Contact Susan

“One of the best things you can do in your life is to explore some part of it by collaborating on a written memoir. It is a great opportunity to grow in courage and insight. You will learn the best way to share your unique take on life.”

Susan Stroh

Contact Me

Tell me your story! What part of your life do you want to explore and illuminate in print? Please get in touch to discuss your project. I will be so pleased to hear from you. As Anais Nin wrote, “We write to taste life twice.”

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    Still not sure if we can be of help? Check through some frequently asked questions and then send us a message.

    A ghostwriter is the person who writes the book for a client. The client’s name only is on the book as author. Susan chooses to say she is a collaborator because one cannot strictly speaking ghostwrite someone’s memoir. A collaborator works closely with the client, interviewing him or her extensively, working through the writing and editing process, consulting, and coaching, and sometimes instructing along the way. Rarely, a collaborator’s name is seen on the book cover along with the client’s name, but the ghostwriter never gets his/her name on a book.

    It takes great courage and commitment on the part of the client and writer/collaborator/coach to get a memoir written and edited to the highest quality possible. Paying for each of the five sections ahead of time ensures commitment on both sides. The sections are:

    Major Step 1: Introductory interviews, resulting in a plan, program, and projects.

    Major Step 2: Outline generation

    Major Step 3: Writing: a first rough discovery draft, and further drafts

    Major Step 4: Editing: timeline logic, character development, dialogue, narrative drive, spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

    Major Step 5: Production coordination is done by Susan to get the book proofread, typeset, and covers design done. This step includes printing and self-publishing guidance.

    Major Step 6: Publishing and printing advice. (optional) TBD

    Another way of asking this question is: How long does a full-length memoir take and what is involved?

    There are many factors to determine how long the memoir writing and editing will take: so, Susan has broken the process down into steps.

    • Introductory interviews are done to get your vision for your book established in detail.
    • From those interviews, Susan evolves a plan, a program and project steps, and calendars schedules.
    • Phone or in-person, recorded interviews are done to develop content.
    • Each transcript is edited and filed under the appropriate category.
    • Client and coach together develop the best structure for the story.
    • An outline is evolved with likely parts, titles, and chapters.
    • Chapters are written, using edited transcripts, and other sources.
    • Research is done along the way to add context, texture, background, and clarity.
    • The first solid draft is completed to client’s satisfaction.
    • Various editing passes are done for logic, dialogue, overused words, supplanting clichés with original writing, spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
    • The proofreader reads and suggests changes.
    • The draft is revised until coach and client agree it’s time to get to readers.
    • Readers read the draft within a certain time designated by client and coach.
    • Revisions of the draft are done as needed.
    • Find, gather, digitalize and number photos and graphics.
    • Have transcriber or art director correct or photoshop photos.
    • Add a copy of each photo to the master draft showing preferred placement in manuscript and send to typesetter.
    • Get front and back covers designed with copy.
    • Proofreader usually does another pass before presenting the manuscript to the printer and revisions are made by editor.
    • Get draft typeset.
    • Edit as needed.
    • Send to printer.
    • Get a proof from printer.
    • Last minute changes if needed.
    • Print book.
    • Get book files sent to Amazon or another print on demand service or simply buy books from printer and distribute them oneself.

    Note: Distribution and marketing is not part of Susan’s job.

    Most books have taken Susan and her client a year or a year and a half from first interview to a printed copy if the client is working. But some books take only six months. Generally, the range is six months to 18 months.

    Susan has worked with clients in Colorado, Washington DC, New York, Massachusetts, Tennessee, New Mexico, and Switzerland, as well as many places in California. She does much of her work interviewing or coaching via Skype, Zoom, emails, texts, phone calls with copies of documents sometimes sent by snail mail. Sometimes, however, it is a pleasurable necessity for Susan to travel to her client’s location to do interviews, see their environment, photographs, graphics, and other archival material.

    Gina & Brielle Walker, authors of “Delivery Girl”

    We needed an editor who was willing to work with us on our mother/daughter memoir who was highly educated, skilled in memoir and screenwriting (because we have been advised this book should also be a film) and who was excited about our journey.

    Susan was exactly what we were looking for! She sifted through our manuscript efficiently yet thoroughly; eliminating anything that distracted from the pure heart and strength of our story and its message.

    Thank you, Susan for getting who we are and what our objectives for the book were; and for making us better writers.

    Heide P. Boyden, Author, Coach, Editor

    I have had the pleasure of working with Susan Stroh for over thirty years. We have enjoyed a writing partnership for over twenty-five of those years.

    Together, we have edited millions of words and written millions more. Working with Susan has been a turning point in my life. It has been with her help and inspiration that I have realized my dream of becoming a professional writer.

    Susan is a dedicated work partner. She understands what the word collaboration means and is always willing to hear, embrace and even embellish another’s valid viewpoint. Her professionalism is only enhanced by her friendliness, making working with Susan fun.

    Susan knows her stuff. If you want to get your thoughts, your words and your stories known, Susan Stroh is exactly the right person to help you complete your manuscript.

    Claudie Halbritter Baldwin Vos, Author of Going Deep

    On the collaborative writing with Susan for her memoir, Claudie says,

    Susan and Claudie

    Susan Stroh, my coach, collaborative writer, and editor patiently helped me to manifest my goals and purposes. We worked together to discover the best structure to tell my story. As a coach, Susan was steadfast in fostering persistence, courage, and invention in how to bring the reader into some of the most significant scenes of my life. As the interviews grew in number, deep perception and clarity grew for me. Writing in collaboration gave me the vision to clearly see not only the hardships I had to overcome, but also the innumerable blessings of life.

    Claudie in Switzerland

    I wanted to discover the ‘wide world’ of my life so far, to fathom what its purpose has been, is, and will be. I wanted to know and be known. I wanted my life to be intentional, to be profoundly helpful to others and joyful in celebration of what is and what can be. I wanted to share with my readers the pilgrimage on which I started a long time ago and on which I am still journeying.