Write the Memoir You've Always
Dreamed of Writing
You've always wanted to write a book about your life
Let me help you tell that story.
Leave behind a powerful legacy.
I'm Al Desetta, a full-time memoir ghostwriter. I’ve written memoirs for CEOs, entrepreneurs, doctors, academics, and just about anyone who wants to get their life story told for family, friends, and colleagues, as well as a much larger audience. What these books have in common is that I've helped their authors go to the heart of what they’ve learned in life, crafting
thoughtful, engaging books about their experiences and accomplishments.
Hemingway once wrote: “Any man’s life, told truly, is a novel.” I'd like to change that quote a bit to say that any person’s life, told truly, is a memoir. You simply need a good writer to help guide you.
You may be thinking: Sounds good, but I don't have the time.
That's where I come in--I've created a streamlined ghostwriting process that requires you to make yourself available for interviews and consultations just two to three hours a week.
The result will be a publication-ready book in eight months,
and the transformative experience of capturing your accomplishments on paper.
Hire me to ghostwrite your memoir and together we'll create a rich, engrossing tale of survival and triumph. We'll craft a story of heartache and laughter that your friends and family will cherish,
that you can use to promote your business and your causes.
If you want to write a book your readers won't forget, I'm the person for you.
"I couldn’t have told my story without Al’s immense help. He’s a great listener who can query you when he believes you need to go deeper. Working with him was a rewarding and cathartic experience."
Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Alteryx, Inc.
Masterpiece: The Emotional Journey to Creating Anything Great
“In Al Desetta, I found a friend, an inspiration, and a pillar of support. His advice and expertise kept me on course in completing my book."
Dr. Wanda Broach-Butts
The Ice Underneath:
My Passage through Loss and Faith
“It was always my dream to write my memoir. Al Desetta took my story into his most capable hands and brought it to life. I thank him for his service on this project."
Samuel Sutton, Jr., CSCM, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Born to Serve:
The Trailblazing Life of Sam Sutton,
Valet to Three Presidents
“Al understood the goal of my book as if he was reading my mind. He had the patience of a saint and motivated me to keep my eyes on the prize. If you’re contemplating writing a book, Al is your guy.”
Dr. Ken Pettit
They Call Me "Doctor Death":
How Our Medical System
Robs the Terminally Ill
of Comfort, Time, and Dignity
A Barnes & Noble "Pick of the Month" Selection.
“With his outstanding ghostwriting and editing skills, Al Desetta was invaluable in helping me describe my climb up the corporate ladder at PepsiCo.”
Former CFO and Treasurer, PepsiCo
Fast Track Up the Corporate Ladder
“If you're looking to fulfill the dream of telling your story, look no further than Al. His integrity, expertise, and talent are unmatched. His hard work brought my memoir to life."
Mariko, Marie, Marina:
My Life Through Three Cultures
“When I was feeling lost and struggling to get the words out, Al had a way of understanding and capturing my experiences that felt true to me. I couldn't have finished my memoir without him."
Dr. Cecily Wang
No Crying in the Operating Room:
My Life as an International Relief Doctor,
from Haiti, to South Sudan, to the Syrian Civil War
I began my career as a writing teacher and editor at Youth Communication in New York City, a nationally recognized writing program for teens.
I worked with young people from a wide range of racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds--teens who were former gang members and kids who were bound for the Ivy League, incarcerated teens and young people in foster care.
Many had faced significant trauma in their lives. This was a great training ground for me, as I learned the art of memoir in helping them craft powerful accounts of the challenges they faced and overcame. Their stories were published by Persea Books in The Heart Knows Something Different: Teenage Voices from the Foster Care System, with a foreword by the noted author and social critic Jonathan Kozol. My numerous book projects at Youth Communication have been praised by Hillary Clinton, Marian Wright Edelman, and Martin Seligman, and profiled by The New York Times, The Daily News, New York Newsday, Ms. Magazine, and NPR's All Things Considered.
“The Heart Knows Something Different is a well-written account of the challenges facing youth in the foster care system. It touched the hearts of all who read it.”
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Former Secretary of State
“These are wise and eloquent authors who can teach us much about caring for ‘system’ children and all children.”
Marian Wright Edelman
President, Children’s Defense Fund
"Longing, terror, honesty, and eloquence combine to seize the reader’s heart and mind.”
Author, Savage Inequalities and Amazing Grace
“Al Desetta has a talent for going to the heart of a writer's story.”
Persea Books, New York
“Al is a good listener and very skillful at helping writers translate their ideas into the words that best express them.”
Founder, Youth Communication
MacArthur "Genius Award" Winner
A Streamlined and Rewarding Process
You may want to write a memoir but don’t think you have the time. That’s where I come in. I’ll be doing the heavy lifting of crafting the information you provide into a quality book.
In many ways I’ve simplified the process for you. Through exercises and questionnaires that I’ll ask you to complete, I’ll be able to understand the crucial details of your story at the start. After that, I require that you make yourself available for two to three hours of interviewing each week by phone. I’ll send you a list of questions and ideas to prompt you. Through this process you’ll discover memories you thought were forgotten and gain insights into your life you never had before
but that now enrich your story.
Ghostwriting is a collaborative, creative, back and forth process. I'll write one chapter at a time and send these chapters to you on a regular basis. I'll ask for constructive feedback on content, voice, and writing style. Together, we'll create dramatic scenes, compelling story-lines, gripping conflict, and other elements critical to creating a great memoir.
And my work doesn't end when the writing is completed. As part of my service I will help you select a quality publisher, advise you on the interior and exterior design of your book, and write the jacket copy. My job isn't done until you have a finished book in your hands.
By helping you write your book I'll preserve your past for your family, friends, and loved ones. And in the process, you'll experience one of the most transformative and fulfilling things you'll ever do. Clients tell me over and over again how rewarding it was to learn about themselves in ways they never had before, through the process of telling their stories.
And I derive great pleasure in helping people finally complete
the books they've always wanted to write.
Are you ready to write an outstanding memoir?
Are you eager to leave behind a compelling record of your accomplishments? Are you ready to act now, before it's too late?
If the answer is yes, call me right now and let's talk about your book. There's no commitment, and we can get to know one another while you tell me about your project. I work with just two clients a year and now have an opening for one new one. I hope it's you.
So give me a call or, if you prefer, use the contact form.
Remember, your life story is important. Time swiftly passes by. Don’t put it off until it’s too late. Go for it—you’ll be glad you did.