AUSTIN GHOSTWRITER & EDITOR: JESS HAGEMANN, MFA
Jess Hagemann is an award-winning author and accomplished biographer. With an MFA in Creative Writing, Jess taught writing at the university level before starting Cider Spoon Stories in 2015.
The first memoir she ever ghostwrote was her Grandpa Jack’s, about his years as a Kansas state arson investigator. Jack passed away just days after finishing the project; his wife says it gave him the peace he needed to let go, knowing his story was set down and he would not be forgotten.
Cider Spoon Stories takes its name from Jess’s Midwestern roots. She grew up in a time and place where people sat in rocking chairs on the front porch, sharing stories over mugs of hot apple cider. Those memories feel warm, safe, and intimate: the kind of experience that Cider Spoon Stories replicates.
Ask Jess about collecting ghost stories in India, earning her black belt, or the time she accidentally cut off her toe.
Jess has been my chief instigator, guide, mentor, editor, cheerleader, and accountability buddy. There is no one word that describes how Jess brings all this and more to the writing process, but ‘angel’ comes pretty close. Ron W. (June 2019)
If you were here to see the puddles of tears I'm producing right now … my book is beautiful. I adore the way Jess mixed in the images at the end of the story. It helps highlight the relationship she described so eloquently in words. I'm overwhelmed. A million thank you's. Alicia R. (January 2019)
I want to extend my sincerest gratitude. I learned so much from working with Jess as a coach. Today I am writing freelance, with a blog, a podcast, and more to come. I’ve even had the opportunity to get paid for a bit of creative writing! I feel like I’m on my way, thanks in no small part to the inspiring example she sets for others. Tal L. (October 2018)
Jess gave me just the direction I needed, and with it, the encouragement and motivation to hit the gas pedal. Susan J. (May 2018)
Jess is lovely, and her editing was so helpful! She helped me cross the finish line and reach thousands of women with my book. Tanya T.(January 2018)
I hired Jess to write our staff profiles. She's a professional storyteller, and nailed the articles. Reading them, I felt myself tear up in a few places. This has been a great experience. I hope we can do it again. Nancy M. (November 2017)
Jess is so professional, so creative, and such a visionary! I never in a million years would have known how to put my story into book form, but she makes it seem effortless. Rachael M. (June 2017)
I have a new weapon in my arsenal: Jess Hagemann. Dan B. (January 2017)
[When editing my memoir manuscript,] Jess hit on several very key points. I appreciate her advice and admire her expertise. Her honest constructive criticism lends credibility to her complimentary comments, which are also very thoughtful and appreciated. Lionel D. (December 2016)
Jess is like a compass. She serves people by helping them navigate their stories—and that’s so powerful. I really appreciate how she interjects with great ideas and so clearly understands where I’m trying to go. When I share my story with Jess, my whole body shifts into a deeper space and I relax. Jenna K. (November 2016)
Jess sharpened my manuscript to a razor's edge. Her editing advice was awesome. I wrote a good first line; she made it great! I'm actually kind of bewildered by her ability to comprehend and clarify the physics of the new world I created in my fantasy novel. Chris P. (September 2016)
Cider Spoon Stories helped me grow so much as a screenwriter. Before starting the script [with Jess], I felt very lost and very much an amateur. Now I believe this screenplay has the potential to be produced. Craig H. (August 2016)
Kathy Sokolic, REALTOR®, interviewed Cider Spoon Stories in July 2016.
The [book] project was fun from the beginning. Jess is professional, articulate, and great to work with--overall, amazing! She created the container, organizing all the details in a wonderful format. I could not have put the book together without her. Richard M. (April 2016)
Jess did exactly what I was looking for: made the content far more engaging than I was ever able to do on my own. Josh E. (March 2016)
Jess is so easy to work with! She is very personable and asks thought-provoking questions. It was not difficult to get in contact with her, and she was always on time. We had an excellent experience with Jess and would highly recommend her! Penny M. & Ella M. (December 2015)
This project has been so much more than I expected, and I can't tell you how pleased I am. I started out wanting to share some stories for my grandkids for when I am no longer here (many years from now!), but I know myself well enough to doubt that I would ever take the time to do it. And now, the book does that and more. I'm sure they will cherish it 40 and 50 years from now. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Kevin T. (September 2015)
As an entrepreneur, author, and father, I choose to surround myself with individuals of high character and mental fortitude. That is the reason I hired Jess for my book project. Her professionalism and expertise make her stand shoulders above the rest. I will continue to utilize Jess's talent for future projects, as I have unwavering confidence in her abilities. Tommy H. (September 2015)
After breakfast this morning, Mary called a family meeting and spoke about the project of writing her life story. She then distributed all the copies of the book, and found there was such a demand we need to order more! A momentous time! Sandy W. (July 2015)
Very good. Jess used language I couldn't use. But, as that famous philosopher Reggie Jackson said, "If you can do it, it ain't braggin'." Barry L. (June 2015)
Jess worked with my mother to tell her story and it was a very rewarding experience. My mother at first didn't know why anyone would want to know her story. Jess was wonderful in explaining the power of a person's story, especially for the person's family. Needless to say the story-telling has energized the whole family and it has energized my mother, too. It has been a treasure hunt of wonderful stories. Some old photos helped encourage stories and the entire process has been a gift to all involved. Jess is an excellent listener and writer. We look forward to finding others in our family who we might encourage to tell their story ... it has been such a special experience. Beth W. (June 2015)