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  • Writer's picturealisonkilian

3 Books You Probably Didn't Know Were Ghostwritten

Your favorite authors are lying to you.

When I tell people what I do for a living, I'm often met with a giant question mark. Once I've explained what I do and what ghostwriting is, I'm then met with the inevitable, "Cool, have I read any of your work?"


Honestly, probably not. My ghostwriting focuses on two very disparate niche fields: On one side, I write a lot of business books, many with a healthcare focus; on the other, I write a lot of romance (yes, some of them are steamy)! So, unless you're into one of those two genres, odds are you've never encountered my incognito work.


However, it IS very likely that you HAVE read something written by a ghostwriter—because ghosts are far more common than most people realize. Sure, there are the superstars like J.R. Moehringer, the (known) ghost behind Prince Harry's memoir "Spare" (I talk about Moehringer's interesting life as a ghost here). But many publishing houses and PR agencies use ghosts on a regular basis for more mundane and lesser-known works.


And some highlights of popular literature were ghosted. Here are three of my lesser-known favorites:


  1. The Baby-Sitter's Club. Did you LOVE Mary Anne's Makeover? It wasn't written by Ann M. Martin, the recognized creator and author of famous franchise. It was written by someone you've likely never heard of—a guy by the name of Peter Lerangis. Lerangis wrote about 40 books in the Baby-Sitters' Club series.

  2. James Bond. Raymond Benson If you're a James Bond fan, you likely know that 007 was the brainchild of British writer Ian Fleming. But Fleming didn't write very Bond book you know! Raymond Benson wrote 12 James Bond novels from 1997 to 2002.

  3. The Sweet Valley Books. The Sweet Valley books were originally written by Farncine Pascal—and that's probably the name you associate with the series. These books are all about teen girl drama. So, it might surprise you to learn that many of the final books in the series were penned by ghostwriters—some of them twenty-something dudes! Daniel Ehrenhaft and Ryan Nerz are two of the ghosts associated with the series.


I'm not saying that ghosting is some nefarious business (and yes, the "your favorite authors are lying to you" tagline is 100% clickbait). Ghosting has long been an accepted part of the publishing profession. If you dig a little deeper into some of your favorite authors, you might be surprised what you find.


Thank you for reading my blog! This is a space where I share personal thoughts — an opportunity for self-expression that has nothing to do with my professional writing. None of the thoughts or opinions expressed in this blog should be construed as anything but my own, nor should they be affiliated with any company or person I contract with or write for.


NOW that that's done... I'd love to hear from you about this blog post in the comments!

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