Author, English lecturer and reporter Nicholas Fillmore ’85 recently published Smuggler, a personal memoir and exposé to an international drug importation conspiracy. Fillmore’s narrative follows the rise and legal travails of Nigerian Senator Buruji Kashamu, and reveals a compelling backstory to the popular novel and original TV series, Orange is The New Black.
The memoir follows Fillmore through his 20s as he discovers the zine he’s been recruited to edit is a front for drug profits. The episode gives him proximity to an international heroin smuggling operation.
Smuggler has received praise in the IndieReader, NetGallery and The Hollywood Reporter. “The bust and its aftermath inspired an important piece of pop culture history: Nearly two decades later, the acclaimed Netflix series Orange Is the New Black debuted. It was the fictionalized story of Piper Kerman and her 15-month sojourn in a federal prison, the result of her real-life association with Fillmore, the mysterious Alaji and 12 other co-defendants in what remains one of the largest drug ring takedowns in the last 20 years,” The Hollywood Reporter writes.
An English major at the Colleges and member of the Statesmen baseball team, Fillmore went on to attend the graduate writing program at University of New Hampshire – where he studied under Pulitzer Prize recipient and U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Simic.
Fillmore was a finalist for the Juniper Prize in poetry and co-founded and published SQUiD magazine in Provincetown, Mass. Currently, Fillmore is a reporter for Courthouse News Service and a lecturer in English at Hawaii Pacific University. He is working on a romance novel titled, “Sins of Our Fathers.”