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MEMOIR FAQs

Memoir is fast becoming one of the most popular forms of life writing used by individuals from every walk of life because of its' flexibility. If you search memoir on Amazon you could end up with anywhere from 40,000 to 160,000 hits depending on your search terms.

 

Memoir has become everymans’ genre because it is not bound by the same restrictions as autobiography or even biography. You can tailor your memoir to focus on any period or aspect of your life. For example, memoirs have been written that limit their focus to growing up, occupations, relationships, specific experiences or spiritual beliefs.

 

Memoir is also not limited to a chronological structure and makes use of many of the same devices utilized by fiction writers to develop a story, characters, scenes and dialogue.

 

Want to know more? Go to this New York Times magazine article: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/books/review/Genzlinger-t.html

Why hire a writer to prepare my memoir?

There are many people out there who just don’t have the skills required or the time to write their own memoirs. Others simply don’t want to do it themselves. Hiring a professional memoir writer is the best way to make the most of memoir’s unique characteristics.

Are there other options to a written memoir?

Absolutely. If you Google life writing you will find many fine writers and editors out there who can offer you a variety of services to record your personal history including those who offer interviewing, transcriptions, ghostwriting, video and audio productions. Want to know more about personal historians? Have a look at the website of Dan Curtis: Professional Personal Historian at http://dancurtis.ca/

Can I write my own memoir?

Good idea. There are books, workshops and online programs available to help you craft your own life story. On the other hand you may find it easier and more fun to have someone else gather the necessary information and fashion it into a compelling story that will be read by your family members for generations to come.

If you are still interested in writing your own memoir you may find the following books helpful:

Your Life as Story by Tristine Rainer

Writing the Memoir by Judith Barrington

Living to Tell the Tale by Vivian Gornick

Writing About Your Life by William Zinsser

How does your memoir writing service work?

At our first meeting we’ll talk about your hopes for the memoir–what you would like to achieve by having it written. We’ll discuss the scope of your project, area of focus, preferences regarding narrator voice and style, confidentiality concerns, research sources and intended readers. Based on this discussion a proposal will be developed that identifies the project’s goal, scope and target audience and outlines time and cost considerations.

Research methods vary with each project. Most require a series of interviews with the memoir subject, possibly combined with a document search, photograph review and visits to geographical locations relative to the narrative. Depending on the nature of the memoir it may also require historical research to place your story in a world, national or local history. I can gather information via in-person or telephone interviews, Skype, Zoom, Facetime, emails, historical documentation and your existing notes. Travel and expenses are extra.

 

However we work together I will remain in close contact with you throughout the research and writing processes, ensuring that I remain true to your vision of the project from start to finish.

 

What if I have problems remembering?

Don’t worry if you can’t remember the details. Through the use of old photographs, videos, notes and diaries we can work together to recreate past experiences. Sometimes it is only by letting go of your fear of not being able to remember that you can remember the details you need to make your story come alive.

 

How much will it cost?

Like any other project the cost depends on the scope of the book, hours of research required and number of revisions. For example, a 100 page memoir based on only a few interviews with one set of minor revisions may cost about $5,000. Another 200 page project requiring extensive historical and personal research and 12 sets of revisions may cost about $20,000.

 

Will you write my memoir in exchange for a percentage of royalties?

No. It’s better for everyone concerned to maintain a clear cut professional relationship that ends when the book is complete. I will write your book based on a project estimate or work on an hourly basis. Unless an alternate arrangement is agreed upon you keep all royalties proceeding from the sale of your memoir, as well as sole ownership of copyright.

Can I hire you to write someone else’s memoir?

Yes. Oftentimes clients purchase the service as a gift for their parents or relatives.

Can you have the memoir made into a book?

Yes. A graphic artist will prepare the book design at an additional cost. Arrangements are then made to secure cost estimates from appropriate printers. You can also publish online.

Can you guarantee that my book will be a best-seller?

Sorry. I cannot offer that kind of guarantee. For the usual hourly fee I can help you prepare a proposal for a publisher.

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