novelist, professional ghost writer

Photos by Lester Barnes

Published Works

Published works under her own name

While the Music Lasts (a novel, Orion Publishing House, London) Ghost Music (a novel, Orion Publishing House, London) All Risks Musical, an Irreverent Guide to the Music Profession (Pocket Press, Surrey, cartoons by Noel Ford) Beating Time (a play, published by New Theatre Publications, London, and put on in full production at the Lewisham Theatre, London, 1997

Alice’s published fiction
(substantive editing, ghostwriting)

The Grand International (Fergus Wilson and Alice McVeigh)

Paradox Lost (Adrian L. Youseman)

Stretching It (Mandy Sutter)

By a Rat’s Tail (Harry Chance)

The Secrets of One Marlborough College Girl (E L Gogh) [light editing only]

In common with most ghost writers, Alice has worked on other books, which for legal reasons she is not allowed to mention by name or title. If you are considering using her editorial expertise, this route is also open to you.

Alice’s published non-fiction
(substantive editing)

Please note: this is not a complete list, due to agreements with several well-known clients.

Juggling the Big 3 for Lawyers (Jennifer Overhaus)

he Art of Mental Training: A Guide to Performance Excellence (D.C. Gonzalez)

My Memoirs from 1885 to 1948 (reconstructed history with Jad Boutros Ghawi)

How mothers with postnatal depression create narcissists and psychopaths (Hans R. Arnold)

First to Fall (Wayne G. Sayles)

Out of Iraq, Escape from Saddam and Al-Qaeda (Mahmoud Albayati)

Operation Hope, a Chaplain’s Journal on Hurricane Katrina (M.D. Taylor)

Paul Ben-Haim, His Life and Works (Israel Music Institute)

How to be an Inspiring Godparent (Wendy Haynes)

“I don’t have time for this!” – A Compassionate Guide to Caring for Your Parents and Yourself (Katherine Arnup, PhD)

Good at Anything, Fast! The Overachiever’s Handbook (Ash Geary)

‘The Path to My Heart’ – An Inspiring Story – Healing the Fragmented Self (Donna Guillemette)

Alice’s published academic copy-editing

Cambridge University Press: Concert Life in London from Mozart to Haydn (Simon McVeigh)

Indiana University Press: Tonal Space in the Music of Antonio Vivaldi (Bella Brover-Lubovsky)

The Boydell Press: The Italian Solo Concerto 1700-1760 (McVeigh and Hirshberg)

Clarendon Paperbacks: Music in the Jewish Community of Palestine 1880-1948: A Social History

Garland: The Violinist in London’s Concert Life 1750-1784 (Simon McVeigh)

Dissertation: Vivaldi’s Harmony: Practice and Theory, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Bella Brover-Lubovsky)


While the Music Lasts
Characters rise and fall to McVeigh’s superbly controlled conductor's baton. The orchestra becomes a universe in microcosm; all human life is here . . . McVeigh succeeds in harmonising a supremely comic tone with much darker notes.'

The Sunday Times

While the Music Lasts

'McVeigh is a professional cellist and is thus able to describe with wry authority the extraordinary life of a London orchestra. This is a very enjoyable novel, and not quite as light as it pretends to be.'

The Sunday Telegraph

While the Music Lasts
'This is an intense and intriguing novel that gives a sense of the throbbing heart of an orchestra. For Radio 3 listeners, it is unmissable.'

Prof. Lisa Jardine

BBC Radio 3

While the Music Lasts
'The author is a professional cellist and a highly intelligent novelist. In the hothouse atmosphere of a group welded together but battered by individual stresses, relationships blossom and painfully disintegrate. Almost as enraptured by the sensuous sound of words as by music itself, McVeigh spins her sentences across the page, carrying the reader with them.'

The Good Book Guide

While the Music Lasts
'McVeigh's captivating, witty debut offers uncanny insights into music, love, and the human heart. Her portrayal sings with lyrical intensity and eloquent feeling.'

Publisher's Weekly

While the Music Lasts
'Aspiring authors are advised to write about a subject they know, but few will match Alice McVeigh's accomplishment here. She is a freelance cellist playing with numerous orchestras, including the BBC Symphony. Orchestral life must have been an obvious choice for her, but who would guess the backstage life of a symphony orchestra would provide such a gem of a book? . . . McVeigh writes amusingly but with authority about the chaotic life of a London orchestra. Even for readers with no interest in music, she entertainingly reveals all aspects of life.'

Western Morning News

While the Music Lasts
'Brilliant! This is a book everyone interested in orchestras should read.'

David Owen Norris

BBC Radio 3

Ghost Music
'Ever wondered what goes on in the backstage life of a symphony orchestra? This racy novel was written by someone who knows.'

(review of Ghost Music)

Daily Mail

Ghost Music
'McVeigh holds nothing back in her account of the backstage life of an orchestra. Although there is no overriding voice, orchestra manager Pete Hegal emerges as the reader's friend. A disillusioned violinist, Pete speaks with McVeigh's wry perception. The story takes a while to reach its crescendo, hindered perhaps by the introduction of many disparate characters, each deserving the depth they are afforded. But the tempo certainly rises on the Royal Sinfonia's Greek tour: a musical world that many see as staid and disciplined is turned upside down by McVeigh. The Last Night of the Proms will never seem the same again.'

The Yorkshire Post

Ghost Music
'Wonderful!--even better than your first novel. And even more true!'

Vladimir Ashkenazy

letter to Alice McVeigh

All Risks Musical
'Sharp, wise and perfectly in tune. A consolation for the put-upon musician and highly instructive for us in the audience too.'

Libby Purves

The Times

There was no shortage of excellent introductory material at this concert. The programme notes by principal cellist Alice McVeigh were written with such a refreshing mixture of liveliness and informed individual response that they seem to me to be a model of how such writing should be. They had an infectious enthusiasm that could not do other than give the work a good start on its journey towards those in the audience unfamiliar with Bruckner’s music.

Ken Ward

Editor (The Bruckner Journal) March 2013