HE HAD TO LIE to make his father human. Now he tells us. And it’s wow heard ‘round the world, since the writer who is speaking those words is the great Pat Conroy. It’s an issue you’ve faced, as well, haven’t you? Do you lie or do you fictionalize when writing memoir? [Read more...]
I GENUINELY BELIEVE that much like in life, success is writing depends on which details you choose to emphasize. It’s a hard-won illumination, and one that speaks of nothing less than how to explore self-knowledge through memoir, a topic that the truly-marvelous Poe Valentine takes on here for you in his blog post. The great Tom Robbins refers to Poe Ballantine as “the most soulful, insightful, funny and altogether luminous ‘under-known’ writer in America.” I agree. I consider it an honor to have him here. Read on.
WRITING SOMEONE ELSE’S STORY might, at first, appear to be a straightforward assignment. Unless, of course, that other person is your mother. Then, just what does the story become, as you learn family tales, secrets, and gain insights into the person who raised you? No doubt the process changes you. But what does it do to the story? Oh, how I love this topic, and to bring it to you, let me introduce you to Nancy Key Roeder, author of Going to the Well, A Mother-Daughter Journey, another book from the fine Plain View Press. Read on. [Read more...]
JUST WHAT IS MEMOIR? Is it one big book that begins with your great-great-grandfather, and ends with what you had for lunch today, or is it more a process of selection? You can tell from the way I phrase that which way I fall on this argument. What memoir is becomes a fascinating discussion in the hands of our next guest blogger, Kevin Fenton, a deft and talented writer whose new book, Leaving Rollingstone takes on the eternally compelling question of how we reclaim the enduring values of our childhood. And he does it without giving us his entire life story. Watch how he does it. Read on. [Read more...]
HOW TO GET STARTED WRITING A BOOK does not always involve cleaning your refrigerator, shopping online, or an urgent organization of your shoes. That’s just me. For more practical help on how to begin writing a book, you’ll want to hear from Jennifer Richardson, whose new memoir, Americashire: A Field Guide to a Marriage, is the 2013 Indie Reader Discovery Award winner for travel writing. How proud am I to have her here? I’m thrilled, as thrilled as I am to introduce you here to She Writes Press, one of my favorite new presses. And as much as this is an intelligent, charming and beautifully-written book, it is also a beautiful one. The perfect combo, yes? A fine writer with a great book maker. Lovely. So how to start that book you want to write? Listen to Jennifer. [Read more...]