John DeSimone

John DeSimone – Ghostwriter

My specialty is voice-driven, close first-person memoirs that create immediacy and emotion in readers' minds.


I'm a bestselling memoir ghostwriter. I've worked with the famous, semi-famous, non-famous, and a few infamous to achieve their dreams of writing a book. Memory can be faulty; details are lost in the foggy past, and then there are the areas of unease and pain that must be dealt with, talked through, and shaped by the mature present. I walk clients through their stories to write truly inspiring narratives.

My services are very personal. What I mean by that is I spend the time in whatever way we choose to communicate to get to know you and your story. It's vital we don't flinch at getting the details because they often bring a story to life. Emotions and motivations often lay hidden under the dust of our deepest memories, and it takes patience and time to uncover them. I work hard to prove that I will be the best listener you've ever met.

One of the most successful methods I use to write emotionally intelligent memoirs is to nuance out the story arc during the first month of working together. This is one of the most important elements of a commercially successful memoir. Besides the story arc, a winning memoir requires a strong and authentic voice. The voice is the most difficult to capture, and often a literate and confident voice in a life story with an emotionally driven story arc can take an author out of the category of the unknown to publishing success.

Before you ask me to bid, be honest with yourself about your budget. I only work with clients who have a budget of $27,000 or more, depending on the length of the book. Professional, publishable work doesn't come cheap. Please don't ask me to bid on your project if you don't have the resources to invest in your book. I do not accept spec projects, sorry.

I would be glad to have a conversation with you about what sets bestselling memoirs apart from the crowd.

Biographies & Memoirs Business & Management Inspirational Religion & Spirituality Self-Help & Self-Improvement Sports & Outdoors Technology
Coming of Age
English (CAN) English (UK) English (US)
  • MFA in Creative Writing, Spalding University

Work experience


Jan, 2004 — Present

I began freelance editing in 1999, with A-1 Editing Services in Oregon. I worked primarily with beginning novelists, helping them perfect their fiction craft, improve their overall writing skills, and develop revision strategies in order to successfully complete a rewrite of their work. I specialized in fiction, working with elements of craft such as voice, point of view, plot structure, and character development. Several have gone onto publication. I edited over one hundred books during my time with A-1.

My first ghostwriting project in 2004 was working for Denny and Lisa Bellesi, the originators of the Kingdom Assignment missions plan. I helped them with the second book in a series of three, Kingdom Assignment Two. It was an enjoyable and successful project. Though they ended up self-publishing they have marketed all of their books around the world with their innovative ministry.

In 2005 I began freelance editing for Christian Manuscript Critique Service. I’ve edited novels,
theology, memoirs, and self-help books. Many of my clients went on to publication.
Since 1999 I’ve edited over 200 books of every genre.

In 2005 my first novel, Leonardo's Chair, was published by River Oak Publishers. It’s an art mystery based on Da Vinci’s life. It received good reviews and sold well.

From 2004 to 2012 I was the Director of the OC Christian Writers Conference held annually each spring in Irvine, California. During this time, the conference has grown to become one of the largest one-day inspirational conferences in California.

In 2011, over 250 people were in attendance at Mariners Church in Irvine to hear a diverse panel of writers, agents and editors from major Christian publishers.

From 2008 to 2011, I was an adjunct professor at Biola University where I taught freshman composition. I worked with freshman, teaching and motivating them to write with excellence and precision.

In May 2012. I won a Norman Mailer Fellowship and lived on Cape Cod for a month where I completed a draft of my fourth novel, Road to Delano. A truly invigorating experience, I lived in Provincetown and writing every day, all day, for five weeks.

In 2013 and 2014 I worked a senior writer for BusinessGhost. I wrote books for CPAs, congressmen, businessmen. I conducted all interviews, transcribed tapes, structured books with complete outlines, and drafted chapters one at a time until completion of the project. These were work for hire projects, and under the terms of my confidentiality agreement, I can't mention authors or titles.

In 2016, I completed four projects. After one last revision, I sent off my historical novel to my agent. And it is now winding its way across editors' desks on its path to finding a publishing home. My literary agent Margaret O'Connor has done an excellent job of getting it in front of editors.

I also completed two memoirs and a book proposal for a third memoir client.

Ron Risdon's account of his twenty years traveling the world as U.N. peacekeeper is an inspirational work that is now represented by Richard Curtis Literary Agency in New York. There is always a home for well-written memoirs, but it often takes time to find the best publishing house.

I completed the writing of Lizanne Falsettos' business memoir of her exciting journey building a major brand in the snack food industry, thinkThin. She has an inspiring account of entrepreneurial success through hard work and determination. We are in the process of completing her book proposal. Because of her national marketing muscle, we don't anticipate any difficulty placing her book with a top-shelf publisher.

The last book proposal I completed is a cautionary tale of a good man caught up in political greed and scandal in Chicago. It seems that town operates on political corruption. This book would be in the same category of Jack Abramoff's book, Capitol Punishment. It can be a challenge to write a regional story so it appeals to a national audience, but I believe we pulled it off. The proposal is in its final phases of editing, and then we will begin shopping it to key agents.

The book writing business requires patience and persistence and a lot of good craft. I anticipate a busy 2017 as I look forward to another great year of writing.

A-1 Editing

Jan, 1999 — Mar, 2003 (about 4 years)

As a senior editor for A-1, I edited a wide range of manuscripts, both fiction and non-fiction. Most fiction manuscripts were from first-time authors, so I dealt with the basics of craft--voice, point of view, characters and plot. I marked up the manuscripts, added helpful comments that would move them along the path to publishing success. In non-fiction I edited memoirs, monographs, biographies, and self-help. Here I focused on essential editing, copyediting for consistency, redundancies, coherence, and of course, grammar and usage.


An emotional and sweeping memoir of love and survival—and of a committed and desperate family uprooted and divided by the violent, changing landscape of Afghanistan in the early 1980s.Before t... read more
Book Ghostwriting Book Proposal Short-Form Content
Sexual harassment is in the news almost every day. Countless women have been intimidated into silence or their careers and lives have been ruined because they refused to submit to unwanted sex... read more
Book Ghostwriting Book Proposal
Road to Delano

John DeSimone

It’s 1968, and a strike by field workers in the grape fields has torn an otherwise quiet central California town down the middle. Jack Duncan is a Delano high school senior who is on his way to earning a baseball scholarship, hoping to escape the turmoil infes... read more
Book Ghostwriting Book Proposal
Book Ghostwriting Book Proposal
In the first Kingdom Assignment, Danny and Leesa Bellesi challenged their church to use their talents for God--with exciting, faith-building results. Now, in The Kingdom Assignment 2 the Belle... read more
Book Ghostwriting Book Proposal
I am a man. You probably are too, or a woman in love with one. And you know what? We men are stupid. Not because someone told us we are. And not because we are simply destined to be. It's not ... read more
Book Ghostwriting Book Proposal
A must read for parents of pre-teens, teenagersand adult children.It is a diff erent world we live in today. No parent or child is adequately prepared to deal with this day and age. Just over ... read more
Book Ghostwriting Book Proposal
Leonardo's Chair

John DeSimone

Vincent LaBont is a world-class artist who attributes his creative ability to a chair he owns-a chair that he claims was created and empowered by Leonardo Da Vinci. When his home catches fire, Vincent is severely burned trying to rescue the chair. Later he rea... read more
A must read for parents of pre-teens, teenagers and adult children.It is a different world we live in today. No parent or child is adequately prepared to deal with this day and age. Just over ... read more
Book Ghostwriting Book Proposal

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