When international bestselling author J. Kent Holloway began his writing career back in 2008, he'd already been working as a forensic death investigator for more than 13 years. Despite the fact he'd grown up on whodunnits as a kid, the last thing he wanted to do after working the real thing was write (or even read) mysteries; after all, he wrote (and read) fiction to escape the grind of his day-to-day life. He began his career by writing paranormal thrillers and adventure fiction. And he enjoyed it.
A couple of years into his writing career, he had the great honor of becoming friends with Warren Murphy, the prolific co-creator of "The Destroyer" (Remo Williams) series (one of Kent's all time favorite book series.) Warren took a liking to Kent and began mentoring him. Before long, Mr. Murphy began encouraging him to tap into his experience in homicide investigations and forensics to write something within the mystery genre. "Write what you know," he always told Kent. "You have such a unique experience that so many writers would kill for." So, after about a year of hounding, Kent Holloway set out to write his very first mystery. Or rather, a piece of crime fiction. That book, which was dedicated to Warren Murphy, was called "Clean Exit," and was one of Kent's most popular novels.
More than that, it ignited a passion for mysteries Kent had lost long before. You see, Kent got into the field of forensics because growing up he devoured all the Sherlock Holmes mysteries he could get his hands on. He loved Agatha Christie. Loved Hammett. And yes, even Warren Murphy's assassination duo, Remo Williams and his Master Chiun. With his love for mysteries burning once again, Kent set to writing several mystery series that became successes, what’s more he began noticing his private reading time changed from thrillers and adventures to mysteries of all kinds. Although he had a definite weak spot for lighthearted and witty whodunnits, or those filled with ghosts and an assortment of paranormal activity, he still wanted to distance himself, to some degree, from his day job.
This brings us to 2023. With retirement looming in just a few years, Kent Holloway, along with his high school pal and former newspaper publisher Sean Smith, has set out to create a business to continue after he is no longer knee-deep in dead bodies. What better way than to create a publishing company focused on the genre he loves more than anything else? Mysteries are where his passion lies, and mysteries are what he wants to focus on for the remainder of his life once he hangs up his Tyvek suit and latex gloves for good.
And that's how Charade Media, LLC was born. We hope you'll join us along our journey into the unknown!
" While working with Charade Media, it is my hope you will experience the personal dedication of our staff providing the best and most timely information necessary for both authors and readers alike. We will constantly work to review tactics and tools, aggressively market, and remain on the leading edge of technology to maintain Charade Media in the forefront of the publishing industry. My goal for Charade Media is to provide consistent communication, assertiveness, creativity, and relentless execution for each author, as well as every member of our Charade Media staff. "
Sean Smith, Publisher
Dedication. Expertise. Passion.
Sean Smith // Co-Owner/Publisher
Sean has had the privilege of working in a variety of professions over the course of his career. Experiences include manufacturing executive, sales, newspaper publisher, real estate professional, and publishing executive. He and his family have moved cross-country multiple times during his career and have been fortunate enough to experience living in multiple regions of the country. After reconnecting with his high school pal Kent, it became apparent that the next business venture was on the horizon. The business venture… Charade Media.
kent Holloway // Co-Owner/Managing Editor
Kent Holloway is an international bestselling author of mysteries and thrillers since 2008. He’s been publishing his own books, as well as other authors for about the same length of time. In 2011, Kent started his first publishing company, Seven Realms Publishing, which was a huge success. Seven Realms published an assortment of genres and had the great fortune to publish books by NY Times bestselling authors David L. Golemon and Jeremy Robinson, as well as the debut mystery novel by Hy Conrad, one of the head writers of TV’s Monk. Despite his beginnings in paranormal thrillers, Kent’s main passion is mysteries…specifically lighthearted fun whodunnits.
“I’ve worked in forensic death investigations for nearly 30 years. The last thing I want to do is read gritty and realistic crime fiction that reminds me of my day job. I’d much rather be tickled and entertained in my reading time, which is why I prefer cozies, traditional mysteries, and amazing locked room fare. Give me some of that, and you’ll have a fan for life.”
halle Smith // Acquisitions Editor/Editor
Halle Smith is currently attending Auburn University and will be graduating with a degree in professional and public writing. Despite the seemingly rigid nature of her academic pursuits, Halle is an avid pursuer of creative endeavors. From spending time in her pottery studio to discovering the mysterious and fantastical lands within the pages of her many books, Halle never shies away from an outlandish or thought-provoking idea. She is currently working on her first book.
Jordan Cooper // Marketing Director
Jordan is passionate about developing people and ideas to stand the test of time. He graduated with his master's in Educational Leadership from Texas Christian University and his bachelors at the University of North Alabama where he studied marketing and art. After getting his degrees, he moved to Nashville to focus on developing people through higher education and now works at Belmont University. He continues to find ways to challenge his creativity through working with Charade Media.
Avery Smith // Creative Content Specialist
Avery Smith is the Creative Content Specialist for Charade Media. After earning her bachelor's degree in English Literature from Belmont University, she accepted a job at Belmont and continues to write in her free time while working in student affairs. As an avid reader, Avery enjoys a good southern gothic. Some of her favorite authors include Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner, and Lee Smith. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her cat, Mara.
"The way to despair is to refuse to have any kind of experience." ~ Flannery O'Connor.
Britin Haller // Media Acquisitions Editor
Britin Haller has been training for this her entire life. Between happy days perusing Scholastic Book Fairs, writing stories of murder and arson at the age of eleven, Saturday night movies with Elvira Mistress of the Dark, growing up onstage and backstage in the theatre, and teaching herself to play The Legend of Zelda in nine hours without dying, Brit’s time to put all her artistic knowledge to good use in one place has finally arrived.
Despite being born with a cornfield in her backyard, Britin has had an exciting life, one a little girl from Indiana could only dream of. She caught the “watch me” bug early, and by a young age was entertaining nursing home residents with her singing voice and stellar baton twirling. Not surprisingly, she went on to high school and college theatrics (in more ways than one,) graduating with a Communications degree in Radio/TV/Film and minors in Theatre and Creative Writing. Math was always out of the equation. Brit worked as the Public Service Director and Programming Assistant for a CBS affiliate where she voiced commercials and appeared on-air daily. As a celebrity wrangler, she regularly rubbed elbows with movie stars, sports stars, and rock stars, and in her capacity as a media escort for Penguin Random House, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster, she toured with New York Times bestselling authors.
She is co-founder of Messengers Paranormal, a ghost investigation team from South Florida, and for two years had her own column in GHOST! Magazine, regularly reporting on the latest scary movies and television shows.
Brit is currently serving her second term on the Board of Directors for the Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter. She is a twice previous co-chair of their annual conference SleuthFest where she worked with Sue Grafton, Robert B. Parker, and many other icons. She ran their forensic fair and author auctions for over a decade and is now a feature writer and film and tv reviewer for “The Rap Sheet,” their monthly newsletter. Brit is also a previous recipient of MWA Florida's highest honor, the prestigious "Flamingo Award," presented for outstanding dedication to the chapter.
Britin researches with the best of them and isn’t nicknamed “The Google Queen” for nothing. She will utilize her experience in forensic studies when reading and editing, so do your homework. Or make it up in such a way to make it make sense, but if you think she won’t notice, she will. Hint, it’s spatter, not splatter. Hint two, throw in the word “thwarted” for brownie points. She loves that word and will be touched you read her bio. Brit has long been a talented editor for hire, and her strengths in continuity and character arcs are legendary in her own mind.
Depending on which alter is out at the moment, Brit enjoys visiting crime scenes, current favorite the Versace Mansion, and Walt Disney World, perennial favorite the Haunted Mansion. She believes in experiencing one new thing a week, so be prepared to be pulled into the fray. At literally any given point in her life, Britin’s best friend has been her cat (insert feline name here.)