOR® Magazine and administrator of the magazine's Weekly Book Scan blog. Contact her at mwhite[at]realtors.org.

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