I write biographies of famous people and important stories that lawyers or individuals want to be told, on a commission basis. I’m not an historian but I know legal education and how lawyers are trained. I understand legal education’s historiography, methodology, sources, techniques and theoretical approaches. My 2021 nonfiction titles reconstruct the discipline and examine catastrophes resulting from gun violence on student populations at public universities.

The process is straightforward. I charge $50 per hour for research time and $100 per hour for writing time. We negotiate a reasonable cap on the project. I retain my copyright in the text, but all ownership rights, publishing rights, and royalties belong to the person or company that retains me to write their story.

In my first profession (lawyering), I wrote thousands of legal documents over a thirty-year period: pleadings, motions, letters, opinions, arguments, and appellate briefs requiring legal muster. Most legal documents are written in third-person, passive voice—clearly, cogently, and persuasively. But legal writing is not an art form; it’s an acquired skill, and my writing skills advanced over my thirty years of legal writing.

Biography can also be written clearly, cogently, and persuasively. But too many biographers make no attempt to write the story in favor of getting the history right. Too many history books are written, published, and then put down by bored readers. A biography has to be told as a story, not a historical review. The art form of biography demands a narrative arc—a discovered story—and literary prose. Biographies must be written with verve, credibility, and profluence. Some biographies are good. Others are works of art, because the writer discovered the story behind the essential facts of the subject of the biography, told it honestly, and advanced the legacy.

Gary StuartPeople read biographies out of curiosity, sometimes passionately so. The reader cannot know how the story ends because it never does. It exists because a loved one wants it told. Once told, it doesn’t end because there is always another reader who might pick it up. Lastly, biography is not history and certainly not autobiography. “Biography is all about cutting people down to size. Getting an unruly quart into a pint pot,” is how biographer Alan Bennett put it. Jose Ortegȃ y Gasset said it best in his Dehumanization of Art and Other Essays: “Biography is a system in which the contradictions of a human life are unified.”

If you have an important story you want to be told, call or write. My contacts are on this site.

For more samples of my writing, please visit my blog, The Ethics of Writing.