5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Norwood Holland, author of Sleepless Nights

JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Norwood Holland, author of Sleepless Nights
(Windmill Books Ltd.)

Sleepless Nights is a legal thriller full of despicable and lovable characters. Trial attorney Drew Smith, a solo practitioner, takes on shady clients solving cases fraught with danger and romantic intrigue. Through Sleepless Nights the urban legal wizard, while frolicking with an exotic dancer, succumbs to a midlife crisis. Haunted by foreshadowing nightmares, an awakening reveals an empty life, but Smith finds solace with therapist Zöe Settles.

In an already complicated life, Smith is pressed into service when a vicious robbery leaves three dead and the city enraged. Drew Smith and his devoted sidekick Julio Mejia work to free his young client on the trail of a crazed gunman responsible for a growing body count.

In the end, the gunman and the dancer combine forces to bring Smith down. When death comes knocking, Drew Smith faces the fight of his life.

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Sleepless Nights?

Norwood Holland: My story was inspired by an actual crime. It was snatched from the headlines. The infamous DC 2003 Colonel Brooks Tavern murders shocked the city and inspired me to create a character based the accused ringleader who committed suicide when the police where closing in. He became the prototype for my villain.

JP: What sets Sleepless Nights apart from other books in the same genre?

wnh: It is a rare legal thriller with a male African-American attorney as protagonist. I have never read a legal thriller with a black male as hero, while we now have and for some time past had a great many heroic African American attorneys. I wanted my protagonist to be representative of men of character, intelligence, charisma.

JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Sleepless Nights getting out to the public?

wnh: Determination. Do what you love and success will come. Self-reliance is so important. One cannot rely on others to provide personal success and it doesn’t come easy or over night. It takes persistence and stick-to-itiveness, setting goals and keeping your eye on those goals. I’ve been writing since I was 15 with this goal in mind.

JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Sleepless Nights?

wnh: I first do an outline and set a daily quota of writing a page a day. Generally, in nine months I have the first draft and six more months of polishing. The final draft is usually ready after eighteen months. Then I turn it over to an editor.

JP: What’s next for Norwood Holland?

wnh: Working on the prequel, Minus One which I expect to publish late next Spring.


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Sleepless Nights is distributed Baker & Taylor wholesalers and available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords in hardcover and ebook formats.

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