Writing a Fake True Story

Back to my favorite blog topic: ghostwriting. Now, I take my client confidentiality very seriously, but at the same time, Inquiring Minds Want to Know–what’s it like to be a ghostwriter? I get asked all the time, so let me, without naming names, bring you into the world I currently inhabit.

A couple of years ago I wrote a true-life epic romance novel, and got to really research the romance genre. Then last year, I wrote a southern coming-of-age novel in something close to a linked-short-stories style. It was very Jeannette Walls, if you know what that means. And now, I’m working on a fun crime caper where the story is completely fictional, but the characters and the pasts of the characters are based on real people.

A Fake True Story?

The idea being, my clients had the dubious distinction of having been the FBI’s prime suspects in a bank robbery. In truth, they didn’t do the bank robbery, so they didn’t worry about getting into trouble. But the reason they were suspects is because they did indeed have checkered pasts. Now, having adjusted to a non-criminal life of jobs and mortgages and all the responsibilities of law-abiding folk, they would like to live out their crime fantasies through a book.

The book is going to be a hilarious caper all about if they had robbed that bank, how would they have done it? I’m having loads of fun with it, as staying true to the style means constant reading of, primarily, Donald Westlake, among other novelists, whose penchant for hilarious storytelling is matched only by his skill at complex plot-twists. Stay tuned for more updates from my current life of total crime-novel immersion.

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