October 23, 2014

Minus One: The Drew Smith Series Virtual Tour with Norwood Holland

Norwood HollandTell us a little about yourself

I was born in DC and grew up in the Virginia suburbs. My neighborhood is an historical one established by the former slaves of George Washington. In fact the community itself was once part of the Mount Vernon plantation. My education in Fairfax County Virginia began just about the time Brown vs. Board of Education ruling came down from the Supreme Court declaring separate but equal as unconstitutional. My early education transitioned from a segregated to an integrated environment. And like others in my family I was naturally drawn to the historically HBCU experience.

I am a graduate of Howard University School of Law and Fisk University where I majored in English and studied under the renowned Harlem Renaissance author Arna Bontemps. I recently retired after serving in several government agencies including the National Labor Relations Board and a number of Washington’s top law firms. Today I’m freelancing as a writer while promoting the Drew Smith series. The four volume legal thrillers and mysteries are based on the capers of an urban trial attorney. I love my hometown and so all of my stories are set in D.C. I try to adhere to the long tradition of regionalism and local color in his American literature.

I currently blog at editorialindependence.com devoted to promoting independent authors among other things. In the mid 90s I began freelancing for the local media. Some of my credits include The Writer Magazine, the Examiner, and Black Literature Magazine. In 2010 I established my own imprint Windmill Books through a Kickstarter project and launched the Drew Smith Series with the publication of Sleepless Nights. I am currently promoting the prequel to the Drew Smith Series, Minus One.

How long have you been writing?

I began seriously writing my freshman year in college. However the road to publication was long and hard. I was unsuccessful in my efforts to get into a journalism graduate school, so I went to law school which was probably the best thing that could happen to me. Legal studies helped provide a writing platform. I always wanted to write a novel and early on was draw authors like Earl Stanley Gardner and his Perry Mason character. That type of literature inspired the Drew Smith Series. I can’t tell you how many rejections I suffered along the way both in my non-fiction and fiction endeavors. Then through self reliance I began to build a serious body of work. I have learned that writing requires a long period of apprenticeship.

Tell us about your book. How did you come up with title?

Minus One the Drew Smith Series prequel takes us back when the attorney launches his legal career. Before the ink is dry on his license to practice law Drew Smith finds himself at the center of a murder mystery. The recent law school graduate works as a hotel concierge and befriends two bellmen an Arab and a Latino, Medhat and Julio. Like the three musketeers they bond in a fraternal friendship put to the test when Medhat is kidnapped after running up a drug tab he can’t pay. Rescued by Drew and Julio, Medhat then becomes the prime suspect in a string of murders. Driven by their romantic entanglements the attorney is captivated with a pretty Latina whose father objects to her dating a Black man. Julio and his Filipina love find themselves expecting, and Medhat’s passion for blondes gets him snared in a femme fatale’s net. Minus One captures Drew Smith’s evolution from youthful indiscretion to a professional burdened with seriousness of purpose.

Minus One is comprised of modern day three musketeers, Drew, Julio and Medhat. The title sums up their number at the end of this tale. I can’t tell you any more than that.

Did you self publish or go the traditional route and why?

After crafting four manuscripts and sending them out with some encouragement from pitch conferences I grew impatient and decided to self publish. It just so happened the publishing industry was undergoing some tectonic shifts with the growth of self publishing and the advent of the ebook. The time was ripe and as publishers were shifting promotion more and more to the authors I figured I could do just as well by myself. As a lawyer I had the skills necessary to set up the company. I raised $5,000 on Kickstarter and began to learn all I could about publishing. Next I hired my editors and designers and launched my first book, Sleepless Nights.

Where can readers find your book and what is the retail price?

You can find my books on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles as well as my own website NorwoodHolland.com. The books are available in paperback, Kindle and Nook. I have not yet placed it on Smashwords.

Talk about your blog and how listeners can subscribe.

As I state in the intro to my blog: EditorialIndependence.com I am a publisher, writer and lawyer in love with the written word. Originally designed to be my own personal soap box this blog has evolved over time into a book review blog among other things, and occasionally still a soapbox. One topic particularly dear to me is the difficulties independent publishers and authors encounter in promoting their works. Therein lies this blog’s new found purpose, but unfortunately with the launch, a family medical crisis and my sudden retirement my blog has been laying dormant for the past 2 months. So I guess you can say I’ve been on hiatus. I hope to regroup over the summer and get back in making my weekly blog post. There is Subscription window on my blog where you can just enter you email address.

Are you working on a new book?

Yes, my next book due out in early 2014. It is titled Snakehead and it deals with human trafficking. The first draft is done but I’m thinking at this point full rewrite. I originally envisioned it as a mystery, but on second thought I’m thinking maybe a thriller where Drew Smith breaks a human trafficking ring.

Connect with the Author

Email – norwoodholland@aim.com
Website – http://www.norwoodholland.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Norwood22
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/norwood.holland


Minus One by Norwood HollandAbout the Book
Minus One: The Drew Smith Series

Minus One the Drew Smith Series prequel takes us back when the attorney launches his legal career. Before the ink is dry on his license to practice law Drew Smith finds himself at the center of a murder mystery. The recent law school graduate works as a hotel concierge and befriends two bellmen an Arab and a Latino, Medhat and Julio. Like the three musketeers they bond in a fraternal friendship put to the test when Medhat is kidnapped after running up a drug tab he can’t pay. Rescued by Drew and Julio, Medhat then becomes the prime suspect in a string of murders. Driven by their romantic entanglements the attorney is captivated with a pretty Latina whose father objects to her dating a Black man. Julio and his Filipina love find themselves expecting, and Medhat’s passion for blondes gets him snared in a femme fatale’s net. Minus One captures Drew Smith’s evolution from youthful indiscretion to a professional burdened with seriousness of purpose.

About The Author

Norwood Holland is a freelance writer, lawyer, and author of the Drew Smith legal thriller series based on the capers of an urban trial attorney. He is a graduate of Howard University School of Law with a bachelor’s degree in English from Fisk University where he studied under the renowned Harlem Renaissance author Arna Bontemps. Holland favors D.C.’s local color in his fiction and currently writes the blog editorialindependence.com devoted to promoting independent authors among other things.

He has served in several government agencies including the National Labor Relations Board and a number of Washington’s top national law firms. In the mid 90s Holland began freelancing for the local media. Some of his credits include The Writer Magazine, the Examiner, and Black Literature Magazine. Minus One follows up on the success of Sleepless Nights, the first in the Drew Smith Series.

Click here to read an excerpt. Like what you read? Then click here to purchase.

About Renee Spivey

Comments

  1. Thanks Renee for hosting Norwood on his book tour.

  2. Thank you Renee for a great interview. Writing and talking about one’s work is not always easy, but somehow you know how to bring out the best in an author. I hope your readers will enjoy Minus One and continue to follow the Drew Smith Series.

  3. Renee, thank you for a great interview with my new favorite AA author of legal thrillers, Norwood Holland. I was introduced to his Drew Smith series by a friend, loved both, and am eagerly anticipating book 3. Norwood, I think I’ll be at the Authors and Readers Rock Weekend in Bowie, MD in October, so I hope to meet you.

  4. Just finished Minus One. Holland is an amazing writer. His style is mature and refreshing – a true wordsmith!

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