The Owl books were a lot of fun to write. The concept of a private detective who didn’t sleep spawned itself almost naturally from my lifestyle at the time.
I was young enough (and dumb enough) so that I would routinely stay awake for three nights in a row. I’m sure you’ve been there. You start by pulling an all-nighter for some test or work deadline. Then you stay up a second night celebrating the successful completion of aforementioned test or deadline. At which point, you are running on fumes and probably not making the best decisions. So you decide to stay up a third night just to see if you can do it.
Justice Never Sleeps
Somewhere in there (probably during one of those third nights) I created a character who never slept at all. I realized such a character would have a lot of advantages, especially in a climate such as Los Angeles. Every day I’d read about some fugitive from justice apprehended while hiding in a hotel or a relative’s home. They were always caught staying somewhere. They had to – they had to sleep.
But a man who didn’t sleep wouldn’t need to stop. He could sit down to rest, but he’d always be on guard. He wouldn’t have to go unconscious for a third of his life. He could do things. Exciting things.
Like, y’know, kill people.