River Place author pens newest nonfiction book

Four Points News

Stephen G. Yanoff — the author and world traveler who lives in River Place with his wife Patty — released his newest work in April, “Turbulent Times: The Remarkable Life of William Henry Seward”.

Last year he also published “Run for the Money,” the seventh installment in his ongoing detective series features insurance investigator Adam Gold, inspired by Yanoff’s real-life 20-year career in New York investigating high-ticket insurance claims. And now that “Turbulent Times” is out, Yanoff is already at work on his next two books.

It’s not surprising considering that Yanoff’s second career as a writer is about more than just telling great stories. “For me personally, this is still a hobby even though it’s going quite well. I like meeting people and going around the country,” said Yanoff.

As with his other books in the Adam Gold series, “Run for the Money” centers around an actual claim Yanoff investigated during his career, in this case one in which a wealthy racehorse owner paid to have one of her horses killed in order to collect the insurance money.

River Place author Stephen G. Yanoff released his latest book in April called “Turbulent Times: The Remarkable Life of William Henry Seward”. Already the book was chosen as a finalist in the U.S. History Category of the 2017 International Book Awards.

Before “Turbulent Times,” Yanoff wrote his first nonfiction book, “The Second Mourning,” in 2014 about President James Garfield and his assassination. After the book won multiple awards and honors, Yanoff wanted to take another stab at the genre.

“Turbulent Times” tells the fascinating tale of the life of William Seward, President Lincoln’s Secretary of State and one of Lincoln’s rivals detailed in Doris Lessing’s acclaimed book, “Team of Rivals.” As Yanoff said, “(Seward’s) story is really the story of America.”

Prior to serving in the White House, Seward was a New York state senator as well as the state’s governor. Seward served with Lincoln even after having lost a contentious presidential nomination to him. Seward was staunchly anti-slavery and served faithfully as Lincoln’s Secretary of State, working hard to help avert the Civil War and thereafter supporting the Union.

Yanoff explains that, throughout his career in public service, “(Seward) is almost unbelievable in his involvement in American history… He was involved in all sorts of bizarre, crazy situations, not just your normal political shenanigans. Plus the Civil War.”

An attempt was made on Seward’s life the same night Lincoln was assassinated, although unlike Garfield, the assassin did not succeed. After being attacked in their home, Seward and his family survived their brutal injuries, and Seward went on to serve in Andrew Johnson’s administration in the wake of Lincoln’s death.

The book has been submitted for several awards and Yanoff is hoping it will perform well. It’s already been chosen as a finalist in the 8th annual International Book Awards in the History: United States category.

Yanoff is now hard at work on his next book, “the true story of the (President) McKinley assassination. I’m getting a reputation for writing about dead presidents,” said Yanoff with a chuckle.

More than the idea a newly finished title to add to his bibliography, Yanoff cherishes the opportunity to research and learn about another significant historical figure. Thanks to his use of source materials and meticulous attention to details, Yanoff’s readers can become experts on several key moments in U.S. history.

Yanoff likes to point out, though, that he himself did not start out as an one. “People think you’re an expert so you write a book. That’s not the way it works. You become an expert when you’re writing a book.”