Storytellers is part of my "Literary Luminary" series, featuring insights on writing and publishing straight from the folks who do it for a living. Storyteller Stephen G. Yanoff is a former insurance company executive from Long Island, New York. He worked in Manhattan for over twenty years and became an acknowledged expert in the field of high-risk insurance. His mystery novels and nonfiction history books have won over twenty-five national and international book awards.
Tell me about your latest project.
Capone Island, the story of a harrowing search for the long-lost treasure of America's most infamous gangster, Al Capone, drags insurance investigator Adam Gold into the dark web of a vicious and violent mobster and a confrontation with Cuban espionage agents.
My mystery novels are based upon my own experiences in the field of high risk insurance, and each book involves an actual insurance claim. I decided to write the series in order to share the dark but fascinating side of insurance fraud. My nonfiction books are simply a labor of love—a love of American history.
Can you describe, briefly, your writing routine or process?
I usually write for three or four hours each morning, then take an afternoon break. I do most of my research in the evening, which involves a great deal of reading.
What's the most difficult part of writing, in your opinion?
I don't find anything difficult, but the most tedious part of writing would have to involve the enormous amount of research required for certain books.
The most fun?
I enjoy book presentations and book signings, and I try to do as many charity events as I can possibly handle. Meeting new fans and loyal followers is a real treat.
Who are or were your literary heroes?
In the mystery realm, I enjoy Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Elmore Leonard. My favorite nonfiction history authors are David McCullough and Ron Chernow.
What advice do you have for authors just starting out?
Three pieces of advice: Read, read, read! (In other words, study the authors you admire and wish to emulate!)
What else are you working on now?
A new nonfiction history book about the life and death of President William McKinley.
Where can we buy your books/read your work? Be shameless!
Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Kindle, Nook, and leading bookstores across the nation.