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Your Life Story in a Beautiful Book – Personal Biography

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“I’m Staying Alive for This Book Signing!”

“I’m staying alive for this book signing!” Helga is in her eighties. We have been working on Helga’s memoir for about a year. It has now been through a copyeditor and a proofreader, and Helga’s daughter now is going through it one more time before it goes to our book designer. After the memoir manuscript…

Read More April 29, 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

Memoir vs Biography /What is the Difference?

The Oxford English Dictionary  confirms how I view the difference, which is that a memoir is generally not considered a full historical record of a life, while an autobiography  or a biography is thoroughly researched. My Simple Explanation: A memoir is written in first person (“I”) and includes only information that the subject of the…

Read More January 9, 2013

How to write your memoirs – organize by decade

The first step in beginning to write your memoirs is to think by decade. Create an outline that allows you to organize your memories by decade. This is only one of many approaches, but it helps the beginner because most people just do not know where to begin. If you map your life roughly by…

Read More November 27, 2012

The Wake: Spirit Singing for the Dead

Last week I was asked to play harp and tone for a three-day vigil over the dead body of a friend. Dear Claire followed anthroposophy (see Rudolf Steiner), which holds that the soul hovers around the body for a while after the heart stops beating. They prescribe that the body be attended for three days…

Read More November 19, 2012

Florence Nightingale and the Divine Feminine

Working with a client’s biography this morning, I took time to look briefly at one of my client’s heroes: the Italian-born Florence Nightingale. Nightingale felt a spiritual calling when she was a teenage girl. In thousands of pages of writings she left behind, she describes a painful awareness of the suffering of others, particularly European soldiers fighting…

Read More November 6, 2012

Hire a Memoir Author On A Budget

“Dad’s birthday is coming up and I don’t know what to get him,” the voice said. “I thought maybe the perfect gift would be to hire a memoir author.” A memoir is certainly the gift for the person who has everything, who seems to need nothing. It is the ultimate gift. Most of the memoirs…

Read More September 6, 2012

“We left Dad’s memoir at the nurse’s station”

When Tip Tyler was under nurse’s care in the last two weeks of his 94 years of life, his son found a new use for the book I wrote about Tip. “We left the book you wrote about Dad at the nurse’s station,” Steve told me. “They had a great time reading it and seeing…

Read More August 24, 2012

How To Hire a Memoir Writer or Biographer — Tips

Before you hire a memoir writer or biographer, educate yourself. These FAQs will help you gauge labor and set goals in hiring a writer. You also want to understand the difference between each type of writer: biographer, ghostwriter, memoir writer. After you know what you want, then you are in a position to hire a…

Read More July 30, 2012

First Person vs Third Person in a Memoir

I’ve spent seven days hip-to-hip with my client here in Memphis along the slow-moving Mississippi and throughout this great city. This morning, as I prepare to accompany her to her beloved Nazarene church in North Memphis, I realize that I now have my client’s voice “in” me. Walking by the river as a pair of…

Read More July 22, 2012