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Hi Wayne.

I am not sure if this is in your realm of expertise but:

I have recently been diagnosed with VHL and my mother died from it years ago when there wasn't as much information as there is now.

My goal for myself, my daughter, and others like us is to bring more awareness to VHL and more money for genetic research.

My idea is to compile a book of VHL patients and VHL families (it is inherited and consumes lives) in possibly memoir forms so they can share their battles, triumphs, losts, gains and knowledge.

I would never tell someone that I am a writer so I would be looking for a co-worker or someone to help me put this together, edit the memoirs, interview patients, etc.

Because none of this is within any of my field of knowledge or any experience in my own career, I would appreciate any guidance and/or advice you can share.

Thanks so much,


Thanks for your question, Jule.

I think you have an excellent topic for a book and I appreciate your honesty about your skills. You can bring to the project your knowledge and passion, while someone else can bring writing expertise.

Go to your local library and ask the librarian whether there are any writing organizations in your area. The librarian likely could steer you toward groups as well as individual writers. The local news editor of your newspaper also might know writers who could help.

It's possible you will talk to several, perhaps many, writers before finding one who could help you. A writer interested in your project would take it on in one of two ways. One, you pay the writer to work with you and help you bring the book to publication. Two, you and the writer work together on speculation the book could be published. Number two is less attractive to a writer.

As for number one, search the Web for the names of ghost writers, and there are lots of them. It could take quite a while to find one you want to work with. Not all are a good fit for your project, although many ghost writers will tell you they can write anything. Ghost writers work for a fee and the fees are all over the place.

Search the Web for "how to hire a ghost writer" or "how to know if you need a ghost writer."

Here is wishing you the best of success. Please contact me when you have other questions.

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Wayne Groner


I can answer questions on all aspects of writing memoirs, biographies, family histories, and corporate histories including handling sensitive issues, interviewing, editing, self-publishing, and setting up a business as a memoir writer.


I have more than twenty-five years of experience as a radio and television news reporter, author, freelance writer, and workshop presenter. I present classes to nonprofits and professional groups, "How to Write Your Memoir or Life Story." I'm author of four nonfiction books. My latest book is A Guide to Writing Your Memoir or Life Story: Tools, Tips, Methods and Examples, available in paperback and eBook at Amazon. I'm past president of Springfield Writers' Guild (Missouri). My articles and book reviews on a variety of topics have been published in national magazines and on the Web. I was a senior-level college administrator for twenty-seven years, including nine years as a vice president, during which I wrote newsletters, brochures, magazine articles, and published and edited an alumni magazine.

Missouri Center for the Book, Springfield Writers' Guild, Greene County Historical Society, Christian County Historical Society.

Books: Witnesses of Hope, Faith, Love and Healing; Dumb Luck or Divine Guidance; The Pastor's Guide to Fund-raising Success; Levell-Drew Family History. National magazines including CASE Currents, Congregations, Ozarks Mountaineer, Your Community Hospice, Power and Light series of Sunday-school curriculum for adult learners.

Graceland College

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