I work with authors like you via one-to-one coaching, where I impart my unique brand of practical advice. I’ll help bring your book to life, and also ensure that it’s aesthetically attractive and carries credible, compelling content. Trust me – your book will become one that no reader can put down.
I’ll even help you share it with the world.
But before we get to my story and how I found my true calling – helping writers like you – let me first introduce you to a friend and client of mine, three-time Emmy award winner, Dave Banks. . . .
My name is Dave Banks. For more than seventeen years I’ve travelled the world shooting documentaries and news stories, largely in the Middle East, where I’ve seen things you wouldn’t believe.
I’ve always loved to tell and share stories, and when it comes to visual storytelling, I’ve crafted a good career out of it.
But when it comes to the writing and sharing of those same adventures through the written word, I’ve always struggled.
I’m thankful to say Diane hasn’t just helped me overcome this, she’s also taught me how to appreciate just how powerful and enjoyable writing can be.
I grew up with dyslexia, so reading and writing never came easy to me. My mother was an avid reader, though, and as a consequence, I admire those who can put words together to form a story. And, as an ambitious guy who likes a challenge, the idea of one day writing a book remained on my ‘must-do’ list for a long time.
Perhaps that’s the same for you, too.
But I had no idea where to begin or how to turn this dream into reality.
I had a bunch of stories I could share visually through film, but I loved the idea of creating something my grandchildren could read, so they could see what their grandad did with his life.
But I’ll admit, I was scared to take action, because I hadn’t written anything for a long time. And like I said, it never came easy to me in the first place.
I put it off again and again…until one day I came across Diane and I instinctively knew she was the one who could help and guide me through the fulfilment of my dream.
Once I read some of her own work, she had me. Her writing and her style connected with me. I think you can learn a lot about someone through their writing, and the moment I landed on Diane’s site I sensed her love and integrity.
I knew she could help, and I’m so very glad to say she did – not just with the writing and editing of my book, but teaching me everything I know about writing to this day.
She taught me to love words, and how they can be hurtful, humorous, and every other feeling in-between. She showed me how to tell a story, and in doing so, I graduated from the visual arts to the art of words.
She took me from being an amateur and turned me into a pro, and I cannot begin to tell you how much this means to me.
But none of this does Diane justice, because not only did she teach me how to write and fall in love with words (to appreciate them on a deeper level), she cared and believed in me enough to pitch my work to a publisher. As a result, something I never imagined or dare dream about happened: I became a published author.
I didn’t write my book with a purpose to publish it. It was for me and my family, and that’s it. But through Diane’s help, a publisher wanted to bring my book to life.
I cannot put a price on this or how much value Diane has brought into my world.
She’s become a friend and confidante, and the first person I turn to when I write something new. She grounds me when I find my head in the clouds. She picks me up when I doubt I’ll succeed. She’s my task-master and editor and coach – and more – but above and beyond all this, she’s the person who convinced me that I’m a writer.
To this day, I can’t figure out how she did this.
You may wonder what Diane can bring to the table for you and your writing. I believe in the value of engaging a writing coach, and I happen to think every single writer benefits from having someone to listen, guide, and teach them. But having a writing coach who also happens to be a talented editor (let alone a passionate one, that goes above and beyond her duty)…I cannot place a value on this.
I hired Diane in the hope she could help me get my stories out of my head and onto paper.
I’m happy to say she achieved this and more, and if you choose to work with Diane, you’ll get a writing coach and mentor who listens, who genuinely wants to learn about you and your work, and who pushes you and challenges you to be better. She doesn’t let you slack off or take the easy option, she picks you up when you’re down, grounds you when you need it, edits your work, perfects your writing – and, ultimately, turns you into a pro.
I could write much more, but I think you get where I’m coming from. I’ll end by saying this: Thank you, Diane.
You turned me into someone I never believed I’d become: a writer.
An amazing person who offers so much…
I loved having Diane part of my latest novel, I Unlove You. She not only brought what you would expect from an editor, but so much more through her dedication and enthusiasm.
Within days, I sensed how invested she was in both me and my book, and this makes all the difference when you’re turning your idea into reality.
An amazing person who offers much more than copy-editing, and I feel lucky to have had her play such an integral role in I Unlove You.
This is my story, and why I love to help authors just like you:
I know what you’re thinking. I know the concerns and worries you have. I know how bewildering all the information is that you can find in books and on the web. The reason I know is because I’ve been there.
Obsessed with words, books and writing since I could hold a pen, I used to set my own writing ‘challenges’ as a young girl, even before the word ‘geek’ had been invented. My favourite author, Enid Blyton, took me to different lands (literally, in The Magic Faraway Tree!) that sounded fantastic against the backdrop of another rainy afternoon in Yorkshire.
I was gently ‘accused’ by two different English teachers of plagiarism when submitting coursework in school. Called to the front of the class as my peers passed by me, bound for home, I was asked where I’d got my material. Wholly truthfully, I said, “From my head.”
Continually told I was ‘good with words’, I took writing course after writing course. I had my first two books published by an Indian outfit that specialised in children’s fiction. After ghost-writing a book for a friend, I was asked to help a fellow author who was having difficulty cultivating the idea in his head. “I lose it before it gets to the page,” he said. “I don’t know how to put it.” We chatted; I explained how I’d approach his problem. I relayed what I understood about writing technique and rules to be followed. “No one’s ever explained it to me like that. I get it now, it was Double Dutch before!” he said. He’s now the author of four books.
I still write, although sporadically – I simply don’t have the time I used to. From that author, I’ve coached, helped and advised hundreds more over the last couple of decades. I’m rubbish at map-reading and navigating, controlling my urges for chocolate, and being quiet, but I know I have a gift when it comes to helping new authors out of the starting blocks. I can spot a good story. I know what readers like. I know what needs work when I read something, and what’s to be championed. I just do – it’s like I can connect to the inner soul of the book in-front of me.
Though I’m a qualified editor and proof-reader, it’s the critique and coaching that really float my boat. Nothing gives me more pleasure than being able to help an author from the very seed of their idea right up to when they hold their debut novel in their hand, full of joy and accomplishment. Could that be you? But my help doesn’t stop there: I also help them get into the right frame of mind to see their book as a commercial product, show them where their audience can be found, and help them form a strategic, continual marketing and promotional plan that will see their book sales grow and grow. No big bang then whimper here.
Last point: if you’re wondering why I called my brand and business ‘The Writing Hall’ – and not just ‘Diane Hall’ – it’s because I’m passionate about the sense of community in the literary world – authors are a fascinating, fabulous breed. It may be possible to self-publish, but no one should go through this wonderful journey alone. It takes a hall full to do-it-yourself.
Me at home:
I, unsurprisingly, love to read in my spare time; my whole life is books. My favourite genres are chick-lit and true crime. I live in West Yorkshire with my husband and two daughters (who are also avid readers and budding authors). One of my dreams – I have many – is to have a bookshop-cum-café somewhere picturesque where the surroundings offer tranquillity and inspiration to budding authors, and ready-made readerships via the guaranteed quality of the titles on sale.
THIS IS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT WORKING WITH ME
Jayne came to me with a very evocative life story. With many professional commitments, finding the time to write her memoir had been hard enough – a project that was more cathartic than the kick-start to a whole new career.
Jayne needed someone on whom she could simply ‘offload’ her manuscript and material, in the hope something tangible and compelling could be handed back. She had little idea with regards to the publishing of her book, and fully admits that she didn’t even know how to get the content into a readable structure, as most of it was made up from diary entries.
We came together early in 2012 and spent time understanding the order and progression of her life’s events, the intention for her book, and the audience it was aimed at. I ghost-wrote ‘Don’t Hide The Hurt’ a few months later, which Jayne released on a self-publishing basis.
Jayne was pleasantly surprised by the overall costs and the speed at which the whole project was turned around. She was able to fully concentrate on her book’s launch party – a roaring success – and on receiving congratulations and compliments for her riveting story. She has this to say: “The first time I held my book in my hand, I felt like a film star. What Diane did for me, I can’t begin to describe. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
“Diane is the most wonderful editor and publisher; her care and attention has seen magic injected into each new release. She’s careful not to remove or influence the author’s voice, but to only improve what she’s given. I’m so pleased that her reputation, team and company have grown over the years – it’s a testament to her experience and very high level of skill. I’ve no doubt TWH will continue to be a recognisable force in the publishing industry.”
“Diane reviewed and edited my children’s book. It was so refreshing to receive positive feedback on one’s written story. Being too close to the book, I enlisted Diane with the impossible task of reducing the text whilst still maintaining the essence of the story.”
“Diane’s comments and advice regarding my children’s fiction novel were very fair, and extremely useful. She picked up on a number of issues that I hadn’t thought about before, which will undoubtedly help me to improve my book and hopefully make it more appealing to literary agents. I had previously relied on feedback from friends and family; however, Diane’s specialist knowledge and constructive approach has made it clear to me that professional input is vital when hoping to deliver an enhanced product. I happily recommend her services.”
“From nerves to confidence. There aren’t enough thanks in this universe to give to you, Diane.”