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How It All Began

Jeffrey L Kohanek

I have a confession to make. I’m not a writer…at least, not in the traditional sense. I’m not blessed with the poetic prose of an English major, nor am I distinguished with a degree in Journalism. Sure, I took creative and technical writing courses in college, but that was long ago and my degree is in Engineering.

A desire to create was one of the factors that led me toward Engineering as my major, but after a few years in the workplace, I found that my ability to create in that role was far too stifled. I then took some Marketing and Business courses and made a job change to Product Management.

If you aren’t sure what Product Managers do, you’re not alone. In essence, their job is to analyze a market, determine unmet needs, and define a product that meets those needs. They then work with other organizations to develop those products and bring them to market. The Product Manager owns all aspects of the product. That includes the creation of the tools required to promote and sell the product, making it the position a hybrid of technical and marketing expertise. I’ve been in this type of role for fifteen years, which has satisfied my creative side in some ways but still lack in others.

After years of consideration, I became serious about writing a novel in the summer of 2014. By August, I had begun to record ideas, forming an outline for not just a single book, but for an epic trilogy. Over the next twelve months, I wrote and wrote. When August 2015 came around, I had completed my first book and found that I was addicted, not to just writing, but to the world and characters I had created. I was so hooked that I continued to write, completing a draft of the second book three months later, while I was still seeking a publisher for my first book.

What began as a simple desire to create has now become my passion. Writing is what I really want to do for the next few decades. Much like with my children, who will soon leave the nest, I feel an overwhelming need to shape and cultivate my books, characters, and the world they live in. I have a desire to share my creations with others, watching them blossom into what I’ve been dreaming they can be. My hope is that the stories I weave will entertain and inspire people across the world, well after I am gone.

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  • Jeffrey L Kohanek on


    To answer you question, I went to school to become an automotive engineer (I wanted to design cars), but when I realized that meant moving to Detroit or Japan, I expanded to a double-major including manufacturing and mechanical engineering.

    I agree that many people begin to feel trapped in their career. It takes a lot of effort and a bit of risk to alter the path to one that you feel is more enjoyable. Even if you can’t make a living off of what you love, you can still make it your hobby and find more enjoyment in life. When that passion becomes a means to make a living is when it becomes truly special. However, it’s thing that I believe is achieved far too rarely.


  • Elise on

    What a great inspiration you are, I hope I have the same courage to evolve. I can wait to read and your creation.

  • Susan on

    That’s awesome Jeff, I’m so glad you found your passion. I didn’t realize you were an engineer…what kind? I’m a friend of Jodie’s and an electrical engineer but after 15 years of it, found I love tutoring math. And now I’m doing painting…art is my passion. A lot of people think they have to stick with the profession they started with…so not true, we only have one life here on earth. I look forward to reading your book!

  • Patricia on

    Thanks for sharing your story.

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