BA, MA at Dalhousie University, then a PhD in History from the Université Laval.
Many books and articles on the history of Atlantic Canada, especially on the Fortress of Louisbourg, led to France making him a chevalier of its Ordre des Palmes Académiques.
First three novels reflected his familiarity with the 18th century: Thomas, A Secret Life (2012), The Maze (2014), and Crossings (2015).
The Hat (2018) was a fresh YA take on the Acadian Deportation; Something True (2018) featured a young Cape Breton woman who found her identity in France during the First World War. Kings of Friday Night: The Lincolns came out in 2020. Ancient Land, New Land, co-authored with Jesse Francis, comes out in 2021.
Jay is also on Facebook at AJB Johnston, Writer and on occasionally on Instagram and Twitter.