Ghost Writing & Books
Trying to catch voices as different as those of cheeky-chappie actor and singer Adam Faith, Popular Forces for the Liberation of Palestine leader Bassam Abu-Sharif, SAS Sergeant Rusty Firmin and Sir George Martin is never anything but a fresh challenge. And never dull. And that’s what’s fun about it: getting inside the skin of your subject, finding out what makes them tick, and then bringing the story to life. The first thing is to establish a close working relationship. After that, it’s all about getting to the heart of the story: injecting energy and pace, and honing and shaping so that it grips us, and moves us, and makes us a part of it.
Often, a ghost needs to do a lot of research to fit the story into the wider context. Tornado Down, the personal survival stories of RAF pilot and navigator John Peters and John Nichol is a good example of this. It was important to explain the origins of the first Gulf War: ‘what if Kuwait had exported bananas?’ as JP put it; how you fly and fight a Tornado fighter-bomber; the tactics used by the RAF; and how the ordeal affected their partners and families.
A 21st Century-friendly translation - from the original German - for Arcturus Press/Barnes & Noble in a new edition of Franz Kafka’s sublime short story, Metamorphosis. The challenge? How to reflect Kafka’s plain and very readable style, but update the language for the modern English reader.
Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse, translated by William Aaltonen Pearson.
The book that defined a generation, Siddhartha kick-started the counter-culture revolution of the 1960s, which in turn gave rise to the hippy movement, and arguably underpins the whole modern obsession with the self.
But while Siddhartha is a book about exploring and discovering the self to the very depths of your being, it is not a book about selfishness, but about the opposite: it explores the challenge of transcending both earthly and spiritual shackles in order to find new meaning in a world where it is increasingly elusive.
This new translation seeks to bring Hermann Hesse’s fine language to life for a modern readership – and with luck, inspire a whole new generation to find some measure of inner peace.