September 25, 2017
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  • M.D. Johnson will talk about her book “A Stranger on the Shore” during an event on April 13 at 7:00pm at Broadneck Library.
    Photo courtesy of Jerry Doyle
    M.D. Johnson will talk about her book “A Stranger on the Shore” during an event on April 13 at 7:00pm at Broadneck Library.
  • M.D. Johnson’s latest book, “A Stranger on the Shore,” deals with kidnapping, terrorism and betrayal.
    Photo courtesy of Jerry Doyle
    M.D. Johnson’s latest book, “A Stranger on the Shore,” deals with kidnapping, terrorism and betrayal.
  • M .D. Johnson’s latest book, “A Stranger on the Shore,” deals with kidnapping, terrorism and betrayal.
    Photo courtesy of Jerry Doyle
    M .D. Johnson’s latest book, “A Stranger on the Shore,” deals with kidnapping, terrorism and betrayal.

M.D. Johnson To Talk History And Literature At Broadneck Library

Alyson Kay
Alyson Kay's picture
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April 4, 2017

M.D. Johnson, author of the spy thriller series “The ISIS Project,” has always been a storyteller. “As a little kid, I always wrote stories and poems,” Johnson said. “I’ve been writing all my life.”

As a student in England, Johnson wrote papers for her fellow students. She was also involved in activist groups and would keep the minutes, write reports and publish releases for newspapers.

Johnson wrote as a hobby until she graduated and started working in personnel for the U.S. government in Europe. She continued to write for her job and her work as an activist. She wrote several types of papers, from technical guides and requests for proposal to speeches for politicians.

But one of her favorite assignments was writing reviews for ‘80s rock bands because the reviews aren't political and they allow her to talk about bands that she enjoyed as a teenager. Occasionally, writing these reviews even allows her to travel.

She is also the author of a series of thriller novels called “The ISIS Project” (International Security Investigative Systems) about a woman named Emily Cowan who leads a think tank by the same name and uses it in counterterrorism efforts. The series also deals with women’s issues in Afghanistan. The latest book, “A Stranger on the Shore,” deals with the kidnapping of one of the main character’s female students as well as a child bride of a terrorist mastermind hiding in Pakistan.

Johnson credits two things for inspiring her to write longer stories about topics such as women and terrorism. During the mid 1990s, Johnson and her husband went to an Afghan restaurant and became friends with the restaurant owner, an Afghani woman. The owner was saddened by what was happening to women under the Taliban in the country where she was born and was concerned about the family who still lived in Afghanistan. Johnson joined her efforts to raise awareness of the women stifled under the new regime.

“I would write speeches, give talks and promote awareness of women who have been allowed education, freedom of speech and movement, and suddenly found it was gone and they were veiled and depressed, fearful and neglected,” Johnson said.

Johnson's small research consortium, the Enehey group, sponsored these awareness events.

In 2000, Johnson got a rare and aggressive form of cancer that required surgery. During a difficult recovery, she decided to take classes in counterterrorism, ethics and sexual deviance, with each class offered at her local community college.

During her class on terrorism, she wrote a term paper about Al Qaeda and its leader, Osama Bin Laden. She later used the research that she had done for the paper to write “Circle Around the Sun,” the first book of the “ISIS Project” series. For each of her books, Johnson mainly used her own experiences and her research on terrorism through her work and studies.

Johnson will hold an event on April 13 at 7:00pm at Broadneck Library. During the event, she will show a PowerPoint presentation of pictures depicting the real historical incidents that the books are based on. She will discuss the pictures and compare the real-life events shown in the pictures to the events described in the books. There will be a signing for people with copies of the books. Johnson will also give away a few copies of “A Stranger on the Shore.”

Johnson said that people should exercise caution about the content of the event. “The presentation will not be suitable for children. Some of the images will be graphic,” said Johnson.


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