Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pat Tucker - Professional Ghostwriter (Read this if you think you're too busy to write)

For anyone who says they don't have time to write, this interview is for you. Pat Tucker is an author, a full-time journalist, a mother of two (including a newborn baby) and a wife yet she has made the time to ghost write 2 NY Times Bestselling novels and sold over 100,000 copies of her own books.

How did you get started ghostwriting?
Jeff, first thank you so much for the interview. My ghostwriting career actually started by accident. An author friend of mine was on a very tight deadline and asked if I could help by cranking out 20k words. I got all of the information needed, and two days later, forwarded the subplot. Once it was turned it-said friend got rave reviews from the editor and wha-lah, a ghost was born! From there I helped another author friend, then my then publisher had a few leads and things took off from there.

How can others break in?
If you want to break in, I suggest you network, network, then network some more. For me, it began with doing a few projects here and there to help a friend then word of mouth spread about both my speed and ability to pick up the author's voice. The important thing to remember is, this story belongs to someone else. It's that person's voice, their vision, It's their marathon, I'm just the boost that help them make it to the finish line.

What are some of your success?
I've had a project go to the New York Times bestsellers list... not to mention one being optioned for a movie and a project that helped a client secure a very high profile agent. But I think my greatest success is my ability to keep my clients names private. For purposes of proving I'm not making it up, I of course share necessary information with my agent, but I don't make it a habit of name dropping, it's important that a potential client know their secret is safe with me. I think the trust factor is a huge draw when one is hiring a ghostwriter.

How much should someone charge if they want to ghostwrite?
The going rate is always negotiable. I tell people to research and set a competitive rate based on the equivalent for their work. I have even had colleagues charge a portion of royalties. So I say it's all negotiable. But whatever rate you charge, make sure everything, from all charges, to who is responsible for edits and rewrite and all other details are spelled out in the contract. Nothing hurts a business relationship than confusion about what is covered under a specific rate.

Tell us about your latest project.
My latest ghost project is still being worked out. I'm not ready to reveal details just yet. You don't want to jinx something in the works.  But of my own work, I recently completed an erotic short for the new epublisher Ravenous Romance. Hip Hop Heat, is by Tricia Tucker and will be released by Ravenous December 3rd.  It's hot!  The publisher goes on line December 1st.

Your known as a prolific writer but you're a wife & mother too and a full time journalist how do you schedule writing?
Most writers I know do more than just write. Even full time writers I know, (a few) do other things on the side.  For me, family life, my 9 to 5 and life in general helps in my writing. I don't schedule time to write, I write to escape real life and it's issues. Most of my writing is done at night after the family is off to sleep, early in the morning before I go to work and during my down time at work-lunch breaks and such. I can't imagine scheduling time to write. Some of my best ideas have come while doing other things.

What tips do you have for people who procrastinate?
I'm a recovering procrastinator, so I'm not sure I'm the best to dole out advice here, I've been on the wagon for several years now, but it's a daily struggle. The biggest problem as it relates to procrastinating with writing is that some of my best work was produced under pressure. Because I write quickly, if something is due December 1st, I'll get 70 percent of it done November 30th. So while I know this disease is not good, the rush it gives me makes me an addict, but, hey I'm in recovery! I even procrastinated with this interview:)

What schedule do you have for writing?
I write whenever I can. I keep notepads all around the house, next to my bed, in the car, in my bag, when something hits me, I want to be ready, and most times I am. I have a desk top, a lap top and a mini lap top I carry in my bag, so I can crank out a chapter while I'm in the waiting room at the doctor's office!

How can people reach you if they're interesting in hiring you as a ghostwriter?
I can be reached at itstriciat@yahoo.com