Today, Silver Disobedience sits down with Judy Katz who is a book collaborator, ghostwriter, publisher and marketer. She has helped develop storylines for prospective authors, and has successfully completed, published and publicized 45 books so far.
After graduating from UC Berkeley, where she had her own column, “Meaning’s Edge” on the Daily Californian for all four years, Judy wrote for a medical ad agency and two McGraw-Hill Magazines. Not long after, she became the PR Director for Madison Square Garden, then the New York March of Dimes and Director of Special Projects for the National MS Society.
Entrepreneurial, Judy decided to establish and run her own PR firm, Katz Creative, Inc., until 2005, when she found her true calling: Helping people become authors. Judy works with several top literary agents. She also has a publishing arm, New Voices Press, and along with self-publishing often helps promote her authors’ books to serve them as “the ultimate marketing and reputation-building tool.”
Judy is a proud member of the Author’s Guild, PEN America, MENSA, and many other prestigious professional and networking organizations.
What is your background?
I began to identify myself as a writer from age 11, when I read short stories by Guy de Mauppassant and wanted to be able to do what he and other great writers do: Transport people to other worlds with my words. My first little stories were pretty awful, but slowly and steadily my skills increased. Reading a lot helps!
What inspires you to create?
When I transitioned to ghostwriting I was inspired by other people’s challenges, struggles and triumphs. I became passionate about helping people with interesting stories and life lessons tell them to the world in the form of a book.
How has your career influenced your passions (or vice versa)?
The more books I collaborate on the more fascinated I become by our species. I find people—and myself—so odd and interesting. What are we on this planet to do?! It’s something I do think about a lot.
What is something that you must do every day (by choice)?
I must write every day, or that day is a loss for me.
What are some things that you would tell your younger self, if you had the opportunity to offer advice retrospectively?
Be more patient and kind to yourself! Marry rich! (Just joking.) Move more and eat less. Fully appreciate your family and friends, and take no one for-granted.
If you could be answering these questions from another location, anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Hawaii. Never been there and always wanted to go. It is on my bucket list.
Who are some role models in your life?
Loved Eleanor Roosevelt. Also loved the early feminist writers, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Simone de Beauvoir and others. They paved the way!
What are some common misconceptions about getting older that you’d like to change?
What we don’t know when we are young is that nothing really changes inside, even if the person in the mirror looks different. I didn’t realize that you are the same person peering out at the world from the same ageless eyes and heart but with more “context” for your experiences. This hopefully translates as wisdom.
What is something you appreciate now that you hadn’t before?
Being alive. I took it for granted. Now with some of my friends and family dropping like flies, I appreciate breathing.
What’s a lesson you learned within the last year that you’d like to share?
Stop personalizing every experience. Sometimes I try to communicate with a client, or friend, and don’t hear back for a very long time. I make myself wrong— I start to think it’s something I did wrong. Then, suddenly, they get back in touch and it turns out they were in some sort of crisis—that their silence had nothing to do with me!
What kinds of relationships are important to your work?
In ghostwriting, I need prospective authors who have realistic expectations, and are willing to do the work. I also need a few close friends to distract me, since I tend to put too much time into my work and sometimes need to have more fun.
What would you like to be doing exactly five years from today? Ten years?
Same as now: Ghostwriting books for people who lack the time or maybe writing ability, but still have amazingly wonderful stories to tell. I hope the universe hears me.
What is one idea would you like to share with the Silver Disobedience community?
Someone once said, “Be kind, everyone’s fighting a tough battle.” I keep that in mind always.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
My website is www.katzcreativebooksandmedia.com. I am on Facebook and LinkedIn and Instagram. I’m fairly easy to find once you get past the several other “Judy Katz’s” out there. I‘m the ghostwriting one.
You can also call me at 212-580-8833 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org