Lawrence Earle Johnson has had a storied career, and now he is adding yet another interesting chapter. After a long career in law enforcement, followed up with a stretch of working in higher education, Johnson has put pen to paper and published his first novel.
Described as a thriller crime novel, the book, "Death Sine," sets an investigative reporter in Michigan to work with a clandestine agent, with the duo working together to race against the clock to find culprits seeking world domination while saving possible victims along the way.
Today, Johnson will return to his former teaching home, College of Coastal Georgia, to present his new work to his former friends, students and peers as part of his weeks-long book tour to promote his crime novel. Now a resident of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Johnson was a professor at the college and lived for a decade in the Golden Isles. Johnson worked as a criminal justice professor and adviser at the Brunswick college from 2004 to 2014, after which he retired and moved back to his home in Michigan. Prior to heading to the college, though, Johnson grew a shining resume in the criminal defense world, working as security for a host of U.S. presidents, including being in the ranks of security for Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.
"It was certainly a pretty exciting career," Johnson said, who retired from both being a professor and the law enforcement in 2014 to focus solely on his writing career.
During today's event, Johnson will be on hand for a question-and-answer session about the book publishing business, will read an excerpt from the "Death Sine," and will sign copies of his novel, a request which came to him after the former colleagues and students got a hold of his first book, he said.
"It is really gratifying to know I have the support of the college community behind me," Johnson said.
For his new and first novel, Johnson said he has had it in the works since the mid-1980s, but writing the actual work wasn't the hold up in having the book become a reality. In truth, writing the work came easy to him. Actually having the book published was the hard part, he said.
"Getting published, that's tricky because publishers want to know what they are investing in," Johnson said.
Though his first novel was self-published through Archway Publishing, a branch of Simon and Schuster, Johnson said he has hopes that his next novel will be under the official publishing branch.
"In my law enforcement and teaching career, I had the opportunity to really see what goes on when no one is looking, to see what happens behind the scenes. It's important to examine those aspects of life. I just can say, I'm so grateful to have this opportunity, especially to have it back here at Coastal College."
Johnson will be at the College of Coastal Georgia's Brunswick campus from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. today in the Gould Library. The event is free and open to the public.
Spotlight on Schools appears Wednesdays. Contact Anna Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 265-8320, ext. 322 to suggest a topic for a column.