72 episodes

Everybody's got a story to tell. Sometimes they need a little bit of help. Veteran ghostwriter Daniel Paisner talks shop with his fellow collaborators and shines a light on what it means to pursue a writing life on the back of someone else’s story.

As Told To Daniel Paisner

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 25 Ratings

Everybody's got a story to tell. Sometimes they need a little bit of help. Veteran ghostwriter Daniel Paisner talks shop with his fellow collaborators and shines a light on what it means to pursue a writing life on the back of someone else’s story.

    Episode 64: Zibby Owens

    Episode 64: Zibby Owens

    “Reading to me is like breathing,” notes Zibby Owens, the creator and host of the Webby Award- winning podcast “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books,” who joins us on the podcast to discuss her lifelong love of reading and writing and her commitment to championing books and authors. Indeed, Zibby has built on the success of her podcast to become the publishing industry’s “most powerful book-fluencer,” according to New York magazine. 
    A frequent contributor to “Good Morning America” and other media outlets, she is the co-founder and CEO of Zibby Books, an independent book publisher, and the owner of Zibby’s Bookshop, an independent bookstore in Santa Monica, California. Across her Zibby Media empire—which devoted followers have christened “the Zibby-verse”—she also offers retreats, classes, special events, a book club, a writing group, and other bookish opportunities. 
    “Everything has unraveled one thing at a time,” she says, of her full-on embrace of the book world, and the community of book lovers she has helped to nourish. “It’s like a carpet sort of unspooling in front of me.” 
    Most recently, Zibby has added the title of novelist to her long list of credits.  Her just-published first novel, Blank, the story of a frustrated writer who seeks to disrupt the publishing industry, was hailed as “a delightful gift to book lovers,” by New York Times best-selling author Carley Fortune.
    Join us for a fresh, candid conversation on what it means to celebrate the written word. 
    Learn more about Zibby Owens:
    Website Zibby Media “Moms Don’t Have Times to Read Books” Facebook Twitter Instagram Bookends: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Literature Please support the sponsors who support our show:
    Ritani Jewelers Daniel Paisner's Balloon Dog  Daniel Paisner's SHOW: The Making and Unmaking of a Network Television Pilot Unforgiving: Lessons from the Fall by Lindsey Jacobellis Film Movement Plus (PODCAST) | 30% discount Libro.fm (ASTOLDTO) | 2 audiobooks for the price of 1 when you start your membership Film Freaks Forever! podcast, hosted by Mark Jordan Legan and Phoef Sutton Everyday Shakespeare podcast A Mighty Blaze podcast The Writer's Bone Podcast Network Misfits Market (WRITERSBONE) | $15 off your first order  Film Movement Plus (PODCAST) | 30% discount Wizard Pins (WRITERSBONE) | 20% discount

    • 47 min
    Episode 63: Todd Strasser

    Episode 63: Todd Strasser

    “This is an author who really has his finger on the way kids think,” The New York Times says of podcast guest Todd Strasser, the author of over 150 books, including the award-winning young adult and middle-grade novels The Wave, Give a Boy a Gun, and Fallout. He is also the author of the wildly popular Help! I’m Trapped series of books for young readers, as well as several other best-selling series and movie tie-in books and novelizations. 
    His books have been translated into more than twenty languages, and several have been adapted for film and television. Many of his standalone books are pulled from today’s headlines, exploring difficult themes like bullying, homelessness and school shootings.
    Join us as we talk with Todd about his influences as a writer, and his unlikely career turns writing X-rated fortune cookies (“clairvoyant contortionist is one who can see her own end”) and soap operas (“Guiding Light”) to become one of our most prolific YA novelists.  
    Oh, and he also finds time to share one of the best pieces of writing advice he ever received, after struggling for a way to explain how the character of Cameron Frye managed to place a chair on the edge of a diving board, facing the pool, before sitting himself down in it, as he attempted to “novelize” a key scene in the “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” script: “You just cut to it!”
    Learn more about Todd Strasser:
    Website Twitter Facebook Summer of ‘69 The Lazy Person’s Guide to Surfing (with Lia Strasser) Please support the sponsors who support our show:
    Ritani Jewelers Daniel Paisner's Balloon Dog  Daniel Paisner's SHOW: The Making and Unmaking of a Network Television Pilot Unforgiving: Lessons from the Fall by Lindsey Jacobellis Film Movement Plus (PODCAST) | 30% discount Libro.fm (ASTOLDTO) | 2 audiobooks for the price of 1 when you start your membership Film Freaks Forever! podcast, hosted by Mark Jordan Legan and Phoef Sutton A Mighty Blaze podcast The Writer's Bone Podcast Network Misfits Market (WRITERSBONE) | $15 off your first order  Film Movement Plus (PODCAST) | 30% discount Wizard Pins (WRITERSBONE) | 20% discount

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Episode 62: Genevieve Field

    Episode 62: Genevieve Field

    Veteran magazine journalist Genevieve Field joins us to discuss her mid-career pivot into ghostwriting, as she celebrates the success of her “Andy Award”-winning collaboration with Hollywood stuntwoman Kimberly Shannon Murphy. Glimmer: A Story of Survival, Hope, and Healing, Murphy’s unflinchingly honest account of intergenerational familial abuse, was honored this winter with an inaugural “Andy Award”—so named for the “and” credit often awarded to ghostwriters—at the first annual “Gathering of the Ghosts” conference in New York City, jointly sponsored by Gotham Ghostwriters and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.   
    Genevieve Field is no stranger to long-form storytelling in the voice of one of her subjects, but she is a relative newcomer to book-length memoir and collaborative non-fiction. Prior to embarking on a freelance writing career, she worked as a story editor at The New York Times Magazine, as the editorial director of Seventeen online, and the features director at Glamour. While at Glamour, she was a frequent contributor to the magazine’s first-person celebrity features, presenting “as told to” articles in the voices of notable figures such as Rachel Maddow, Cecile Richards, and Sarah Silverman. She also co-founded the Webby-Award winning magazine and dating site, Nerve.
    “I help writers unearth the stories in their hearts, get that deep wisdom on the page, and create breakthrough books,” she writes on her website. “Whether serving as a collaborator or editor, my purpose is always the same: to help bring important stories and great writing into the world.”
    "This book is so much more than the sum of its parts,” notes actor Cameron Diaz in the forward to Glimmer. “It is a gift. It is Kimberly's offering to readers suffering in silence. It is a companion for anyone who has endured trauma, at any level. And it is a beautiful tribute to the strength and power of the human spirit."
    And, in the talented hands of podcast guest Genevieve Field, it is a powerful example of what it takes to collaborate on a deeply personal memoir of sexual abuse and childhood trauma.
    Learn more about Genevieve Field:
    Website LinkedIn Glimmer: A Story of Survival, Hope, and Healing Glamour piece by Sarah Silverman, on her battle with depression, as told to Genevieve Field Please support the sponsors who support our show:
    Ritani Jewelers Daniel Paisner's Balloon Dog  Daniel Paisner's SHOW: The Making and Unmaking of a Network Television Pilot Unforgiving: Lessons from the Fall by Lindsey Jacobellis Film Movement Plus (PODCAST) | 30% discount Libro.fm (ASTOLDTO) | 2 audiobooks for the price of 1 when you start your membership Film Freaks Forever! podcast, hosted by Mark Jordan Legan and Phoef Sutton A Mighty Blaze podcast The Writer's Bone Podcast Network Misfits Market (WRITERSBONE) | $15 off your first order  Film Movement Plus (PODCAST) | 30% discount Wizard Pins (WRITERSBONE) | 20% discount

    • 1 hr 27 min
    Episode 61: Seth Davis

    Episode 61: Seth Davis

    Seth Davis is a veteran sports journalist and broadcaster, and The New York Times best-selling author of Wooden: A Coach’s Life and When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball. He is the co-author of the just-published memoir It’s Hard for Me to Live with Me, written with NBA veteran and University of Kentucky basketball legend Rex Chapman—a book that transcends (and upends!) the sports memoir genre and stands as a devasting and inspiring story about the human struggle for self-acceptance. 
    Over the course of his career, Seth has written for The Athletic and Sports Illustrated and served as a college basketball studio analyst and reporter at CBS Sports.  
    “You have to make the phone ring,” he says, echoing a piece of advice once shared with him by his one-time SI colleague and longtime friend and mentor Rick Reilly, of his efforts to grow his game from magazine and broadcast journalism and jump-start his career as an author and collaborator.  
    Join us as we celebrate “March Madness” with one of our leading sportswriters who is fast becoming a sought-after ghostwriter, calling on the hard-won experience he’s developed in thousands of locker room and post-game interviews to help his subjects reflect on the games we play and the reasons we play them. 
    Learn more about Seth Davis:
    Twitter/X Substack: “Seth Davis Writes Again”  TikTok Wake Up with Purpose! (with Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt) Empower: Conquering the Disease of Fear (with Tareq Azim)  Please support the sponsors who support our show:
    Ritani Jewelers Daniel Paisner's Balloon Dog  Daniel Paisner's SHOW: The Making and Unmaking of a Network Television Pilot Unforgiving: Lessons from the Fall by Lindsey Jacobellis Film Movement Plus (PODCAST) | 30% discount Libro.fm (ASTOLDTO) | 2 audiobooks for the price of 1 when you start your membership Film Freaks Forever! podcast, hosted by Mark Jordan Legan and Phoef Sutton A Mighty Blaze podcast The Writer's Bone Podcast Network Misfits Market (WRITERSBONE) | $15 off your first order  Film Movement Plus (PODCAST) | 30% discount Wizard Pins (WRITERSBONE) | 20% discount

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Episode 60: Mark Dagostino

    Episode 60: Mark Dagostino

    Veteran journalist and collaborator Mark Dagostino is the author of more than two dozen books written with some of our most compelling public figures. He has helped to write seven New York Times best-sellers, including the #1 best-selling The Magnolia Story, with Chip & Joanna Gaines, co-stars of the hit HGTV show “Fixer Upper.”
    Mark began his career at The Boston Globe, as a general assignment news reporter, before moving on to a ten-year stint at People, where he turned his focus to popular culture as a correspondent, columnist, and senior writer.  While at People, he conducted interviews with such celebrities as Michael J. Fox, Christopher Reeve, Justin Timberlake, Sting, Ben Afleck, and Nicole Kidman, developing many of the skills that would help him become one of the most sought-after collaborators in publishing.    
    Join us for an engaging, insightful conversation on what it takes to pivot from journalism to the journalism-adjacent field of ghostwriting.  
    Learn more about Mark Dagostino:
    Website Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Hulk Hogan: My Life Outside the Ring Crossing the Desert by Payam Zamani Please support the sponsors who support our show:
    Daniel Paisner's Balloon Dog  Daniel Paisner's SHOW: The Making and Unmaking of a Network Television Pilot Unforgiving: Lessons from the Fall by Lindsey Jacobellis Film Movement Plus (PODCAST) | 30% discount Libro.fm (ASTOLDTO) | 2 audiobooks for the price of 1 when you start your membership Film Freaks Forever! podcast, hosted by Mark Jordan Legan and Phoef Sutton A Mighty Blaze podcast The Writer's Bone Podcast Network Misfits Market (WRITERSBONE) | $15 off your first order  Film Movement Plus (PODCAST) | 30% discount Wizard Pins (WRITERSBONE) | 20% discount

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Episode 59: Douglas Preston

    Episode 59: Douglas Preston

    “What really amazed me here was that so many of the authors who submitted stories wrote something completely outside their genre,” reflects best-selling author Douglas Preston, one of the project editors behind the dynamic new collaborative novel Fourteen Days. “This book is full of all kinds of weird stories.” 
    Yes, it is. And so is podcast guest Douglas Preston, co-author of dozens of New York Times best-selling thrillers written with his longtime writing partner Lincoln Child—a shining example of what it means to write in collaboration. In all, Preston has published 39 books of fiction and non-fiction. In addition to books, Preston writes about archaeology and paleontology for the New Yorker. He has worked as an editor for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and taught nonfiction writing at Princeton University and is the recipient of numerous writing awards in the U.S. and Europe. He served as president of the Authors Guild from 2019 to 2023.
    Set in a Lower East Side tenement in the early days of the COVID-19 lockdowns, Fourteen Days turns on a narrative frame written by Preston, with contributions from a disparate collection of contemporary writers, headed by fellow project editor Margaret Atwood. In addition to Atwood and Preston, the novel features the “voices” of Charlie Jane Anders, Joseph Cassara, Jennine Capó Crucet, Angie Cruz, Pat Cummings, Sylvia Day, Emma Donoghue, Dave Eggers, Diana Gabaldon, Tess Gerritsen, John Grisham, Maria Hinojosa, Mira Jacob, Erica Jong, CJ Lyons, Celeste Ng, Tommy Orange, Mary Pope Osborne, Alice Randall, Ishmael Reed, Roxana Robinson, Nelly Rosario, James Shapiro, Hampton Sides, R.L. Stine, Nafissa Thompson-Spires, Monique Truong, Scott Turow, Luis Alberto Urrea, Rachel Vail, Weike Wang, Caroline Randall Williams, De’Shawn Charles Winslow, and Meg Wolitzer.
    All proceeds from the book will be directed to the Authors Guild Foundation, the charitable and educational arm of the Authors Guild, dedicated to empowering all writers, from all backgrounds, at all stages of their careers. 
    Learn more about Douglas Preston:
    Author’s Guild Author’s Guild Foundation Instagram Facebook Preston & Child website The Lost Time: And Other Real-Life Stories of Bones, Burials, and Murder Please support the sponsors who support our show:
    Daniel Paisner's Balloon Dog  Daniel Paisner's SHOW: The Making and Unmaking of a Network Television Pilot Unforgiving: Lessons from the Fall by Lindsey Jacobellis Film Movement Plus (PODCAST) | 30% discount Libro.fm (ASTOLDTO) | 2 audiobooks for the price of 1 when you start your membership Film Freaks Forever! podcast, hosted by Mark Jordan Legan and Phoef Sutton A Mighty Blaze podcast The Writer's Bone Podcast Network Misfits Market (WRITERSBONE) | $15 off your first order  Film Movement Plus (PODCAST) | 30% discount Wizard Pins (WRITERSBONE) | 20% discount

    • 1 hr 9 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
25 Ratings

25 Ratings

Write with Genevieve ,

A must-listen for ghosts!

I’ve enjoyed both participating in and listening to As Told To. What a great platform for us invisible writers to connect through! It’s taught me so much about how my colleagues approach the craft as well as the $ side of the ghostwriting profession. Daniel is a great interviewer who gets us saying more than we probably should!

RachelHHoltzman ,

As transparent as it gets

This podcast pulls back the curtain for a refreshingly honest and transparent accounting of life in the ghostwriting world. It is a must-listen, whether you’ve chosen this work as a career or are simply intrigued by its mechanics.

Jax Beach Listener ,

Great Podcast

I listened to a bunch of episodes. Always very interesting. Highly recommend.

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