NANCY PESKE grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and majored in Classics (Latin) and minored in English Grammar and Linguistics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Raised by an anthropologist, I was a member of the First Unitarian Church and a Girl Scout until they finally kicked me out because by then I was college age! With these experiences influencing me, I was perfectly set up to write and edit mind/body/spirit books in the future.
She moved to New York City in 1987, attended the NYU Summer Publishing Institute, worked in the editorial departments at Basic Books and G. P. Putnam’s Sons, and became an in-house acquisitions editor at HarperCollins Publishers, Adult Trade Division.
I acquired books in the areas of pop culture and psychology, and I enjoyed being the in-house liaison and editor for bestselling authors I inherited. As an assistant editor, I talked my way into weekly editorial meetings so I could learn more. On my own, I organized weekly meetings at a NYC pub to exchange shop talk with young editors at other houses, and I made sure to read every editorial letter written by my mentors that I could get my hands on (with their permission, of course).
Nancy began freelance copyediting and proofreading, evaluating books for Quality Paperback Book Club and The Literary Guild, and co-writing humor books.
An off-hand remark by a colleague in an editorial meeting inspired Meditations for Men Who Do Next to Nothing (And Would Like to Do Even Less) by “Lee Ward Shore” (actually cowritten by me and my cousin, Beverly West). Although the first round of 9 submissions yielded no nibbles, in the next round of 6, it was bought by Warner Books and went on to 4 printings, an Italian sale, and 60,000 copies sold. Bev and I went on to write How to Satisfy a Woman Every Time on $5 a Day and Frankly Scarlett, I DO Give a Damn!: Classic Romances Retold (which earned a positive review in the New York Times Book Review) before envisioning our next and most successful book, Cinematherapy: The Girl’s Guide to Movies for Every Mood.
Her coauthored book, Cinematherapy, became a “cultural phenomenon” according to USA Today. The six-book series sold over 340,000 copies in all editions worldwide and became a prime time show on Women’s Entertainment that is still airing today.
My coauthor and I were invited to write prime time TV specials for Valentine’s Day and a Hitchcock festival, which aired on WE to millions of viewers. Cinematherapy taught me that a great brand can carry you a long way.
After leaving corporate publishing and cowriting her first two humor books, Nancy began her freelance career as an editor, ghostwriter, and book doctor.
Because I’d been an acquiring editor, had trained extensively as a line editor, and had written bestselling books myself, I was able to help my clients not just with the editorial piece but with marketing advice and platform building. My clients hired me to do a final polish, restructure the book, line edit, and ghostwrite.
Her son, who at age 2 was diagnosed with sensory integration dysfunction, or sensory processing disorder, and multiple developmental delays inspired her to envision and cowrite the award-winning Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues.
When my son was diagnosed and I realized I had a big problem to tackle, I headed straight for the bookstore to find the top books on the subject of sensory issues so that I could educate myself. I was so disappointed with what I found that I decided I’d have to write the book I needed! I teamed up with my son’s first occupational therapist to create a definitive handbook for parents that won two awards, garnered multiple rave endorsements and reviews, and went into 10 printings before Penguin Books reissued it in an expanded edition. I now have a site and a blog dedicated to being a sensory smart parent.
Currently, Nancy lives with her husband and son in Shorewood, Wisconsin. She ghostwrites, cowrites, edits, and serves as a book doctor and developmental editor.
Books are my passion, and I love living in the midwest where I have access to nature and our gorgeous lakefront, a quiet and sunny office, and a strong community of friends and neighbors. I have worked over the phone and Internet with authors located in Canada, Chile, California, New York, and Florida, as well as authors in other locations.