Friday, February 8, 2019

Smuggler by Nicholas Fillmore Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway

by Nicholas Fillmore


GENRE: Memoir/True Crime



When twenty-something post-grad Nick Fillmore discovers the zine he’s been recruited to edit is a front for drug profits, he begins a dangerous flirtation with an international heroin smuggling operation and in a matter of months finds himself on a fast ride he doesn’t know how to get off of.

After a bag goes missing in an airport transit lounge he is summoned to West Africa to take a voodoo oath with Nigerian mafia. Bound to drug boss Alhaji, he returns to Europe to put the job right, but in Chicago O’Hare customs agents “blitz” the plane and a courier is arrested.

Thus begins a harried yearlong effort to elude the Feds, prison and a looming existential dead end…. Smuggler relates the real events behind OITNB.


Excerpt One:

At the other end of the terminal was another set of steel doors—simple double doors leading right out to the street, daylight and fresh air strobing through each time someone exited; cabs lined up and waiting, freedom lingering out there.

I hoisted my bag over my shoulder, bypassing the baggage carousels where a cop was walking around with a dog, and headed towards the doors. A single Customs Agent was perched on a stool to the far right, reading a magazine. As I got about a third of the way there, he seemed to stir. I changed direction ever so slightly.

He roused himself. A small group was moving toward him from the right, but he seemed to ignore them.

I looked out the corner of my eyes for someone, anyone I could fall in behind, but everyone seemed blissfully out of reach—and I imagined this is what it must feel like to drown: to take one last desperate look at help swimming strongly away.

Then the agent sauntered ever so slowly out into the middle of the room. My heart raced. Then he looked up. I saw it coming, could feel it coming. Oblivious to the rest of the herd, he’d singled me out; and for a second I felt I might just swoon right there. Then some sort of instinct kicked in. I resigned myself to being questioned and headed right at him.

For some seconds he hung back as I did my best to play the part of the unassuming traveler.

“Where are you coming from, sir?” he asked, at an angle.

“Paris,” I said.

“Can I see your ticket?”

I handed him my ticket.

“How long were you in Paris?”

“A week.”

“What were you doing there?”


“What kind of business.”

“Magazine. Publishing.”

“What magazine?”

And here I faltered. Nun Civa Orcus. What the hell was that? My mind raced for all sorts of explanations. For a second I considered making something up. But that would only mean trouble. You tend to say stupid things when you veer from the script like that. Someone might ask your name, for instance, and under duress you might say Peter Rabbit or Dick Nixon, who the hell knew? Had he detected my hesitation? I had to speak.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Nicholas Fillmore attended the graduate writing program at University of New Hampshire. He was a finalist for the Juniper Prize in poetry and co-founded and published SQUiD magazine in Provincetown, MA. He is currently at work on Sins of Our Fathers, a family romance and works as a reporter and lecturer in English. He lives on windward Oahu with his wife, his daughter and three dogs.


Where are you from?
I come from the silt-rich and alluvial river-bottom miles between Hartford. Ct and Springfield, Ma.
Tell us your latest news?
I’m giving away the Kindle version of Smuggler this weekend, Fri., Sat., Sun., because it occurs to me lately how important it is to have insightful readers to propagate works of literature. As a poet you are compensated by an image of yourself toiling away in saintly obscurity after some alchemical notion … but prose announces itself differently; it’s supposed to be read—rather than locked away in a spell book in a dresser drawer.
When and why did you begin writing?
I guess I’ve been writing since grade school. I have a folder with lots of little stories accompanied by crayon illustrations next two a folder with lots of earnest high-school essays, next to a folder with lots of eager, error-filled undergraduate writing, next to another folder of graduate essays and poetry, next to another folder, and so on.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
One has moments of validation—a successful poem, image, idea—followed by inevitable self-doubts … so that one is always eager to make oneself worthy again of being called a writer.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I didn’t like what other people were writing about me. The only thing those people are interested in is justifying themselves. This is the problem of the conventional wisdom, which is every writer’s sworn enemy.
What would you like my readers to know?

I would like your readers to know that everything I wrote was a matter of life and death. I’m not fu*king around.

Publisher Website



Nicholas Fillmore will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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