2 Ghostwriting Stories of Why Defending Yourself is Worthwhile


Ninth in an occasional series about stories and ideas that are worth a ghostwriter’s time.

Ghostwriting about clearing one’s name and placing the blame on the correct person are two types of stories that interest large numbers of people, including ghostwriters.

In movies, there’s Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Wrong Man” from 1956, in which Henry Fonda plays a man falsely accused of robbery. Going even further back, much of 1937 Best Picture winner “The Life of Emile Zola” deals with Zola helping get French Army officer Alfred Dreyfus exonerated from bogus charges stemming from antisemitism (Dreyfus was Jewish).

More recently was “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” in which Bob Hoskins as Eddie Valiant clears Roger of murder; and “My Cousin Vinny,” in which Joe Pesci as Vinny successfully defends his cousin and his cousin’s friend against murder charges.

TV shows also often play on the trope. Episodes from “Criminal Minds,” “Boston Legal,” “The Practice,” “Quantum Leap,” “Chicago Justice,” “Monk,” and the “CSI,” “NCIS” and “Law & Order” franchises are widespread and numerous, but they can’t compare to “The Fugitive,” in which the whole point of the show’s 120 episodes spanning four seasons was to find the one-armed man who was the real killer.

Various Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple books by Agatha Christie also delve into this theme, thereby proving to me that people can’t get enough of watching and reading about others triumphing over the odds and emerging victorious and—most importantly—innocent.

That’s why when a ghostwriter encounters such a story, he or she often enthusiastically gets involved. That’s especially true for ghostwriters who were once journalists: The pursuit and exposing of the truth is simply too good to pass up.

I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter several people who have needed these kinds of stories to be told. They are always unique, puts the reader there, and in many cases, are directly relatable to the target audience.

One such story I’ve previously written about: a client married a non-violent psychopath who bilked investors out of $1.4 million while living a double life filled with lies. She found out, divorced him, suffered tremendous post traumatic stress disorder, then had to fight the state of Arizona over her ex-husband’s financial crimes despite her PTSD affliction. She got the judgment overturned—thereby putting the spotlight and liability back on the actual criminal, her psychopath of an ex-husband—then got the law changed so no one else could ever be victimized the same way she was.

I’ve recently met another one who has signed a contract for me to ghostwrite his memoir. He is a Los Angeles-based real estate tycoon who has lived a crazy life. Starting with nothing, he lived a rags-to-riches existence, hustling to build up his real estate empire, which opened doors to rub elbows with the rich, famous, and in some cases, infamous and criminal. He names names and doesn’t hold back in his disdain for those who he perceives has done him wrong. Nor is he ever deterred from passionately telling his side of the story.

Unfortunately, some of those people had ulterior motives. Some of the women he dated wanted his money and accused him in civil court of sex trafficking. 

I should pause to mention that he has not been charged with any crime, and everyone involved are adults. But he’s had to defend himself in court, and the experiences have prompted him to want to tell his side of the story, to clear his name, restore his reputation, and make clear that the plaintiffs are shaking him down.

It’s going to be a wild year-plus working with him. I can’t wait.

If you’re interested in my affordable ghostwriting services, send me a message today!

If you would like to discuss this or any other post, feel free to leave a message. Just click on the Contact tab and use the form.

Let's Start A New Project Together

Contact me and we can explore how a ghostwriter or editor can benefit you.