Hi there. I’m Donna Frazier.

I’m an editor, a writer and a writers’ coach. I work with people who are driven to write books, and know they need help to finish.

They frequently have piles of notes, first lines, letters and a big item on the to-do list— “work on my book”—that feels urgent. They may even have an energetic first draft.

But they know they can’t do their best work alone. Whether they’ve never published a book or are seasoned pros, they’re looking for a partner who can help them get their fully realized vision onto the page.

My clients are people who’ve lived big, and left a mark as teachers, entrepreneurs, game-changing creators, leaders, healers and wise souls. They’ve often followed paths that seemed impossible, failed dramatically, and succeeded in ways they never expected.

Their stories are ordinary and extraordinary, and they know that in telling them, they can expand people’s sense of what’s possible. Teach. Inspire someone to take a chance on herself. Share their legacy. Change the world.

They’re passionate about doing this, whether the book they have in mind is a memoir, a collection of lessons, case studies, essays or instructions, a wild blast of inspiration or classic self-help.

Nonwriters are often caught by the question: How do you create a book if you’ve never done it before?

Writers often call me asking: Is there anything here? How come publishers aren’t biting? How do I make what I’ve got match what’s in my head?

I show them how.

The art of making it memorable

I’ve had decades of experience working with writers and experts of every sort. I spent much of my career at newspapers across the country, making stops in Des Moines, Buffalo, Denver and Seattle before landing at the Los Angeles Times. I’ve edited, developed and rewritten stories on an endless array of topics.

That means quickly mastering the ins and outs of the Star Wars missile defense system and “Star Wars” the movie. The physics and metaphysics of light. Politics, punditry and soil erosion. Crime, psychology, incest and anorexia. Business and books. Home design and hip-hop. Food, fashion and health. The entertainment industry. Sex.

I was the kid in journalism classes who could get a great story out of a sewer board meeting while everyone else was dozing off, and I can’t help it—I can find my way to what’s fascinating about most any subject.

I’ve learned to help anyone with a story to tell move past jargon, blind spots, overwhelm and jumbled thinking to arrive at clarity. Then we dive into the art of connecting with what’s memorable.

The process is very human—and it involves much more than words alone. Curiosity, compassion and humor all come into play. Patience, too. And poetry. Occasionally, there are funny hats.

The secret sauce: Logic plus intuition.

My work has always involved asking questions and listening until I hear what’s authentic and true, then steering toward it.

The process is a mix of logic and intuition, and what I can tell you about the intuition part is that as people tell me their ideas, I can sense and then see the shape of their books and know what a book wants to be.

We go where the energy—and sometimes the fear—are the strongest.

The process of working with me has given some of my “non-writer” clients the confidence and experience to write books on their own.

For the writers, it’s often cleared away longstanding problems that have kept a book stalled so we could move treasured (and tormented) projects to publication.

You’re not a beginner at what you do. Neither am I.

By the time I left the Times to work full-time with authors, I’d spent some 15 years there collaborating with writers like Mike Nichols and Cameron Crowe, David Foster Wallace and Edna O’Brien, Rick Bass and Robert Scheer—people of incomparable talent who needed an objective eye on their work, an honest response, a challenge.

I’ve also worked regularly with writers and non-writers who need close guidance, inspiration, mentoring and, sometimes, a good rewrite.

Those layers of experience—plus that fabled 10,000 hours Malcolm Gladwell talks about—have made me a zone of calm, good humor and clear vision for all my clients.

Your book. With ease.

Today I specialize in helping people with great stories and a sense of mission write nonfiction books, along with the book proposals that have sold many projects to major publishers.

My clients and I work together to find the spark and voice of the book, and we develop strategies for pulling readers in, always taking care never to lose touch with the passion at the core.

These close partnerships have produced rich memoirs, self-help titles that have sold tens of thousands of copies, and privately published books and e-books aimed at niche audiences.

When I work with you, my job is to keep seeing the forest—the big themes, the structure, the connections you might not have made—while helping you move confidently through the trees along the path to your book, going deep and saying exactly what you want to say.

Through it all, we have a great time. You get a solid plan, a clear-eyed response to your work and the words you need, all delivered with a sense of ease, and a Zen-like lack of drama.

It’s time. Let’s write this!

Your book can be a joy to create, and a powerful expression of who you are. To learn more about how I can help you dive in, please get in touch via the Work with Donna page.