OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University Emeritus Professor Michael Norman has recently published his first novel.
Earlier this month Poisoned Pen Press released Norman’s first novel, “The Commission,” a mystery that draws on his criminal justice background. The novel opens with the murder of Levi Vogue, the fictitious chairman of the Utah State Board of Pardons and Parole, in the driveway at his home. From what publications like Publisher’s Weekly are saying, it doesn’t slow down from there.
“I wanted to write a mystery that I would want to read,” Norman said. “In my book I try to entertain readers and keep their attention.”
Norman began writing the book more than four years ago as a personal challenge. “I’d published academic pieces for tenure, but those aren’t normally read outside of the academic community,” he said. “I wondered if I had a creative bone in my body, so I decided to try my hand at creative writing.”
When he set out to attempt a novel, however, he did not completely expect to succeed. “It took me 75 or 80 pages in before I realized I was going to be able to finish this,” he said. “I really thought I’d wake up one day, it wouldn’t be there anymore, and that would be that.”
Poisoned Pen Press believed in Norman’s work enough to sign him to a two-book series contract. Norman is putting the finishing touches on a sequel, “Silent Witness,” that also will feature lead character of “The Commission” Sam Kincaid. He plans to deliver it to the publisher this spring. “I’m not sure how many books we’ll do in the series,” he said. “It probably depends on how successful they are.”
Norman has been a WSU professor in the Department of Criminal Justice since 1981. He continues to teach an occasional course at the university, but took this semester off to focus on the release of his first novel.
Readers can find “The Commission” on sale at Barnes & Noble, Borders and Amazon.com, as well as local independent bookstores.
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