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My dirty secret writing life

At a recent party, I was chatting with another guest when the conversation turned to our careers.

“I’m a writer,” I said, but I wanted to make it clear I was a real writer, not someone who used the term as a euphemism for hanging out in a coffee shop all day or living off her parents. So I mentioned a few of the projects I had worked on, including a book series I ghostwrote.

He furrowed his brow. “Oh, so like, you write fan fiction?”

I felt my stomach twist in anger and annoyance. No, I don’t write fan fictionAs a ghostwriter for an entertainment company that produced book and television series for teens and young adults, I wrote 10 YA novels during a five-year period. My books have been translated into 13 languages, shown up on bestseller lists, and spawned mega-successful television shows (that were already in production before I came on and have little to do with the novels themselves). Because of an ironclad contract, I can’t reveal the actual names of the series, but trust me when I say you’ve heard of them.

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