When it comes down to the decision to write a book, the first question you need to ask yourself is, “why?” I probably don’t need to tell you that writing a book, even your own memoirs is a long and challenging process. And there is a good chance that you know this from personal experience. In fact, most people who contact me to help write their books do so because they started the process, but found it much more difficult than they thought. And many put their dreams of writing a book aside not realizing how important their life, thoughts, and experiences are to the rest of the world.
Today, I grabbed a few books from my bookshelf and want to touch on reasons why clients have asked me to help with their books. Hopefully, at least one of these stories will prompt you to continue your journey.
My Uncle Gloria – emotional rags to riches memoir
Not every book I work on is written by me. Steven Shulman, the author of My Uncle Gloria had worked with numerous writers and editors over the last 18 years to chronicle his personal journey through a life of “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll” coming to a sudden life-changing event as his Uncle Butch showed up over 20 years later as his Aunt Gloria.
Steven and I worked closely to craft the book into what it is today, editing, rewriting, designing a cover, and publish the book. We’ve since written a full-length movie script, and are now working on a scripted TV series. In addition, this part of Steven’s life has been produced in the 2016 documentary One Helluva Ride.
Steven wrote his book to show how his traumatic and imperfect life was changed by one of the strangest experiences in his life bringing family back together.
H.O.P.E – Inspire Others
H.O.P.E., authored by Wanny Huynh is both a memoir as well as an inspirational book to help people overcome personal obstacles. Personal obstacles are challenges in our lives that we have the control over, however they are not easy to control: over eating, smoking, procrastination, etc. Wanny is a motivational speaker and wanted to write a book to provide first-hand knowledge in an effort to help others overcome their vices.
4 Green Butterflies – Let others know they don’t need to suffer from mental illness alone
When Steve DiGrossi approached me to help with his book, 4 Green Butterflies, he had already written an immense 200,000+ word memoir of his life suffering from PTSD, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and isolation. My task was to edit his book and publish his book. With one of the most symbolic covers for any book I’ve worked on Steve shows the importance of tranquility he now finds in life and dedication to his mother who through everything was always there for him. Steve had several reasons for writing his book, but in our many lengthy conversations he seemed to just want to get his story out there to help others understand that you don’t need to suffer from depression alone.
The Blue Star Series – Personal goal to life’s legacy
When we are faced with overwhelming challenges you can suck on a lemon, or savor a fresh glass of lemonade. Sarah Cathey approached me in 2018 to help her write a fantasy novel. I would later find that in her mid-thirties, Sarah had been diagnosed with stage-four cancer. Her book Fall of the Drjeen, was a long-time dream of hers to complete, but she also knew she needed help to achieve her goal. What was once considered a one-off novel is now a series with the fourth book almost complete as well as supplemental short stories. Once a personal goal, the series has now become Sarah’s life legacy.
In-Focus: Share Unique knowledge
Nick Roesler is a long friend of mine. In 2009 he wrote the book
In-Focus: Photographic Evidence of Unconventional Flying Objects. Nick’s goal was to document the importance of photography in some of the landmark cases surrounding UFOlogy. Nick and I are now teaming up for a revised version of the book, adding more important cases in recent years, adding newfound information to old cases, and updating the technology of photographic evidence utilizing what was not a profound photo technology when first published – the smart phone.
Nick’s book is not only unique in the mainstream, but is a unique approach to books written on the subject of UFOlogy.
Call of the Couch: A Family’s Love Affair with its Business – Documenting the Family Legacy
Larry Schneiderman, owner of Schneiderman’s Furniture in Minnesota contacted me to help him write a book, Call of the Couch: A Family’s Love Affair with its Business, on his family’s 70+ year business. But there was more to his interest than just documenting the business. Larry had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson Disease, his mother was approaching 100 years of age, and his brother had passed. Larry was ready to pass the torch onto his children. Most important though, his children did not know their family’s past, and with the onset of Parkinson’s it was possible that the history would be forgotten forever if Larry didn’t document the family legacy for future generations. Hundreds of hours of interviews and transcriptions, trips to Duluth, MN to visit WWII veterans who served with his dad, and a lengthy publishing process, Larry not only achieved his goal, but went on to write multiple novels of his own. This book was also the gold medal winner of the 2015 MIPA and AXIOM book awards.
The Divorce Dare – Develop a support system
Monique Fuentes had just found out that her long-term partner was having an affair. The result was divorce. However, Monique’s unique take on divorce, in The Divorce Dare Series, is focused on improving oneself and with The Divorce Dare Facebook Group and her serialized ebook series, Monique is helping others get over the emotional toll of divorce. Monique and I have been working on her series for two years and are now ramping up publication of her ebooks so that she can spend more time creating a podcast and developing her support group.
Sissy’s Adventures, Sorry mom. I dropped out of college. Let me tell you why…- Revealing Personal Secrets
Sidney Simmons contacted me to interview and write a secret she’d been hiding from her parents for four years. And it was a doozy! Sidney was a bright and intelligent senior in high school and was accepted into an Ivy League University. However, during her first few weeks she quietly joined a friend on a trip to Paris where Sidney fell in love with Europe. Over the next four years Sidney used the money that her parents were giving her for tuition and room/board to travel Europe and other parts of the world.
Sidney and I worked for six months so that she could deliver two copies of her book to each of her parents on graduation day – or what was supposed to be graduation day. This secret probably wouldn’t fly with most, but Sidney’s parents, after their initial shock and LOTS of conversations, came to find this as one of the best presents they’d ever received.
Various – Share life stories to show you are not alone
While I would like to share the details of each of these books the reality is that most people who write books to help others are not doing so for wide distribution or to make money. They want their books to go directly to people in need such as women’s shelters, friends, and family, and specific organizations that help people facing life obstacles such as domestic and sexual abuse, and mental illness.
I am a full-time freelance writer specializing in books, though I also write blogs, web-content, and handle several other types of projects. To see what I offer visit my rates page or contact me with specific queries and questions. I’m also available to help mentor you through your first book. I’d love to work with you, and if you know anyone else looking for a writer I offer a generous referral fee.