Your Life. Your Story.
A Unique Family Legacy
Carefully compiled & expertly written
The Ultimate Family Heirloom – The Story of your Life
Writer – Sharon Leigh.
Every person’s life consists of aspects that are adventurous, unique, wonderful or traumatic. These are very often of interest to or can motivate and inspire others. Some of us have had experiences that have nearly destroyed us, but didn’t. Maybe you’ve experienced an event that completely changed your life, but not everybody knows about it. Perhaps you have experienced huge success or huge loss. Maybe you would like to share knowledge or wisdom you have gained, or life lessons that you would like future generations to learn from. Possibly you have realised that you want to record your family history as a gift for the generations that come after you. Many people leave this Earth without a written legacy of their life’s journey. This is a truly wonderful gift to leave for your children, your grandchildren, and beyond.
Some of my latest work….
Keeping secure – Jenny Thomas
Our homesteads needed to be extremely secure, especially given how remote the farm was. We had a double security fence that encircled the entire homestead and its surrounds. It had an electric fence component attached to it and an alarm would go off if it was activated. When the fence was activated James would arm himself with a revolver and nervously go out and investigate. We were too far out for help to come should we have needed it, so bravely going outside and reacting accordingly was our only option.
We had very tall, bright flood lights in the garden and around the workshop. If there was a disturbance, we had installed a unique system whereby a light switch in the lounge or main bedroom could turn off all lights in the house and turn on all the security flood lights outside. This allowed us to see what was happening outside and remain invisible to anyone looking towards the house. In addition, we had steel grenade screens on the windows of the house. These has been installed during the war and were an absolute necessity as many homesteads were attacked during that time. All of us farmers were connected to a radio system which we used extensively.
It was literally something that saved lives as it was the quickest way to put out a call for help across the entire community. I recall one evening during the war, our neighbours were under attack, and whilst they desperately called for help on the radio, we could hear the gunfire in the background. Once the war ended, the radio’s remained a means to keep in contact with ones neighbours or call for assistance when the telephone lines were down, which was unfortunately a common occurrence.
The Finger Story -Henry Bosman
From a young age I was expected to be fully involved in all farm activities. One afternoon in 1930, when I was six years old, my father asked myself and my aunt’s young boyfriend, Jannie, to make silage from the maize. The silage cutter was hand driven and had a fly wheel which generated power when turned. Maize for silage was fed into the silage cutter, cut up and landed in the silage pit. When it was my turn to feed the maize into the machine, I caught my hand in the gears.
The pain was excruciating. My centre finger was completely crushed from the tip to below the bottom tendon whilst two other fingers had all the flesh and tendons torn off. In absolute terror, Jannie and I ran back to the farm house which was about 600m away. It was now late in the afternoon and a fair bit of rain had fallen in the past few days but I needed medical attention. We had to cross a small river bed to get the main road and got stuck as we tried to cross. I could sense the urgency of the situation but there was little I could do except wait for Jannie and my father to dig us out.
We stopped at the first rural hospital we came to. Aside from administering pain medication they were unable to help, so we continued onto Salisbury. At about midnight, as we reached the outskirts of the city our car suddenly juddered to a halt. After a few anxious minutes, my father managed to get the car going again and we slowly limped into the hospital grounds only to find that it was closed for the night. We had no choice but to overnight at a boarding house where we had stayed before.
The following day I was admitted for surgery which resulted in one of the fingers being amputated. As I had to stay in the hospital for a few days my father had no option but to leave me there and return to the farm. In later years, he told me that his greatest concern in leaving me there, was that as an Afrikaner farmer’s son, I spoke not one word of English.
A little bit about me…the writer.
I was born in rural Zimbabwe and lived on a farm for the first 25 years of my life. Due to my love of farm life I obtained my Master’s degree in Agriculture. Throughout my career in agriculture I have specialised in research and media content, including working as a journalist for the highest English circulating agricultural publication in South Africa. I have always had an absolute passion for writing.
In 2008 my grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary and I decided to write their life stories. Every member of the family received a copy of this book which is even dearer to us now that both of them have passed away. Over the years, word spread and I was approached to write other people’s life stories. I have always immensely enjoyed the process of crafting these legacies and hence a new career was born as a ghost writer.
I am currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa where I live with my husband, teenage daughters and a menagerie of dogs and cats.
What is a ghost writer?
A ghost writer is a person who is hired to author books, manuscripts, screenplays, speeches, articles, songs, blog posts, stories, reports, white papers, or other texts that are officially credited to another person.
Ghost writers are used because many people have great stories waiting to be told, but they lack either the discipline, desire, time or skills to translate these stories into a book. Quite simply, although not everybody is a writer, everybody has a story worth telling.
Why use a ghost writer?
As your ghost writer, you will share your story with me and I will turn it into a book. Although you pay me to write your book, you are the author and your name will appear on the front cover. It would be entirely up to you whether you disclose that your book was written “with” me if or when you choose to have it published.
Commitment to your story
Ghost writing a book is a collaborative effort, so you would need to be prepared to commit a significant amount of time to the process. I cannot write your story without your ongoing input. Writing someone’s life story takes 1-2 months of focused attention, and then the fine-tuning and editing and proof-reading still needs to be added to the mix.
How this works…
We would begin by signing a confidentiality agreement which will include estimated timelines and costs. You would more than likely be sharing information with me that would go beyond the boundaries of the book so please be assured that the information shared would remain confidential.