A best-selling author, touched by the tragic death of a gay Atlanta cheerleader and model in December, is dedicating her new novel to him and donating a portion of the proceeds from its sale to an HIV charity.
The cover of “Finding Fisher” will feature a photo of Josh Nicholson when the book is released on Monday. And author Karen Mueller Bryson, writing as Dakota Madison, will also pay tribute by including a dedication to Nicholson written by his parents, Ray and Linda Nicholson.
Josh’s picture will appear on the cover and a dedication by his parents will be in the book. A portion of the profits from the cover and book sales will be donated to Joining Hearts, Inc., a 501(c)(3), an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to providing housing support to people living with HIV and AIDS in Atlanta, in Josh’s memory. Josh’s parents chose the charity because they felt, given his involvement, it would be one he’d want supported.
The dedication from Nicholson's parents describes his “passion for life” and “caring heart”:
“Josh was smart, good and kind natured. He had a passion for life and when possible enjoyed it to the fullest with his friends and family. He always had a gorgeous smile, bright beautiful captivating eyes to go along with charismatic personality and wonderful sense of humor. He was a thoughtful young man with an incredibly caring heart. His family and many wonderful friends cherish the times they had with him and wish there could have been many more.
Josh, you are and will always be deeply loved, profoundly missed and always remembered.”
Bryson tells Patch that she was touched by Nicholson's death after seeing a Facebook post from photographer Eric McKinney, who had captured Nicholson in modeling shots. One of McKinney's images is featured on the book's cover.
“Photography by Eric McKinney posted a photo of Josh on Facebook and shared the news that Josh had passed away. When I saw the post, it really touched me. Josh was so young and seemed so full of life. And his life was just getting started when it ended so tragically. I’ve had to deal with a lot of loss in my own life, and I immediately thought of Josh’s parents and what they must be going through. I wanted to do something special in Josh’s memory.”
“Finding Fisher” explores loss and grief with several twists as it follows Chloe, the main character, as she prepares to graduate college and navigates the sudden death of her fiance.
Nicholson, 24, was found dead on Dec. 12 in the seventh floor ventilation system of a Midtown parking garage. Police said there were no obvious signs of foul play. The Fulton County Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy on Dec. 13 but has yet to rule on a cause of death as investigators await the results of additional tests.
Photo by Eric McKinney