How to Promote Online Writing? Like this.

WHEN A FRIEND PUBLISHES a book, you buy it and read it. It’s a simple rule, and one I am delighted to follow. You tell your friends about it. In short, you do what you can. How much is too much? Well, my friend Jack’s southern aunty pins reviews of his books to her dress and wears them all over town, an ethic I think is right in line with normal, acceptable behavior, and while to date I have convinced no relative of mine to do such things, there is always the next book. But how about when something by a friend is published online? How to promote online work? You do this. [Read more…]

On Writing Memoir Fearlessly

11395597THE BEST MEMOIRS are written without the fear of three things: The rules, books that have come before, or of fitting neatly into a certain sense of genre. And while this word “fearless,” much like the word “authentic,” is getting a bad name these days in its overuse, writing memoir fearlessly is a good ethic to follow. I am reassured of this after reading a breathtaking interview with two of best memoir writers around. [Read more…]

Mother-Daughter Memoirs in the News

HopeAndOtherLuxuriessm-1 9781452121512“COMPANION MEMOIRS” is a new phrase to me. I’ve read books about the same topic that were published by different people, of course, as well as varying accounts of the same incident. My sister and I have an entirely different take on, oh, pretty much every day of our childhoods, finally agreeing that the proper analysis for this is that we are different because we grew up in the same household, not despite that fact. So I’m versed in this she said/she said aspect of life. And then I got a real surprise in a pair of just-published books from Chronicle. [Read more…]

New Memoir: Participatory Journalism, Anyone?

primates-of-park-avenue-9781476762623_hrPARTICIPATORY JOURNALISM, simply put, is when you do stuff and write about it. I’ve done it, loved it, and am inclined toward any new memoir that includes it. For me, it was a venture into the world of forensic science, and while I did not actively participate in crime scene investigation, I tagged along enough to get the sense of how it is done, attending autopsies, blood spatter analysis school and a summer school for how to analyze the bugs that appear on the dead. The result was my book, Dead Reckoning, co-written with the great Dr. Michael Baden, and whenever I tell people about it, they seem somewhat surprised at what I did. [Read more…]

Should You Know the Ending Of Your Story When You Begin?

PrintHOW IMPORTANT IS IT to know the ending of your story when you begin? Can you know? Should you? It’s memoir, after all, and your memoir, at that, but how much surprise should you expect? I love this line of inquiry, and no one is better to take it on than Dinah Lenney, author of the exquisite, The Object Parade (Counterpoint, 2014), a book I have kept on my desk and opened and reopened long after reading it. A master of the essay and of memoir, Dinah is here for you. Read what she has to say. [Read more…]

New Memoir: What to Read This Summer

9781101870242NINE NEW MEMOIRS. Just the phrase sends little shivers up my arms and into my head, and suddenly I see myself under a pile of books. Maybe not everyone’s fantasy, but hey, I’m me. And when the recommendations come from Kirkus Reviews, the pinnacle of book sources, I’m good with it, far preferring and trusting them over most other “best of” lists. [Read more…]