Steve Kettmann

Steve Kettmann - Ghostwriter Tick

Santa Cruz, CA, USA

I've written four NYT bestsellers as a ghost/co-writer and focus on nailing the voice. I'm passionate about getting it right.

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Overview

I'm at work on a book, Listen to the Ghost, about how to write great books via collaborating writing. Many people do this work without having devoted years to understanding the process, and the result is wasted time and underperformance. Great collaborations start with a clear and workable idea of the book itself - which usually, whatever an Author thinks going into the process, requires further refinement as part of the collaboration. The next crucial ingredient is a strong rapport between collaborator and Author, which needs to be developed and deepened. For a collaboratively written book to achieve greatness, the voice has to be just right, and this requires painstaking work, starting with the Author reading aloud chapters as they move from first draft to polished complete manuscript. I work with Authors in a spirit of teaching them as much as possible about what goes into the marathon of writing a book.

I'm co-director of a writers' retreat center in California where we work to support and develop writers, and a book publisher with national distribution through Ingram/PGW and published books that have hit regional bestseller lists and received coverage in The New York Times, the New Yorker, and many other publications. I'm also an author (One Day at Fenway, Baseball Maverick) and co-author with four New York Times bestsellers to my credit. I focus on politics and sports, but have written books on a wide variety of topics.

Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Entertainment
Health & wellbeing
Politics & Current Affairs
Self-help & Self-improvement
Sports & outdoor recreation
Fiction
Humor & Comedy
Inspirational
Literature

Awards

  • Finalist, Online Journalism Award in Commentary, for writing on Bush and Europe in Salon.com and Wired.com, 2001

Work experience

Co-founder and Co-director, Northern California writers retreat center

Self-employed
January, 2013 – Present (almost 6 years)

I'm the co-founder and co-director of a writers' retreat center in Northern California that offers residencies, author events with writers like Nathan Hill, Mary Roach and Viet Nguyen, publishes books, and nurtures and inspires writers of all levels.

Freelance Writer

Self-employed
May, 1985 – Present (over 33 years)

As a freelance writer, I've reported from more than forty countries for publications including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times,, Huffington Post,,, the Daily Beast, Parade Magazine, GQ, the New Republic, the Washington Monthly, Foreign Policy, Columbia Journalism Review, Die Welt, die Berliner Zeitung. I'm a former staff reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Newsday and the Riverside Press-Enterprise and a former columnist for the Berliner Zeitung.

Portfolio (10 selected works)

Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big

Jose Canseco

When Jose Canseco burst into the Major Leagues in the 1980s, he changed the sport -- in more ways than one. No player before him possessed his mixture of speed and power, which allowed him to become the first man in history to belt more than forty home runs and swipe more than forty bases in the same season. He won Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and a World Series ring. Canseco shat... read more

When Jose Canseco burst into the Major Leagues in the 1980s, he changed the sport -- in more ways than one. No player before him possessed his mixture of speed and power, which allowed him to become the first man in history to belt more than forty home runs and swipe more than forty bases in the same season. He won Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and a World Series ring. Canseco shat... read more

Kiss the Sky: My Weekend in Monterey for the Greatest Rock Concert Ever (Music That Changed My Life)

Dusty Baker

For his eighteenth birthday, Dusty Baker's parents gave him a great present: Two tickets to the Monterey Pop Festival of June 1967, a three-day event featuring more than thirty bands, and use of the family station wagon for the weekend so young Dusty could drive down from Sacramento to the Monterey Bay Area. He was another young person, trying to take it all in, sleeping on the beach with his ... read more

For his eighteenth birthday, Dusty Baker's parents gave him a great present: Two tickets to the Monterey Pop Festival of June 1967, a three-day event featuring more than thirty bands, and use of the family station wagon for the weekend so young Dusty could drive down from Sacramento to the Monterey Bay Area. He was another young person, trying to take it all in, sleeping on the beach with his ... read more

What A Party!: My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators and Other Wild Animals

Terry McAuliffe

New York Times Bestseller"I've often said Terry's energy could light up a city, and readers of his book will know why. Terry's excitement for politics―and life―is evident on every page."–Senator Hillary Clinton"If you're in the market for a cautious, impartial, understated, pedantic―and boring!―look at American politics, put this book down right now. . ."Terry McAuliffe has been at the epicent... read more

New York Times Bestseller"I've often said Terry's energy could light up a city, and readers of his book will know why. Terry's excitement for politics―and life―is evident on every page."–Senator Hillary Clinton"If you're in the market for a cautious, impartial, understated, pedantic―and boring!―look at American politics, put this book down right now. . ."Terry McAuliffe has been at the epicent... read more

A Book of Walks

Bruce Bochy

Walking can do anyone good – and Bruce Bochy knows that as well as anyone. As a Major League manager, he has one of the more stressful jobs imaginable. So what does he do to relax? He goes for long walks. Whenever possible, he takes long walks as a way to clear his head, calm his soul and give his body a workout. In this charming little volume, he shares his thoughts on walking in terms that c... read more

Walking can do anyone good – and Bruce Bochy knows that as well as anyone. As a Major League manager, he has one of the more stressful jobs imaginable. So what does he do to relax? He goes for long walks. Whenever possible, he takes long walks as a way to clear his head, calm his soul and give his body a workout. In this charming little volume, he shares his thoughts on walking in terms that c... read more

VietnamEazy: A Novel About Mothers, Daughters and Food

Trami Nguyen Cron

Like Viet Thanh Nguyen’s acclaimed The Sympathizer, VietnamEazy captures with startling honesty and detail the dizzying dislocation that so many Vietnamese arrivals in the United States have experienced and, like Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, explores the age-old mysteries of the mother-daughter relationship. It tells the story of Kieu, a Vietnamese-American woman, and her quest for success on ... read more

Like Viet Thanh Nguyen’s acclaimed The Sympathizer, VietnamEazy captures with startling honesty and detail the dizzying dislocation that so many Vietnamese arrivals in the United States have experienced and, like Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, explores the age-old mysteries of the mother-daughter relationship. It tells the story of Kieu, a Vietnamese-American woman, and her quest for success on ... read more

One Day at Fenway: A Day in the Life of Baseball in America

Steve Kettmann

A minute-by-minute collage-format portrait of the August 30, 2003 game between the Red Sox and the Yankees shares the perspectives of such individuals as John Henry, Joe Torre, Dominican Republic scout Rafael Avila, and Boston slugger Manny Ramirez. 50,000 first printing.

A minute-by-minute collage-format portrait of the August 30, 2003 game between the Red Sox and the Yankees shares the perspectives of such individuals as John Henry, Joe Torre, Dominican Republic scout Rafael Avila, and Boston slugger Manny Ramirez. 50,000 first printing.

Baseball Maverick: How Sandy Alderson Revolutionized Baseball and Revived the Mets

Steve Kettmann

The 2015 Mets shocked baseball. Division champions over the heavily favored Washington Nationals, the Mets blew past aces Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Jake Arrieta in the playoffs, and rode their power arms and Daniel Murphy’s record-breaking homerun stretch to the World Series.But not everyone was surprised. For several seasons, bestselling author Steve Kettmann has had unprecedented ac... read more

The 2015 Mets shocked baseball. Division champions over the heavily favored Washington Nationals, the Mets blew past aces Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Jake Arrieta in the playoffs, and rode their power arms and Daniel Murphy’s record-breaking homerun stretch to the World Series.But not everyone was surprised. For several seasons, bestselling author Steve Kettmann has had unprecedented ac... read more

Letter to a New President: Commonsense Lessons for Our Next Leader

Robert C. Byrd

A legendary Senator advises our next President on the commonsense values necessary to lead our nationUnited States Senator Robert C. Byrd is the longest-serving member of the United States Senate in the history of our great Republic. Senator Byrd has served the people of West Virginia, and the nation, for fifty-four years, and has served alongside eleven Presidents. He was twice elected by his... read more

A legendary Senator advises our next President on the commonsense values necessary to lead our nationUnited States Senator Robert C. Byrd is the longest-serving member of the United States Senate in the history of our great Republic. Senator Byrd has served the people of West Virginia, and the nation, for fifty-four years, and has served alongside eleven Presidents. He was twice elected by his... read more

Shift: How to Reinvent Your Business, Your Career, and Your Personal Brand

Peter Arnell

Little changes can make a big difference. When some of the world’s biggest corporations need to revive their brands, innovate products, and rethink their images, they call Peter Arnell. Now in his fourth decade of branding and marketing for such companies as Samsung, Reebok, DKNY, GNC, and Pepsi, Arnell explains how you can use some of the same strategies that famous brands do, in order to imp... read more

Little changes can make a big difference. When some of the world’s biggest corporations need to revive their brands, innovate products, and rethink their images, they call Peter Arnell. Now in his fourth decade of branding and marketing for such companies as Samsung, Reebok, DKNY, GNC, and Pepsi, Arnell explains how you can use some of the same strategies that famous brands do, in order to imp... read more

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