My first novel recently hit the bookstore shelves. Marie, The Lobster Queen is really not my book, but a book ghostwritten by me for a client who wanted to write her memoirs. She did, however, give me a Ghostwritten by on the inside pages.
The connection with this client came to me through a volunteer project done for a women’s abuse shelter. I wrote several profiles of their volunteers for a calendar day-book that they were printing as a fundraising tool. The calendar wasn’t a profit making venture for me but rather something I did in return for ad space in the calendar book. Something I did because I believed in the cause. My client was one of the volunteers I profiled.
While interviewing the lady she commented that she would like to write her life story. After hearing some details, I commented, “Well, if you ever decide to do it, give me a call. I can be your ghost.” And she did!
Interestingly enough my services for that calendar book came about when I was awarded a tender to write a pregnancy resources directory for our area. The women’s shelter was one of the services listed in my directory and, while talking with them about the directory, I learned about the calendar book.
The contract to write the pregnancy directory came from talking with organizers of a government funded agency where I was taking a course to improve my public speaking abilities. That agency and a family resources agency were working together and getting ready to tender the pregnancy directory. Whew! Talk about a chain reaction.
It all boils down to talking about what you do, whenever the opportunity presents itself. If the people presenting the public speaking workshops hadn’t been aware that I write for a living, they would never have approached me to tender the pregnancy job. If I hadn’t gotten the contract I wouldn’t have been at the women’s shelter. If I hadn’t done the calendar-book profiles I would never have met the lady for whom I ghosted that book. Has the ball stopped here? I don t know.
With my novel on the shelves, I’ve begun giving workshops on writing memoirs. I’ve had great feedback on my book and, who knows, maybe the next contract is just around the corner.
Karen Y. Hogg is a freelance writer from Fenelon Falls, Ontario. She has written both fiction and non-fiction in both Canadian and American publications. She specializes in tourism, agriculture and corporate and human interest profiles. She has also been a newspaper editor, reporter and columnist over the past twenty years.