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"...this path inward and back into the past is like a map, the map of my world. If I can draw it accurately, I shall know where I am."

—Caro Spencer in May Sarton’s novel, As We Are Now

 

 

How does the process work?

You talk. I listen.

Sometimes people think they won't be able to remember much. That's when I check to make sure I've packed extra batteries for the recorder, because invariably, it's those folks who end up talking the most. Like love begets love, memories beget memories. Once you pull one to the surface, the others quickly come floating up.

Your job is to talk. That's all.

We can meet wherever you feel most comfortable, whether that's at your own home or someplace else. As we sit and talk, I might ask you to fill in some details, or to tell more about someone interesting, but for the most part, I'll just listen. These informal interviews typically take place once a week for an hour or two, and depending on the scope of your project, may go on for several months.

What I'm doing when we're not talking.

In between meetings, I take the raw material of your memories and shape it into a narrative. For each interview, I spend hours crafting your words into a compelling story, told in your own words. When the interviewing and writing phase is completed, I hand you a manuscript and a red pencil. You delete what you don't want and add what you do. This is your book, and the final say on what is included or not belongs to you. Then you supply me with the photos and mementos you'd like to include, and after a final rewrite and edit, the manuscript goes into production. My team of book designers, printers and binders craft a fabulous legacy book, you receive your copies, and maybe, if you're so inclined, you'll throw yourself a book party.