I’ve spent my whole life in love with books and the written word. I learned to read at a very early age and by my early teenage years had begun collecting books, many of them antiquarian. My father used to parade people up to my bedroom to look at all the books I owned, all stacked neat and tidy in the wall-to-wall bookshelves he had built for me. As visitors left, I could hear him say, “And, he’s actually read them!” as if this was something almost beyond belief. Truth be told, I often felt like a cuckoo in a strange nest.
I was never academic; I talked too much and listened not enough, so the chance of going to university, or any form of higher education slipped past me without so much as a backward glance. It wasn’t a lack of brains, or intelligence, it was a lack of understanding of what education meant, and its value. My parent’s ambition for me was I simply not end up in a factory – any lowly job in an office would have been seen as a win.
And, that’s where I ended up at sixteen – a query clerk at McGraw Hill Publishing. Working among books and dealing with inquiries from academics. I loved walking the aisles of books in the warehouse – the smell, the feel, the promise within. It was intoxicating.
After a few years, I managed to get a job as a sales rep for another publishing company and thus I began a career from the bottom rung that would eventually take me to the heady heights of publisher, and later author. In many ways, I have had a blessed life. My education has come from living and breathing books and words for an entire lifetime. I have a unique relationship with the publishing world and books that’s indefinable in any academic sense. I have an intimate relationship with books, I ‘see’ how a book should be thematically structured, I ‘see’ what works on the page, I’m in harmony with the needs of readers.
As a ghostwriter, custom publisher, and publishing consultant I help authors bring their words to life, handling everything from the thematic conceptualization and structure of their book to ghostwriting the words, and from handling the design of the book to working with the printer.
At one point, a few years ago, many people thought e-readers might steal away the life of the printed book; not me, I always knew the power of the printed word, the power of the written word, would reign supreme and so it has. An indication of this is the fact that Friesens, my printer of choice and North America’s oldest and largest book printer, has never been busier in its 110-year history.
Books are back – big time, especially as a way to promote oneself and establish credibility. They offer a level of authority and integrity no other form of media can touch in terms of quality and longevity.
I am honoured to help creative people bring their words to life, to the page and to the people. In the coming months and years, this blog will explore all things to do with the written word, from as many strange angles as I can discover. Oh and sometimes, I may stray into other topics that inspire me to write or to rant!