Fourteen years ago, an author friend of mine asked if I’d like to ghostwrite a business book. I said yes. I didn’t set out to be a business ghostwriter specializing in books. Yet that’s how it happened.
I grew up near Oxford in England. After graduating from Winchester Art School I moved to the United States. As there were no job listings for people with a degree in fine art and philosophy, I got a sales job. At first, I was bad at it. I got fired. But three days later I found a better sales job. This job allowed me to grow, and after a while, I became interim corporate CEO in San Francisco. Interim doesn’t mean forever, so I started a multimedia business focusing on corporate storytelling.
My first chance to ghostwrite a business book showed me how my previous experience in sales, management, and communication could be put to better use. I’ve been ghostwriting books ever since.
I continue to learn about business (and life) from my clients. And most say they have learned something of value from me. Each book I’ve written has contributed to my understanding of businesses and the people who run them. Yet, three non-professional experiences continue to bring a fresh perspective to my work.
First, I’m a founder member and ex-president of Warehouse Evening Toastmasters in Oakland, California, a non-profit organization dedicated to communication and leadership. Our group has a lot of fun practicing the art of speech writing and delivery.
Second, I’ve benefited from being part of a theatrical improvisation group. “Improv” teaches you to think on your feet.
Third, over a period of five years, I moderated a weekly Socratic philosophy group. This was enormous fun and boosted my critical-thinking skills. I learned to listen and ask more insightful follow-up questions. And that’s relevant because interviewing is an integral part of the ghostwriter’s job. I believe that asking the right questions— and listening to the responses— just might be the secret of life.
I’m a constant reader. When not reading or writing, I’m on the badminton court, swimming laps, or practicing my 21-year daily meditative practice of qigong.
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with Lynnette Rogers who’s such a good editor that I married her.
If you’d like to know more about me, just ask.