LIFE STORIES AND MEMOIRS

‘So, you’re thinking about having your life story or memoir written, and wondering how it all works?’

You may have a story to tell, or you may want to preserve a parent or grandparent’s life story. You may want a few pages captured, or an entire book.

A life story (an overview of the important milestones and memories) or a memoir (generally a section of one’s life) is usually written in the first person. It’s a special skill capturing the voice of a person, and writing their story as if they wrote it themselves (see ‘Ghostwriting’).

A life story or memoir is a very special thing to share with the world and leave behind.

THE PROCESS

Firstly, we will meet to work out a plan of action for your book or story, by creating a structure, storyline and timeline for the process. We can work together face-to-face, via Skype or phone – or a combination of these things.

I will listen, ask questions and record your stories, anecdotes and memories. I will then transcribe the recordings and begin writing. I will feed the story back to you, so you can identify any areas that need more explanation and so you have the final say on what goes in and what stays out!

Generally, a one- to two-hour session per week is recommended. This gives time for transcribing and editing, and also gives you time to think about what you want to cover in our next session.

DEVELOPING THE LIFE STORY You’ve partially written

You may have written some sections of your story yourself already. I can help you develop that further by reading what you have already written, identifying areas that could be further developed, interviewing you and helping you complete your manuscript.

Further research

It might help your story to have context in and around the time and place it is set, particularly if it has a historical element to it. I can conduct further research should you wish.  You might also want me to interview family members, friends or colleagues.

Size of your book

You may want to undergo a short six-week interview process, in which case we will put together a story of around 20-40 pages, with a few photos. Alternatively, you might want an entire book of around 60,000-80,000 words, with more photos.

Publishing your book

Whether you want to self-publish or try to have your book published by a traditional publishing house, I can advise you.

THE COST

Prices vary widely, depending upon the length of the interviewing process, which can range from 4-6 hours for a mini memoir up to 20+ hours for a larger memoir, depending on the size of the book you want.

I always work to a budget which has been agreed in advance and is reviewed in stages along the way – interviews, first draft, final manuscript…

Here are some indicative prices – we can certainly work out an agreeable package in terms of hours, depending on your budget.

·         MINI MEMOIR – up to 8000 words will average around $3000-$5000.

·         SHORT MEMOIR – 8000-15,000 words will average around $5000-$7,000.

·         MEDIUM-LENGTH MEMOIR – 20,000-25,000 between $8,000-$14,000.

·         LONGER MEMOIR – 35,000 words plus – charges generally start at around $15,000.

If you have any further questions, please contact me.