I am a journalist turned ghostwriter with two decades of high-level editorial experience. Over the years I have helped find the right words for a number of unique individuals.
I penned the last published words of a United Nations secretary general, and brought to life the untold story of a history-making Mideast peacemaker. I gave voice to a co-founder of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, and guided a Baptist preacher and Jewish scholar to speak as one. I may have even helped my wife a bit on her definitive history of fertility experiments in Auschwitz.
From a 250-word letter in The New York Times to a 150,000-word autobiography for the campaign trail, I have long worked with accomplished figures to harness the power of their life stories. I specialize in crafting and polishing memoirs, but my clients have come back over the years with all sorts of editorial needs – Op-Eds, academic journal articles, executive summaries, even the occasional speech or two. If it needs to be in print, I make it happen.
My bread and butter is mining clients’ anecdotes to produce purposeful storytelling. I parachute in at all stages of the editorial process, from initial brainstorming all the way through publication. My involvement in projects is deeply collaborative, because a good ghost ought to know what someone sounds like before putting words in his or her mouth.
A little while back, I worked on the memoir of a man not much older than me. He had already seen a lot.
Dirt poor growing up in West Africa. Violent racism when he tried to find his way as a young adult in the West. Systemic oppression, from bottom to top. Obstacle after obstacle, all before he was old enough for a midlife crisis.
He had overcome it all, though. By any reasonable definition, he had made it. Professional success. A growing family. Life in America.
He wanted to put his story into print, to save others from having to endure what he had. There was an urgency to telling his tale, as he made clear when I began working on the manuscript.
“Each day that I kept these notes without putting them together in book form,” he wrote, “I feared my communities of interest might lose something of value one day if I was unable to share these stories.”
I ended up finishing his manuscript on my birthday. A month later, on a Monday afternoon, I sent him one final piece of business, a revised version of the introduction to his book.
I returned the file to him at 3:59 pm, about an hour before the close of business.
Three hours and 18 minutes later, after a freak accident while lifting weights at the gym, he was pronounced dead.
He was 45.
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