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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Gogerly

WE'RE GOING ON A GHOST HUNT... 'Chemistry calls' and going with your guts ...

Writing your own book should be an adventure. Hopefully you're feeling excited, inspired and itching to get going. If it's your first foray into the publishing world, you may be feeling bewildered. Where do you begin? How on earth will you finish an entire manuscript? Will it be good enough to publish? What do agents do? Oh my, can I do this? A good ghostwriter should be your guide in this new and unexplored land.

An experienced ghostwriter will have all the relevant skills - writing, editing, plotting, planning and proofing - to get you where you need to go. They should also be brilliant listeners who instinctively know how to get you talking and telling your story. How do you seek such a soul? Like all relationships, you need to find somebody who gets YOU and somebody in whom you have total trust. A good ghostwriter might have all the skills you need but the magic ingredient for every successful collaboration is chemistry. So it's important to hunt around for your ghost. Do your homework and read other ghost-written books - see if there is someone who seems good at capturing voices. Look at the reviews of best-selling memoirs and see who stands out for you. And, when you finally reach out for a ghostwriter, connect with a few. Funnily enough it's a bit like Internet dating; you'll know very quickly - be it via Zoom or over the phone - who's right for you.

I'm lucky to have had some warm and wonderful collaborative experiences. Suzie Fletcher from the BBC's 'the Repair Shop' is kind, funny and considerate yet I was a bit nervous during that first 'chemistry call' - I think you always are - but I still got that good old gut feeling we were going to get along. Months later, Suzie sent me this message. I'm sharing it with you because it makes me smile - we really did have a wonderful connection. Also it totally encapsulates how I feel about finding the right ghost - follow your instinct.

'When looking for a ghost writer my agent said “I’ll know the instant I meet the right person”.
Never having done this before I was a bit unsure but she was absolutely bang on. The moment Liz and I started talking I knew we had a real connection. I then worried she wouldn’t want to work with me! Happily Liz was as excited I was and we went on to spend many, many hours chatting and creating my first book. Also we developed a great friendship which is priceless.
At the end of my day I routinely write down what was the best thing that happened that day. On the day Liz and I met I wrote;
"Great chat with Liz. So warm and open, very easy to chat with. She’s the one. This was meant to be".'

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