Together, let’s develop your story
Writing your life story can seem overwhelming. I understand that feeling. Yet it will begin to flow as we work together. My questions will prompt experiences that you’ve long since forgotten. It becomes a fun and enlightening time.
I focus on helping you to develop your story into book form. You will love reading your own story, as well as sharing it with loved ones. You will love showing them the photos you’ve selected of important times in your life. A book lives forever.
If you’ve started writing, that’s great! I will help you complete what you have started. I will edit, organize, and, in other ways, help you take the hard work you’ve already put into the project and complete it to your expectations.
If you wish to start a new story, I will make it simple by directing the process. Our planning meeting, typically an hour, is free of charge and helps me to develop the scope of the project you envision.
What I offer you
Developing a book takes many steps that often require up to, and sometimes, more than a year to complete. After I conduct the initial interviews, I have them transcribed, then write the story, help you select photographs and captions, offer examples of book formats (hard cover, soft cover, size, etc.), and guide you through the design and printing process. Throughout our time together, I offer you opportunities to edit rough drafts, so that you can add, delete, and change the story to match your desires.
In creating a book, no matter the style you select, I will help you through the process. As the “captain” of your book process, I will manage all costs and the required payments to other parties. You will deal only with me.
- Initial planning meeting—free of charge. At our first meeting, typically one hour in length, I will show samples of memoir styles to you to consider. You do not need to select any style at this time. We will discuss the number of interviews needed and outline the structure and questions you want me to include. Together, we will design an end product, a schedule, and a budget plan that works best for you.
- Conduct and record the interviews. I digitally record the interviews using the outline and questions we selected during the initial planning meeting. The number of interviews is determined ahead of time.
- Transcribe the interviews. I have the interviews transcribed by a professional.
- Write a fully developed manuscript. I use the transcriptions to write and prepare the story, using your outline. This part of the process takes the most time. It can take several weeks for me to complete this step.
- Edit the manuscript. Although I go through the story thoroughly, I ask that you read through the rough draft to make any corrections, additions, or deletions.
- Make revisions. I offer three hours of work free of charge to make desired revisions to your story.
- Enhance your story with photos / memorabilia. Your stories come to life with treasured photos and items that you’ve been storing in boxes. I will add the items you find most important to the final book and work with you on captions.
- Design your final product. Unless you select to design the book yourself, I have a professional book designer help in the design of your book. There are many options: soft cover or hard cover, size of pages, preferred font, selection of paper, display of photos, etc. I will be happy to offer ideas, but you always will have the opportunity to make suggestions.
- Select a printer. I will provide options for printing your final product. The end cost will be determined by the format for the book that you choose for the book, as well as the number of copies you want. I will pay the printer so that you do not have to make a separate payment.
- Present your book. I will delight in presenting the final product to you. I will pick up the books from the printer and deliver them to you. Seeing the final piece truly will be a wonderful moment in your life! It is a culmination of your dreams turned into a reality that you can share with others.
- I follow the same process for corporate histories as for personal histories. An example is the book I completed for Nurse, Family Partnership. To celebrate its tenth anniversary, they asked that I interview nine executives, then weave their stories into one.
- They also asked that I have all of the interviews videotaped, providing the company’s marketing team with the raw footage.
- I interviewed the executives, had the interviews transcribed, and wrote the manuscript. After the select person edited the story, we made revisions, then enhanced the story with photos.
- We selected the designer for the book, the hardcover and dust cover, and printed the book.
- It was a huge success. The company ordered extra copies of the book after the original order was delivered.
Legacy Letters, also called Ethical Wills
If you wish to create a shorter message for your loved ones, typically one to three pages, I am certified in writing your Legacy Letter / Ethical Will. You may choose to share your letter with a loved one(s) today, or offer it for their reading after you pass on.
A Legacy Letter does not direct action, as a will does. Instead, it allows you to share what’s been important in your lifetime, as well as your hopes and dreams for the recipient(s).
Legacy Letters are always positive, allowing you the opportunity to share important messages and good wishes to loved ones in a “letter” format. There are many choices for its design.
No two stories are alike.
Contact me to discover how I can help you tell your story and to review pricing options.