Story Gold

(the inside story)

My Process (what it’s like working with me) Your Ghostwriter (the guy behind the keyboard)

This is about… us

What I’m about to do here is blasphemy in the copywriting about page best practices world.
I’m supposed to still be selling you and making this about your problems.
Instead, because the other five pages on this website are about you and what I can do for you I’m making this page about us.

Let me explain.

Working with a ghostwriter will be one of the most intimate experiences you’ve ever had (outside of you know what).

I can’t tell you how many clients have said they feel like they just had a therapy session at the end of a call (always tears of joy of course). This About (us) page will tell you everything you need to know about the ideas behind Story Gold, my process, and what working together will be like. 

Why Story Gold?

Ghostwriters are trained to “find the gold” when developing a manuscript. The “Gold” is the idea that makes the manuscript unique. In copywriting the gold is your USP (unique selling proposition). The gold represents the value in a product, service, or book idea.

Authenticity, personality, and voice are also forms of gold. Sentences that have all the fat trimmed away to create the biggest impact possible are a form of gold.

Often we find gold in unexpected places, and sometimes we create gold, because writing is a form of alchemy. When you dig deep and aim for truth there are always gold nuggets waiting for discovery.

(That’s not a sun – it’s an alchemy symbol for Gold)

This all sounds great James, but how do we actually find this gold you speak of?

Just trust me.

Okay, don’t just trust me.

That was a test.
You passed!

But you can trust my process.

The best thing about my process is I don’t make choices by just guessing.
I use frameworks that have been tested and proven, and bring them to life with musical lines.
There are no “sure things” in marketing or writing books, but there are techniques based on what we’ve learned from behavioral science, psychology, and testing to increase our chances of hitting the mark.

Whether you need ghostwriiting, brand messaging, or both, the process is the similar, minus the turnaround time. (writing a book takes a lot more time – big shocker huh?)

Research & Discovery

This is where we find the gold. It’s the most important phase that most non-copywriters understandably aren’t aware of. Because copywriting is way more science than art, research is foundational to creating copy that converts. Research and discovery encompass half, if not more, of my total time spent on a project. Did I mention this is where we find the gold?

Mine for Gold

We’ve signed the agreement and now we’re in this thing together. Don’t worry, I do all the heavy digging here, I just need your help in the beginning. My process includes the following:

A customized comprehensive questionnaire

An in-depth discovery interview (60-90 minutes)

Extensive industry + market research

Competitive analysis

Voice of customer data mining

This is the foundation. Depending on what I find I may request interviews with relevant team members, stakeholders, and customers.

For ghostwriting clients the process is similar but with way more interviews and time together. Most brand messaging projects take 5-6 weeks on average, while a book will take 9-12 months. Reference the ghostwriting page for more details.

Refine the Gold

Because good writing doesn’t happen in a vacuum nor is it randomly plucked out of the ether, more than half of my work is done during the gold mining stage. Once I have the gold I start organizing, categorizing, polishing, and shaping it into those magical word combinations that clarify, capture, and compel your audience to buy your product, schedule your service, or read your book.

The Guy (ghost) Behind the Keyboard.

So this is the part where I tell you a little bit about me. Am I supposed to write this in third person? Nah, that feels too distant. This is personal, let’s make it sound that way.

I grew up in a small mountain town in Arizona. Like really small. Our football team played eight-man football small (should be eleven if you’re not into football).

Growing up in Sasquatch country had a lot of pluses (clean air, space for adventures, low crime) but I was always dreaming of moving to the “big city” where all the action was.

So after high school, I left the white mountains and headed south to the Sonoran Desert to attend university in Tucson, Arizona (Go Wildcats!) While surviving triple-digit summer temps by living part-time in movie theaters I managed to graduate with a double major in creative writing and media arts.

After university, there was only one place where I could logically go. To Hollywood of course (just like the Muppets). I spent five years in Los Angeles chasing the screenwriter dream. I even took a meeting at Paramount, but that was as far as I got.

I left Tinsel Town and set out to the far East, to Seoul, South Korea (that’s a legit big city). In Seoul, I taught English and was supposed to stay just a year or two, but ended up staying six… I traveled the Pacific Rim, hiked every national park in South Korea (21 total), and married my wife Anna, a native Korean, who I’d met in L.A. 

Living abroad was amazing, but after six years I was ready to come back home. Anna and I settled in Denver, Colorado. I got back to what I love – writing. And that’s what I do every day now.

Write the Right Book

The 5 foundations to writing a must read business book 


Discover the 5 things all great authors do before they write a single word. Get these right and you can write with purpose and confidence. So go ahead and download this little treasure and give yourself the best chance to write a must read book.