Born and raised in Kent, I started my journalistic career on my local newspaper, the Whitstable Times, in 2001. Within a few years, I was freelancing for National newspapers and wrote for the likes of the Daily Mail, The Sun, The Guardian and The Times, as well as magazines like Marie Claire, Woman and Woman’s Own.
My work took me to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Malawi, Canada and Greece where I interviewed refugees and soldiers, businesspeople and celebrities on subjects as diverse as war, grief, disability, adoption, relationships, mental illness and life-changing experiences.
When I transitioned from journalism to ghostwriting, I relished going from a 1,200 word article to a 96,000 word book – not just for the sake of it, but because a newspaper or magazine interview, however brilliant, can only ever tell part of the story. A book allows you to go into more detail.
What’s also better about writing a book is that the author has control over what they say. Too often in journalism an editor will over-dramatise a story. Once or twice this has damaged the trust I had built with people I had interviewed. When you have your story ghostwritten by someone like me, you are in charge.
If your book is published commercially an editor at a publishing house may ask you to expand on certain areas or change something, but it’s a discussion not a demand. As the author of a memoir, you have the final say.
As a local journalist I loved being out and about meeting people, sharing a cup of tea, letting the conversation flow and the relationship develop. This wasn’t always the case with National newspapers or magazines because deadlines loomed, and the celebrities I often interviewed were short of time.
Through Your Memoir, however, I get to spend quality time listening to people again – and drinking tea with them! Thanks to Skype I can do this even if my clients are on the other side of the world.
Since I created Your Memoir, I have helped 60 authors aged between 22 and 96. The projects have ranged from 10,000 to 160,000 words. Together we’ve told stories about sailing the world, adventures for charity, the British navy, unrequited love, showbusiness, equine advice, overcoming abuse, requited love, life after death, being a Playboy bunny and a mistress to the rich and famous, growing up as a Barnardo’s boy, the Dutch Resistance, adoption, self-help, life as a sex worker, imprisonment abroad, the Royal Engineers, fighting cancer, living while dying, success in business, finding family, the Battle For Crete (WWII), overcoming suicide, mental illness, family mysteries, reunions with happy endings and without, forbidden love, spiritual connections, life with a famous parent, parental abandonement, social work, surviving genocide and so much more.
As you can see, very few subjects are off limits, and everyone has a story to tell. You might even want to write your autobiography and not just focus on one particular event or experience. The life you think of as ordinary will be really special to your loved ones, and you would be surprised at how eager they’ll be to read about it. In fact,I have written many books with authors who have had what could be called "ordinary lives". But each life is unique and in my opinion, precious. If you've thought of leaving your mark on the cave wall in this way, don't delay. If you're here because your family want you to write but you're thinking, "Nothing much has happened to me," then I ask you this: do you wish that your parents or grandparents had written down the details of their lives, however ordinary? I think I know the answer so be brave, swallow your modesty, and do this for your descendants.
You might want your memoir written because you feel strongly that you want future generations to read your story. You might want closure or to surprise and entertain people. Whatever your reason, and whatever your story, you’ll need an experienced ghostwriter interested in detail, accuracy, structure and style, who is a warm, compassionate listener. Please see my testimonials to read what my authors say about me.
What journalism taught me is that everyone has a story to tell. What Your Memoir taught me is that I love to help tell those stories.