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Bettye Johnson

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· Magdalena of Hy Brasil

· What The Blank Do We Know About The Bible

· An Uncommon Education A Memoir

· Mary Magdalene, Her Legacy, 2nd Revised Edition

· Awakening the Genie Within

· Mary Magdalene, Her Legacy

· A Christmas Awakening

· Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls

Short Stories
· The Christmas Tree - A Love Story

· Pope Joan and the Porphyry Chair

· The Naughtiness of Plagiarism

· The Emancipation of Women - An Invitation to Participate

· Easter Revelations

· A Commitment For 2012

· Chaos - Another View


· Mother Earth, Japan and Prayer

· The Healing Power of Laughter

· The Virgin and The Vatican, etc.

· Homage to My Brain

         More poetry...
· Awakening the Genie Within Review

· Bettye Johnson Blows That Door Off Its Hinges

· Author Bettye Johnson Honored For Life Achievements

· Awakening the Genie Within

· Writer's Digest Book Awards

· Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls

· Mary Magdalene, Her Legacy

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Books by Bettye Johnson
No Road Map - No Destination
By Bettye Johnson
Last edited: Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Posted: Tuesday, June 05, 2007

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Recent articles by
Bettye Johnson

• Pope Joan and the Porphyry Chair
• The Naughtiness of Plagiarism
• The Emancipation of Women - An Invitation to Participate
• Easter Revelations
• A Commitment For 2012
• Chaos - Another View
           >> View all 51
Creative writing is an adventure of the mind.

Have you ever completed a project and found that you were at ‘loose ends’ – or in other words, no road map and your destination unknown? It is a feeling of being freed up and not knowing what to do next. I have also realized that in my writing that I have begun a story or a book with no road map and the destination an unknown.

In writing classes, I was taught that one should have an outline before beginning a book. Really? I listened to my professors and at the time felt sure they knew what they were talking about. I soon realized that their advice was great if one is writing a book of non-fiction and especially a ‘how-to’ book. But fiction? All I can say is that it didn’t work out that way for me.

In 2004 I completed my first novel, Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls and all I knew when I first sat down to write was that I wanted to write a book about Mary Magdalene. I had researched Mary Magdalene for a number of years to learn about her. What I found out is that no one really knows who Mary Magdalene was or what she stood for. Too many writers have kept her in the tiny slot given in the New Testament. She was placed in a subservient role and kept there. In the Book of Matthew her name is mentioned three times; in Mark another three times; in Luke two times; and in John three times. I realized there was very little information to go on.

Myths carry within them seeds of truth and I found one that has been perpetuated by the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church. The storyline is that Emperor Tiberius Caesar gave a banquet and Mary Magdalene attended. Tiberius asked her about Jesus and as the story goes; her reply was “Christ is risen.” Tiberius handed her an egg from the banquet table and told her that if this was true , then she was to turn the egg red. Reportedly she did and thus began the tradition of a red egg at Easter time for the Eastern Orthodox Church. If she had the ability to turn an egg to the color of red, what else was she able to do?

My research has taken me on an odyssey of unraveling history and learning that history as we have been led to believe is indeed a tapestry of facts intermixed with misinformation, lies and deceit perpetuated upon the human mind. James Cameron, who wrote the Introduction to The Family Tomb of Jesus, stated that history is a consensus of hallucination. I agree with him.

The morning I sat down at my computer to begin the novel, I asked myself: how to I start? I realized I couldn’t write a non-fiction book based on my research, so the alternative was to create a book of fiction interwoven with facts. The white screen stared back at me blankly. With my fingers on the keyboard, I began with the first idea that came into my mind of secret scrolls found in an unknown cave in the French Pyrenees Mountains. From that seed an idea came of two American women while hiking stumbled into the cave. Thus, Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls began to take form.

I had no road map of where the storyline would take me; nor did I really know the destination – how the book would end. Each day as I wrote, I allowed the story to unfold with its many twists and turns. Sometimes I would startle myself as the characters took on their own personalities. There were also times when I would be surprised at a new twist or when a new character was introduced. The writing of the book became a wonderful adventure. There were also times when I would re-read what I had written and told myself, Damn! That’s good!

Even while writing, I continued to research and finally when the last sentence had been written, I knew the book was completed. In 2005 the 2nd Revised Edition came out followed by an Italian language edition and a German language edition. This was followed by winning the prestigious Independent Publishers Book Award in 2006. What does one do after that? Write a sequel.

I had a germ of an idea regarding Sarah and James, the two children of the Magdalene and Jesus. In the fall of 2006 I again sat down at my computer and asked myself how to begin. Again I had no road map but this time I felt I had a destination. At the end of May this year, I completed the manuscript of the sequel titled: Mary Magdalene: Her Legacy. My editors have told me that this one could be even more exciting than the first book. I would like to think so.

The book is now in the hands of my editor with the next stage creating the cover. Again, I have chosen to self-publish. Having researched the established publishing houses, I have noted a shift that is not favorable to authors or to literary agents. I also have decided that I don’t want my storyline changed and I want to retain control of my creation. When one signs a contract with a publishing house, the author has signed away her/his rights.

Will there be a third book? Perhaps. For the present moment, my focus is on promotion and marketing – an entire new adventure. I am open to any innovative ways to promote my books. If you have some valid suggestions, please share them with me.

Web Site Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls

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Reviewed by Aleksander Mosingiewicz
That's interesting... I recall Stanislaw Lem saying that when he started writing his masterpiece, "Solaris", he too didn't know what the book is going to be about. The first ideas that came to him were the station and its strangely behaving crew - and from there the novel started to evolve. Tolkien said the same about the "Lord of the Rings", which started as a continuation of "Hobbit" and evolved - spontaneously - into an epic. It seems that what we are taught about creative process isn't worth a penny - creativity is a wild beast and hard to tame. I've read that Danielewski, now an acclaimed author, failed all his Creative Writing courses. Ideas come and go on their own, and the technique is good only for writing cookie-cutter pieces that quickly fade into oblivion.

The best advice seems to not to try to direct the process, but to surrender to it, as stated in the article.
Reviewed by Randall Barfield
very delightful read as well as your blog about toxic thoughts. thanks for sharing them. as for marketing, wish i could help you. i have no experience. what about a big city newspaper display ad? surely one would get some degree of results. thanks for sharing.

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