Coaching Women of a Certain Age
in Fiction, Memoir, and Nonfiction
Go ahead, take the leap into writing that book—
I’ve got you!
I know a thing or two about making dreams come true later in life. For a start, my first novel was published when I was 50 years old. No one thought I’d ever get a book published. I wasn’t a writer, they told me. And now, my tenth book will hit the shelves in a week.
But I don’t let other people define who or what I am. I’ve never been afraid of reinventing myself. I’ve been a musician, an advertising copywriter, an assistant professor, a nonprofit executive, a startup cofounder—and I’ve probably forgotten a few things.
It wasn’t until I became an Author Accelerator Certified Advanced Book Coach at the age of 65, though, that I found the role that would let me live a life of books and writing—the life I really want. Book coaching brings together the many skills and talents I have accrued over decades, and challenges and fulfills me every day.
What I’ve learned since then is that there are many other women who’ve lived and struggled and transformed themselves, and who yearn to achieve their dream of writing a novel, memoir, or nonfiction book.
If you’re one of them, I have the tools and experience to help you.
I love coaching literary fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction (my own genre), romance, mystery, YA, and middle grade. I’ve had some fabulous memoir clients, and can help nonfiction authors create a book proposal that’s polished and professional.
Coaching starts with a conversation. Complete the form to the right if you want an informal, no obligation, chat with me about how I might be able to help you achieve your writing dreams!
Answer as many questions as you can, so I know a little about you!
Hear what my book coaching clients have to say:
Susanne has a unique skill set in that she is both an experienced and successful writer as well as a superb editor. She possesses a keen sense of character, story flow, pacing, and marketability. She understands the architecture necessary to build a novel, and she is gentle but clear in her feedback. I will hire her again!
Susanne’s manuscript review offered some much-needed encouragement and perspective on my second novel at a time when I was struggling with a short deadline and the typical sophomore book obstacles. Her sense of story and pacing was a true gift and made a significant difference in the final draft.
Really pleased with my experience of working with book coach, Susanne Dunlap. I had written a novel that received interest from literary agents but no offer of representation. After working with Susanne, I have a clear plan for for how to strengthen and revise my manuscript. I only wish I had used Susanne’s book coaching earlier in the process of writing my novel!
“Susanne showed me a whole new way to look at my memoir. She encouraged and inspired me, taking me through specific exercises each week to narrow my focus and heighten the narrative. She was very thorough, professional, and timely in all our exchanges via email and Zoom calls. Most of all, she gave me the confidence to know that I had a story worth telling.”
I am an Author Accelerator Advanced Certified Book Coach, which means I have fulfilled the requirements of a rigorous course and submitted practicums. I’m privileged to be among the premier community of book coaching professionals!
What is book coaching? How is it different from hiring an editor?
Book coaching is an ongoing relationship based on meeting pre-determined deadlines that include reading and commenting on pages; doing exercises to help focus your project on your genre, audience, and market; and having regular, scheduled conversations to discuss your work. It’s like having a cheerleader, project manager, editor, and friend by your side every step of the way as you reach your writing goals—whether it’s finishing that novel, finally writing your memoir, or putting together a top-notch book proposal that gets your expertise in front of readers to build your business.
The right book coach can help you conquer the challenges of writing your book. It’s a way to ensure that your book is in the best shape it can be—for submission to agents and editors or for self-publishing. And a book coach is also an experienced, professional editor.
I love working with writers at all different stages in the process and at all different levels—from those who have never written a book before, to those with publication credits under their belts and who just need specific help meeting a deadline.
How do you choose a book coach?
A book-coaching relationship is personal, one-to-one. Not all coaches are a fit for all writers. That’s why the relationship has to start with a conversation. After you complete an intake questionnaire, we’ll get on the phone or have a video call to talk about your goals and expectations.
If we work together, I will help you make a plan for your work with concrete deadlines, usually every two weeks. Each deadline includes a written review of your material and a half-hour call to talk about my comments and let you ask questions and share how it’s all going.
If you think book coaching might be the right answer for you, contact me using the form below. There’s no obligation, of course.
Will you help me write a bestseller?
The short answer is that there are no guarantees in publishing. Success in the market depends on so many variables that can have nothing to do with the quality of your book. Very few writers make those bestseller lists.
What I can do is help you achieve the writing goals you set, whether it’s to finish a manuscript, to self-publish, or to get to a point where you’re ready to submit to agents and editors. I can guarantee that I will bring to our working relationship all my experience as a published author and an expert editor who understands the mechanics and psychology of storytelling.
I put my whole heart into working with authors, and seeing you meet the milestones you set is one of my greatest satisfactions.