10 Powerful Lessons from Terri Tonkin

Terri Tonkin Cover
Terri Tonkin


Terri Tonkin has a wealth of writing experience under her belt, with her own book and multiple compilations, reaching International Best Seller status several times. She has been published in The Corporate Escapists and Disruptive Publishing magazines and has been interviewed on several podcasts.

With her ghostwriting business, Connect Within, Terri cultivates a space where her clients are genuinely heard, validated, acknowledged, encouraged and supported in their quest to share their stories.

Terri Tonkin aspires to ignite a flame of inspiration in every person she encounters. As her journey continues, she remains committed to uplifting others and making a positive impact on the world through the power of words.

As she says, let her help you, to tell, write and share your story.

Interview Transcript Terri Tonkin

Richard Lowe  00:01

Hello, this is Richard Lowe with author talks. I’m the writing King. I’m a ghost writer. I’m a LinkedIn branding expert and I am a writer. And I’m here today with Terry Tonkin, who has really embraced the power of dreams and aspirations, from a young age very nurtured a deep desire to write her own book. She fulfilled that dream at the age of 60. Terry has written her own book, my time to sign has been a contributor to 15 compilations, and is now a ghost writer, writing for others. Welcome to the show.

Terri Tonkin  00:32

Thank you for having me.

Richard Lowe  00:34

My pleasure. My pleasure. So why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Terri Tonkin  00:38

Okay, my name is Terry Tonka. And I’m based in Brisbane, Australia. We’ve lived in Brisbane now for coming up on 30 years. And prior to that, my husband was in the defence forces, and we’ve travelled around Australia with his work. So I’ve had a variety of life experiences, I guess, different employment styles. I’ve been retail, I’ve worked in banking, I’ve worked in youth transition space, I worked for the public service and public services are government agencies. And then I’ve started my own business. I actually started that as a life coach transitioned into author ghostwriter.

Richard Lowe  01:24

I see. That’s very interesting. So what made you start writing in the first place?

Terri Tonkin  01:29

I wanted to write a book from a very early age, I can remember when I was probably five or six saying to my mum and dad that I was going to write a book took me a little while to get there. But that’s how how life happens. We lived in western Queensland, which is quite remote. So we had no TV, and the radio. But that, you know, that was something that mom and dad listened to. And books were my escape, right, from a very early age. So I’ve been an avid reader all of my life, and I still am, I still read every day. Sometimes it’s nonfiction. Sometimes it’s fiction, sometimes I read a bit of both. So transitioned into authoring at the age of 16

Richard Lowe  02:14

are very interesting, I got my start at about 53. I did a little bit of writing before that for work, exit quite a bit, but didn’t actually get out on my own and start writing for others. And myself until I was 53. And it was it’s been an interesting journey.

Terri Tonkin  02:32

It is an interesting journey. When I decided to actually write my book, I called my mentor at the time and said, It’s time to write the book. And she said, Okay, why now, and I sort of run out of excuses as to why not so. And my mum had been placed in care, suffering with dementia. So it was really to get that book written so that she was able to read it. And to her to know that I had fulfilled a dream.

Richard Lowe  03:05

Very interesting. That’s a good idea. That’s a good motivation. Yeah, my motivation was I left corporate and decided to strike out on my own. Become a writer and then a ghostwriter. How many? So you decided to become a ghostwriter. Why did that? Why did you do that?

Terri Tonkin  03:22

I wrote my book in 2018. My own book, I contributed to a book in 2019. I contributed to two books in 2020, and two books in 21. And I’ve decided, if I’m going to write I may as well get paid to do it. That is the universe.

Richard Lowe  03:42

That is excellent. That is excellent. Are your clients mostly in Australia?

Terri Tonkin  03:47

Ah, the manuscripts that I’ve done have been in Australia. I have written for a lady in Oregon, and I’ve written for a gentleman in Florida.

Richard Lowe  04:01

Well, my next door I’m in Florida. Wow. Interesting. Yeah, that’s

Terri Tonkin  04:07

true. The connections of the compilation books, the connections that you make.

Richard Lowe  04:11

Yeah, it’s interesting how in modern technology, we can have clients all over the world. I’ve had clients in Kazakhstan. I’ve had clients in Singapore. I mean, go figure, you know, yeah. It is easy. Well, there’s still hard some because of the language barriers and time zones and stuff, but it’s nowhere near like getting on a plane and flying somewhere, or a boat or whatever.

Terri Tonkin  04:31

But it’s interesting sitting in Australia. We use a different English to Americans. So even and I’ve actually been writing with a lady in Austin as well. And I’ve got to remember how I have to set up my documents whether it’s American English or English English.

Richard Lowe  04:54

Yeah, I have. I’ve actually have a couple of New Zealand clients and several British clients over In the past, and it’s it is the language differences are interesting. They’re subtle, which maybe is a problem because I don’t remember them.

Terri Tonkin  05:08

Yeah, Essen Zed is one of them, you know? And a lot of like color we have CLL Oh, you are and I believe you guys have. Oh, so it’s those little tiny little details.

Richard Lowe  05:21

Of course we do it right. No, sorry. We can have that debate all day. All day. And we both lose. Absolutely, because we both right. Of course, of course. Well, no, no CLL Oh RS the right way to do it.

Terri Tonkin  05:40

No, sorry.

Richard Lowe  05:43

Yes, I’ve often thought about and I usually forget or get busy but I’ve wondered how that differentiation occurred because such a mild difference. Someday I’ll go look back and see when did the language split like that?

Terri Tonkin  05:56

To be an even something simple like mum, where m mu m you guys are m om. It’s those little little things that you need to be aware of when you go striding.

Richard Lowe  06:07

Yeah, yeah. Well, I’m here in Florida, and it’s the 1000s. So there’s there’s all the different pronunciations and spellings and things also, that can get rather interesting. If you’ve dealt with a Florida person, maybe you didn’t maybe it wasn’t a South southern type thing, but

Terri Tonkin  06:25

he’s actually from New Jersey, but he spent six months in Florida and six months in New Jersey, sir. Hey, guys, between the two.

Richard Lowe  06:32

I’ll add a snowbird here, by the way.

Terri Tonkin  06:35

Yeah, escaping it.

Richard Lowe  06:38

Exactly. Although they’re escaping it now to the 110 degree weather here. And the humidity of 95%.

Terri Tonkin  06:47

That’s normal. What’s the problem?

Richard Lowe  06:51

It is fairly normal for Florida, but I’m for California, baby and those moved out here.

Terri Tonkin  06:56

But it’s normal for most, you know, a lot of parts of Australia. 95% humidity, it’s not uncommon.

Richard Lowe  07:02

Yeah. Yeah. I grew up in California, which is like 3% Humidity if it has any humidity at all. And no rain and and when it does rain it very mild here. We get like 2010 inches, all the ones you know. Yeah. Especially this time here. Yeah, this time of year, we get a lot of rain. And I think it’s gonna be really rainy this year with the weather the way it is. Okay. Yeah, we’re having an El Nino I think and the ocean temperatures are directly 1.5 degrees hotter than it should be. It’s actually like walking into a sauna. Wow, the water is so warm that it’s literally warm.

Terri Tonkin  07:41

Yeah, the ocean. Which side of Florida you’re on

Richard Lowe  07:46

the base? The west side? Yeah. whereabouts? Tampa. Okay. Yep. area. Yeah. Yeah. And you’re you said where you are.

Terri Tonkin  07:57

I’m in Brisbane, Queensland in Australia, which is on the eastern seaboard. So we’re on the we’re on the Pacific side of things. Yeah.

Richard Lowe  08:07

Is there anything on the other side?

Terri Tonkin  08:10

The the Atlantic

Richard Lowe  08:16

would mean the Indian Ocean.

Terri Tonkin  08:17

Sorry, the Indian Ocean? Yes. Yeah. Yes.

Richard Lowe  08:22

Yeah, my my understanding is Australia is mostly inhabited along the coast. And the interior is mostly just desert.

Terri Tonkin  08:31

That’s right. Yeah.

Richard Lowe  08:33

I’ve always wanted to

Terri Tonkin  08:35

utilize population

Richard Lowe  08:37

from Canaan colonies as my memory is correct. Hadn’t didn’t. Wasn’t Australia a penal colony to begin with? Yes.

Terri Tonkin  08:45

Particularly New South Wales and Tasmania.

Richard Lowe  08:48

Yep. That would be another interesting thing to read the history of how that

Terri Tonkin  08:52

is interesting. It is interesting.

Richard Lowe  08:55

My knowledge of Australia goes back to World War Two. Because I’m a history buffs and that’s how that happened in Australia, and how Australia why they said so many troops in the Middle East, and so forth and how that happened. It’s very, very interesting.

Terri Tonkin  09:12

Story. I’m actually I’m actually part of our return services League and I’m an ex defence member myself and our local RSL is doing a book on the local military history. I’m helping them with that goodwill project. Yeah.

Richard Lowe  09:30

Interesting. Yeah, I’m a military history buff. A lot of do skip World War One. I just can’t get into World War One. It’s just too much of a slugfest. Although the east, the Eastern Front, the Russian front tends to interest me. But the Western Front doesn’t at all. You know, there were entrances and they bombed each other and then they bombed each other and then they bombed, kind of war. And World War Two at least had movement. But that’s neither here nor there. So you fulfilled your agreements, ages 60 How did you feel?

Terri Tonkin  10:01

It was amazing actually, like I said, I’d wanted to do it since I was a little girl and to actually achieve it. And I self published, I didn’t do the whole lot. I had a mentor, but I did all the work. So that felt pretty good.

Richard Lowe  10:18

Interesting, interesting. So you do ghost writing now is your method where you do a bunch of interviews, and then you go write it, then you give it back? Or do you collaborate more? How does that work?

Terri Tonkin  10:29

The way I work is that we do a call like this zoom call or something like that. I have done it through email as well, which is interesting. But it’s having that conversation. So I’ll have a conversation. And then I’ll write and I’ll hand that back and go, are we on the right track? Have I got the right context? And then we keep moving forward? And then at the end, it’s a case of you start at the beginning and you go right through? Is it all in sequence? Have I got the right language? Have I got the right emotions. And then I hand the manuscript back, I don’t do the publishing or the, I always suggest they get an editor. Me too. Because it’s my eyes looking at it all the time. So I always suggest my clients get an editor, and I have a network of publishers that I can refer them to. So

Richard Lowe  11:26

yeah, I’ve had done 48 books ghostwritten. And three of them were traditionally published, the rest are self published. And traditional is found that they had to wait, it has a long, about a year long wait time, whereas the Self Publishers could publish right away. And they liked that. And they could change and stuff. There’s advantages and disadvantages to each because the traditionals got more sales. And they got in bookstores and libraries. Whereas the self published I don’t think anybody got in bookstores and libraries. But what one did, excuse me one did, he got in, he got an A university library.

Terri Tonkin  12:03

Unless you do the work yourself. It’s it’s much harder to get into the bookstores and the libraries. And what’s what I’ve found, what my clients have done with their books, I don’t really know because once it leaves me, I’m done.

Richard Lowe  12:20

Well, here in the United States, I don’t know how it works in Australia, to get into a library or a bookstore, you have to be on the appropriate list. And in an outpost on Amazon, they typically don’t put you on that list, because they don’t care. They’ll make money from that. Yeah, you have to publish through like draft to digital or a different way to get it into the bookstores or the libraries. And get on the list. Once you’re on the list. You can start promoting you can even promote the library if you’re not on the list, nor bookstore. And once you’re on the list, you can start promoting and that’s, that’s tough. You got to convince librarians to carry it on.

Terri Tonkin  12:56

Yeah, yeah, our local councils control our libraries. They own our libraries. So you have to speak to the right person to get your book in there. So you can front up to the library, and they’ll go or you’ll have to put a request and an application through to the right person. So it’s getting in front of that right person as well.

Richard Lowe  13:18

My understanding is it’s similar here, but it’s more state to state. So each state has or each county even has their own rules.

Terri Tonkin  13:26

Yeah. As a run by the local council, so

Richard Lowe  13:31

but there are 50,000 libraries here in the States. And the way it works is you sell you give them electronic books, and then they rent them out and you get a payment for that rental. Okay, annual payments. So it’s really useful to get your book into libraries. Because you get

Terri Tonkin  13:51

to have to check that one out.

Richard Lowe  13:52

That’s that’s an electronic books course paperbacks, hardcovers, you sell the libraries. So that’s an advantage. And there was a group called the alliance of independent authors here. I don’t know if they’re in Australia, they probably are. They’re on Facebook, they, they help with a lot of these things and give you guidance. They’re very useful group to be a member of, and they’re not that expensive.

Terri Tonkin  14:22

Or check them out.

Richard Lowe  14:23

Yeah, I would highly recommend it. I think there are 150 a month, 150 a year, kind of tiny kind of amount. And then you get a Facebook group and you get to talk to all these other people who are want to be authors, and you’re actually the authors. Everybody respects you. And you’ve been published. Oh my god. And your ghostwriter. Oh my god. It’s kind of fun. Yeah. So yeah, I I do recommend people join groups that have reading groups. There’s a Florida writing group here. Probably something cool in Australia. Yeah.

Terri Tonkin  14:54

There’s a lot of local ones. There’s a lot of national ones.

Richard Lowe  14:57

Yes. There are here to solve have requirements, like to join the journalism group, you have to have, I think two or three traditionally published books under your belt. So it’s got a high barrier for. It’s not really for Self Publishers. Some require self published books, some require other things. It’s useful. Yes,

Terri Tonkin  15:19

yes. Just getting a different perspective from different authors of how things worked for them as well.

Richard Lowe  15:25

Yeah. Sometimes they break off into a zoom group or something. And we we chat for a long time I just switched to Google meet. I’m not sure I like it better than zoom yet, but I wanted to try it out, which is why we got confused at the beginning, I guess is the beginning that way. That’s okay. It’s all good. It all worked out in the end. Yeah. Well, I’m over 60. And so I can relate. I can relate.

Terri Tonkin  15:45

Yeah, the the latest compilation that I did. It’s called get published. And there are 17 contributing authors, there was six from Australia, 10 from the US and one from Canada. So we had editors, we had formatters, we had designers, few publishers, we had a few light book coaches. And I was the only ghostwriter in that one. And being in that book has expanded my networks as well. So for my clients, I can refer people to different publishers, because they do different genres on different styles. Couple of ladies in there that were designers, just having that information for myself and for clients. And yeah, how are you having your book cover design? Who’s doing it for you? Who’s formatting the book? Just having those connections is wonderful as well.

Richard Lowe  16:45

Interesting. Yes. Yes. So what have you learned as a writer that you didn’t know before? What would what would be like your astounding things that you’ve learned?

Terri Tonkin  16:58

Everybody has got at least one story to tell at least one story. People have a list of excuses, reasons, challengers issues as to why they can’t. And there’s a solution to probably each and every one of them. If you don’t have the time, but you’ve got the story, there’s people like ourselves ghostriders that can help you out. If you don’t know where to start, but you wanted to do it yourself. There are coaches available. If you’ve written that you don’t know how to tidy it up. There’s BETA readers as editors to help you through that. How do I publish, nobody’s going to read it, somebody is going to read it. And if one person reads it, and they get benefit out of it, they’ll pass the word along. You’re not going to make a million dollars, like I said, unless you’re in some of those bigger publishing houses for the one of the better word. And because they have the more exposure, they can put the books anywhere and everywhere. But as a single author, you’ve got to be prepared. If you want to make a million bucks, you can probably do that. But you do have to do a lot of work to do it.

Richard Lowe  18:15

That’s for sure. That’s for sure. I’ve actually had two Kindle bestsellers. One sold 15,000 copies in three days. Yeah, one 5000 copies in a week. And that was probably the most work I’ve ever done.

Terri Tonkin  18:29

Yeah. Because it’s constant. You have to be constantly on top of it.

Richard Lowe  18:34

Yeah, I did a burst. So I did a whole bunch of promotion all at once. And then it was just too much work. And I was selling it at a reduced rate. So I got a lot a lot a lot of sales. And I’d rather be a ghostwriter is it’s easier

Terri Tonkin  18:51

to think, different. It’s different because you can disassociate from it. You’re telling the story. You’re not emotionally involved. There’s no triggers, generally, depending on the genres, I guess, I only write nonfiction books. So it’s the memoirs, the well being lifestyle. I have done some for small business. But that’s a lot of work if you don’t know the business as well.

Richard Lowe  19:24

Yeah, I’ve done children’s books. I’ve done young adults I’ve done most of my work is nonfiction technology related. Because I’ve got 33 years in tech industry. It’s really weird to say I have 33 years in tech industry wow,

Terri Tonkin  19:45

I don’t even want to touch the tech industry. On the other way, show me the system. I can use it. That’s That’s it.

Richard Lowe  19:54

I read books about AI and augmented reality and the metaverse and and stuff like that, for the most part, but I also jumped into children’s books and adult books, things like that. And I asked for a pretty, I guess it’s an it’s a normal rate here and among good quality ghostwriters. It’s not a low rate, and it’s not a high rate. I don’t get celebrity rates.

Terri Tonkin  20:19

No, I don’t get celebrity rates either. Yeah,

Richard Lowe  20:23

they started what two to five bucks and word kind of thing.

Terri Tonkin  20:26

Yeah. Some of the people that I know who are ghost riders there, and they haven’t been doing it a lot longer. I’ve only been doing it two years. I shouldn’t say only that. I’ve been doing it for two years. ghostwriting and I don’t consider my price as expensive. However, I do know that there’s some in America charging 75 $80,000 for a book. Yep. That’s the package. You know,

Richard Lowe  20:52

I’m one of those. Yeah.

Terri Tonkin  20:55

So I don’t do a package, I write the manuscript.

Richard Lowe  20:59

Well, that’s all I do is write the manuscript from beginning to end, and then do one revision, and then it’s done. I kind of guide them and give them the resources for the remaining things, but I don’t do them.

Terri Tonkin  21:11

No, that’s right. I can, I’ve got like I said, I’ve got a great network of editors, publishers, formatters, and things like that. So that’s a really thorough process.

Richard Lowe  21:20

Yep, I do do self publishing if they want. Because I’ve done it over 100 times. It’s, you know, I could self publish a book in a few hours. But I don’t do covers, I don’t do any of the other accoutrements. I do recommend, like you said, sending to an editor. That’s important. Editors are weird. They have a different way of thinking than I do. They do.

Terri Tonkin  21:42

They do. Absolutely. Because you go, do you really think that works?

Richard Lowe  21:49

They definitely think differently. And that’s a good thing. And weird as a, as a as a compliment? Not as an insult, you know?

Terri Tonkin  21:56

Yeah. Because they’re looking at it totally different. Whereas if you’re trying to, and I mean, I always self edit anyway. But you’re also looking at the same words over and over and over again. So you’re seeing the same things. You’re not picking up any of the the errors?

Richard Lowe  22:13

Yep, yeah. Although, of course, my books never have any errors.

Terri Tonkin  22:19

Like, like I said, I’m not an editor. But I have helped other authors complete their books, of course, because so it’s not that I’m actually writing the book on their behalf as a ghostwriter. And I’m not actually a book coach. But I do all these things, as a as a paid service. So I’m using my experience to help other authors bring their books to

Richard Lowe  22:49

the fore. So yeah, exactly, exactly. I do book coaching as well. That was a whole different game. So I’ll do a do the, you know, the Front End call for free, and find out what the problem is, and then give them a plan. And then I charge them by the hour after that for whatever they need, usually in 10 hour blocks. And that seems to work pretty well. They get the help they need for whatever problem they’ve got whatever it is, it’s one on one, and it’s just for them. Sometimes writing writer’s block, sometimes they can’t come up with the idea, sometimes the they don’t even know how to use English. So that sometimes it’s it’s sometimes it becomes a grammar course. And I actually refer them to grammar courses for that I don’t do.

Terri Tonkin  23:35

I haven’t had a client who who was referred to me through a publisher. And they’d sort of done the shell of this story. And we had a conversation and I asked them what they wanted. And I said, Well, I’ll do the first chapter and see what you think. And I had another conversation with the lady. I wrote the first chapter. Now write the first chapter. And then they said, no, no, that’s not really what we want. So I had another conversation with the lady and I rewrote it. And I said to her now, how do you want this to be she said, I want it to be like, I’m telling a story. I’m having that conversation with someone. And I went fantastic. I write in a conversational style. This is a really good match. So I’d had the conversation with her and I rewrote this chapter. And she came back and she said, it was just like, we were having a conversation. That’s not what I want. Okay. She said, I think I need a copywriter. I went go for it. Totally different genre.

Richard Lowe  24:42

Yeah, hopefully you still got paid for all that.

Terri Tonkin  24:45

I got paid for the work. Yes, because I was only going to do one chapter and that was it. To see if we were a match, but I don’t do copywriting it is something I tried everybody. When I said I was going ghost running. So Many people said to me, do you do copywriting? And I went, No, no, maybe I better have a look at it. And I did. I did a couple of short courses. And it just not my thing. That’s not my thing.

Richard Lowe  25:16

I did a couple of short courses along the course, was feeling iffy about it took on a couple of copywriting jobs. And by the end of that is like, this is not what I want to do with my life. It’s, it’s high paying.

Terri Tonkin  25:28

Yes, that’s when the dollars are. Because it’s everybody wants it because nobody wants to do

Richard Lowe  25:34

well. So it’s based on if they’re selling a million dollar product, they usually can afford a little bit more for the writing. And if you’re kind of good copywriter, you can bring in a lot of money. But getting too good means becoming known. And I mean, it’s it just overwhelmed me and it wasn’t what I wanted to do.

Terri Tonkin  25:53

No, it’s not. It’s definitely not something I want to do. I have written content a couple of times. That’s probably not my best thing either, because it’s very short. I have written some travel blogs for another client. And one of the strangest things is I can ask, Can you write a resume?

Richard Lowe  26:17

Yeah, I get that all the time.

Terri Tonkin  26:22

So it’s really funny what people don’t want to write,

Richard Lowe  26:27

or they don’t know how resumes they typically don’t know how to write them. One thing I do do is LinkedIn, LinkedIn branding, used to work for a company called LinkedIn makeover was one of the first jobs I took as I after I left Trader Joe’s, the corporate world. And LinkedIn makeover was run by a lady named Donna Scintilla. She’s really nice and really skilled. She wrote LinkedIn for Dummies, and Ukraine, me herself. And it turned out to be a good experience. And she hired me and I stayed there for 300 profiles, almost on the nose. Yeah, that was the high end profile writers. I got all the CEOs and CFOs and CTOs really touchy people sometimes. And just because I mentioned the touchiness because it became I can’t do this. I left corporate for that because of this. Yeah, no, I can’t do a revision 15 times for a $200 paycheck. Yes. Yes. Yeah. Do that. The demands, and the demands and the back and forth and every word. And that happens on books, too, but I’m getting paid for it. That’s right. And I can put a stop to it. I can. But in this case, I couldn’t. And I still do them on a flat rate. I do LinkedIn profiles. And it’s better to do them the collaboratively, we’re actually work with the client one on one for the whole time. Yes. And they get the they get exactly what they want. And there’s not a lot of revisions, because we’re basically revising it on the fly. And they get really good profiles, then really exactly what they need.

Terri Tonkin  28:00

Yeah, I have a friend who that’s her business here in Australia is that’s her gig is she does the LinkedIn profiles, and she’s kept quite busy, quite regularly. So

Richard Lowe  28:13

yeah, once you get a name there, you can get the business. I’ve let it slide because it’s not really what I want to do. But I’m thinking of picking it back up. One of the things I’ve run into I read it Yeah, of course, we run into it as writers all the time people undervalue the work.

Terri Tonkin  28:30

I’ve had people say to me, I had a request to do. And it was almost copywriting. It was a sponsorship package. Could I write it? And I’m like, Well, gee, I’ve never done one of these. And I, I asked around a few different people that I have contact with. And I said, My thoughts are around about the two and a half to 3000. And they went, Oh, absolutely. There’s a lot of work in it. So I went back to the potential client, and I said, 3000, I can always negotiate down. And they went, Oh, we were thinking about 300.

Richard Lowe  29:10

I did that all the time. Yeah. Somebody’s not happening. recently asked me for a 60,000 word book. And we started negotiating. And he I told him my pricing. He’s like, Well, I was thinking more like 1500 Yeah, good for 60,000 word book. I said, Well, you know, Fiverr will Reezy. You know, those places where you could probably find somebody, but you’re not going to get me? Not for that price. I can’t make a living on that. I can’t pay the rent. You know,

Terri Tonkin  29:38

I’ve had people ask me about a manuscript, and I’m under the 10,000. And there’s a couple of reasons for that. But even when I say it’s under the 10,000, but you will need to, you know, have a costing built in for your publishing and all that and then like, oh, we thought it’d be about five or $600 And I’m like, you’re talking about four to six months. work? Do you get paid $500 For six months work?

Richard Lowe  30:06

Yeah, and you’re coming to me because it’s hard and you expect me to do it.

Terri Tonkin  30:10

And you’ve got no time. And you’ve got all these other reasons. Not happening.

Richard Lowe  30:18

I do find the high end clients who will pay my rates. And the fortunate thing about asking for the higher end clients is I don’t need a lot of them. Yes. So I guess it’s sometimes tough to find them. But I’m looking for more of the CTO CFOs and things like that, who generally generally can’t afford me. Yes. Director level sometimes. Yeah.

Terri Tonkin  30:40

It’s it interests me too, that a lot of people still don’t know about ghostwriting, or understand what we do. And they go, what does it go strive to do? And I go, okay. Do you think Andre Agassi wrote his own book? And they look at me? And I think about it. Do you think Prince Harry wrote his own book? He even talks about his ghostwriter.

Richard Lowe  31:09

Exactly, exactly, or Hillary Clinton here in the States. So that’s what

Terri Tonkin  31:14

we do. We write the book on behalf of somebody else. And for me, it’s their name that goes up on the book, if they wish to acknowledge me and go thank you very much, Terry Tonkin couldn’t have done this without you. Fantastic. If they want to take it all, they paid me I’m out of the picture.

Richard Lowe  31:34

out of 48 books, ghostwritten books, five, allow me to put on my website, and they acknowledged me, the rest would rather not and that’s fine, I got paid. I’m happy. I got paid a lot.

Terri Tonkin  31:47

And the ones that the authors that I have helped complete their books, they’ve all acknowledged name. So it’s individuals.

Richard Lowe  31:59

When you get to the world of tech, they’re a lot more reticent. They don’t want my name associated with it. Not even in the acknowledgments. They want people to think they wrote it. Yeah. And, okay, that’s fine with me. You paid me, you’re paying me? Whatever. And whatever you want.

Terri Tonkin  32:16

That’s what people send me. Don’t you want your name on the book? It’s not my rock.

Richard Lowe  32:19

I’ve published 60 books under my name. Yeah. And a bunch of them under pseudonyms. So I, I have already done that, then they’re done.

Terri Tonkin  32:28

Yeah, like I’ve been in some, well, in some of the compilation books that I’ve been in, the person who’s actually put it all together, has gone through and put each done separate covers, and shuffled the chapters around. So my name is on the front cover and my chapters the first. So she’s, you know, they’ve done that with 20 authors. So, um, different people do compilation books differently as well.

Richard Lowe  32:56

So, yeah, I’m about to be published in a compilation book. Road publishing, I just got accepted into Vim, and I had to read a chapter about me. And that was kind of fun. Like talking about me?

Terri Tonkin  33:09

Well, we know that topic, you

Richard Lowe  33:12

know, pretty well. And one of the the hardest barrier of being a writer of all was, I have been promoting as I have to promote me. So I don’t know how it isn’t Australia. But in the United States, you’re typically taught you don’t talk about you, you don’t promote yourself, because it’s considered arrogant. Yeah. And I haven’t.

Terri Tonkin  33:34

I don’t know that it’s necessarily USA or Australia. I think that’s just from my perspective, it’s a generational thing. Our parents, you hear in Australia, we’ve got tall poppy syndrome. So if you’re at the top of the head, somebody’s going to knock you down. You shouldn’t be up there. They’re going to knock it down. So I think it’s a generational thing. Because I know my parents. They wouldn’t ever braggers they were never, I’m better than this, or I’m better than that. So it’s something that we have to learn to do is to be okay, in promoting ourselves. We’ve achieved it. So why not let everybody know that we’ve been changed? Well, you

Richard Lowe  34:19

have to because they’re gonna ask you, what have you done? Why should I hire you? You know, you don’t want to say well, I am the best there is in the entire world. That’s just arrogant, but you you have to tell them how good you are and stuff like that. And that was a tough barrier to get through. It is I’ve kind of licked it now. I mean, I don’t have any problem writing about myself now. And I’ve learned how to write so it’s not arrogant. doesn’t come off all who do 2d. Yeah, I love that saying but doesn’t mean anything at all. But yeah, promotion was I’ve been an introvert most of my life. I mean, severe and shy. So promotion was very hard. Like, there was a time I’m in my life where I won a major award and they wouldn’t couldn’t even get me on stage talk about it. Do accept it even quit wouldn’t do it. And, and now look at me, I’m doing three of these author talks, podcasts and to conversation with influence on podcasts every week. Partially because I figured I’m sitting here on my butt riding all day, I need to talk to people just to keep them Yeah. And it’s kind of fun to get other other things, especially people outside the country, and learn about them. I’ve always been fascinated by other cultures and things. I mean, I’ve always loved diversity is a big thing here now, and I’ve always loved the, it’s a to me, it’s like, why is it a big thing? It should just be normal. You know, you hire people for their, their talents and their skills and their how and their how well they do the job. I don’t care what color their skin is, or what race they are, what religion they are, as long as they’re not assholes? Yes, absolutely. I don’t care. What I care about is can they do? Can they achieve what they’re supposed to achieve? Or are they nice people? Or are they going to be good friends, or whatever I’m looking for at the time. And they’re going to do the job I’ve asked them to do if I’m hiring somebody, are they going to do the job? And I actually, it’s, it’s, it’s been tough because through my entire life, I’ve hired people. And I’ve always hired diverse staff. And sometimes my my managers had trouble with that. You know why you’re hiring so many people from India or whatever? Because they’re good. I don’t care where they’re from. And because not a single American applied for this job.

Terri Tonkin  36:38

Yes. That makes it hard to employ an American when they haven’t applied.

Richard Lowe  36:43

I sent out a note for database administrator didn’t get a single us person at all. Got a whole bunch of 8181 V people. That’s the the visa thing. But not a single us person, which was interesting to me. And we’re talking 700 resumes, you know, we’re not talking five. And sometimes it’s changes sometimes I get lots of them, sometimes not. It depended on the on the what I was trying to get. Yeah, database administrators, it was really hard to find, to find people from the US for a long time, security people could find diamond doesn’t you know, they’re all over the place. I don’t know why. And I say the thing I had the hardest time finding was women in technology, there just weren’t women at all. And I hired a couple I managed to get a couple. Yeah, they weren’t even applying.

Terri Tonkin  37:38

They they’re out of the norm. And it’s something that we’re pushing here in Australia, is women in STEM, so science, technology, electronics and math. So they’re pushing it in the high schools now, because they were finding here in Australia, there were just no women going into those areas. So it’s it is being promoted more here.

Richard Lowe  38:03

Yeah, and I couldn’t find, for most positions, I couldn’t find a woman to save my life. And I was trying, and I get 1000 resumes and there wouldn’t be a single woman in the middle. And finally, I did find some women and hired them. And they worked out pretty well. And why wouldn’t I hire women who applied you know, I mean, as long as they can do the job and have the skills and like I said aren’t assholes, I don’t care. You want them to do the job, I want them to do the job and get along, to be able to do the job. I want them to do the job and get along with the team and be part of the group. And so it was a big eye opener. That that it wasn’t even at the corporate level, it was outside of that school level, I guess, or you know, the education level or their own choice or whatever. And I don’t think that’s changed that much. I still think that in this in tech field, there’s still difficulty finding women. And that’s a shame. Shame. We need more women. They have a different viewpoint than men. I mean, women are weird. No.

Terri Tonkin  39:16

No, we are. We are different we women have been conditioned to and again, it’s that generational thing sort of our generation, and maybe the one below us, but we’ve been conditioned that their men jobs, their boy jobs. It’s the woman’s job to look after the home. It’s the woman’s job. Like my when I went to high school, I think I think I had 120 in my final year in high school. And there were two of us whose mothers worked. It just didn’t happen. I’m staying home. So

Richard Lowe  39:55

my mom. My mom stayed home but she did what would now be called the gig economy. She went out and did Avon and Tupperware and all those kinds of things and it’s T. Teacher’s Assistant in the school, stuff like that. And then later she’s she, she my dad co owned a shop and worked it together. But yeah, yeah, it’s definitely I think it is a generational thing. Speaking of generations one thing I don’t get we move talking about promotion is I see these people on Tik Tok and, and we YouTube, just being wild and goofy and an ex extroverted, I don’t even know how to do that. I would love to know interested in learning. I would love to start a Tik Tok channel that has millions of followers, I don’t even know how they, how they get on stage and act like that. I guess I’m still an introvert in a lot of ways.

Terri Tonkin  40:45

Yeah. Like I said, I was I was in life coaching for a while as well. And one of the guys that I sort of went through my training with, he’s living overseas now and having a blast living the life that he wants. And he coaches, teachers, mentors, people, to be able to sell without the guilt, the shame and all of that sort of thing, in an ethical way. And he put a post up the other day, and he said, Oh my god, don’t ever tell me you can’t sell anything. He’d come across this woman on Tik Tok, I think it was, who was selling pictures of her under here?

Richard Lowe  41:35

Okay. She’s probably being successful.

Terri Tonkin  41:39

And she has she’s got like, you know, 100,000 followers or something. And it’s just like, Oh, my God. So totally different generation, then don’t worry about it. Just don’t worry about it. They just go for it.

Richard Lowe  41:52

I know is very strange to me. But I’m an older generation. And that’s the way it is. And yeah, and I am, I am loosening up. I think to do to do tick tock and stuff like that. I’d probably need to take an acting class, or something like that.

Terri Tonkin  42:08

No, I’d probably be better if you didn’t.

Richard Lowe  42:11

Or an improv class, the wild.

Terri Tonkin  42:14

The wild or the better, apparently. Yeah, an improv class would be good.

Richard Lowe  42:18

Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that for a while just taking a weekend course an improv. And that will get me out of my push probably pushed me in my shell, but it might get me out of my shell that would get would be tough. It would be hard for me. And that would be that’s what I’m looking for sometimes. I mean, I went up in a hot air balloon multiple times, even though I’m terrified of heights. Just because I’m terrified of heights. I became a spelunker, which is a guy who a person who explores caves, mildly claustrophobic, and I’m down there in a cave, and you can’t get more claustrophobic than that. And just push the boundaries a bit, you know?

Terri Tonkin  43:00

Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I, I will post it on Facebook, I’ll post on LinkedIn. I very rarely even use Instagram. But apparently, that’s where I should be. But again, I think it’s a generational thing.

Richard Lowe  43:18

I haven’t figured out what to post on Instagram. I’m a writer, what am I going to post on Instagram? It’s not visual. So you

Terri Tonkin  43:25

Yeah, and the things that I was, like, I would go for a walk and I might take a picture. And then I would come back and I’d make comments about the picture and how that’s fitted into my day, or I want to have copies of my books or and talk about my story in there. But again, it’s not something that I’m suppose not really comfortable with yet.

Richard Lowe  43:50

Yeah, yeah. Well, I’m expanding to video as I’m doing these. I did 25 of these four years ago, and now I’ve restarted now I’ve done five or six in the last couple of weeks, and I’m gonna continue that partially because it gets me out of my shell and I’m still on my butt all day. And I need to get out of my

Terri Tonkin  44:06

shell and you can talk to someone,

Richard Lowe  44:08

someone who’s whoever can have a good conversation with and then I’m putting video out there, so that’ll go this will go on YouTube. This will eventually go to SoundCloud as soon as it figured out how to use it. And the other podcast things as the audios I’ll probably put it split them up. If somebody said something profound and put them on Tik Tok, and it’s like don’t don’t see much use for tick tock other than that kind of thing. Yeah, maybe Instagram. Just expand that way.

Terri Tonkin  44:39

You can you can cut. Apparently there’s a an app program where you can take like the video that we’ve done and it’ll cut it into like 19/92 segments for you. And then you can just use bits and pieces. Always take things

Richard Lowe  44:55

uses artificial intelligence to figure out where it should break. Yeah, See, that looks that looks interesting to me. And it’s a way to put these multiple uses. And of course you get, you get tagged and every single one of them. You can promote your get promoted to, but I’m expanding the video now, and we’ll see how that goes. But I got to expand in a way that wasn’t just me talking to a video because I don’t see what I would say. Yeah, I’m talking to a camera and it seems weird. Now I’m talking to you and to a camera, which is fine, which is different.

Terri Tonkin  45:32

That’s right. Totally.

Richard Lowe  45:35

Yep. So we’re out at the end of the the interview, or conversation and it has been fascinating. Is there anything you’d like to say before we finish up?

Terri Tonkin  45:46

If you think you can, writing a book and you do have that list of excuses, reach out and talk to someone a ghostwriter, a book coach, even a publisher because the publisher can give them some ideas. For every reason not to write it more. There is a solution to each and every one of those. And as I say, let me help you to tell write and share your story.

Richard Lowe  46:15

Very good. Very good. Well, this has been author talks with Richard Lowe. I’m the writing King. I’m a ghostwriter. Also, I’m also a writing coach, and I’m a LinkedIn branding expert. So if all of the contact information for both of us will be in the description for this video, so feel free to contact either one of us for what you need. If you want to really go to go this route, or contact me and you know,

Terri Tonkin  46:40

and if you want a better one.

Richard Lowe  46:42

Exactly, exactly. Yes, not that we’re arrogant or anything? Not at all. See you next time. Thank you. Thank you.

Richard Lowe
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