What is a script ghostwriter
Become a ghostwriter: This mother tells what it's like to write for others
Become a ghostwriter. That sounds mysterious and like a job for which there is no classic training. Antje Bähr is a former schoolmate of mine, we studied together in Marburg and today she is a screenwriter and yes: ghostwriter! Antje recently published the (auto) biography for Judith Williams “How dreams learn to fly”, which many of you are sure to know from the TV show “Die Höhle der Löwen”. I found the topic of ghostwriting so exciting that I asked Antje for an interview. (The post contains an affiliate link)
Becoming a ghostwriter: how does it work?
How did you get into this job?
When the ARD weather fairy Claudia Kleinert decided to write a book three years ago, she spoke to me at a party and asked me if I could also imagine working as a ghostwriter. I was immediately enthusiastic about the idea, they suggested me to Ariston-Verlag for it, and so the book “Unschlagbar Positiv: Die Charisma-Formel” (which was published in 2016) was created.
After my collaboration with Ariston-Verlag went very well and successfully, I was allowed to do this work again for Judith Williams. When she decided to publish a book too.
Is it important to know very well the person you are writing for?
No, I could write a book about someone completely unknown to me. Because everything I need to know is told by this person himself.
As an author of a (auto) biography, you slip into a different life. What did that do to you?
I found it very exciting to get to know Judith Williams for who she is. Authentic, warm, undisguised and open. I was very inspired by what she told me about herself, her life and her work. I learned from her never to give up, always to believe in myself and, especially as a woman, to go my own way. No matter what stones are put in your way. Above all, however, to stay humorous and to see life with a wink.
You can order the book here (affiliate link)
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How do you keep your distance as a ghostwriter?
As a biographer, you still have a distance from people. that one writes about?
You keep the distance by writing down the story. When I listen to the words I have recorded over and over again at home and then let them become text, I distance myself from the person who spoke these words - in order to be able to look at them from a distance.
You're actually a screenwriter. How does writing a script differ from working as a ghostwriter, are there any overlaps?
As a screenwriter, I come up with fictional characters that I breathe life into. Here I am describing a real person - I am not allowed to invent, decorate or gloss over anything. As a ghostwriter, it is important to get involved in the language of the other person. I am not allowed to write in my style, but have to match the tone of the person whose life I am talking about.
What particularly impressed you about Judith Williams' résumé? What can the reader learn from her?
It is unbelievable what Judith Williams has built and achieved. Every woman should be inspired by her to believe in her dreams and pursue them. Judith Williams has experienced a lot of rain, grew up in simple circumstances without a lot of money - but with a lot of love - had to give up her dream job as an opera singer due to a serious illness, but then built and realized a new dream. I admire their positive outlook on life and really enjoyed working with them!
Dear Antje, thank you for the interview and good luck with (ghost) writing and writing the script.
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