Thursday, July 26, 2012

Memoir Music to My Ears

Took a chance on a book about memoir writing and ends up it's a gem too. Writing & Selling Your Memoir, by agent Paula Balzer, was a whim. Honestly, picked it up because of the title and bought it because it was written by an agent.

I haven't finished the "selling" part, but I really bought it for the "writing" part. She breaks down the best selling NY Times memoirs so the reader can see structure, dialogue, and voice at work. She also gives realistic places to start with your memoir ideas. After feeling like I wasn't sure how I wanted to work my writing, I now feel like I have some ways to work that pesky point of view.

AND, my favorite part, she agrees with Stephen King's advice - you have to be reading as much as possible. She says if you're not, don't bother with the writing. Music to my ears! I bought 16 memoirs this week from recommendations of two friends and this book. I will have a happy month of August before the new school year starts :)

If you're interested, the memoirs I purchased for the rest of my summer are (minus subtitles, because some are quite long):

Traveling Mercies - Ann Lamott
Blackbird - Jennifer Lauck
Still Waters - Jennifer Lauck
Autobiography of a Face - Lucy Grealy
Girls of Tender Age - Mary-Ann Tirone Smith
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight - Alexandra Fuller

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress - Rhoda Janzen
A Stolen Life - Jaycee Dugard
Fairy Tale Interrupted - Rose Marie Terenzio
Monkey Mind - Daniel Smith
When Did I Get Like This? - Amy Wilson
A Three Dog Life - Abigail Thomas

What Remains - Carole Radziwell
Tender Bar - J.R. Moehringer
We Thought You Would Be Prettier - Laurie Notaro 
Escape - Carolyn Jessop

I am really a reader at heart and my love for reading is what causes me to write. I love words.

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