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Interview: Stephen Langford co-author of White Sleeper

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 A veteran writer producer of over 150 hours of primetime television writing, Stephen Langford’s credits include Family Matters and Malcolm and Eddie. Mr. Langford later became a screenwriter writing the motion picture Lovewrecked. His latest produced film is The Nanny Express which is running on the Hallmark Channel. 

Langford grew up in the Boston area and later attended Emerson College where he received a Bachelor of Science in film. After graduating, Mr. Langford began working in the motion picture field working for such well-known film directors as Sidney Lumet and Joel Schumacher.

Langford resides in Tarzana with his wife, Sandy, and their two children.

For more information on White Sleeper, please be sure to visit the website!

I want to thanks Stephen Langford for taking the time to answer a few questions for readers.  

Please tell us a bit about your book, White Sleeper, and what you hope readers take away from reading it.

White Sleeper is the story of a CDC investigator Dr. Dave Richards, who comes across a puzzling incident. Three families in Arkansas come down with rabies, botulism and black plague. The only connection is a trip they took to New York together. Richards is on the verge of being sacked by the CDC and has to solve the case if he has any chance of a career. He uncovers a plot by a domestic terrorist to unleash an attack on the public that we’ve never seen before. Our hope is that people will take away how dangerous the world of terrorism can be and we hope they have a thrill ride of a read.

Who are your favorite characters in the story?

We had the most fun with Mr. Smith. He’s a sweaty-palms-afflicted CIA operative who assists Dr. Richards in his quest to stop the impending attack.

Do you have a favorite line or excerpt from your book?

“The humidity was oppressive as he walked through Greenwich Village. He went down Bleecker and turned onto McDougal. His heart was pounding hard. Ben had never killed anyone before and he was about to kill two men. They were sub humans in his book but nevertheless the word human was in there somewhere. He checked the bowie knife that was tucked into his jacket. It was sharp and he nearly pricked his finger as he searched for it. He stopped at the foot of a brownstone. He pulled out a slip of paper with the target’s address and jammed it back into his pocket.

“A sexy freckled redhead came bounding out the front door and Ben caught it before it closed. Ben found a small elevator and got in. It was rickety and loud and said it could carry up to four hundred pounds. He doubted that. His one hundred and sixty five pound frame made the elevator struggle, but finally it stopped on the fifth floor.

“Ben stepped out and pulled two pictures out of Raffi and Ayin. He studied them. There couldn’t be any mistakes. Oren had given him this job as an act of faith. If he completed it, he’d gain the Arabs trust and access to their considerable resources. Ben was going to do his father’s bidding and get revenge for his mother’s death. He just had to pull this off.

“Ben found room 505. As he approached it, the door opened and out stepped a short curly-haired blonde carrying a knapsack. She was obviously a college student. She turned and kissed the man at the door — Raffi. She brushed past Ben and got into the elevator.

“Ben swallowed hard. He hadn’t counted on anyone else being there. He didn’t want to have to kill the girlfriend. That would be sloppy. He felt relieved when the elevator door closed and she headed down with it. He needed to terminate his two targets and escape. This was the right moment. The elevator would take at least two minutes to go down which meant no one could make their way up until another two. That left him four minutes to do what he came for.

“Ben could hear his heart slamming inside of his chest. He couldn’t understand why he was so nervous. He was finally taking action. He was removing a pair of invaders. His father would be proud. He kept repeating to himself in his head. “If you ain’t white you ain’t right.” His heart didn’t slow down no matter how many times he recited his mantra. Ben was angry with himself. He shouldn’t be nervous he should be exhilarated.

“Ben reached 505 and was about to knock on the door when he realized that the curly-haired blonde hadn’t properly closed the door.”

If your current release were to be turned into a movie, who would you love to see play what characters and why?

Matt Damon is a favorite of mine and Archie Punjabi from The Good Wife would be a great Paula.

What are your favorite aspects of writing?

I guess the story structure portion of creating the story.

You’re least favorite aspects of writing?

That’s easy, the endless rewriting and re-reading.

Who are some of your favorite authors/books?

Robin Cook, Michael Crichton are favorites in the genre we like to write in. In general, I like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Steig Larsson.

What are you reading right now?

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

If you could have a dinner party and invite five authors – dead or alive – who would they be and what would you serve them?

I guess Fitzgerald, Puzo, Crichton, Steinbeck and Cook. I’d serve Pink’s chili dogs, it’s the best chili dog in the country.

Is there a book that you wish you could say that you had written and why?

The Great Gatsby is an amazingly told story with wonderful prose. That’s very hard to do.

What is the greatest piece of advice (for writing and/or just living) that you have heard?

I think Bradbury said write every day. Those are words to live by.

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