Meet The Author

Meet The Author: Interview with Norwood Holland

Stopping by Authors & Readers Book Corner is Norwood Holland, a freelance writer, lawyer, and author of the Drew Smith legal thriller series based on the capers of a bon vivant DC trial attorney. Holland is a graduate of Howard University School of Law and earned his degree in English from Fisk University where he studied under the renowned Harlem Renaissance author Arna Bontemps. He has served in several government agencies including the National Labor Relations Board and several top Washington law firms. In the mid-90s he began freelance writing with bylines in The Writer Magazine and the Examiner. He blogs at editorialindependence.comMaterial Witness is third in the series launched with Sleepless Nights, followed by the prequel Minus OnePrivate Number the fourth series installment will be released in early 2019.

Get to Know The Author Norwood Holland:

Why should people read your book?

Material Witness is an enjoyable, easy read. The characters are clearly defined, and the suspense carries the reader from beginning to end. The series has an addictive quality, and you don’t have to start the series at the beginning. Each can be a standalone read, but most readers are left wanting more. People love Drew Smith, he has an emotional connection that invests readers. His bravado appeals to the male reader, while his good looks and hypersexual nature appeals to women. The reader derives pleasure in following Drew Smith’s emotional swings, his romantic woes, and his professional challenges.

 Who are the audiences for your book?

Material Witness was written for those who love legal thrillers and mysteries, but it also has broad appeal for those who enjoy popular fiction. It’s sexy with a hint of romantic suspense. There is something there for those who prefer romance, as well as the action adventure reader.

What is the setting of your novel and how is it significant?

The setting is Washington DC, and why DC? It’s my home where I was born and bred. It’s a world-class city full lawyers and politicians, statesmen and foreign diplomats. There is a lot of glint and glamour, but if you dig below the surface, there is a dark side with its gritty crime and backstreets you can see the real human condition. There is a juxtaposition of the oppressed, poor people struggling to make a living in a world saturated with wealth. Cities create wealth, and that’s what draws people to them. Washington is a reflection of the American character with its monuments, and sprawling suburbs. It’s an ideal setting to tell an American story.

Narration: Does the protagonist or an associate of the protagonist narrate? Or does the author write with detached objectivity, able to read minds and interpret motives? How did this affect your perceptions of what is going on? Is this narrator a reliable witness of events?

Sleepless Night’s varied from the third person to first-person narration. And my skills as the writer were not as sharp as they are now. I’ve chosen now to write in a strictly first-person narrative from Drew Smith’s point of view. When I decided to write thrillers I learned the First person was the best method suitable for writing thrillers because it allows for a lot of immediacy and emotion that would serve a thriller well.

Driver: Would you say that the novel is primarily character-driven or plot-driven? Or is there an effective combination of the two?

I would say Material Witness is plot driven. There is a murder, and the pursuit of the murderer is the primary focus. But the significance of the character-driven subplots cannot be dismissed.

 Characters:  Who are the central characters? Where do your sympathies naturally lie? Are their motivations, flaws and qualities credible, or merely means to drive the plot?

My primary characters are Drew Smith and the people he interacts with on a daily basis. Julio is his best friend for life. He is Drew’s sidekick fighting alongside him in trenches. The women in their lives also play a significant role. They keep their men grounded and focused. The open way for us to see their vulnerabilities, their desires, ambitions, and goals. Without the women, there would be no window to their motivations, flaws, and credible qualities.

Development:  Do the characters undergo any significant change or development? Did any of their actions or words provoke reflection or further revelation about them as people?

Character evolution is each book is incremental, Drew Smith character is strengthened over the long term. The changes are not really discernable in each book. But I have a five book vision of the series which I plan to develop into a cable TV series, but right now each book is plot driven. Drew is coming to accept his mental health infliction. The future problem how will he deal with it. Is there something good that can come from it?


Find the Author & Book At:

Web site:






About The Book

Material Witness is a legal thriller and the third novel in the Drew Smith series. The DC trial attorney undertakes a murder investigation of a law school pal. Smith recruits fellow lawyer Edward Miller and TV news reporter Stephanie Gilchrist. The three become entangled in a love triangle while Smith is coping with his post-traumatic stress disorder. Material Witness follows the series prequel Minus One expanding on Smith’s mental health issues as his PTSD progresses into the paranormal. Smith’s friend Medhat tragically died in Smith’s arms from a gunshot wound. The shock and Drew’s underlying guilt inflicted a post-traumatic stress disorder condition. The condition progresses with Medhat’s lifelike visits with Drew in his dreams.

The investigation leads to the Chinese underworld of human smuggling and endangers his investigation team. As the investigation races toward resolution Smith finds Gilchrist and Miller lives in hostages. Drew Smith races against time in a life-threatening chain of events to save them.

Meet The Author

Meet The Author: Interview with Deneen Mariette Joyner

Deneen Mariette Joyner a seventh daughter and seventh generation Black Indian woman knew since the age of five that she was different. Otherworldly metaphysical and spiritual experiences–that growing up in the 1960s in the conservative city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania wasn’t popular having or even understandable. Sharing these experiences with anyone would have branded her as strange, weird or outright crazy. So instead she learned to stifle these experiences to blend in.

Despite having anxiety with having spiritual gifts inherited from both her Native American and West African Igbo ancestors, she also had a difficult childhood riddled with; father abandonment, teen sexual abuse, poverty, severe neglect; bullying, being an outcast, date rape, strained relationships with men, homelessness, and attempts at suicide to end her suffering. Her painful and traumatic life became lost over time as she learned unhealthy self-destructive coping mechanisms to deny and dumb it all. After 47 years of silently crying the pain from her past, in 2011 she awakened and decided to begin the journey to atone and become a student of her life.
In 2014 after mastering her life and doing the deep spiritual work needed to be completely healed from emotional pain, Deneen Marlette Joyner received the greatest gift of all…knowing who she is and the very important role that has been passed on to her by ancestors and the Great Spirit.

Now, embracing her truth and fully understanding her family’s spiritual legacy, Deneen has written her first book, “Soul Wounds & Sacred Revelations.” In this memoir, Ms. Joyner takes readers on the journey from her painful past to her transformational self-healing.

Today she steps forth as an expert on emotional pain, sharing ancient wisdom with individuals and audiences on how to partner and utilize the energy itself as a catalyst for self-exploration, personal empowerment, and spiritual enlightenment.
The core of her brand is centered in her ancestor’s 300-year legacy in healing lost souls, blended with her contemporary approach to self-guided healing. She is spreading her message of inspiration and hope through her writing and as a transformational speaker.

Deneen holds B.A. and M.A degrees in Psychology and Adult Education and Instructional Training with an emphasis in Curriculum Design.

Get to Know The Author and The Book:

Tell us what inspired you to write your first book: Soul Wounds and Sacred Revelations?

I was inspired to write my book after personally carrying emotional pain silently for over four decades. After hitting rock bottom in 2011 and beginning a journey through self-healing, I was delivered to my healing in 2014. I now understand what it entails to awaken, journey forward and be fully healed. I am honored to share all that I learned.

What is the one thing that people get wrong about emotional pain?

Most people believe that they can avoid having to ever face emotional pain because they have developed methods for coping with carrying it. However, if healing is not sought, it is inevitable that they will hit rock bottom.

You say in your book that your curiosity led you to uncover and discover not only things about yourself but about your family; what did you learn?

I uncovered that I was my own worst enemy and that most of my inner dialogue was self-destructive, unkind and counter intuitive to my believing healing was possible. I discovered an emotional framework surrounding my familial history in responding to emotional pain and how I unconsciously adopted them and used them as my way to respond.

Your book touches on an array of subjects relating to gaining personal awareness, what role does consciousness play in healing?

Consciousness plays a huge part in self-healing. If you are not conscious of your emotional behaviors, ways you show up in the world and what you tell yourself to avoid pain then you will be unaware and less likely to respond differently.

Why do you respect emotional pain?

I have a deep respect for emotional pain because I discovered its true purpose which is not to simply create misery in our lives but to awaken us to master powerful lessons associated with past painful events, so we may begin a healing journey and arrive at our highest self.

What is one thing that you can share with readers to help them in their own healing journey?

You are never too old to heal your pain. The reason most people choose to carry emotional pain versus healing is because they believe that whatever they experienced will overwhelm them if they face it and they will not be able to recover. The truth is you already have conquered the difficult part, surviving, so what your soul requires next is that you both acknowledge the event(s) that keep you hostage and give yourself permission to awaken and heal.

Now that you are completely healed, how are you helping others?

As a spiritual teacher and advisor, I humbly guide others who are still in the throes of emotional pain, utilizing my personal experiences, professional expertise and gifts as a Shaman to prepare them to courageously awaken and embark upon a journey of their own.

Find the Author & Book at:

Website/ Facebook/ Email

About The Book 

Soul Wounds and Sacred Revelations foundationally begs the questions: Why have we settled to live with emotional pain? How do our present responses tie us to our past? Why must we hit rock bottom for God to gain our attention? To end the struggle, we must look at ourselves, really look-not at who we think we are, but who we truly are: more divine than human. Deep within our hearts, we know this. The book gives us permission to break our own hearts and be wrong about all the ugly things we’ve thought about ourselves to reach ground zero and rebuild ourselves in a divine image. Author Joyner, takes readers on an indigenous healing journey as she recounts her dark knight of the soul in 2011 that almost left her dead by suicide. Witness vulnerability, courage and power as she transforms her life from a hostage to emotional pain to a modern day warrior daughter as she fights to end decades of carrying emotional pain. At the heart of this beautiful memoir, is the guided wisdom channeled to her by the ancient voices of her Native American and Igbo ancestors which readers can use as a guide, as well, to explore past and present experiences with pain.

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Meet The Author

Meet The Author: Interview with Denise J. Bryson

Stopping by Authors & Readers Book Corner is author Denise J Bryson.  She first tried writing in the fourth grade and after being accused of plagiarism for her original work never wanted to write again. Twenty years later her book “Dark Reflections” was born and once completed her imagination was off and running. She never lets negativity close off her creativity. With three other self-published novels under her belt she is actively searching for a agent to help her further her career. She belongs to Motown Writers Group as well as others and she is a strong supporter of the return to glory for Detroit, Mi. Denise lets us in on the inspiration behind her current title, her characters and what she hopes readers tske from In the Footsteps of A Killer.

Can you tell us about In the Footsteps of A Killer and the inspiration behind the story?

In The Footsteps of a Killer came mostly to me in a dream. I have always been a very vivid dreamer. I dream in color, black and white, I can sometimes smell, I can feel, just very vivid. So In The Footsteps of a Killer came to me in sections. I dreamed the beginning; mostly that Albert was a boy from a very bad home. I dreamed a few smaller parts then I dreamed the ending. In The Footsteps of a Killer is an urban paranormal thriller. Urban in the sense that it is set in an urban city, Detroit to be exact and its female lead is a Black woman. For the most part my heroines are all black woman. Paranormal speaks for itself and well I like to think that the action and range of emotions that it takes you through will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Tell us about Albert Cain Macarthur.

Albert starts out like all of us. A young child who by bad luck or karma perhaps is born into a bad family situation. He soon learns that he isn’t wanted or loved and as a child he finds his only escape is murder. This becomes his way of life and as he gets older his places the blame for his bad life on the women in his life. And so it begins.

Tell us about Leah Moore.

Leah is born almost 20 years after Albert has been executed for his crimes. Her childhood is his direct opposite. She is loved, honored and brought up in the Catholic Church. Due to a near tragic accident she becomes mentally connected to his spirit and through her dreams she begins to experience him and his horrible history of murders.

Albert’s character seems to be a product of his environment, how important was his life struggles to the story?

Oh his environment makes him into what he is completely. The lack of love, encouragement and utter abandonment create an awful monster, so much to the point that you are torn between hating him and feeling sorry for him.

What attracted you to horror and mystery?

As a kid me and my sister’s would watch horror movies on TV with my Mom. She was a horror guru, so as a kid we would watch and come on, how can you be afraid of the monsters when you’re sitting there with Mom. As I got older we would read the same books, a lot of Stephen King and then talk about what we thought. So she read In The Footsteps of a Killer and when she finished she asked me…”Did I do this to you?” all I could do was laugh and say…”Umm yeah”. She actually said it scared her. I’m glad she had the opportunity to read it before she went home to the Lord.

What challenges have you encountered with the writing and publishing industry?

Not being taught how to write because well I didn’t really start until late in life, I never learned the ins and outs. But thanks to a great crew at Artistic Words Publishing I’m learning on the fly, on the job training…lol. Just getting used to being on a deadline and the fact that I’m no longer writing just for me but that others are depending on me to come through in a timely fashion is challenging. Just had a snappo recently that I’m in the process of fixing. Right Audrey?…lol.

When writing, do you have a writing process?

Can you share two writing tips that have helped you? I really don’t have much of a process. I have learned that writing from an outline is a great tool. You can use it like a road map and when you get lost you can refer back to it and boy do I get lost. So first I’d say use and outline and second READ. Read your genre. Read outside of your genre. Read about your genre. Read books on how to write. Thank goodness for the internet.

What are five things your readers don’t know about you?

1. My first job was at Sears and Robuck behind the candy counter. No trouble there.
2. I was a nerd in high school.
3. I almost graduated with a 4.0. GPA but I spent half of the 12thgrade at home sleeping. (After Mom went to work)
4. I started watching hockey, Detroit Redwing Hockey because of a boyfriend.
5. I never wanted to be a Flight Attendant but it pays the bills for now.

What new projects are you working on?

My sequel Through the Eye’s of a Killer is in the editing stage now. That’s where the snappo accured. I had 2 different versions (long story) so I’m going through both now to get the right one in the hands of Artistic Words Publishing AWP. Asap, I also have a short story complication that I’m adding to when I find time. Bedtime Stories for Brandon.

Where can readers find you?

Facebook, twitter, pintrest,,,

You can get a copy of In The Footsteps of a Killer at

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2nd website

About The Book 

Leah Moore is a freelance photographer for the Detroit Police Department. She was four years old when she was electrocuted on a raging stormy night. Little did she or her parents know that she would become a part of Albert’s satanic ritual of good versus evil. Something has haunted her, through nightmares and murderous visions, for over twenty years. Things are coming to a head, and soon, Leah will come face to face with her destiny. Can she survive or has her fate been sealed?

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Author Central

Meet The Author

Meet The Author: Interview with Michele Israel Harper

Stopping by Authors & Readers Book Corner today is Michele Israel Harper. Michele is an author, editor, avid reader and book reviewer. She is also publisher at L2L2 Publishing, holds many positions in literary organizations, besides being a full-time wife and mother. Her hobbies are scrapbooking, dancing and photography. Michele shares her inspiration behind becoming a writer, her tips on worldbuilding and her writing process.

Tell us about Michele Israel Harper and what inspired you to become a writer?

My writing journey began at a couples’ retreat, when my husband and I sat with another couple who were talking about the husband’s hobby of novel writing. As I sat there and listened to him and his wife, the overwhelming urge to write my own book overcame me until I couldn’t take it anymore. I sat down and wrote my first novel, Zombie Takeover, in a little under a month. I had tried to be so many things–a professional dancer and archaeologist among them, neither of which worked out–but it had honestly never occurred to me that I could write books! I devoured books, spent most of my childhood combing used bookstores, and made up stories when I didn’t have anything to read. It swiftly became an outlet for all the stories I’d been imagining in my head for years, and story after story came pouring out. I can’t imagine doing anything else, I love it so much! Books are my life.

Can you tell us about Kill the Beast and the inspiration behind the story?

Absolutely! Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite fairy tale. After all, it’s set in France, Belle has brown hair and eyes just like me–which was a big deal when I was a little girl–she loves books, and she found love in the most unexpected and solitary of places. I’m majorly an introvert, so being locked up in a castle with nothing but books for company sounds like heaven! (Okay, much less so the locking up part…) But I didn’t want to retell Disney’s version; I wanted to focus on the original La Belle et la Bêteby Madame Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, which is much more involved and detailed than the much later and much abridged version by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. I did so much research, and I pray it shows and I got it right!

Kill the Beast is a retelling, which are known for world building, what two tips would you give a writer learning world building for their story?

The most important tip I would give for world building is to look at the world around you. The difference in cultures, the many foods available, the vastly different terrains, the different monetary systems, religious systems, etc.–take everything that makes our world unique and apply it to your story. And mix it up! My story was set in France, so I spent countless hours pouring over maps, customs, 18th Century history, coinage, holidays, ports, trade routes–the list goes on and on and on. Although it was more historical in nature, I needed to see what was fact, so I knew what I could take and twist and change for my own tale. But maybe you should combine Chinese culture with Western United States. (Firefly, anyone?) There is so much right at our fingertips that can be used to make a vast and unique story world!

You have many talents, book reviewer being one of them, who or what started you reviewing books?

I started reviewing books when I was approached by several authors who wanted feedback about their new releases. Instead of simply leaving a review on Amazon, I took it a step further and added a more detailed review on my blog. Then I signed up for a NetGalley account and started reviewing for several publishing houses until I had so many books I couldn’t keep up! After my own writing took off and I started acquiring for L2L2 Publishing, I stopped reviewing as much as I used to. I still try to leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads if I absolutely adore a book, though!

When writing, do you have a writing process? Can you share two writing tips that have helped you?

I have tried to outline and plot till my brain went numb and I swore I would never write again, but no matter how hard I try, I am not a plotter. My brain doesn’t work that way. I discover my story as I’m writing it. Kill the Beast is the only book I extensively outlined, and it took me four years to write it, instead of the one to two months my other books have. Instead of outlining, I keep a research sheet, a character sheet, a place-setting sheet, and a timeline, and I type out the details as they come to me or when I have to research a detail. My advice is to find what works best for you! I love Scrivener, but I have to write the first draft in Word for some reason. I love the idea of outlining, but it tends to derail me instead of help the story. My other piece of advice is to find or start a writing group. Every Thursday evening, I join a lovely group of writers and we pound out words in sprints until we’re falling asleep on our keyboards or the person with keys has to go home. I wrote 5,601 words last night! Brand-new, beautiful words that fed my soul. Do what it takes to set aside writing time to create.

What have you learned from the writing and publishing industry that has helped in your writing career?

Don’t give up. This industry is one that takes time. It takes time to develop your craft, to get that first, second, and third acceptance letter. It takes time to have your book properly edited by an industry professional who follows Chicago Manual of Style and knows what they’re doing. If you’re going indie, it takes time to save up for that edit and for a professional cover that is competitive in the marketplace. Don’t give up just because you’ve hit a few snags. This industry weeds out the die-hards from the hobbyists pretty quickly, especially if you get rejection letter after rejection letter. Use each as a learning experience, and do what it takes to excel in your field. It can be done, so hold on to hope! If you have stories burning inside of you, then for the love, write. Only you can tell your story.

Tell us two to five things your readers don’t know about you.

I am a rabid fan of all things French and I love Paris more than any other city in the world; the color red is my happy place; quiet, peace, and solitude refresh me and give me strength to face people, especially talkative, extroverted people; I was once hired on as a dance instructor at a major dance company; and I once French-kissed a giraffe on a dare. (For those of you as concerned as I’d be if I read that, some guys dared me to put a food pellet between my lips for the giraffe to eat. I obviously didn’t think it through, the giraffe’s mile-long tongue went in my mouth and plucked the food out, and I gagged for days. Just don’t do it.)

What new projects are you working on?

Right now I have three projects going–a prequel novella for Zombie Takeover, the sequel to Zombie Takeover calledVampire Feud, and the sequel to Kill the Beast, Silence the Siren. It’s another of my writing quirks! I have to be writing more than one story at a time to keep the spark of loving what I do alive.

Where can readers find you?

On my website (, Facebook (@MicheleIsraelHarper), Instagram (@Michele_Israel_Harper), or Twitter (@micheleiharper). I’m also on Amazon and Goodreads! 🙂

Thanks for the interview.

Thank you so much for having me! I am thrilled to be featured on your blog.

About The Book

Ro remembers the castle as it was before. Before the gates closed. Before silence overtook the kingdom. Before the castle disappeared. Now it shimmers to life one night a year, seen by her alone.

Once a lady, now a huntress, Ro does what it takes to survive, just like the rest of the kingdom plunged into despair never before known.

But a beast has overtaken the castle; a beast that killed the prince and holds the castle and kingdom captive in his cruel power. A beast Ro has been hired to kill.

Thankful the mystery of the prince’s disappearance has been solved, furious the magical creature has killed her hero, Ro eagerly accepts the job to end him.

But things are not as they seem.

Trapped in the castle, a prisoner alongside the beast, Ro wonders what she should fear most: the beast, the magic that holds them both captive, or the one who hired her to kill the beast.

A Beauty and the Beast retelling.

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