Friday, January 11, 2013

Shades of Gray by Andy Holloman: Interview: Orangeberry Tour Stop


Hello Andy.  Thanks so much for stopping by today and agreeing to answer a few questions.  I’m looking forward to finding out a little about you.  What are your favorite types of books to read and why? I enjoy spy thrillers and other thrillers.  My favorite book of all time is John le Carre’s  “A Perfect Spy”  he writes with such richness, texture, and complexity that I often find myself pausing to decipher what I just read.  He is a master of the “gray” character in that his characters have a blending of good and bad traits.   I love Lehane for this same reason.

What inspires you as a writer? ……..    I feel inspired by the craft of storytelling.  I truly enjoy the process of laying down the “tracks” of the story.  I’m inspired by throwing my characters into difficult situations and  then finding creative solutions to their problems.  My inspiration comes from the “perspiration” that my characters feel in the story.  (smile)

When did you have that ah ha moment when you knew you were a writer? …..I found it easy to consider myself a writer when I joined a writers group around 2004 in the Cary NC area.  I would STRONGLY recommend that anyone that wants to publish a novel to join a local writers group.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? …  Perfect happiness for me would be living in Montana during the summer (near Yellowstone) and in Costa Rica during the winter. I would want just enough money to live on (without a day job)  and time to write.  (and someone else to drive my kids everywhere.)

What turns you on creatively? ..  I’m  turned on by difficult situations that folks (characters) have to work their way out of.  I’m very evil in that way!  Coming up with creative problems and likewise, creative solutions, is very fun (and turns me on, you know, in a creative kinda way)

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? .. My first and only novel overused the word “sweetie” when the main characters addressed the child, who was one of the important supporting characters.  Have been reminded of this by more reviewers than I would care to mention.   No more “sweeties” for me, ever !

What is your greatest regret? … I love to travel and did a good deal of it when I was a travel agency owner in the 1990’s (plus I didn’t have any kids.) but wish that I would have taken time after college to move to Europe and live in England or France or Switzerland for a year or so.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? …. So far, hands down, my children.  The three of them are very interesting, different, well-mannered (okay, well the currently 14 yr old daughter was NOT well-mannered between ages 12 and until recently!), and smart.  Seeing them take shape gives me great pride. 

Is there a character from SHADES OF GRAY that you feel like you could explore further and may like to go back to at another time and write about them again? Undoubtedly that character would be Travis.   In the novel, Travis is presented as a young boy and then the story skips to him in his late 30’s but I know that his development through his teen and young adult years would be terrific fodder for more writing.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller / Suspense 
Rating – R (for language) 
September 2012 –  Finalist, Reader’s Favorite,  Fiction-Suspense

July 2012 – Kindle Book Review,  Semi-Finalist, Thriller/Mystery

April 2012 —  #1 BestSeller, Amazon, Men’s Adventure 

“Debut novelist Andy Holloman speeds us on a journey with punch, twist, and emotional dilemmas straight from our worst fears.  Shades of Gray is a colorful, rollicking ride from start to finish.” - Franz Wisner, New York Times bestselling author of “Honeymoon with My Brother” and “How the World Makes Love”  


How far would you go to save your child’s life?  Could you break the law?       

What if your  business was suddenly in danger of going under because of 9/11 ?        


 A single father decides to partner up with woman from the opposite side of the tracks.    


Can their partnership deliver the cash they BOTH desperately need?

Could they fall in love?

And will they survive to see the Summer of 2002?

In the Fall of 2001, John’s life has fallen off a cliff.  His six- year-old daughter,  Lucy, needs a kidney transplant and his Durham, NC  travel agency has been wrecked by the events of 9/11.  He must find a way to secure a large amount of money quickly in order to pay for Lucy’s surgery.  He’s been in tight places before but he’s currently out of solutions.

Wanda, a client of John’s travel agency, has had her livelihood hit hard by 9/11 also.  She can no longer transport cocaine via airline flights due to increase airport security.  Like John, she is a single parent  and has wanted to get out of her line of work for several years.   She needs more money to allow her and daughter Tonya, to move from Durham to California and break free of her boss, Jamel.

John and Wanda form a partnership around a plan to smuggle cocaine via cruise ships.  His industry knowledge and connections would remove the transportation risks and she could handle the distribution and selling once they brought the drugs back to Durham.

Despite being nearly killed on their first run, it worked.   Wanda coaxes John into another trip while Jamel  is becoming suspicious of Wanda.  John’s half-brother Travis, a Durham police detective battling his own demons, can’t connect the dots between John and Wanda . He continues to line his pocket with ill-gotten gains.  Lucy and John are the most important people in his life and he would gladly provide them with financial help, if only John would ask.

How far should a father go to save his child?  Can a man and woman from completely different worlds help each other?  Could they fall in love?  And which one of these people will live to see the summer of 2002?  Find the answers in Shades of Gray, a debut novel by Andy Holloman.

 (Combine “Breaking Bad” and “Cops” with a disturbing, dark remake of “The Love Boat” and you have all the flavors of  SHADES OF GRAY)


Just like the protagonist in my novel, Shades of Gray,  I was the owner of  travel agency for 12 years (mostly in the 90′s).  But this is the only similarity between myself and John Manning!   (I never ventured into the cocaine business, I swear.)

 I grew up in Greenville, NC and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Economics.  All through high school and college, I was notorious for scribbling out stories and ideas for novels (hey, this was before wordprocessors!)  and always kept them in a top secret shoe box. (and the box is so top secret that I’ve been trying to find it for 15 years!).

       After college, I fell into the travel industry by accident and was able to grow a travel business  into an Inc. 500 company.  The agency grew  through the use of the Internet and by acquiring three other companies.  Late in the 1990’s, I became familiar with the story of one of the my company’s clients who was murdered in Durham, NC and was a suspected drug smuggler.    This story and the subsequent downfall of the travel agency industry (and my company)  after 9/11,  planted a seed in my head that grew into my first published novel, Shades of Gray.  I began writing this novel in 2003, shelved after completion in 2006, and revived in 2011 thanks to a great friend from a writers group in Cary, NC.

      Today, I live in the Raleigh, NC area.  I am the father of three,  and have been happily married for 20 years.  I enjoy (mostly) attending my kids sporting and school events, supporting the local real estate industry, and watching fine films with my wonderful wife.  Whenever possible, I enjoy the beauty of North Carolina’s mountains,  running, camping, and short walks on the beaches of the Outer Banks (several references to OBX in my book) .    I am also an avid reader (time permitting), and a social media goofball.   Most evenings I can be found tapping out my next novel,  due for release in late 2013.   Stay tuned!

    Connect with me!
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      Next Stops

      12th January – Book Review at Live to Read

      13th January – Author Interview & Book Feature at The Book Connoisseur

      14th January – Twitter Blast with OB Book Tours

      15th January –  Guest Post at Author’s Friend

      16th January – Author Interview at Aspiring Book Reviews

      17th January – Book Review at Five Lil Bass

      18th January – Guest Post at Bits & Bobs


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