How I Charge For Ghostwriting or Editing

Although I have a single devoted client, one client does not pay the bills. As an author, neither does my current lineup of books. Though this boggles my mind, due to the reviews I have received, perhaps it shouldn’t. This means that I have to find other clients to help add to what I bring in from my main client.

While I understand that most newbies and struggling authors cannot afford a huge sum of money-as far as cost goes-I also know that you cannot undercharge or you will not make enough to do much good. With this said, below are my fees.

Ghostwriting:

up to 7000 words-$35

up to 8,000 words-$40

9000 words-$45

10,000 words-$50

anything above 10,000-add $5/1000 words.

In other words, if you want a 50,000 word total, you would be paying a total of $250.  Yes, I know that this a rather high price, but I doubt that I will actually be doing more than 10,000 word totals. Just realize, though, if you were to pay me to do 50,000 words, you would get an extremely well written manuscript that would be well worth your money. I never do anything half-assed.

Editing:

$50/manuscript

I do co-write for free, no matter what type of project it is, as long as I get writing credit. If you want me to write for your magazine, I expect to be paid a fair wage/salary and to be paid in a timely manner. Don’t promise payment, then back out or renege on the promised payment. I don’t have time to play games or wait forever for payment. Like you, I have bills. All I ask is all to be timely on payment and to be fair.

I will also proof read, beta, critique and review your work for free. All reviews, if of a book or music (or movie), appear here on the blog. critiques, proofed material, or beta’d material will not. I will, however, plug anything I have beta’d,critiqued, proofed, or edited as “books to look for”. Promotion here is free.

What I get for thinking….

I have had a great day today. I am kind of nervous, since I am leaving my job at the gas station. Still, Kelly (my fiancee) and I went out to Waubonsie State Park, which is seven miles south of town…and where we will be holding our hand fasting. And, of course, we picked one of the most beautiful spots: the overlook. It, as its name implies, looks out over the Missouri River valley between Iowa and Nebraska.

Kelly pointed out something I had not realized, though. You can see two other states: Nebraska and Missouri. Truly breathtaking. We chose the location well.

We even went back to do a little hiking on the trails! I was in paradise! For the first time in over twenty years, I was able to go on a hike! I love hiking. It is a great form of exercise….and a great source of inspiration as well.

And I was inspired! I was inspired to add the park, and all its beauty, into the story! No, not in this book, but in the next one. I did just enough research to make sure that I can do so, and since the park was founded in the 1920’s, I can. And will.

Each book in the first ten will hold a new scenic wonder to add a lightness to the dark theme. This round, I took you to the State fair. Next destination will be Waubonsie. After that, I am going to find other places of interest within the state of Iowa which will appear in the next six books. The Seventh will probably open in Washington, DC. Not sure yet.

 

The end of the book?

I have begun to think that I have reached the end of book two. With the cases against Toffer going to litigation, Toffer’s time in the story is limited. With Tobias unable to pursue the destruction of every girl he sees as an object, he is also limited.  Sure, he can spread terror in other ways, but at the moment, he is not a threat to anyone of the opposite sex.

Natalia, of course, will see this as a change for the good. It will cause her to pursue him even more as the series continues. But I left the story on a positive note. I also ended with the girls in school.

I introduced some major characters in the last few chapters. Characters who will play important roles in the upcoming books. Some are leaving the series for good :Schoeneman, Wyland, Tobias’ original gang, and the 47 (though Carlton will reappear later, but not as the leader of the 47.).

Natalia’s little group of friends has begun to disappear as well. Partly due to Tobias’ penchant for assault, it is not completely due to that. It also has a lot to do with Natalia’s obsession with him. Though she knows that he is a bad person, she still believes he is largely innocent of all that he has been accused of. Since her group is shrinking, I won’t be naming any of them. What is the use when the faces will change?

Dunlap will be replaced in the next book, but it was imperative that he was central to this book, since he replaced Schoeneman. I introduced J. Edgar Hoover, Joseph McCarthy, and Pat McCarran into the story along with the legislators from Iowa. All are actual historical figures.

Des Moines mayors will only hold an important spot in the story, changing according to their time as mayor,  until they are no longer important. Same with governors. The Assembly, Tax Commission, IRS, Justice Department, Iowa Attorney General and other key historical figures will remain in the story until 1959 or until the year they died historically.

I took time to introduce Tom Goldman and Kendrick Wells as well. Since both men play important roles (Ken until 1960) throughout the overall story, It was important to bring them in as early as possible. Their dislike for “Eddy”, their boss at the FBI, will play a big part in what they do later. (As stated, few people in Washington actually liked or trusted J. Edgar Hoover (better known as “Eddy” here). He was a central force to the communist witch hunts of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s before he died. He remained the head of the FBI until his death and made many enemies, including several Presidents.

I mention the rumor that Hoover was a cross-dresser and a homosexual (in a comment that Tom makes to Ken) since it was a not-so-well hidden and nearly everyone in Washington held the belief that it was true…at least from most of the sources I have researched. It was, I believe, a response to his own assertion that there were many in Congress or in other governmental posts who were, themselves, either homosexual or communist…or both.

It is odd that history is so full of events that speak a warning to us, and yet, as a country, we refuse to listen. Life can truly be stranger than fiction when we view what has already been. Many would believe that the evens I write about are today’s current events. But no, they happened in the 1950’s, the decade so innocently portrayed by such shows as Happy Days, I Love Lucy, and other sitcoms or movies based in or produced during that decade.

Toffer’s New Dilemma

We have seen things go south for Toffer French. In the beginning of the story, Toffer was one of the most powerful people in Des Moines. He had influence politically as well as in the secular world. He had his own company…and a family.

We also learned that he was a very evil man. He had gotten where he was through hook and crook, taking over a company by force that he would have inherited. He married a woman he’d assaulted in order to keep her from testifying against him in court. He had either killed or run others out of town in attempts to keep them from doing the same.

By the end of the first book, He was already under investigation. Now, he has been stripped of his power, his company, and his wife (who left him before the end of book one). His son is still on a collision course with self-destruction, following the same path Toffer had followed as a lad. Evil, it seems, does pass from generation to generation.

But now, in book two, I have begun introducing new players. First, there is a new sheriff in town, Wyland having retired due to health, and a new mayor (although I never mentioned the mayor in the first book). I have begun bringing in actual historical figures. The mayor of Des Moines, The actual legislators at both state and federal level, the actual players in the government (DOJ, IRS, Iowa Tax Commission, etc) as well as new (though implied and mentioned briefly in book one) villains.

For Toffer, the ride will end in a few books to come. For Toby, it will end in book 10. Two other characters will be only temporary (McCarthy and McCarran, the new villains…as well as the Congressmen I have introduced…and the government officials.). J. Edgar Hoover will continue until a book in the 70’s series since he did not die until mid to late 70’s. After the tenth book, there will be less focus on government, though certain movements will begin to take shape and be at the center of the series.

I do, however, introduce Natalia’s fatal flaw in this book. As well as her greatest ambition. It will also take center stage at some point in the saga, but right now it is simply at the core of her actions.

Many of the events that are going on in the background of the story were real events (only the story of the French/Morrow family feud is fictional) and remained hidden to mainstream Americans even while they were taking place. The 50’s, 60’s and 70’s were the three most prosperous decades in America. The gross National income was at an all time high, taxes were affordable, and most could survive on a single earner income and still have enough to spend on entertainment. The middle class still existed and included the majority of Americans at that time. Sure there were poor, as there will always be until we learn to rely less on financial standing and money and begin to rely on character (a willingness to share with others our own good fortune, thereby raising others up as we go along) and empathy (the ability to feel for others and share in their pain, joy, sorrow, and even success) for others.

Behind the scenes, though, there was a war going on. Everyone was suspect when it came to being a communist, even when they were not. It was not so much different than today’s political environment, though communism has been replaced by other non-issues. Hate, which we are surprised by, has always been just below the surface, waiting to emerge. The separatist faction has always existed and has always used some non-issue as a means to divide and   conquer the masses.

Between 1945 and 1965, it was communism and nuclear war between the US and the USSR. In the 1970’s, it was the rise of “terrorist” organizations and the fear continued throughout the 1980′ and 90’s. Civil rights in the 1960’s was what split the country and caused a new rise to the hate that lay hidden just below the surface.

For a country that should be so far beyond this hate, we have been unable to erase it from our midst. We call ourselves a Christian country, and yet we preach hate messages aimed towards everything from communists to homosexuals, Muslims to Jews, African Americans to Hispanics. We even hate those who came before us, the Native Americans. Our hate has shown, time and again, that we have become anti-Christian in view (For Christ, if you believe in him, preached love–not hate–for all including one’s enemies) while claiming to follow an entity we really do not follow.

yes, this has been evident throughout the country’s history, especially during the 1950’s and 60’s. Our struggle for civil rights has proven that from its very inception. We are still nowhere near where MLK and others hoped for. We are nowhere near being the “united” country other countries see us as. We are just as divided as ever with no end in sight. Why? because we see in terms of politics, religion, sexual preference, and skin color. We cannot see ourselves as simply Americans. That, in a nutshell, is what this saga is all about: our inability to see ourselves as Americans and nothing else.

I Love Teasing My Readers…

OK, by now you have noticed that there is actually not just one story going on but two. Though the main story is about the Morrow family, The underlying story is a commentary on the decade of the 1950’s. Just like the 1960-1969 will have an underlying story that acts as a commentary on the 70’s. And so on through the series.

While the research has been grueling, it has been very rewarding. It has enlightened me to why we are headed the direction we are now, as well as the fact that this country has secrets that many of us are oblivious to. The seeming idyllic world that was portrayed in the sitcoms of the 50’s and even Happy Days, which was made to immortalize the 50’s, was not so idyllic. In fact, it was dark and full of horrors that we have yet to experience, but might if the country does not wake up.

We tend to forget that social change did not take place, in the form of civil rights laws, until the 60’s. And even then, many resisted, as they still do, because they saw it as destabilizing the country instead of what it was attempting to do: unite. Hate was rampant, as it is in today’s current socio-political environment. At the same time, it was more acceptable to hate a man due to color or belief. Yet, with what has been going on, intelligence seems to be fleeing from the American population…just as it had with the “Red Scare” of the 50’s.

I have found it sad that the United States has learned from any major war. It has no recollection why we fought the fascism of Nazi Germany. Those running want to turn the country into another fascist bastion where white is right and everyone else is, well, dead. No lessons learned from WWII whatsoever.

They think history has no meaning. Sad. History is where all the lessons are. What to do. What not to do. What to change. What not to change.

The only thing I wish is that they taught what I have learned so far, unadulterated and unchanged, in schools. It would serve as a lesson on how bad legislation can make a country act.

A Little Bit More About The Story Unfolding

So far, I have introduced the important historical figures to the story. Senator McCarran was real and the bill he got passed into law was a real nightmare-come-true for the US in the 1950’s and 1960’s. By 1970, it had been whittled down, diluted, enough so that what it caused in the 50’s and 60’s could not continue beyond the 70’s.

the idyllic world painted by such shows as Happy Days and I Love Lucy ( The Ozzy and Harriet Show, My Three Sons, Mayburry R.F.D., and many other “peaceful” shows could be added to this as well since not one actually confronted the socio-political issues of the day and tried to make life seem so peaceful when it really wasn’t) just did not exist as it is portrayed. There were things going on in government that would have made America recall ALL of its representatives, but was kept a secret.

McCarran set loose a monster when he got the McCarran Act put into law. Suddenly, everyone saw their neighbor as a “red” instead of as a fellow American and began turning their neighbors in for little or no reason (kind of like the Salem witch hunt and witch trials of the 1600’s) or simply because they were more successful.

The main supporter of this Act was J. Edgar Hoover, who suspected ALL Americans of being “reds” and kept files on all citizens both big and small. There was a war going on between him and two men I mention at the federal level (Schoeneman and McGrath, as well as their later successors) as well as tension between him and Truman (and later Eisenhower and the successive presidents after him).

The Iowa Tax Commission members I mention are real people, as are the Iowa State Attorney, the governor, and the Assembly members. I will later be introducing the federal Congressmen into the story, but haven’t reached that point yet. Don’t worry, though. The conflicts I am introducing into the story do have a major effect on Natalia. It is just building the tension right now.later, it will all break loose and things will start falling into place.

I notice, though, that this country has a very short memory. Again, we are heading down an all-too-prevalent path this country has followed in centuries past. We are backsliding into a shit pile we do not want to enter. Why? Because we’ve been there before. And all too recently. I am basically exploring that last slip into madness we took in this series and trying to show how it affected those who lived through it personally. And how it affected future generations.

Changes I will have to make to the story

As you have probably noticed, I have had to change “Iowa Department of Revenue” to “the Iowa Tax Commission”. This was due to my learning that the state Department of Revenue did not get formed until 1968…and that put a slight need for change in my way. Thank goodness the state has a library that answers all emails on these matters. I sought to find the head of a department that did not exist at the time of my current WIP.

Oops. Well, OK. In my later editing, I will have to change mentions of Dep. of Revenue to Tax Commission. But at least I have the names of the three men who were the committee. So, to make a long story short, I will be changing a few things when I get ready to publish the story…once it is finished.

The Struggles of researching public figures for a single state

I am having a problem. I am trying to be accurate with many of my historic characters in my story, but am finding it a bit tough finding accurate lists and sources to go on. Although one cannot trust the majority of the information on Wikipedia, it can be helpful to a certain extent. Yet, as stated, the info is still incomplete and many of the figures needed are-alas-nowhere to be found.

One, it seems, can’t even find such information on government sites related to each character I am missing either. Very irritating. I am lacking half my cast due to a lack of actual knowledge on where to look for that information.

the characters I want to write into my stories:

The directors of the Iowa Department of Revenue (as a counterpart for the director of the IRS, already discovered and brought into the story) from 1950-1959/60.

Des Moines city council members from 1950-1959/60

Iowa State House Reps 1950-1959/60

Iowa Congressmen (in Washington Dc) 1950-1959/60

past mayors in Des Moines (I have three, the ones for 1950-1954) 1954-1959/60

Historical fiction is not historically accurate if you do not have accurate information on those who held power in the decades/ times you’re writing about. I may not have an accurate picture of the officials I already have, but I am not trying to keep with personalities at the moment, and besides. Most of them are probably dead and their families probably do not remember how they were.

I am, however, trying to keep the visibility of the political polarity. This means making the fractures on both parties visible from a political view. It was common knowledge that many on both sides did not support McCarran or McCarthy’s views and that they instantly regretted passing McCarran’s  piece of legislation and spent the next two decades trying to trim it into something that couldn’t do any more damage to the country.

Even the Midwest was touched by this horror. Everything from “duck and cover” to building fallout shelters was something that was happening all across the country. Now we know that the ‘duck and cover’ techniques were useless and that the fallout shelters would be completely useless. but back then, it was thought to be the only way to save one’s life if a nuclear blast would happen.

The Story Behind The Story

For those who are just beginning their ride through the Morrow Family Saga, the story behind it is this. Originally, the story was only three books, but was not known as a saga. It originally followed an aging Matt Morrow through a change in his life.  It was also only supposed to be four books long.

Thanks in part  to a friend and fellow writer,  I was convinced to write the backstory to the original…and the saga was born. In preparing to write, however, I had to do some hard research. In order to make the story realistic, I had to make the time in which each section of the saga takes place (the decades covered) historically accurate.

As I did my research, I realized that what was taking place then correlates with events today–more than we would like to admit. Instead of a “Red Scare”, we have the “Daesh” (ISIL) scare which is feeding the campaigns of several presidential hopefuls and the deep paranoia that has kept this country from truly uniting as one.

It is truly crazy. The communist witch hunts that took place in the years between 1948 and 1965 (respectively, though most sources tend to center the main activities between 47 and 59) eerily echo the Salem with hunts and subsequent trials that had so nearly destroyed the colonies in the mid 1600s. Our new push to ‘cleanse’ America of all religions except “Christianity” also mirrors both of its predecessors in design and fervor. Sad, really. We are on the verge of destroying our country through the ignoring of mankind’s most basic rights.

Before you start excusing the actions of those who are trying to destroy the backbone of this country by saying that 1. history has no hold on the present and, therefore, cannot repeat itself or 2. that what is happening to the minorities in this county will not affect you, remember that the Red Scare affected everyone. Its paranoia caused otherwise nice neighbors to eye their fellows with suspicion at the least little bit of extra activity at their residences and thus caused many innocent families to be destroyed by supposed friends and neighbors who turned them in for just being too friendly in a time when communism was perceived as a threat.

It is mirrored in the anti-non-Christian push that is searching for a scapegoat in everyone around the sheeple that are following these anti-American leaders who seem bent on ‘cleansing’ America. Hell. It is all about who controls what the masses know and believe. Most of the political messages we get, as well as the “news”, is filtered so that we are only allowed to hear one side.

To call the media “liberal” is a misnomer. The media, if you have ever taken Mass Com classes, is not as liberal as one would expect. all political news is propaganda, as is the reports of “terrorists” and the “war” on Christianity. It is all a smokescreen to keep the people under control, along with the fear of losing the “freedom to bear arms” and the idea that liberals and conservatives are about the opposite ideals. The truth? Corporate America donates billions of dollars to BOTH sides (same companies pay off candidates from both sides for the same expected payoff, which is the assurance that their agenda gets fulfilled) so that the average American actually ends up voting-no matter which side they are on-against their own best interests…simply because their chosen party tells them that it is in their best interest to remain loyal to their party and hate the other side.

With The Morrow Family Saga, I decided to place the family amid the darker events of the 1950s in order to veer away from the Happy DaysI Love Lucydick Van Dyke idyllic world that sitcoms created/portraying that era painted it to be. I wanted the REAL world, not the safe one of sitcoms. I felt it only right and in keeping with historical accuracy.

Though many of the characters are historical, the case described is purely fictional. The overall story is fiction. Just as the backdrop is historically accurate.  My only problem is to find better sources on the whys and wherefores of the removal of each government-related character (historical figures) from their posts, and the interplay between them all. All current material is sketchy at best, and somewhat questionable at times.

I am going to plant the J. Edgar Hoover rumors so as to keep with the historical accuracy, since the rumors were rampant while he lived. No, the Morrows will not speculate. But in Washington DC, anything goes.