One of the joys of the writing life is that you never quite know where saying ‘yes’ might lead you. When I was approached by Melanie Davies back in 2007 to see if I’d consider helping her write the story of her amazing life (Never Say Die) I had plenty of reservations, the main two being that a) I was a novelist and b) I worked alone.
I did say yes in the end, mostly because the story was so inspirational and, while dealing with the latter was an unexpected breeze – we got on famously – the first was something of a revelation. Call it blindingly self-evident (as I did, with the benefit of hindsight) but ‘being a novelist’ was what it was all about. If you write narrative non-fiction, it needs to read like a story, and deploy all the skills in the novelist’s bag of tricks. Since then, I’ve been involved in all sorts of collaborations and, to date, I’ve been something of a visible kind of ghost, as seems to becoming the fashion these days. (And about which, incidentally, I’m obviously very happy, as it has brought out into the open what we’ve all known for years – that some people have incredible stories to tell but that not everyone who has is a professional writer. )
That said, my single biggest project to date – a multi-book series, the twentieth title of which is being written as I, erm, write – will bear no evidence of my passing, for all sorts of reasons, except via the words themselves. I could tell you the titles, of course, but, to misquote James Bond, if I did, I would of course have to kill you…
If you are interested in ghostwriting yourself, you’ll find lots of sound advice both in Teena Lyons’ Complete Guide to Ghostwriting , and Lynne Hackles’ Ghost Writing, both of which include some wisdoms from yours truly amid a wealth of sound advice. Conversely, if you have a story to tell and think you’d like to collaborate with me, you can either either contact me here, or get in touch through my agent, Andrew Lownie, www.andrewlownie.co.uk.