I'm not new to talking, sharing ideas, or stating my opinion, especially stating my opinion! After all, I taught elementary school for 30 years! However, my audience has typically been smaller,just family, the classroom, or just talking to myself!

My blog has two goals: be an outlet for sharing thoughts on writing children's books and the path to publication (got my fingers crossed that I'll get there) and a place to chronicle my journey of losing my sight. Sometimes I imagine these two paths will overlap .

Friday, September 9, 2011

                                 Random Acts of Publicity- Friday

       Today I've another writer friend to share with you. 
 Larry Kahn is a retired lawyer who worked for a large New York law firm and then an Atlanta Fortune 500 company. In real life, he's a non-assuming, reserved kind of guy, but it only takes a few minutes of conversation with him  to recognize his wit, his intelligence, and his concern for social justice in the world.

Larry and Ellie Kahn
        I couldn't help but ask Larry a few questions.  

Did you always have a dream to be a writer?
 Earlier than you might imagine. I won an award from the local library for the most book reviews written over the summer between 1st and 2nd grade! My interest developed further in college, where I always had a writing class on my schedule and wrote sports stories for the Albany Student Press. Talk about long-held dreams, in my freshman writing class I wrote a short story called "The 20-Year Jinx" which later evolved into my first novel, THE JINX. The core idea of a family harboring a 140-year grudge against the presidency festered in my mind for twenty years, until the brink of the 2000 presidential election, when I realized the story would die unless I did something dramatic. So, with the approval of my always supportive wife, Ellie, I took a sabbatical from my legal job and made the dream a reality.

What led you to be a part-time writer and then switch to full-time writing? 

Some of my college friends went into journalism, a couple were quite successful, but earning a living as a writer was a risky proposition. While one of the characters in KING OF PAINE lives by the mantra "no risk, no thrill," I'm more of a calculated risk-taker than a thrill-seeker. Still, I might have gone for it except that my other option was Yale Law School. My law degree ultimately provided some financial security for us, and my career as an international tax lawyer in the fast-paced world of mergers & acquisitions yielded a wealth of experiences that fuel my fiction. I started THE JINX a couple years before I took my sabbatical but needed the larger blocks of time to really wrap my mind around it.

While that sabbatical year was an extremely rewarding experience, I had promised my manager at work I would return. I never considered writing to be a full-time gig. While THE JINX was not a commercial success, it garnered  nice reviews from reputable sources, and the writing bug never quite stopped biting. In 2006, after helping to engineer the sale of the line of business that kept me gainfully employed, I negotiated a severance package that was sufficient to finance our sons' educations and maintain a modest writing lifestyle. We don't live extravagantly, but I'm doing what I love, and Ellie and I enjoy our time together more than when I was bringing home Type A baggage from the office.

 While you were “lawyering”, was the creative person inside screaming to get out? 

Absolutely. Legal writing is so dry. As a young lawyer I would try to add a little pizazz to my memos, but my mentors took particular delight in beating that habit out of me. I have a serious defiant streak in me, but it didn't take many all-night rewrites to figure out that these acts of authorial civil disobedience were self-defeating. The senior lawyers were more tolerant of my long hair, their one concession to my creative spirit.

How did you decide to write thrillers/whodunits rather than another genre, say historical fiction or nonfiction? 

I grew up loving mystery and suspense novels--first Agatha Christie and then Ira Levin, Irving Wallace, Frederick Forsyth, and Robert Ludlum. I was a young lawyer when John Grisham invented the legal thriller genre, and I loved how he incorporated themes of social justice into page-turning plots. He spawned a long line of lawyer/authors, of which I am proud to count myself as one. Ultimately, I guess I wrote what I loved to read. As far as nonfiction, I don't consider myself expert enough at any subject to write a book, but I do blog about social issues on my website.
A defiant streak in you....hmm...I resemble, relate to that comment!

         As Larry mentioned, his most recent book is THE KING OF PAINESee if this description grabs your attention:

A desperate and dying patient.
A rumored cure.

How far would you go to find the fountain of youth?

Frank Paine is not your prototypical FBI agent. He’s an ex-Hollywood stud with a kinky past; an irreverent wise ass who craves forgiveness from the woman he loves. When a ruthless stalker uses Frank’s indiscretions to ensnare him in an erotic cat-and-mouse death match, his investigation points toward a missing biochemist. His hunt for her secret haven takes one tragic turn after another, until he finds himself facing an impossible dilemma. Someone will die as a result of his decisions, and it may be his soulmate. Or him.

Gotcha, didn't it! Who wouldn't want to read a book like this?

KING OF PAINE is available in paperback at  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and North Atlanta Press. The eBook version is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Buy. This. Book. It's awesome! 
(Disclosure, since I have a lawyer present... I am a little biased toward this novel. I was one of the beta readers.) LOL

Wait! WIN this book!( Not me this time, it's all Larry's idea.) LOL

All you need to do is sign up to follow Larry's blog here.
or you can "like" his fan page hereIf 5 people sign up, he will give away an eBook of KING OF PAINE; if 10 people sign up, it will be 2 eBooks and so on. More people = more free eBooks! You need to sign up by Wednesday evening, Sept. 14th to be in the drawing.

All this talk about KING OF PAINE makes me want to go read it again. I think I will! 



  1. Hi Gail, great interview! I enjoyed learning about Larry and his writing.

  2. Thanks Susanne. Hop over to his blog and follow; maybe you'll win an eBook! www.larrykahn.com