February round-up

Lots of exciting things going on at Your Life Story HQ at the moment and I'd love to share a few pieces of news with you.

Ghostwriting
In December I mentioned that a ghostwriting client was so pleased with the book I wrote for him that he asked me to write his next book. I really like writing in this particular voice so I immediately accepted the offer, with a view to starting the new project in January.

As planned, in January, my client sent over all of the materials I needed to start this next book: the brief, videos of him speaking about the subject, transcripts of the videos, links to relevant articles. I got to work deciphering and digesting all of the info and I came up with a potential chapter by chapter outline, which he approved.

And then... he asked if we could take a pause because he has another book he'd like me to write first. So we have inserted this book into my schedule - it has a closer deadline than the first book with his publisher expecting it in May. So it's all systems go now with the second book so we meet the May deadline, and then I'll continue with the first book. This is really great news for me - it means I have two contracts lined up and it means the client is appreciative and happy with my work. Win-win.

And though I can't reveal who this client is, or what the books are about - they are in my field of interest which certainly helps the writing process. 

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Lecturing
Alongside this, I'm preparing a couple of guest lectures and workshops for the Creative Writing course at my local university, York St John, where I was also a student many moons ago. It's such an honour to have been asked along to speak to the students both about my work as a ghostwriter and my experiences of being a published short fiction writer. 

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Fiction
My year got off to a great start when Matchbook Lit Mag published a piece of my flash fiction, The Route, and this has been nicely followed by the news that I'm down to the final 50 out of 548 entries in the Bare Fiction Short Story Prize. Judging is taking place this month and winners will be announced early March.  

That's all for now, folks. As before, my schedule is pretty full but I'm always happy to hear from you about potential projects. Use the contact form on the website or email me at teresa@yourlifestory.website. 

 

December already! 

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I just wanted to give you a little update on where I'm at and how things are going. 2017 has been wonderful for me as a writer and I'm so glad I made the leap to going totally freelance and working for myself.  

I've been truly blessed to work with a handful of wonderful clients on several exciting and very different books. Alongside this, I've had a couple of short stories and articles published under my own name - you can read Things I Have Learnt About Jason Donovan (a short story) here, and my latest non-fiction piece (which is actually about a typical day as a life story writer) can be found here.  

Last week I submitted the final chapter of a big ghostwriting project which had occupied quite a lot of my working hours from September onwards. Today I was thrilled to hear that the client would like to work with me again on his next book! This means that January onwards my client book will be pretty full because I also have a couple of other ghostwriting projects which are ongoing.

With that in mind, if you contact me about a potential project I may not be available to work with you (depending on when you want to start) but I will always reply to your queries and give advice where I can.  

That's all for now, folks - thank you, as ever, for your support and your interest.

 

 

Three very different projects

It's wonderful to be so busy doing the work that I love. 

Let me tell you a little about the projects I'm working on at the moment:

1. Ghostwriting a self-help style book by a rather famous man... 
I'm under contract and can say no more than that! But I am loving this project because the client's voice is so different to my own and it's really freeing writing as him. 

2. A novelisation of a life story: 
I've been working on this for a few months now. My client has relayed the events of his life to me and now it's time to start thinking about how I can turn those events and memories into a novel for him. So rather than a regular, run of the mill memoir, he would like his story to be exaggerated, made more fantastical, more literary. This is such a different way of working and so unusual - but exciting! 

3. Editing a fascinating family history, a lot of which is written in Italian poetry:
I feel really privileged to be working on this project. The poetry has been translated into English but doesn't work as well as it did in Italian, so it's my job to make it a bit more poetic while keeping the original meaning of the verses. Challenging, yes - but the family are so lovely to work with and it's a real passion-project for them. 

 

So today, under this weird orange sky, I'm having a research day on project number 1. Armed with the client's previous published books, my notebook, pens, little post-its (!) tea and a bun, I'm reading and making notes for Chapter 4, which I'll start writing in the next few days.

 

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How A Ghostwriter Can Help You Write Your Life Story

Here I am over at Craft Your Content, writing about how the life story ghostwriting process works.

Working with a ghostwriter to write your life story

If you're thinking about working with a writer or editor to write your autobiography I highly recommend you take a look at this article, and if you find yourself intrigued and you think I might be able to help you get your words on the page - get in touch - I'd love to hear from you. 

 

  

Writing the life story of a loved one

It doesn't matter how many times I hear them, I love listening to my Nana's stories - and today marks the day I start writing them down. 

I first interviewed my Nana about her life and experiences in March and I'll be doing several more interviews in the coming months as I write her life story. Along with the usual anecdotes and family-legend type stories I found there was so much I didn't know about her early life, such as how her mum (my great-grandmother) was a singer (on stage!) and how my Nana can recall, with great detail, the day of her father's funeral when she was just eleven years old.   

Here we are last year, at my Aunty's wedding - what a Nana thing to do - grabbing me by the cheeks!

 

Writing the story of a loved one

Current Project: Andrew's Book

 

After a day of editing and refining, the second chapter of one of my current projects is ready to mail out. 

This chapter, "Monica's Story", is part of a very special book celebrating the life of a wonderful man, Andrew, who sadly lost his life to cancer in late 2015. I'm working with Andrew's Mum, Monica, and the rest of his family to create a book which honours his life, his journey and his courage. 

What's really special about this project is that Andrew started to write his life story in the months before he died. As such we're able to include his words along with the memories and thoughts of the people who knew and loved him. 

The end result will be something quite unique: part-autobiography and part-tribute. Most of all it will be a wonderful way for Andrew's family and friends to remember him, and for future generations to get to know him.