Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Today we get to learn more about Dianne Sagan, who has graciously consented to answering some questions for me.

Welcome, Dianne, and let’s begin:

Dianne, please tell us a bit about your background and training to become a writer.

I have a B.A. in History, with a minor in Geography. I also earned a M.A. in Communications. I believe my academic training has helped immensely. I have a broad background of American and world history to draw on from my undergraduate work, and I also learned the art of research. That is really valuable to a writer. My Communications degree involved a lot of writing, and my professors encouraged me to write articles and explore other avenues of expression. And, as is true with most graduate degrees, I learned a lot about statistics, probabilities, and the scientific method, so when I write I can include a feeling for what constitutes a “likely” event and what doesn’t. The Communications degree I earned also included a lot of behavioral studies, and that gave me important insights into what people really do in real situations.

Please tell us something about your experiences as a ghostwriter.

My husband and I have started a new ghosting writing and editing package called Legacy. These books are not your normal memoir or family history /memory books. Instead, we work with people who wish to leave behind a message to their family and others about lessons they learned in life and the legacy they leave behind.

In the past couple of years I have ghostwritten ten nonfiction books dealing with subjects as varied as business success, leadership, health issues, overcoming your past, overcoming your fears, how to tap into your mental strength, and teaching children about finance.

Do you ever wish that you had published under your own name instead of being so successful as a ghostwriter for others?

My goal has been to be a freelance writer and to be able to live well from my work. That isn’t always easy to do when selling my own work. When the ghostwriting opportunity came along, it was a perfect fit. Ghostwriting provides a good income on a steady basis, and, although I have less time to work on writing projects under my own byline, it is well worth it. It also gives me experience and a track record for being able to complete books and make deadlines. It has also helped me prove to myself that, yes, I really can write a first draft of a two hundred-page manuscript in four weeks!

What are you working on currently?

My current projects include a series of Christian fiction novellas. The series is called Touched by the Savior. Each book is the story of a little-known woman who met Jesus during his ministry. The first is a story of Rebekah, who is orphaned and used as a slave by her relatives until she is taken in by Lazarus and his sisters. The second tells the story of Peter’s wife. A third tells about the woman at the well after she went home from the well. Other stories are also planned.

I am also working to revise my novel, Escape, for a publisher who is interested in it. I hope to have a contract for it soon.

Where can readers see an example of your writing projects?

The Tainted Mirror: An Anthology, edited by Valerie Coleman, is currently available at and other booksellers. The second story, contributed by me, is entitled “Second Chances” and is about my son’s head injury and the aftermath. Based on I Corinthians 13:12, The Tainted Mirror: An Anthology offers stories of hope and healing. They speak of overcoming mental, physical, and emotional strongholds that keep us from realizing our true potential.

As an experienced writer, what advice do you have for new writer just getting started in their careers?

Don’t put off writing until times are better or less hectic. Don’t wait until your children grow up and leave home. There is no time like the present to write, even if you can do it for only ten minutes a day at first. Take time to make time to write, and don’t let anyone talk you out of it. Also, I have to say that new writers will go a lot further a lot faster if they join a writer’s group that is honest, blunt, articulate and consistent in giving feedback about how to improve one’s work. Writers have to develop a thick skin and not take feedback personally. Critiques are not about you; they are about the writing. Learn from them and work to make your writing better.

Thank you, Dianne, for such interesting answers. I’m sure everyone enjoyed getting to know you better.

Now is a great time to visit Dianne's website:


Dianne Sagan said...

Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog this week, Harry. I enjoyed myself and look forward to following your blog and your writing career.

Thanks again,
Dianne Sagan

Zebee said...

Ghostwriting sounds interesting. I also like the series you're working on now,I look forward to reading more about you and them.