Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Secret of the Ghost Author

Growing up, my favorite stories were the Nancy Drew mysteries.

I devoured each mystery and I, like many other girls, thought they had a special knack for solving mysteries like Nancy.
I even went so far as to leave written clues about some made-up mystery on small pieces of paper that I slipped into the ceiling moldings of my bedroom in the house were I grew up before we moved to a new house.
And why am I telling you this? Because perhaps my fascination with the Nancy Drew mysteries laid the foundation for the writing career I have today. But one thing always bothered me. How could Carolyn Keene have written the first book, The Mystery in the Old Clock in 1930 and still be alive to write Werewolf in a Winter Wonderland in 2003?


She didn’t. Carolyn Keene wasn’t one person. She was a pseudonym used by many hired authors over the years. These work for hire authors were ghostwriters.
A ghostwriter is a writer who writes books credited to another person.
Celebrities, politicians, and sports often hire ghostwriters to draft or edit written material, which will bear the celebrities name.
Ghostwriters are also hired to write fiction in the style of an existing author, often as a way of increasing the number of books that can be published by a popular author. Hence, Carolyn Keene.

Known popular authors who used ghostwriters:
Tom Clancy
V.C. Andrews
Robert Ludlum
James Patterson

Next up in the Author's ABC's…………. HOOK and HERO's JOURNEY

Monday, April 7, 2014

Before you self-publish…………FORMAT!

So this past month I attended a writer’s conference where the main gist of the panels and discussions was self-publishing. Self-published authors passed around their books, both picture books and novels and had the audience excited about skipping the traditional route and self-publishing their works.

These authors left thinking it was as easy as uploading their manuscript in a Word document file to Kindle Direct, Nook Press, Kobo, CreateSpace and Smashwords. And sure you can do that if you want your e-book to look like this:

arring crash rocks Knottingwood Manor, from the slate roof tiles to the stone cellars.
ted out of a deep sleep, I jump from bed, wide-eyed. My heart beats like stampeding ses in my chest.
her’s antique mirror had tilted to one side of the mantel, knocking two of my paper ns into the hearth and the sheer drape on my harp, in the corner of the room, thered to the floor.


Or this:

There were once a man and a woman who had long, in vain, wished for a child. At length it appeared that God was about to grant their desire. These people had a little window at the back of their house from which a splendid garden could be seen, which was full of the most beautiful flowers and herbs. It was, however, surrounded by a high wall, and no one dared to go into it because it belonged to an enchantress, who had great power and was dreaded by all the world.

Or this:

Today’s the first day of eighth grade and I should be happy.
 This year, my best friend, Annie, and I get to rule the school. Annie
and Frannie—Double Trouble. But I’m not ready for school. I want
summer to last so I can daydream about the Beatle’s concert I went
to last week. Paul’s dreamy. John’s sexy. George is cute and Ringo’s
funny. I’ll never forget the night of August 28, 1964.


Or this:
… end of chapter 1…
“I’m not insane, but I know what I saw,” she said to herself as she jolted down Finnerty’s rickety garage steps and burst through the hedges into her own back yard. Her high heels hindered her movement, but she reached the tree, as the door was about to disappear. Sticking her hand in the opening, the door opened once more. Not thinking twice, she followed her son and Alex into the unknown.

Chapter 2

    This trip to the parallel world was nothing like the last. Al heard Alex gasp for air in between screams of exhilaration, as the velocity with which she fell was remarkable. Looking down he barely made out her pink-capped head in the darkness of the root tunnel, as that is what it seemed to be. Gigantic tree roots reached out from the earthen tunnel, sometimes stopping his descent, and holding him stationary as he watched Alex plummet full-speed below.


So what is the correct answer? I would suggest that anyone who is considering self-publishing a novel or picture book to research FORMATTERS on the web and hire one before you upload your story to one of the online venues. There is a specific way to do it correctly and you should leave it to the experts.

I strongly recommend------

They are professional formatters, very helpful and experts at what they do. You can’t go 
wrong working with them. So remember before you self-publish…………..
Next up on the Author’s ABC’s… Ghostwriter

Energized to Write for the New Year

 So happy to be attending the SCBWI National Conference this week. My peer critiques went well two nights ago, and energized me to see the p...