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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Guest Blogger: Norwood Holland, Author of Sleepless Nights

1. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a freelance writer and lawyer lobbying on behalf of police and security officers.  I received my law degree from Howard University School of Law and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English at Fisk University.  A native of Washington DC, I favor D.C.’s local color in my fiction and currently write the offbeat blog devoted to diversity issues and labor law, book reviews, and social commentary.

2. Describe your book ‘Sleepless Nights’ in 30 words or less. 
Sleepless Nights is suspenseful with larger than life characters based on a true crime story changing the lives of three young men and those around them–an engrossing legal thriller.

3. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
For me the most difficult part of writing Sleepless Nights was developing the plot line, and trying to come up with creative ways to raise the stakes for Drew Smith.  A fundament rule for legal thrillers is to make your protagonist suffer and with that in mind the challenge was to make Drew Smith suffer while seemingly enjoying the high life.  Drew Smith an urban bon vivant in his favor why should he be troubled?  So I had the difficult task of causing him trouble.  Once I had a central plot down then subplots and characters began to unfold naturally in the development.

4. What books have had the greatest influence on you?
I love biographies and particularly writer’s biographies.  I’m a student of African American Literature so my taste may be a little esoteric.  Two great books which I considered my favorite autobiographies are James Weldon Johnson’s Along This Way and Langston Hughes I Wonder As I Wander.  As for popular fiction I’m a big fan of Harold Robbins and James Michener, I like epic adventures.  I can say unequivocally the works of Langston Hughes have had the greatest influence on me. 

5. What are you working on next?
Minus One, the prequel to the Drew Smith Series is in its final editing stages.  I expect to see it in print by Spring 2012.  Drew Smith finishes law school and takes a job as a hotel concierge while awaiting his bar exam results.  He makes new friends with two Bell Men and after a night out on the town suddenly finds themselves the center of a murder mystery.

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