Just Above Sunset
August 8, 2004 - Are there awards for ghostwriters?

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Book Wrangler


By Bob Patterson


Recently the Independent Writers of Southern California scheduled a panel discussion.  My friend Dennis is a very highly regarded writer who works in the horror genre.  If he would buy me more lunches, I would describe him as “world famous,” (more lunches = better descriptive phrases) but, for now, that will have to do. 


He invited me along to the event, which was one of seven the IWOSC group held in the month of July.


It seemed logical to me that a horror writer would be interested in the topic of ghostwriting.  It turns out that ghostwriting refers to collaborators who sometimes are designated by the phrase “as told to” and other times are silent partners who get more money and less publicity.


Once you get familiar with the concept that brings up an interesting possibility.  What if some ghostwriters get so famous they can’t do all the work they have to produce?  Do they then hire folks to help them out? It turns out that in some instances there are some ghostwriters who cannot handle all the work assignments, they accumulate, so they hire other writers to help work in the shadows. 


As far as I could determine, there are no awards for ghostwriters.  (Would they be called “Caspers”?) 




The World Fantasy Awards are called “Howards” because they are named after H. P. Lovecraft.  The statue on top of such awards was sculpted by the famous cartoonist Gahan Wilson.

Click for large image...

You would think/hope that the liberal talk show hosts would have named their awards the Howards after Howard Beal, but apparently they missed the boat.  (It’s probably former president Clinton’s fault because in their world, everything that isn’t perfect is blamed on Bill.)  Maybe they should call their awards “the bitches.”  You know whose name they’d use for those awards.


Ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more?  According to information we read in the British magazine Bizarre, Ed Gein’s farm is for sale.  Shouldn’t some horror writer buy it and hold their annual awards dinner/ceremony there?


Tune in next time when the Book Wrangler will attempt to become the “Beale-esque” “mad prophet of the print industry” or maybe just run a review about a new book that examines the schizophrenic nature of the state of California.






Gahan Wilson's work first appeared in Amazing Stories in 1954, but he became nationally known through art in slick magazines including Colliers, Playboy, and later The New Yorker.

Copyright 2004 – Robert Patterson


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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