Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ghostwriting - Caution

Cautionary tale from one who has taken the ride.

Today I got word from my attorney that my celebrity collaborator on a ghostwriting project has an attorney that doesn't respond.  Things went sour thanks to a betraying agent WHO I BOUGHT IN ON THE PROJECT.  She wanted said celebrity to push me off the project so she could put another "more seasoned" ghostwriter in my place.  I was not an employee, I was a collaborator.  I didn't cooperate in my own ousting.   I may name the top agent sometime in the future, but for now I'm being discreet.

Helping others tell their stories can be fun, advance your skills at interviewing and delving deep into POV, give you the opportunity to midwife great stories.  It can also be lucrative.  But beware of the pitfalls.

I write a column for BTS Book Reviews and coincidentally the disappointing
call from my attorney happened on the first day of my ghostwriting series.  Instead of earning a sizeable amount of money (as per my contract), I'll end up going in the hole for my attorney's retainer, my travels to the celebrity for interviews, rental car, etc.  Not to mention my lack of income as I turned down new editing clients. 

It was a writing debacle and a lesson learned.  But perhaps a subject for a book I can write in the future.  The question is, do I write it as nonfiction from my perspective going into a very big project and having it yanked away from me through interference with a contract?  Or do I write it as a murder mystery and leave some blood behind on the page. 

A question to ponder. 

You can see the list of all the subjects I cover on my BTS teaser page:

-  Inkpot