Libby Harkness - Writer, Biographer, Ghostwriter

 

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Ghostwriter

A good ghostwriter should be able to write someone's autobiography, memoir or specific life event for them as if they were telling it themselves. This is not as easy as it might sound but it is Libby's particular area of expertise. She has a knack of 'getting the voice' of her clients. Many of the stories Libby has written are about significant events in the lives of people; most are life-changing, some are tragic, many are inspirational.

Libby's special skill is her empathy and sensitivity along with her ability to narrate the story in a readable way. A story can convey a range of emotions - sadness, strength, humour - but the reader must believe that the ghostwriter is really that person telling the story.

This is what Simon Gillard wrote about working with Libby on his recently released memoir 'Life Sentence. A Police Officer's Battle with PTSD':

'I was very apprehensive about sharing my life story to help educate people regarding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Not having the expertise to write a book I was fortunate to find Libby Harkness. Libby and I formed an early bond and a friendship that made opening up about my illness much easier. Libby is patient and caring and was very in tune as to how I was coping during our interviews. There was never an issue about a break or ending a session early if necessary. She ensured the entire process was streamlined to save me any concern.

I'll never forget reading the first chapters and thinking 'Wow', this is amazing and so correct. My voice, my words, my dialogue were captured exactly in a written narrative by another person. Libby has an amazing writing talent to achieve this.

Libby guided me, right by my side, to realise a publishing deal with Penquin Random House. The process was far from daunting having Libby explain the processes and knowing what to ask and when.

I loved working with Libby and my book is attributed to Libby as much as me. I would highly recommend Libby with her wizardry writing skills for anyone wanting the dream of producing and publishing a book.'

One of Libby's commissions in 2010 was a story about a Melbourne father's loss of his two-year-old son Bailey to a brain tumour. Patrick Tessier wrote the following tribute to Libby for the front of the book 'The Promise - a father's story of loss and love':

"An extraordinary thing happened to me when I decided to write this book. I found Libby Harkness, or maybe we found each other. I am not a writer, and while this is my story, it took a very gifted person to put it into words. Every one of them is Libby's. Over the months it took to research, write and fine-tune The Promise, I watched this terrific woman live my story. Her passion and commitment to my project was exceptional - in fact, extraordinary. I will always be in her debt and be very thankful that we shared this time."

NB: Patrick went on to establish 'Bailey's Day' in remembrance of Bailey which has raised millions of dollars for children's brain cancer research. Patrick and Libby have maintained a warm friendship and Libby travels to Melbourne every December to attend Bailey's Day.

In regards to Turia Pitt's best-selling book 'Everything to Live For' Turia wrote:

"Libby, you have done such a fantastic job. It wouldn't have been the book that it is without you!"

Do you have a life story you would like to tell but not the writing skills to do it? Why not talk to Libby to see if she can help. To help you with this conversation she has compiled a guide of things to consider carefully before you make contact.

 

 


 

 

Biographer

Writing a good biography takes a special skill. It's not just a chronological document with dates, facts and dry stories about life peaks. A person's life should not only be revealed in a way that family and friends recognise and identify with, but in a way that others too can enjoy. If the subject is unknown to you when you start reading his or her story, when you've reached the last page, you want to feel as if you know that person well.

Libby' skill is in capturing the essence of a person's life and rounding it out so their biography is not just informative, but also interesting and absorbing.

Many years as a journalist has helped hone Libby's interviewing skills and she can interview family, friends and business associates as part of a wider look at a person's life. Meticulous research is also something Libby carries out as part of putting a good story together.

If you want to commission someone to write a biography of your mother, father, or another family member, you can talk to Libby about it.

Australian Society of Authors

 

 

  © Copyright 2013 Libby Harkness - Writer for Hire. All Rights Reserved. Sydney Australia.