Linda Leon BMP

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Keira Knightley stars in Colette - Film about a Queer Ghostwriter

‘Colette’ Trailer: Keira Knightley Is a Queer Ghostwriter in Oscar-Contending Drama


Colette Keira Knightley

Bleecker Street has released the first trailer for the true-story drama Colette, which debuted at the Sundance film festival earlier this year to rave reviews. Directed by Wash Westmoreland (Still Alice), the film stars Keria Knightley as Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, a whip-smart woman who moves from rural France to the artistic splendor of Paris after marrying successful writer Willy (Dominic West).

Willy subsequently convinces Colette to ghostwrite a book for him, and her semi-autobiographical novel becomes a smash hit. But the success complicates both the couple’s relationship and Colette’s life, as gender roles, sexuality, and societal constraints are questioned.

Watch the Colette trailer below, if you so choose. (Warning: spoiler alert, this trailer tells you a lot about the movie!) Scripted by Westmoreland, Richard Glatzer, and Rebecca Lenkiewicz, the film also stars Denise GoughFiona ShawRobert Pugh, and Eleanor TomlinsonColette opens in theaters on September 21st.


Book Review of The Proximity of Stars by Benedict Stuart

Book Review of Amazon book - Not a Best Seller but a Good Book!

By Karen S. Cole, Head Ghostwriter, Editor, Marketer and Publisher of Ghost Writer, Inc.

The Proximity of Stars

This book sings with a Britisher's true grit, determination and eternal optimism. It opened really fast, then slowed down, almost bogged down until it reached a luxuriously casual climax of sorts. I really enjoyed the English slang terms scattered throughout Proximity, it helped me appreciate the aura of UK liberalism and anti-fascism abundant in this novel.

It starts with a bang, some highly sadistic plotters alienating our heroes and causing them great harm. Then, over time, it slowly debuts into a more engaging and slower paced journey of enlightenment about the Universe and politics.

My only objections were: it's not very deep. Not a lot of science fiction details about the system being built into the book, it was too short to detail much about the Solar System's futuristic governing system. Also, the print edition was double-spaced and thus had only about 80 words per page, making it a 100 page book if it was printed in typical one or 1.5 line spacing with 12 pt type font.

Short book, not enough time to really describe all the futuristic details of the new governing system. Finally, the print edition is not well edited yet, the author is working on that.

The ideas are all relatively sound, though - with some great professional editing, this book could certainly tell a great tale about how to govern the entire Solar System, while remaining extremely optimistic about Life meanwhile.



How to Handle a Ghostwriter

Find, Train & Retain Your Ghostwriter Today

By Ron Lieback

Find and train ghostwriters

Ghostwriters offer many benefits for C-level executives, company presidents, and founders.

As I explained in the Top 5 Reasons You Should Hire a Ghostwriter to Write Your Content, ghostwriters:
Save you time.
Help build brand awareness quicker.
Are professional writers (not hacks!).
Know SEO (the reputable ones).
Create authentic content.

With the benefits in plain view, now we’ll move onto how to:
Find well-disciplined ghostwriters.
Train them to amplify your personal/company voice.
Retain the ones that help scale your business.

I must once again stress the importance of the 80/20 principle at work here.

Ghostwriters save upper management time so they can spend time on other valuable things like developing marketing plans or speaking at conferences. Plus, some just aren’t up to the task of writing.

As Perry Marshall says in “80/20 Sales and Marketing”, whatever someone is good at, they should focus on and do the following:
Invest heavily and building your strongest skills.
Find other people to do everything else. Someone else is great at what you’re bad at.

Businesses can easily do this by offloading the heavy writing to ghostwriters – especially for the high-ticket pieces in publications like Forbes and Inc.

I witnessed Marshall’s advice work for many of my past clients.

At one point, I was ghostwriting 15 pieces per month in major publications like Forbes on various subjects from finance to hardcore tech to digital marketing to entrepreneurship. To date, I have ghostwritten just over 500 articles in such top publications.

I always took pride in being a “factotum” type of writer, able to quickly grasp an industry through about 200 pages of reading, and then writing about it.

The secret is always to simplify things for readers, and get technical only when needed.

To this day, I still ghostwrite for a few of my most respected clients. I simply enjoy writing and helping others succeed in their verticals.

When I launched my agency, my experience with ghostwriting prompted me to offer ghostwriter services. But instead of impossibly doing all the writing myself (practice what we preach!), I began training a few other factotum writers that I found over the past two decades about the art of ghostwriting.

What follows are some tactics I’ve learned finding, training, and retaining ghostwriters for my clients, which can directly translate to your company’s personal need for ghostwriting.


Writing a Book Series can be Fun and Profitable

What makes a book publisher drool? Can you say "series"?

By Alan Rinzler, Reading Unbound

A Series of Unfortunate Events children's book series
A Series of Unfortunate Events - successful children's book series
For a publisher, producing a successful book series is like winning the lottery. The rewards can be enormous and ongoing.

Check out the numbers

The Harry Potter behemoth towers over all the rest, with more than 400 million copies sold. Nancy Drew? The 175 installments of the beloved mystery series have sold more than 200 million. New editions of the earliest stories and the latest episodes fly off the shelves at the rate of hundreds of thousands each year.
Twilight’s four books have already sold a total of more than 100 million. And Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy has sold more than 35 million copies and counting: His publisher Alfred A. Knopf estimates that by year's end they will have sold a phenomenal 15 million copies in 2010, or roughly the equivalent of recent works by John Grisham, Dan Brown, Stephenie Meyer and Stephen King combined (LATimes).
Scroll down for advice to writers on developing a series character

The trend in multi-book deals

So publishers are always working the series angle, both with authors already on the roster, and with new writers and books under consideration. If we smell a potential series in a promising new submission, we try to nail it down with a multiple book contract. That trend is apparent in the numbers of new multi-book deals listed in Publishers Marketplace over the past 12 months, with the greatest number in the following genres:

Top genres for multi-book deals in 2010

Romance - 108 deals
Mystery & Crime - 73
Young Adult - 56
Middle Grade - 53
Science Fiction - 31
Thrillers - 29
Paranormal - 27

The challenge for writers: how to keep a character alive

I’m working now with several authors who are developing series of books built around an ongoing hero or heroine. In each case these writers are confronting the challenge of sustaining reader interest in a serial character who faces a different dramatic crisis in each book, but also has a compelling personal life that’s constantly evolving in exciting ways.
One approach that works for many writers is to write an ambitious kind of fictional autobiography, not a true-to-life memoir, but a romantic idealization of the author's own life. A reader of this blog summed it up perfectly in a recent comment: “My main character is part me and part the person I would like to be. She’s allowing me to rebuild my hometown as it was–and wasn’t–when I was growing up.”
As a developmental editor, therefore, I approach the work with the perspective of an entire series. Certain editorial issues unique to writing a serial character occur repeatedly. I’ve found the following points to be useful for writers to keep in mind:

Tips for creating a serial character

Let them age – Harry Potter grows up, about one year for each of the seven books. Your characters can get older too; a little bit at a time, no matter what their age is in the first book. They can face problems left over by the last book and also increase their skills, perceptions, strategies, and deepen their relationships. As a variation, you can write a prequel, set in time before the first book. Tom Clancy did that with Patriot Games, featuring his CIA agent Jack Ryan, who was introduced three years earlier in the Hunt for Red October.
The opposite approach works too, of course, as Nancy Drew fans know.  The blond sleuth stays forever young, though she aged from 16 to 18 at some point early in the series.
Keep them close to your heart – Write from deep inside your psyche about what you know and care about the most. A mystery writer who commented recently here on the blog said, “My protagonist is my husband. His partner/sleuth is my former daughter-in-law and his girlfriend is me– only younger and sexier.”
Give them an interesting day job -- Your hero could be a doctor-without-borders or a truck driver, as long as their daily activities thrust them regularly into new situations to test their mettle and provide a chance to move forward on the public and private levels of their lives.
Make every new crisis relate to their inner development – No event can be random. When a new character is introduced, keep their identity as a savior or lethal opponent up in the air. Consider every book as if it were a self-contained mythical quest like Odysseus, and let your hero keep proving himself, overcoming his deepest personal self-doubt.
Surprise us – Avoid getting stuck in a formulaic pattern.  The heroine, for example, who’s happily married with children for the first two books, could have a marital crisis and end up leaving her husband in the third book. Whether or not she returns can depend on the new crisis she stumbles into on her day job as a bio-hazards expert or a pastry chef, or whatever she does. Or have your stalwart front-line combat reporter suffer from an episode of psychotic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that makes him violent, hateful, terrorize his friends and lovers, even join the enemy. Keep us guessing as to how it will turn out.

Are you developing a serial character?

I'd be very interested to hear how you've tackled the challenge of sustaining interest from one story to the next.  I'll watch for any questions.