Atlanta resident K. Murray Johnson’s debut novel “Image of Emeralds and Chocolate” is a book about black gayvampires. The novel represents the author’s thirteen year journey to tell a story about black gay love. Johnson will be discussing and signing his book at the Center on Halsted in Chicago on Sunday April 1 from 11AM to 2pm. PrideIndex briefly talked with the Johnson, a very busy author on the go, here’s what he shared.
PRIDEINDEX (PI): You have just returned from the New York Rainbow Book Fair. What was that like and how did they respond to “Image of Emerald and Chocolate?”
K.MURRY JOHNSON (KMJ) : The New York Rainbow LGBT Book Fair was great. I met a lot of nice people, caught up with old friends, and sold a lot of books. I felt really good about the book fair. My boyfriend and I had a goal of selling at least 30 books. We ended up exceeding our goal. Everyone was thrilled about the first black gay vampire coming of age story. I recall one happy customer saying, “It is about time!”
PI: Why did you become a writer?
KMJ: I didn’t plan to become a writer. It happened by chance. During my senior year of college I decided to try my hand at writing a short story as my writing assignment for a creative writing elective class. Tour of the School, the first chapter of “Image of Emeralds and Chocolate,” was created as my short story assignment. I thought “Image of Emeralds and Chocolate” would end in that writing class. Little did I know, that was the beginning of a 13-year journey.
After graduating from Loyola University with a degree in Computer Information Systems, I took a job in Orlando, Florida. I decided to forward an electronic copy of my short story to a coworker and dear friend. I didn’t expect her to even read the story. But to my surprise, she not only read the story, but enthusiastically asked “What happened next?” She tricked me into writing four additional chapters by asking that same question at the end of each chapter I presented to her. Her curiosity, faith, and support gave “Image of Emeralds and Chocolate” the necessary jolt of life for me to see the beginning of the enormous endeavor of creating a novel.
PI: Who do you hope to reach with this book?
KMJ: I hope to reach all who have ever dreamed of finding romance and wondered what it would be like if the vampire was black or black and gay. And anyone who is interested in a very unique and wonderful story about Louisiana, growing up, and a slave’s triumph over adversary.
PI: Taking a page from the E. Lynn Harris playbook, would you like to see “Image of Emeralds and Chocolate” made into a movie? If so, who would you cast in the lead roles? Will there be a Part 2?
KMJ: Several fans have already said they would like to see “Image of Emeralds and Chocolate” become a movie. I would also like to see it become a movie. I would love to see Robert Ri’chard (from the sitcom, One on One) casted as Eric Peterson and Mehcad Brooks (from True Blood and The Game) as Marques LeBlanc.
Yes, there definitely will be a part two. As of now, I’m thinking a tentative date would be around Halloween 2013.