Why It Costs So Much

Latest From the Blog

Why It Costs So Much

Finding a photo of a Piper Cub, so I could envision my client’s first plane, was easy. That took about one minute. But tracking down his transcripts from seven different schools beginning in 1939 on Long Island—that took some time. Each school had an online form that had to be found, filled out, printed, put in…

Read More May 31, 2017

Obscure Books: Mark Twain and Medicine, Any Mummery Will Cure

My favorite books are the ones most obscure, which will never make the NY Times top 20 list. To be honest, many, if not most, of the books on the best-seller lists aren’t worth my time. Give me books that were written out of a pure passion for the subject. Such a treasure is Patrick Ober’s…

Read More January 4, 2017

The Secret Weapon Esther Levow

Download the entire Levow-chapter2 of Esther Levow’s biography we produced.

Read More March 30, 2016

First-Born Asian Son Bears Great Responsibility

Some of my clients are the first-born sons of Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, or Japanese parents, and these men hire me to honor their parents with an heirloom biography. Non-Asian people can hardly imagine the weight placed upon the shoulders of the first son of Asian descent. In a tradition passed through many generations before him,…

Read More December 11, 2015

How To Merge Historical Events in Writing a Memoir

One of the most difficult exercises in writing a memoir or biography is to condense world history into the most pertinent strains that can be gracefully merged with the events of an individual life. In the sample here, I begin with the personal event, “Celia’s father and brother escorted her out of Poland in 1906 when…

Read More December 11, 2015

Creating a family memoir

Creating a family memoir takes time, but don’t let that intimidate you. One step in the family memoir is to preserve the oldest photographs. Those old black-and-white photographs, or the daguerrotype tins that preceded photographs in the late 1800s, become part of the musculature of the family memoir. While the photographs are important, the stories…

Read More February 23, 2015

Write Your Memoirs in 5 Minutes a Day

I’m giving lots of advice, mentoring and expert tips on writing in general and memoir writing in particular, in an easy-to-follow blog at http://www.writeyourmemoirs.com. By taking only five minutes each day–you gotta start somewhere!–you can kick-start your momentum, establish a relationship with your muse, and begin getting meaningful words onto the page.

Read More September 16, 2013

Benefits of the memoir-writing process

Beginners are both fascinated and daunted by the idea of having a biographer writing their memoirs. In this video, made a few years ago, I briefly explain and illustrate some of the benefits to having your memoir writen.

Read More July 22, 2013

Memoir Writing: Easy as Falling Off a Cliff

“Have you written your memoirs?” she asked me. I’m a biographer so the question leaves a big, long echo resounding in the air until I answer. It’s a test, I know. “I’ve written…parts,” I confess. A mini-memoir about my last year with my mom before she died (“My Name As A Prayer” on Amazon.com). A…

Read More June 4, 2013

Paris in the Snow

Somewhere over the cold Atlantic, French words start sailing through the waters of my memory. Seventh- and eighth-grade French classes (thank you, Mrs. Watts!) and my three previous trips reward me now. “Bonjour madame!” I say to the border policewoman at the airport, feigning confidence. I manage the airport ATM, withdraw  Euros (high to the dollar…

Read More January 29, 2013