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Daniel Paisner, author of the upcoming Balloon Dog, has a new essay out in The Millions, “How Being a Ghostwriter Has Shaped My Fiction.”


Like most writers, I’m surrounded by characters. But unlike most writers, my characters are real. My characters have won Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, Tonys. They’ve won Super Bowls, World Series, and Olympic gold medals—a Presidential primary, even. They’ve explored the depths of the oceans, the bowels of our criminal justice system, and the halls of Congress.

I make my principal living as a ghostwriter. I write books for actors, athletes, politicians, entrepreneurs, game-changers—people you’ve heard of, and people you’ve never met until their books start to make noise. I help them to give voice to their experiences, and to speak into their lives in a meaningful way.


Read More to check out the full essay!



What happens when the life you are living is no longer the life you imagined? When you are well and truly stuck? A darkly comic tale of longing and legacy, Balloon Dog, the fourth novel from best-selling ghostwriter Daniel Paisner, prompts readers to consider what it means to leave a mark and what it takes to be swept up in the same currents that move almost everyone else.

A brazen art heist pushes our protagonists to reflect on the choices they’ve made-and the ones that have been made for them. Set in the near- present, the story turns on the ill-conceived theft of a high-end Jeff Koons sculpture, lifted in plain sight from its perch beside a luxurious mountain home in Park City, Utah, and follows the musings, misadventures, and meeting of minds of a Long Island writer in midlife crisis and the art thief behind the ill conception.

Balloon Dog poses two central questions: Is the transformative power of art enough to lift us from our days? And what is art, anyway?