Baltimore City is home to approximately 16,000 vacant properties. There are residents that live here that are as empty inside as the properties. Growing up in Baltimore City is harder than most may think. True, Donte, Man, Cierra and Damon have been friends their whole life. Unfortunately, their lives haven’t turned out as great as they thought they would be.
They began to reflect on their lives by taking numerous trips back down memory lane. Most of the memories consist of violence, drugs and murder during their teenage years. They dig deep into their pasts and realize how they got to where they’re at in life.
True tries her best to get past the murder of her son’s father. Donte is battling with his mother’s sickness. Man tries to get back to life after years of incarceration. Cierra is still young and battling drug addiction. Damon is trying his best to stay alive after years of a life filled with violence.
Now, in the present, each character is forced to make a major life decision. They either have to change or continue to be VACANT.
Jasmine L Johnson was born and raised in Baltimore City, Maryland. Jasmine developed a passion for writing in high school. In the tenth grade she decided that she would grow up to be a writer. She also became a fan of urban fiction.
Johnson self-published her first book, THE VACANTS, in 2017. Most of Johnson’s influence for her writing comes from growing up in East Baltimore. In her first novel, THE VACANTS, she tells stories of crime, poverty, and various mental illnesses that residents of Baltimore City experience every day. Her ultimate goal as a writer is getting more people to read, especially ones who have never picked up a book before.
Jasmine is also a mother of two girls and hopes her journey as a writer will influence her girls to chase their dreams, too.