What does an English major do for money in the summer? I, for one, have ghost written in the past as a way to secure summer income (since tutoring is really nonexistent in the summer months).
I have ghost written teen romance novels set in the horse racing world,
fantasy novels, involving werewolves and princesses,
and, of course, potato diet cookbooks.
While I was paid to write these and other various projects, my name was never on them, and that is the glory of being a ghost writer, in my opinion.
If I were to attach my name to a project, I honestly wouldn’t want it to be any of these three, and I will tell you why.
I’m not into romance. I’m not a romance person. I’ve never actually read a romance novel in my life. I can’t say I’m really into horse racing or the show world, but I was commissioned to research it and create a story around it, so I did. I’m good at researching and I’m good at writing–that is what I was paid for. I wanted the money and the woman wanted the story, so the exchange happened. In exchange for her money, my piece of work became a work for hire and she put her name on it and I’m fine with that. I’m more than fine with that–I’m happy to no longer be attached to the project.
The same thing goes for the fantasy novel and the cook book. I was paid to write these as works for hire and they are not things I would have written unless instructed to do so. While I did the research and developed the story in the fantasy novel, the cook book job came with a few recipes and diet ideas that I just stated more plainly.
Being a ghost writer does not mean selling your own ideas; being a ghost writer is fleshing out other people’s ideas because you have the talent and the know-how and they have a spark of creativity they cannot execute on their own. I sometimes feel like ghost writing gets a bad wrap, but I see nothing wrong with helping people express their ideas.
– Amanda Riggle
You can follow Amanda on Twitter @ThePandaBard, on Pinterest @ThePandaBard, or on Medium @ThePandaBard. You can also find her research on Academia.Edu at Cpp.Academia.Edu/MandaRiggle.