Has any book ever before so dominated the news agenda on both sides of the Atlantic (and beyond) for what feels like months and months? In the lead up to publication of Spare on 6th January, the Mail, Express and others frothed daily over the possible story lines, prejudged slights, and predicted apocalyptic damage to the reputation of the royal family and even the country.
This Monday morning is like no other – the day of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s funeral. As I swap my usual coffee for a nice cup of tea, which seems more fitting, it’s a comfort to hear stories and shared memories from those who knew or met her; stories I’ve never heard before, about how good she was at singing and Scrabble and tales of her kindness, her humour and her love for the countryside; stories that help us remember and share our mutual love and admiration.
I never met HRH The Queen directly, but I’ll never forget two times I had the honour of seeing her up close.
My first job after graduating with a media degree was as Editorial Assistant at Brownie and Guiding magazine, at the Guiding HQ in Buckingham Palace Road. I commuted by train every day and, on my first day in the job, I decided I might as well pop round the corner to the palace.
As I approached, I realised something momentous was going on – crowds and police lined the streets, so I weaved my vertically-challenged self through the crowds and asked a policeman at the front what was happening? ‘Good timing, miss,’ he replied. ‘Nelson Mandela and The Queen will be along in a minute.’
This post goes back to a day some time ago when I got on a train and went to a ‘meeting’.
I know. I’ll give you a minute. It’s been a while.
In case you still need help, a ‘meeting’ is a gathering of individuals, often in a ‘meeting room’, to talk about a subject in order to agree a way ahead. Or something like that. Like I say, it’s been a while. Read more “Voicing Concerns”
‘People have always told me I should write a book.’
These are, I’d wager, the ten words a professional ghostwriter most often hears. And that’s fine. It’s what brings clients to our doors. I love the fact that everyone still values the printed word as much as I do too. And long may it continue. But, (and you knew there was a ‘but’ coming, didn’t you?) a ghost will need a lot more information to understand whether or not they are the right person to bring your story to life, whether it is a business book, a life story, or a non-fiction one covering a subject close to your heart.
Ghosting is a collaboration. When you get in touch with a ghost, they will be weighing up you and your story, as much as you are weighing up whether or not they are someone you feel comfortable working with. What is it that both sides are looking for and what is the best way to ensure a perfect (and hopefully bestselling) partnership?
Stories are models of the world. They enable empathy and give us the opportunity to learn and understand more about others. But, well-constructed narrative can also compel us to think and act differently.
A recent study on the neurobiology of storytelling revealed stories which developed tension in their narrative caused audiences and readers to share the characters’ emotions and, even after the story is over, continue to feel and even mimic the behaviour and emotions of the characters. This explains why we might be compelled to be kinder after reading a book featuring a particularly altruistic character or feel braver after reading about a significantly courageous person or watching a James Bond film. Read more “The Important Lessons Stories Teach Us”