This is my bio. If you’re in a hurry, read about me on Wikipedia.
I am what some people might call a successful author. I’ve had published more than 15 non-fiction books under my name, pseudonyms and as a ghost writer. My books have been translated into 10 languages.
I’m also a writer and journalist, and I’ve won awards for my journalism.
Several of my books also have won awards and made me semi-famous. I’ve been on NPR, C-SPAN, CNN, USA Today, CBS, Evening News, Fox TV News, Bloomberg Business News, Voice of America, and my articles have been published by the Washington Post, LA Times and others.
I don’t like to brag (well, a little maybe) but beat I out all my cousins for the domain name Kahaner.com and I’m pretty proud of that.
For many years, I also was a licensed Private Investigator which is very much like being a reporter except you get to show people your cool ID issued by the state government.
After making my living as a non-fiction writer and author for many decades, I’ve turned to fiction, taking what I’ve learned about writing real stories to writing fake stories. (No snickers, please) I write a blog (you’re already here) and it’s designed to help non-fiction writers (like me) to become novelists. It’s a different ball game for sure but many of the same habits, thought processes and lessons are transferable.
Here’s the cutline: “If the U.S. were for sale, would you buy it?” Pretty provocative, right? I highly recommend it.
Through the years, many people have asked me what it’s like to be a writer. For me, it’s been a great job and career. I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
Unfortunately, I also tell them what they don’t want to hear. It’s hard work, and unless you have luck and perseverance, it’s difficult to make a living at it.
Talent? Yes, that helps, but good writing can be learned if you’re willing to make the effort, have a thick skin about criticism and take it seriously as your life’s work.
If you just want to write as a hobby or for fun, that’s cool, too, but too many folks tell me how frustrating it is for them, how they’d rather do anything else than write and I always respond: “Maybe you got something there.”