THE GREATEST THING SINCE SLICED CHEESE: Stories of Kraft Foods Inventors and Their Inventions, a 508-page history of Kraft R&D written for Kraft Foods. This was a multi-year project where I conducted over 200 interviews with inventors around the world — and wrote about scores of iconic brands .


Reason to Fight: A Memoir of Race, Injustice, and the Search for Truth, 302-page family memoir written for Hiram Johnson, released by Xulon Press (January 2016).


BEYOND HOLLYWOOD: A Memoir of Fate, Luck, the Unexplained & Living the American Dream, 296-page memoir written for J. Herbert Klein released by International FA Publishing (May 2011).

Beautiful simple image of sunset through tress reflected in lake in foreground

I’ve also ghostwritten a variety of  books for high-profile clients that, due to confidentiality agreements, I’m not at liberty to name.

My work for hire includes novels, biographies, memoirs, self-help books, histories, and health & fitness guides — including books released by major publishing companies — as well as screenplays and television pitches.

Many people have asked how the ghostwriting process works — so I’ve included an overview below.

When I collaborate with an author, the process can take a variety  of forms — from working with an existing manuscript to drafting the story from page one.

With a “page-one” ghostwriting project, here are the 10 TYPICAL STEPS in the process, along with a timeframe: 

  1. INTERVIEWS — either in person or by phone — are an important component in the ghostwriting process. The interviews allow me to get to know many facets of the client’s story in a relaxed atmosphere. (2 weeks)
  2. RESEARCH: In most cases, I’ll conduct research about the time period or other significant aspects of the author’s book. (1 week)
  3. OUTLINE: Based on what I’ve learned from the interviews and research, I’ll develop an outline that includes a vision for the book (the creative approach) and describes topics covered in each chapter. (1 week)
  4. SAMPLE CHAPTER: After the author approves the outline, I’ll draft a sample chapter to demonstrate the style and tone of the book. (1 week)
  5. FIRST QUARTER: After the author approves the sample chapter, I’ll draft the first 25% of the book (50-75 pages). (3 weeks)
  6. FIRST HALF: After the author approves the first 25% of the book, I’ll draft the book up to the midpoint (approximately 100-150 pages total). (4 weeks)
  7. COMPLETE DRAFT: Once the author approves first 50% of book, I’ll proceed to draft the remaining chapters. (6 weeks)
  8. FINAL REVIEW: Author reviews the entire manuscript and suggests necessary changes and edits. (1 week)
  9. FINAL EDIT: I make the final edits and corrections based on the author’s feedback. (1 week)
  10. PUBLICATION: The author’s story is now ready to make its debut! I can assist with query letters to agents and publishers — or direct the author to self-publishing options for paperback and ebook versions of the book.

If you’d like to discuss your project, please send an email to melanievillinescontact at gmail dot com. 

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