I have extensive experience in IP (intellectual property) work and ghostwriting for major publishers. My projects include a collaboration with Olympic Medalists Maia and Alex Shibutani on the Kudo Kids series, published by Penguin Razorbill; three books in the ANIMAL JAM series (Call of the Alphas, The Phantom's Secret, The Lost Treasure) based on National Geographic's popular online game with over 65 million registered users; and the fourth book in the New York Times Bestselling GIRLS WHO CODE series, Spotlight on Coding Club.
As an author with experience both writing my own original fiction and working with publishers on licensed properties and in-house projects, I have a unique perspective on ghostwriting. Working with clients like Girls Who Code and National Geographic on developing books for kids has helped me hone my collaborative skills, as well as my ability to take materials, sketches, and suggestions from a client and craft a story that fits their vision. And as the author of over a dozen original novels of my own, I understand how messy, exciting, and frustrating that early "idea" stage can be. While every client is different, my approach usually begins with a discussion about their vision for the project and a close review of any and all materials already written. Next, I craft a detailed synopsis that hits all the major plot points and send it to the client for review. Once I've received feedback, I begin writing the draft.
The following are real examples of the types of projects I've worked on for Reedsy clients:
~Writing the novelization of a screenplay
~Rewriting an early draft of a novel to improve voice and style
~Taking a one-sentence concept and developing it into a novel
~Developing and drafting a historical novel based on true events
I'm very flexible and happy to accommodate your needs, whatever stage your story is at!
- Junior Library Guild Selection
- ALA Rainbow List
- ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers List
Penguin Random House
My first two series, I HEART BAND! and THE KAT SINCLAIR FILES, were published through Penguin's Grosset & Dunlap imprint. Since then, I have worked with the imprint on in-house licensed projects. Under the pseudonym Ellis Byrd, I wrote three of the four books in the ANIMAL JAM series based off National Geographic's popular online game with over 65 million registered users. Using an expansive bible filled with information about the characters and world of the game, I worked with my editors at Penguin and NatGeo to develop fun adventure chapter books aimed at children ages 8-12. I also wrote SPOTLIGHT ON CODING CLUB, the fourth book in the New York Times Bestselling Girls Who Code series.
Random House Children
My two standalone middle grade novels were published by Random House Children in 2017 and 2018. OLIVE AND THE BACKSTAGE GHOST received a starred review from Booklist, which called it "haunting and ethereal...nods to Edgar Allan Poe make it atmospheric, and Olive herself, a lonely heroine with ghosts in her past, give it soul."
SPELL & SPINDLE is a Junior Library Guild Selection and was hailed as "an excellent melding of horror and heart" in a starred review from Kirkus.
Little, Brown Hachette
SECRETS OF TOPSEA, a series I co-author with Kirsten Hubbard under the pseudonyms Kir Fox and M. Shelley Coats, is a two-time Junior Library Guild selection. The first book, A FRIENDLY TOWN THAT'S ALMOST ALWAYS BY THE OCEAN!, came out in 2018, and the sequel, THE EXTREMELY HIGH TIDE, was released in 2019.
Scholastic published THE PROS OF CONS, a YA contemporary novel I co-authored with Alison Cherry and Lindsay Ribar, in 2018. PROS was honored by the American Library Association with inclusion on both the 2019 Rainbow List and Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers List. Publisher's Weekly called it "a laugh-out-loud romp" in a starred review.
My middle grade novels with Scholastic include THE DOG'S MEOW, SOME BUNNY TO LOVE, MY OTTER HALF (a bestseller in Scholastic Clubs and Fairs!), and the upcoming WADDLE I DO WITHOUT YOU.
Michelle has 18 reviews