Author with local ties pens first novel

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 16, 2012



LAPLACE – A St. Charles Parish area native son is returning to the region this evening to discuss and sign copies of his breakout novel, which puts a unique spin on the popular vampire literary genre.

K. Murry Johnson, who was raised in St. Rose, will be at the Clearview Room in Clearview Mall in Metairie signing copies of his debut full-length novel “Image of Emeralds and Chocolate,” the story of a young, black gay man who finds love with a fellow classmate with a mysterious and hidden past.

Johnson’s book is set in Louisiana and follows the story of Eric Peterson, a talented high school senior enrolled in a creative writing course at Loyola University in New Orleans. Eric is insecure about many things and often daydreams about finding love. His fantasies quickly become reality when a strikingly attractive new student, Marquis LeBlanc, is assigned as his writing partner.

Marquis is revealed to be a very powerful vampire who was born into slavery more than 200 years ago. Marquis uses his abilities to aid in ending the suffering of black people from slavery to the civil rights movement to present day. The story explores some of the more often untold elements of the plight of slaves and their struggles with slave masters. The slave tales often intertwine with the progression of events in the novel.

Marquis has been afflicted with severe depression for a long time and waits to reveal the secret of his vampire past out of fear that Eric may not accept him or even believe him. From there the story shifts into uncharted waters.

The novel is available in both paperback and e-book versions and will be available at the signing.

Johnson holds masters degrees from Rollins College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He earned his undergraduate degree from Loyola University New Orleans. He now resides in Atlanta.