Customer Discussions > Memoir forum

Memoir


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-23 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 4, 2009 8:54:43 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 4, 2009 9:09:07 AM PST
T. Mulqueen says:
SEEKING ADVICE; would appreciate experienced/knowledgeable guidance: Is it acceptable to major publishing houses for a memoir written as "Omniscient Author?" Or, writing in First Person, is it acceptable to include Third person viewpoints of other characters in story as well, when you know what they did, said, etc. although you weren't physically there at the moment, when told later? Must author use real name as main character? I was offered a contract ten years ago by St. Martin's but declined; am doing re-write. Thank you. tpmulqueen@gmail.com

Posted on Mar 4, 2009 12:52:22 PM PST
Dear Advice Seeker:

Creative nonfiction allows the author to present their story in whatever format will most enhance that story.
I believe poetic license still prevails.

Based on the spectrum of published works under the heading of "memoir" I personally don't believe the major publishers have preferences. They just look at their bottom line. If your manuscript will improve sales, then they'll love it.

As one author to another author, who has written and published a memoir, my advice: follow your creative instincts. You do NOT need to use your real name, place, and you might intersperse real people with fictionalized names.

If your story is well crafted and the characters well defined, then you have met the criteria.
I hope this has been helpful. You might check my book too: SHE CAME FROM HEAVEN in paperback and now on KINDLE.

Good luck with your project.
Rosanne
www.rosannepellicane.com

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2009 6:59:13 PM PST
T. Mulqueen says:
Dear Rosanne; Thank you so much for sharing your insight and experience. I will get your book and study it for additional tips on craft. By the way, I live in Bayside, Queens and I too am a dog lover; I have a 2 year old Wheaten Terrier. My book is a completely true story of child abuse that resulted in psychiatric institutionalization at the age of EIGHT, continued into full-blown alcoholism, rebellion against all authority in adolescence, arrests, repeated tours in nut houses and hells waiting rooms; e.g. Sing Sing, Attica, etc. - and along the way the father became terrified of the son he had beaten so frequently as a child. In an odd twist, there's a dual realization that they actually loved each other all along and the story ends in forgiveness, sobriety, redemption. It happens to be a very powerful real story so I don't want to fictionalize any of it; what I really need is editing/shaping skills, a seemingly secret craft only seasoned editors are privy to. Thanks again... tpmulqueen@gmail.com

Posted on Jul 26, 2009 7:06:04 PM PDT
T, I am the author of Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story. Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story My memoir sounds a bit like yours! While writing, I did not sensationalize, dramatize, or fictionalize. Reading others' memoirs helps you, the writer, to clarify your own unique voice and style. Also, you might get Fearless Confessions. Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to MemoirI wrote an article published in that book on what I did for editing/publishing. You're right, if you do not have editing skills, you need to hire a professional. It's worth it for a quality finished product. Good Luck!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2009 7:48:45 PM PDT
T. Mulqueen says:
I don't know where you got my name or e-mail address or your information that your memoir is similar to mine (have you been in prisons and insane asylums?)but so nice of you to suggest I read yours and other memoirs - I never would've thought of that. I was fortunate enough to come upon one of the BEST editors in the country: his name is Orlo J. Otteson and you can Google him or go to MEMOIR: A BASIC GUIDE. He's an absolute genius with memoirs, and all forms of copy editing, structure, et al.

Posted on Aug 2, 2009 2:18:19 PM PDT
I'm delighted to find this site! My first memoir was published July 8,09 entitled "Crosswise to the Government:Memoir of an innocent Spouse". As you can see I am a neo phyte, but felt the episode in my life covered in the book must have some greater purpose so I decided to write about its impact on me and Outskirts Press decided to print it. I wrote it under the pen name Meg Ledgeway at the request of my children, who after what they had endured, decided they'd rather not have me living in Canada. They prefer, as do I, that I stay in New Hampshire close to the birds and animals that I take so much solace from. Crosswise weaves the natural struggles of predators and prey, victim and abuser and the role of women as 'the helper', in this case a clinical social worker,me,who ends up being scapegoated by the U.S. government in their pursuit of 'justice'. It is a story of being 'guilty until proven innocent', women's issues and roles and finally that 'go with your gut' intuition that I finally recognized I should respond to just as I tell my clients to tap into it. I have learned an enormous amount about myself as well as some accolades from those who have read it. All in all well worth it!

Posted on Aug 2, 2009 2:25:48 PM PDT
I'm delighted to find this site! My first memoir was published July 8,09 entitled "Crosswise to the Government:Memoir of an innocent Spouse". As you can see I am a neo phyte, but felt the episode in my life covered in the book must have some greater purpose so I decided to write about its impact on me and Outskirts Press decided to print it. I wrote it under the pen name Meg Ledgeway at the request of my children, who after what they had endured, decided they'd rather not have me living in Canada. They prefer, as do I, that I stay in New Hampshire close to the birds and animals that I take so much solace from. Crosswise weaves the natural struggles of predators and prey, victim and abuser and the role of women as 'the helper', in this case a clinical social worker,me,who ends up being scapegoated by the U.S. government in their pursuit of 'justice'. It is a story of being 'guilty until proven innocent', women's issues and roles and finally that 'go with your gut' intuition that I finally recognized I should respond to just as I tell my clients to tap into it. I have learned an enormous amount about myself as well as some accolades from those who have read it. All in all well worth it!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 29, 2009 11:41:22 AM PDT
First, I recommend joining a local writer's group. They have loads of information, I find. My memoir, Stand To...A Journey to Manhood is doing quite well. I wrote it in the first person and used my own name. I did change all the other character's names in the book in order to not invade anyone's privacy. Besides everyone remembers past events differently, My memoir is MY recollection of how events transpired. I did research events carefully since there were some records of major events. If interested check efranklinevans.com. Best of luck. Frank

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2009 11:08:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 31, 2009 11:09:34 AM PDT
Paul Lennon says:
THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY

Katharine,
sounds very interesting; brave and noble.
Because of my efforts to expose a religious order's weird doctrine they sued me in 2007 in civil court; so i kind of understand about going against the high and the mighty after having to settle because we run out of funds.
Any suggestions from you or others about how I could write about this without getting my ass sued again?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2009 12:53:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 31, 2009 1:05:53 PM PDT
I'm not sure about brave and noble, but I did use the nom de plume for that reason. I also changed all of the names in the book, and the setting. People who know me, friends and colleagues, and the situation are now trying to figure out who is who since they know most of the characters and the events. They tell me it's lots of fun. That was not my intent, though I'm pleased they are all involved in spreading the word that the book is finally done! Many of the examples I use in the book are known only to us and the persons who were the 'perpertrators'. All the details I use in my writing can be verified by other people who heard or saw them.( Perhaps a part of me is saying 'bring it on'. They know what they did and they know others witnessed it as well.) What they don't know is that I kept documentation of every piece of craziness. The sad part of all of this is that it is not that unusual. An old friend came this weekend and told us his story, very similar, but about the same sort of corrupt mindset that says, "I have the power there is nothing you can do about it and no one will find out anyway" that seems to motivate some of these people who feel they have all of the power. My belief that there are many more good people than bad has only gotten more clear to me. Knowledge remains the key and I'm tired of letting the lying little bullies of the playground rule the world. There are plenty of the good guys out there who would never think that these things could happen. As an educator of sorts, I feel it can't hurt to tell the story.'Crosswise to the Government:Memoir of an innocent spouse' . There really are some very very smug, powerful people in the world that do things because they 'think' no one will care or know. I am hopeful this opens other people's eyes. You really cannot protect yourself from them because if you are any kind of a person at all you can't think like they do. And that's the good news.

Posted on Sep 8, 2009 9:51:03 AM PDT
Joie Lake says:
http://tiny.cc/LifeStory_Sharon is an excellent guide to memoirs - from inspiration to editing to fonts and punctuation. Also the Life Writing Forum on yahoo groups is a great community for sharing and learning. Come join us

Posted on Oct 19, 2009 1:23:56 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 19, 2009 1:24:33 PM PDT
J. Knox says:
I'm a little slow responding to this (new the online memoirist community), but I highly recommend citing greats, such as Paul Auster's The Invention of Solitude in your query letters, when you begin to submit your manuscript. But, hey, doing something different can never be a bad thing, so long as you can sell it.

Warmly,
Jen
(Author of Musical Chairs)

Posted on Nov 20, 2009 8:48:43 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 20, 2009 2:43:20 PM PST]

Posted on Nov 20, 2009 8:56:16 AM PST
RUready4disk says:
Robbobell (Scars of a Painful but Wonderful Past) is inspiring memoir concerning a young man's trials and errors as he grew into manhood. It traces a young man's life through segregation, Vietnam, drugs, marry, and finally himself.

Posted on Feb 10, 2010 12:29:01 PM PST
abstractionz says:
Tom Sawyer In Hell

99 cents on kindle

All life is a series of stories and Tom Sawyer in Hell is mine. The narrative follows the misadventures of a naive young man who has optimistic expectations about life that rapidly go south as he makes his way through three colleges on two coasts, courts and jails and small town lawyers, strip clubs, a gig as a Park Avenue doorman, hopelessness, psychopharmacology, absurdity, and the struggle to land a corporate job.

Reviews:

"Tom Sawyer in Hell" is a collection of stories and narratives not unlike "On the Road" by Jack Kerouak, although the stories and the characters are perhaps a little more edgy. As the author travels from high school through a series of universities and misadventures he produces a constant stream of observations with engaging detail and texture. Line after line the stories describe the absurd that can be found in the ordinary, and how the absurdity of the ordinary can spiral into calamity. Peter says and does things that many of us would like to say and do but don't have the nerve for fear of not fitting in.

Graduating from high school having met and exceeded all expectations, Peter sets off to into the world. Now on his own, the book become a roller coaster ride through his early years as he seeks to make sense of the illogical behavior of friends, faculty, and authorities. How a person with such a solid core of values and education combined with the self discipline of the martial arts can so quickly become at odds with nearly every situation he engages is one of the questions waiting to be answered as you move through the book.

Ultimately for me the book is about the broken promise our families, teachers and society in general make; that if we do as we are told and work hard and honestly we are assured success, only to find that we are truly on our own in a perilous world where the truly authentic are few and far between.

Tom Sawyer In Hell

Posted on Mar 25, 2010 6:34:06 PM PDT
Writing my recently released memoir God Smiles for Me, I think one of the most important decisions I made was that the only names not changed in the book would be those of my immediate family. This accomplished a number of things: first it eliminated the need to evaluate the impact on, or response of, the individuals referred to, their families, or friends; second, it eliminated the need to verify exactly what was said or done, other than through my own memory; third, although it was important to tell it exactly as I remembered it, it did allow me to use all the elements of writing a novel to describe the events and characters, thus making it a highly readable and interesting story; and fourth it eliminated the concern of leaving someone out who directly or indirectly had a significant impact on the events in my life. I feel sure there were many other benefits resulting from that early decision. And, from the reponse we are getting, the quality of the writing or its marketability of the work evidently were not compromised in the least. God Smiles for Me: Why Death Could Not Hold Me

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2010 7:15:00 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 1, 2010 10:10:42 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2010 4:30:30 AM PDT
The Thing Inside My head
This frank family memoir, spanning four countries, centres on the author's daughter, Sybil, who suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder, anorexia, & depression. It recounts events that triggered & then intensified her mental health problems, from her birth amidst the Iranian Revolution to a troubled mother, her idyllic but politically-disrupted childhood in Qatar , to her preventable death in an Essex mental ward. But it also pays tribute to Sybil's brave struggles against her illness, to the many dedicated carers who supported her, to the persevering battles her parents fought on her behalf (as well as the unintentional mistakes they made). It shows how families can affect sufferers & how sufferers impact powerfully on their families. The book incorporates several different points of view-carers, family members, friends, and especially the candid, often searing diary excerpts from Sybil herself, which open a window into the thought processes of a young patient. The book is aimed at those interested in OCD or other mental illnessesand the strengths and weaknesses of various NHS mental facilities and policies.

Posted on Sep 3, 2010 2:18:51 PM PDT
ALAN says:
I have republished to Kindle Susan Neiman's time in West Berlin in the 80s, Slow Fire: Jewish Notes from Berlin (Journeys & Memoirs Series) first published by Shocken/Knopf. [She is the author 2008's Moral Clarity, too.] An excerpt:
..."No," I said. "Let's go somewhere else. I'm almost out of cigarettes. I need to find a machine that sells Salems."
"Salems?"
"Sorry, I mean Reynos. Salem is the American name for Reynos. I don't know why it's different here. All of the other imported cigarettes keep their old names. It's the same cigarette, though, and the same packaging. In America I always smoked Salems. Here I smoke Reynos."
"How's it spelled?"
"S-a-l-e-m."
"And it's exactly the same packaging?"
"Same colors, same number of letters, same design, everything."
"Then it's obvious. Salem would never sell here. The name is too Jewish."
"Too Jewish?"
"Sure. Where do you think the name comes from?"
"I don't know. Winston-Salem, North Carolina, I guess. There's a Salem, Massachusetts, but they don't grow tobacco there."
"But it must come from Jerusalem, originally."
"Jerusalem?" I repeated. "I never thought about it."
"For German ears, it's a Jewish name."
I was dumbstruck.
"They pay a lot of attention to things like that," said Dieter. "I used to do graphics for a big advertising agency in Hamburg. Once they wanted to import an American laundry detergent. They had to call off the whole deal when they learned it was called Puff."
We laughed. Puff is German slang for "whorehouse."
"Yeah," I said. "It's hard to know how you'd market it. `Whorehouse gets your clothes cleaner than any other brand.' "
"Let's go," said Dieter. "We'll find you some Salems." He pronounced it "Sah-lem." It was half past two. "Look," he nodded, "coming in the door. That's Marina. A real Kreuzberg character. She never goes anywhere without her rat, and she always dyes her rat to match her hair." I look closer. Sure enough. The long rat snuggled on her leather-covered shoulder was a brilliant, electric blue.

Posted on Sep 3, 2010 2:23:06 PM PDT
ALAN says:
The other two memoirs in my Series on Kindle are Jerold Auerbach, Jacob's Voices: Reflections of a Wandering American Jew (Journeys and Memoirs Series) on his journeys through academia, assimilated America, and Israel; and Joseph Bercovici's , Grandfather J. B.: Letters to My Grandson (Journeys & Memoirs Series) which tells the tale of a self-taught immigrant's teachings, in letters, on the nuances of English language and life. Most of my titles are nonfiction law or legal history, but these are nice examples of memoirs, very entertaining, along with Slow Fire in the previous post.

Posted on Sep 9, 2010 11:41:50 AM PDT
Erin Bateman says:
A story of wading through the struggles of corporate mommy, stay-at-home mommy while learning to deal with the loss of a baby through miscarriage. "I learned early on that life is a process. I was always told to do my best, and I'd be fine. I followed all the written and unwritten rules... never going too outside the norm to achieve my goals and be the best, most conscientious person/mom I could be. I knew life has its unpredictable outcomes, but I still wanted to do everything I could to positively shape my, and my children's future. I wanted my daughter and unborn baby to know there was no safer place than with mommy, and I was going to do everything in my power to be the best I could be. But, as difficult as it is to predict the future, it would also be nice to know what is common among many women who have lead the path before us. I soon learned that my motherhood would be sharply disrupted by common factors I had no idea existed. This all happened with the miscarriage of my second child. I searched and searched for a reason this had happened to my husband and me. There was nothing. The only comfort I found was the comfort of other women who had also told me their similar stories. As much as I appreciated knowing their heartache to help heal my own, I wished I would have known about it before I had even tried to conceive. IGuilt-Ridden Mommy A Story of Loss, Love, and Forgiveness believe I would have ended up with pebbles of guilt and burden on my shoulders instead of heavy, debilitating, crushing rocks. In the end, I had come to find out that the outcome of miscarriage was more common than I could even predict. This is why I tell my story to you. I want women and men to be able to talk about their struggles of having children, raising children, and losing children more to women and men who are looking to have children. I want doctors to explain more of what could actually happen in pregnancy without us having to try to read everything from unverified sources. We are not alone in our struggles. Why do we pretend we are?"

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 6:47:51 AM PDT
tina Traster says:
Burb Appeal: The Collection is a humorous collection of newspaper columns I've been writing for the last several years based on my move from Manhattan to Nyack. In these, readers have met nutty neighbors, (Rosie's neighbors) bumbling town officials, a plethora of domestic and wild animals and of course my family. The book is now out on Amazon Kindle.

Burb Appeal: A Collection of Humorous Essays

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 1:10:30 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 23, 2012 1:11:38 PM PDT]
‹ Previous 1 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in
 


Recent discussions in the Memoir forum (160 discussions)

Discussion Replies Latest Post
memoirs by writers and artists 149 Jul 30, 2014
Coming-of-Age Memoir Source 17 Jun 15, 2013
Memoir has sold over 3000 copies this month. 28 May 28, 2013
Wolfhilde's Hitler Youth Diary 1939-1946 - New Book 1 Mar 2, 2013
Memoir: LeavingWayne 0 Feb 24, 2013
When a memoir blends with fiction 84 Feb 21, 2013
What is your favorite memoir? 218 Feb 8, 2013
Memoir regret?? 19 Jan 28, 2013
Please review my book. 1 Jan 12, 2013
drug memoirs 144 Jan 7, 2013
Most satisfying memoirs? 153 Dec 23, 2012
Can't remember the title, grrr! Help? 3 Dec 19, 2012
 

This discussion

Discussion in:  Memoir forum
Participants:  18
Total posts:  23
Initial post:  Mar 4, 2009
Latest post:  May 23, 2012

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 6 customers

Search Customer Discussions