Interview With Barry Oberholzer, Author of The Black Market Concierge: Sanction Busting, Smuggling & Spying for America

Growing up did you ever think you would write a book? 

I would have never even thought about being an author. Although I always loved a good book, being an author never crossed my mind. Life has many surprises and becoming an author is one of them.

What was it that led you now, at this time, to share your story of working undercover?

I think the timing was right. I have been out of the CI world for some time and it allowed me to reflect on events and put it to paper. I also had to clear my name as I was portrayed in a media storm as a fraud when in fact, that was not the case.

Knowing the toll this took on your family and the danger it put them (as well as you) in, are you glad you took this path? Any regrets?

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. You don't chose your own path, but it depends what you do on the winding road. I have no regrets on what I have done or where it lead me. Today I am a stronger person than I was prior to all these events.

How did you approach the writing process - schedule time, when inspiration hit, etc.?

Once you are in a place like a South African jail - the worst prison system in the world - you have a lot of time to reflect. I decided that I would share my story once released and started immediately once I got out. Some days had more inspiration than others but it all came together very quickly. I spent all the free time I had writing this book.

Review HERE!
Did you keep a journal of this time, or did you need to recreate your story fully from memory?

The whole book was recreated from memory of events. I think that once you have been in these situations there is nothing like good memory to recall the raw emotion/fear/adrenaline during events

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? What was the hardest?

I enjoyed the therapeutic effect it had. It was like having a therapist by writing it all down! The hardest was the final review where I did have to chose between what to include and exclude for both my own safety and for narration.

There seemed to be a dual purpose here - to clear your name and to share what you gained from this experience including your strong faith. Out of all of this, if readers only took one thing away from reading your book - what would you want that to be?

That everyone has a story. It doesn't matter who you are, everyone's life is different and each one's story is unique. Also, people should not judge others when they haven't walked in their shoes.

Where do you go from here? What's next? Do you plan to continue to write?

I have had numerous requests on a follow up to The Black Market Concierge and there is also a possible TV series in the works but more I cant say! Maybe the follow up will be a few episodes in the proposed TV series...

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter