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Vanessa Mickan

Vanessa Mickan - Ghostwriter

Milford, Connecticut

As the writer of 10 successful books, I help entrepreneurs and thought leaders share their messages with the world

Overview

I began my career by working in book publishing, holding senior editorial jobs at Random House and HarperCollins. My first ghostwriting project was the autobiography "Mahboba’s Promise" (Random House, 2005), about acclaimed humanitarian Mahboba Rawi. Since then I have ghostwritten nine more nonfiction books in these genres: business, biography, parenting, self-help, and popular culture. There are many other genres I would like to explore.

I also ghostblog, and several of my posts have appeared on the Huffington Post. My own work was selected for the book "Best Australian Science Writing 2012" and Acuity magazine, and I am the co-author of the book "Gratitude: A positive new approach to raising thankful kids."

I believe HarperCollins Head of Nonfiction, Fiona Henderson, sums me up best:

"a master at finding creative solutions to what seem like insurmountable problems . . . Whether she is helping to coax the best out of an author or helping someone who has a great story to tell but no idea of how to tell it find their voice, she never loses sight of what’s important, or her sense of humor."

Services
Languages
English (AUS) English (CAN) English (UK) English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs Business & Management Career Guides Cooking & Food Wine & Spirits Entertainment Health & wellbeing History Nature Parenting & Families Philosophy Politics & Current Affairs Psychology Publishing Religion & Spirituality Self-help & Self-improvement Social & Behavioral Sciences Travel

Work experience

Freelance ghostwriter, writer, editor

Vanessa Mickan Editorial Services

August, 2006 – Present (over 10 years)

Ghostwriting, co-writing, developmental editing, and book doctoring a wide range of books for publishing houses and self-published authors, including: Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, American Planning Association / Planners Press, New York Times best seller Tom Connellan, The Cadence Group, LA Times Book Prize winner Paul Freiberger, skirt! books, Lyons Press, Globe Pequot Press, and The Orton Family Foundation.

Senior Editor

RANDOM HOUSE, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

March, 2002 – August, 2006 (over 4 years)

Performed developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading of nonfiction and fiction. Acted as a consultant on libel and copyright. Wrote a biography of humanitarian Mahboba Rawi, "Mahboba’s Promise," published in 2005 by Random House Australia.

Managing Editor

RANDOM HOUSE, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

March, 2000 – March, 2002 (about 2 years)

Supervised a team of 10 project editors who were responsible for approximately 200 adult trade books per year. Ensured the smooth, timely, and cost-effective running of the department. Ensured that all materials produced by the department, including final proofs, picture sections, book jackets, and catalogs, were free from error. Recruited new editorial staff and developed editorial training programs.

Editor – Nonfiction

PAN MACMILLAN (HOLTZBRINCK), SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

January, 1998 – March, 2000 (about 2 years)

Performed project management, developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading. Wrote cover copy, and sales and marketing material.

Senior Editor – Illustrated Books

HARPERCOLLINS, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

January, 1995 – January, 1996 (about 1 year)

Project-managed a high volume of large-format, four-color cookbooks, natural history guides, and health, architecture, and sport and recreation books. Performed developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading.

Portfolio (20 selected works)

Gratitude: A Positive New Approach to Raising Thankful Kids

Dannielle Miller

Do you ever give in and buy your kids stuff they’ve been nagging you for ... only to find that they're still not satisfied? Do you sometimes worry that children are growing up in a narcissistic and materialistic world? Do you want to teach your children how they can focus more on what they are thankful for, and less on the negatives in their lives? Children are not always very good at saying t... read more

Do you ever give in and buy your kids stuff they’ve been nagging you for ... only to find that they're still not satisfied? Do you sometimes worry that children are growing up in a narcissistic and materialistic world? Do you want to teach your children how they can focus more on what they are thankful for, and less on the negatives in their lives? Children are not always very good at saying t... read more

The Best Australian Science Writing 2012

How were Ned Kelly’s bones finally identified? What makes cockroaches some of the most successful creatures on the planet? Could some obscure bacteria finally rid the world of dengue fever? How did infant reflux become the disease of the moment? From the furthest reaches of the universe to the microscopic world of our genes, science offers writers the kind of scope other subjects simply can’t ... read more

How were Ned Kelly’s bones finally identified? What makes cockroaches some of the most successful creatures on the planet? Could some obscure bacteria finally rid the world of dengue fever? How did infant reflux become the disease of the moment? From the furthest reaches of the universe to the microscopic world of our genes, science offers writers the kind of scope other subjects simply can’t ... read more

Book by Mahboba Rawi

Reservoir Dad

Clint Greagen

'If David Sedaris had got married and had kids, he would have been Reservoir Dad. Fall-on-the-floor funny, sharp, witty and just a little bit sexy.' Kerri Sackville, Best Australian Blog 2013 judge A sharply funny, fresh and irreverent chronicler of real life in today's parenting trenches, Reservoir Dad is a stay-at-home dad whose award-winning blog has already won hearts and minds all over Au... read more

'If David Sedaris had got married and had kids, he would have been Reservoir Dad. Fall-on-the-floor funny, sharp, witty and just a little bit sexy.' Kerri Sackville, Best Australian Blog 2013 judge A sharply funny, fresh and irreverent chronicler of real life in today's parenting trenches, Reservoir Dad is a stay-at-home dad whose award-winning blog has already won hearts and minds all over Au... read more

All Good Things: From Paris to Tahiti: Life and Longing

Sarah Turnbull

In this lushly written follow-up to Almost French, Sarah Turnbull explores a new paradise: Tahiti.Having shared her story in her bestselling memoir, Almost French, Australian writer Sarah Turnbull seemed to have had more than her fair share of dreams come true. While Sarah went on to carve out an idyllic life in Paris with her husband, Frederic, there was still one dream she was beginning to f... read more

In this lushly written follow-up to Almost French, Sarah Turnbull explores a new paradise: Tahiti.Having shared her story in her bestselling memoir, Almost French, Australian writer Sarah Turnbull seemed to have had more than her fair share of dreams come true. While Sarah went on to carve out an idyllic life in Paris with her husband, Frederic, there was still one dream she was beginning to f... read more

The Velvet Pouch

Holly Hill

Keeping affairs in order! The true and controversial story of what really happened when one woman allowed her boyfriend to cheat in a 'negotiated infidelity' arrangement... Holly Hill's SUGARBABE, the true and very sexy story of Holly's search for a sugardaddy to bankroll her day-to-day expenses in exchange for sexual favours was a runaway bestseller. Now, Holly returns with a daring new story... read more

Keeping affairs in order! The true and controversial story of what really happened when one woman allowed her boyfriend to cheat in a 'negotiated infidelity' arrangement... Holly Hill's SUGARBABE, the true and very sexy story of Holly's search for a sugardaddy to bankroll her day-to-day expenses in exchange for sexual favours was a runaway bestseller. Now, Holly returns with a daring new story... read more

Twists and Turns

M Mitcham

No one who has ever seen Matthew Mitcham perform one of his heartstopping dives or make Olympic history would ever guess the obstacles he had to overcome just to be a contender. 'People kept remarking on how they were surprised that a gold medal and fame hadn't changed me. I always responded, "Why would I change? Being me is the easiest person to be." I was lying. It wasn't.' At the Beijing Ol... read more

No one who has ever seen Matthew Mitcham perform one of his heartstopping dives or make Olympic history would ever guess the obstacles he had to overcome just to be a contender. 'People kept remarking on how they were surprised that a gold medal and fame hadn't changed me. I always responded, "Why would I change? Being me is the easiest person to be." I was lying. It wasn't.' At the Beijing Ol... read more

The Great Race: The Race Between the English and the French to Complete the Map of Australia

David Hill

On the afternoon of 8 April 1802, in the remote southern ocean, two explorers had a remarkable chance encounter. Englishman Matthew Flinders and Frenchman Nicolas Baudin had been sent by their governments on the same quest: to explore the uncharted coast of the great south land and find out whether the west and east coasts, four thousand kilometres apart, were part of the same island. And so b... read more

On the afternoon of 8 April 1802, in the remote southern ocean, two explorers had a remarkable chance encounter. Englishman Matthew Flinders and Frenchman Nicolas Baudin had been sent by their governments on the same quest: to explore the uncharted coast of the great south land and find out whether the west and east coasts, four thousand kilometres apart, were part of the same island. And so b... read more

Hope Street, Jerusalem

Irris Makler

′I had no idea how demanding this consuming, cruel, dangerous and fascinating place would be. I would fall in love here, I would do some of my best reporting, I would be injured, ending my run of good luck - my life would change dramatically ...′ Moving to a strange city always takes courage, but never more so than in a place where the daily expression of love and hate can turn a simple choice... read more

′I had no idea how demanding this consuming, cruel, dangerous and fascinating place would be. I would fall in love here, I would do some of my best reporting, I would be injured, ending my run of good luck - my life would change dramatically ...′ Moving to a strange city always takes courage, but never more so than in a place where the daily expression of love and hate can turn a simple choice... read more

Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India

Miranda Kennedy

When twentysomething reporter Miranda Kennedy leaves her job in New York City and travels to India with no employment prospects, she longs to immerse herself in the turmoil and excitement of a rapidly developing country. What she quickly learns in Delhi about renting an apartment as a single woman—it’s next to impossible—and the proper way for women in India to ride scooters—perched sideways—a... read more

When twentysomething reporter Miranda Kennedy leaves her job in New York City and travels to India with no employment prospects, she longs to immerse herself in the turmoil and excitement of a rapidly developing country. What she quickly learns in Delhi about renting an apartment as a single woman—it’s next to impossible—and the proper way for women in India to ride scooters—perched sideways—a... read more

Dollars & Uncommon Sense: Basic Training for Your Money

Steve Repak

Most people are living paycheck to paycheck and the average credit card holder is $15,799 in debt. If you are like most people you could be one paycheck away from financial disaster. In DOLLARS & UNCOMMON SENSE, Certified Financial Planner ™ and former US Army Sergeant Steve Repak outlines a strategy to change your misguided common sense ideas about money and learn to think like a true builder... read more

Most people are living paycheck to paycheck and the average credit card holder is $15,799 in debt. If you are like most people you could be one paycheck away from financial disaster. In DOLLARS & UNCOMMON SENSE, Certified Financial Planner ™ and former US Army Sergeant Steve Repak outlines a strategy to change your misguided common sense ideas about money and learn to think like a true builder... read more

Reconsidering Jane Jacobs

Fifty years after the publication of her most influential book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs is perhaps the most widely read urbanist ever. Her ideas contributed to the wholesale re-evaluation of the tenets of contemporary planning: urban renewal, public housing, highways, and zoning. It is hard to imagine the renewed appreciation of neighbourhood life, the rejectio... read more

Fifty years after the publication of her most influential book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs is perhaps the most widely read urbanist ever. Her ideas contributed to the wholesale re-evaluation of the tenets of contemporary planning: urban renewal, public housing, highways, and zoning. It is hard to imagine the renewed appreciation of neighbourhood life, the rejectio... read more

Becoming Queen Victoria: The Tragic Death of Princess Charlotte and the Unexpected Rise of Britain's Greatest Monarch

Kate Williams

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERIn her lauded biography England’s Mistress, Kate Williams painted a vivid and intimate portrait of Emma Hamilton, the lover of English national hero Lord Horatio Nelson. Now, with the same keen insight and gift for telling detail, Williams provides a gripping account of Queen Victoria’s rise to the throne and her early years in power—as well as the tragic, little-known... read more

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERIn her lauded biography England’s Mistress, Kate Williams painted a vivid and intimate portrait of Emma Hamilton, the lover of English national hero Lord Horatio Nelson. Now, with the same keen insight and gift for telling detail, Williams provides a gripping account of Queen Victoria’s rise to the throne and her early years in power—as well as the tragic, little-known... read more

How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming

Mike Brown

The solar system most of us grew up with included nine planets, with Mercury closest to the sun and Pluto at the outer edge. Then, in 2005, astronomer Mike Brown made the discovery of a lifetime: a tenth planet, Eris, slightly bigger than Pluto. But instead of adding one more planet to our solar system, Brown’s find ignited a firestorm of controversy that culminated in the demotion of Pluto fr... read more

The solar system most of us grew up with included nine planets, with Mercury closest to the sun and Pluto at the outer edge. Then, in 2005, astronomer Mike Brown made the discovery of a lifetime: a tenth planet, Eris, slightly bigger than Pluto. But instead of adding one more planet to our solar system, Brown’s find ignited a firestorm of controversy that culminated in the demotion of Pluto fr... read more

Party Favors

Nicole Sexton, Susan Johnston

Party Favors gives a deliciously witty peek into the secretive world of political fundraising in D.C. Co-written by a former Director of Finance for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and a published playwright, the novel tracks the meteoric rise and fall of the young Temple Sachet, the Big Money Babe of the Republican Senate. As a “Ray of Hope” intern at the White House, Temple caug... read more

Party Favors gives a deliciously witty peek into the secretive world of political fundraising in D.C. Co-written by a former Director of Finance for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and a published playwright, the novel tracks the meteoric rise and fall of the young Temple Sachet, the Big Money Babe of the Republican Senate. As a “Ray of Hope” intern at the White House, Temple caug... read more

Boom! Voices of the Sixties: Personal Reflections on the '60s and Today

Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw eloquently evokes what it was like to live in the tumultuous 1960s with voices & stories by both famous and ordinary citizens, both all fascinating with remarkable stories to tell. If you enjoyed Brokaw's bestseller "The Greatest Generation" where he depicted the age of the Great Depression and the Second World War through stories of that generation, you are sure to enjoy this fasci... read more

Tom Brokaw eloquently evokes what it was like to live in the tumultuous 1960s with voices & stories by both famous and ordinary citizens, both all fascinating with remarkable stories to tell. If you enjoyed Brokaw's bestseller "The Greatest Generation" where he depicted the age of the Great Depression and the Second World War through stories of that generation, you are sure to enjoy this fasci... read more

Three Famines: Starvation and Politics

Thomas Keneally

Through the lens of three of the most devastating food crises in modern history—the Górta Mor of British-ruled Ireland, the great famine of British-ruled Bengal in 1943, and the string of famines that plagued Ethiopia during the 1970s and 1980s, Booker Prize–winning author Thomas Keneally vividly evokes the terrible cost of mass starvation at the level of the individual who starves and the nat... read more

Through the lens of three of the most devastating food crises in modern history—the Górta Mor of British-ruled Ireland, the great famine of British-ruled Bengal in 1943, and the string of famines that plagued Ethiopia during the 1970s and 1980s, Booker Prize–winning author Thomas Keneally vividly evokes the terrible cost of mass starvation at the level of the individual who starves and the nat... read more

The 1% Solution for Work and Life: How to Make Your Next 30 Days the Best Ever

Tom Connellan

Top sales reps, weight loss champs, blue chip firms, Warren Buffett, Navy SEALs, Olympians, and other winners all understand the power of 1%. Packed with actionable ideas, The 1% Solution shows you how to power up your next 30 days and then keep on going at a permanently higher level. Because it's based not upon opinion, but upon solid research that's backed up with real-life examples, this bo... read more

Top sales reps, weight loss champs, blue chip firms, Warren Buffett, Navy SEALs, Olympians, and other winners all understand the power of 1%. Packed with actionable ideas, The 1% Solution shows you how to power up your next 30 days and then keep on going at a permanently higher level. Because it's based not upon opinion, but upon solid research that's backed up with real-life examples, this bo... read more

Turbulent Times Leadership for Sales Managers: How the Very Best Boost Sales

Tom Connellan

Research-based and tested in the crucible of the marketplace Turbulent Times Leadership for Sales Managers shows the reader how to boost sales in any economic condition. Connellan's research uncovered skill sets in which leaders of high performing sales reps are 22% more effective than leaders of low performing reps. This book lays out in a step-by-step fashion how to put those three skill set... read more

Research-based and tested in the crucible of the marketplace Turbulent Times Leadership for Sales Managers shows the reader how to boost sales in any economic condition. Connellan's research uncovered skill sets in which leaders of high performing sales reps are 22% more effective than leaders of low performing reps. This book lays out in a step-by-step fashion how to put those three skill set... read more

Change Your World in 71 Days: How to Get Maximum Results with Minimum Change

Tom Connellan

It’s no secret that people feel stuck, worn down by the economy, and distrustful of their elected representatives. Job satisfaction is at an all-time low. Polls show that people feel worse about their work, bosses and organizations than ever before. Research out of Harvard shows that the number one thing most people are missing right now is a sense of progress. They feel bogged down. They have... read more

It’s no secret that people feel stuck, worn down by the economy, and distrustful of their elected representatives. Job satisfaction is at an all-time low. Polls show that people feel worse about their work, bosses and organizations than ever before. Research out of Harvard shows that the number one thing most people are missing right now is a sense of progress. They feel bogged down. They have... read more

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