Department of Army Civilian Uses Furlough to Finish Novel


Rock Island, IL -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/26/2013 -- The Department of Defense’s furlough affected 85% (more than 650,000 civilian workers) of the DoD’s workforce in an effort to save nearly $1.8 billion, according to officials, by the end of September. The furlough, which started early July, amounted to 20% of an employee’s income and ended one month shy of the September deadline. The furlough was not popular with many affected by the decision.

However, one DoD civilian, who currently works for the Department of the Army in Rock Island, IL, had a positive outlook toward the extra day off per week. That’s because, Jason Tanamor, an HR Specialist at Civilian Human Resources Agency (CHRA), used this extra day per week to finish up his new novel, “The Extraordinary Life of Shady Gray.”

“The Extraordinary Life of Shady Gray” is the classic sister gets pregnant, father kicks out sister, mother resents father, mother kills father, brother runs away from home to get away from his dysfunctional family, story. “The main story, though, is about a know-it-all kid who wants nothing more than to fit into the world. He questions life, God and everything in between on a number of occasions,” said Tanamor. “Everything in Shady’s life is a disappointment. That’s until he meets Jessica, a physically scarred girl who teaches Shady how to enjoy life. With Jessica’s help, Shady realizes that instead of fitting into the world, he is destined to stand out.”

While other DoD employees vented their frustrations through social media outlets like Facebook and even signed a petition asking the President to end the furlough, Tanamor’s number one goal was to finish the novel.

“I’m fully aware of the financial burden the furlough had on a family because my wife also works for the government. And although she was one of the lucky few who did not have to furlough, we still had to make smart decisions financially,” said Tanamor. “My supervisor once told me that it came down to how you spent your eight hours per day. Even though she was referring to a work day, I took that advice into my furlough day.”

“The Extraordinary Life of Shady Gray” will touch on all emotions. The story will make you cry, angry, happy and everything in between. “I started writing this novel in 2001. It’s been revamped and rewritten story-wise, and a lot of the main character is based off my experiences as a child,” said Tanamor. “This story will make you appreciate your own family despite all the differences you have with them. It may even give you a different outlook on situations like the furlough.”

The price of “The Extraordinary Life of Shady Gray” is $12.95 and is available at major booksellers like However, if you purchase from the book’s publisher ( and enter discount code 4LSBUQZV, you will get the furlough special of 20% off.

For more information on Jason Tanamor and “The Extraordinary Life of Shady Gray” and how to buy for Nook, Apple, etc. please visit