Collaborating/Ghostwriting:Each collaboration entails a unique relationship and process. Depending on an author’s schedule, availability, comfort zone, personality, and the nature of his or her work, we determine together how best to work. Any collaboration is based on what works best for the author and the success of the project.
For instance, if an author travels a great deal or runs a busy practice, we might decide the best way to proceed is for me to gather information through personal interviews, note gathering, and observation of the author’s work. This would enable me to draft original material for the author to review and make changes, creating a back-and-forth process that allows for maximum flexibility.
Other authors prefer to be more hands-on and draft parts of the manuscripts themselves. They draft; I edit and make changes; they review. The collaboration is still in motion, but the author is more involved in the actual writing process.
Most authors fall in between these two extremes, doing some drafting but leaving the better half of drafting to me. The process always remains collaborative, with the author in charge of all ultimate decisions and me functioning as a writing expert and book facilitator.
My collaboration relationships often begin by helping an author write a book proposal. The book proposal is not only a crucial selling tool for a publishing sale, but also the point at which the book’s structure, content, and voice are shaped and articulated. I have written numerous that have all been successfully sold to publishers, including Atria, Ballantine, Broadway, Crown, Da Capo, Dutton, Gotham, Grand Central, Harmony, Harper Collins, It Books, Kensington, Little, Brown, Meredith, Penguin, Random House, Simon & Schuster, Touchstone, Viking, and Warner.
Editing & Book Doctoring:
Some clients come to me with a manuscript already drafted. For them, I function more as an editor, working with them to tighten, develop, pare down, or clean up the organization and/or prose of the project. I help with overall organization as well as line edit. I am often hired directly by the acquiring editor at the author’s publishing house.
For clients who want more than editorial feedback, notes on the page, or line editing, and prefer that I not only edit their manuscript but also make the changes to the page and the manuscript as a whole, I offer book doctoring services. In such cases, I often work in conjunction with authors and their agents or publishers so that together, we agree on the changes to be made to a manuscript to ready it for publishing.
Although most authors wish to acknowledge my participation in the creation of their books, some clients prefer that I work anonymously and under a confidentiality agreement.
Speaking Engagements and Conferences:
Billie has appeared at a number of writing conferences, including the California Writer’s Club Conference, the Irvine Valley College Writers’ Conference, and the San Diego State University Writers’ Conference.