the process

 

Please avail yourself of my complimentary consultation. I'm happy to speak with you about what's involved in doing a personal history.

 

If you decide to proceed, I'll suggest topics to get your memories flowing and help you make a list of topics to cover in our oral history interviews (usually 8-10 hours' worth, conducted over several days). If you have family memorabilia or archival documents, let me know; we can use them.

 

When I record your oral history, I’ll interview you about your life, asking evocative questions and drawing out your memories.

 

Then, I’ll produce an edited first-person narrative drawn from the interviews — your story, in your voice, on paper.

 

After you approve the manuscript, the book designers on my team will  create a lovely, artistic book design for your memoir, including photos, sidebars, and social history. Read on for more details.

 

ORAL HISTORY

 

The oral history interview is the single most important step you can take to preserve your legacy. Your voice and reminiscences will be enjoyed for generations to come.


These interviews are informal, relaxed conversations, usually conducted in your home. We have a pre-interview planning session with you to create an outline of the topics you would like to cover. We also provide you with helpful memory-joggers (questions to get your memories flowing).

 

      The subjects we cover include your: Heritage and family history • Childhood memories • Education and career • Relationships, children, and parenthood  Milestones and accomplishments • Reflections and words of wisdom      

 

Alternatively, you may choose to focus on one subject, such as your childhood, military service, or career. The result? A digital recording that has you telling your story in your own voice. We’ll deliver the file to you via a personalized thumb drive or a boxed set of labeled CDs.

 

MANUSCRIPT

After the interviews, we have the recordings transcribed and  produce an edited first-person narrative from the transcription. Working with you, we fine-tune and shape the manuscript to enhance flow, clarity, and chronology; organize it with thematic sections and chapters, and polish it to retain your unique voice.


Voila! The readable, accessible story of your life — a page-turner!

BOOK DESIGN

In collaboration with the graphic artists on our team, we turn your manuscript into the designer’s proof of a beautiful heirloom book, with:

 

Choice of personalized design templates • Classic black/white and color photo restoration and reproduction • Inclusion of letters, documents, and other images • An illustrated family tree Social history sidebars: contextual materials, maps, and images that complement your story • Dedication, table of contents and preface • Full-color front/back cover designs • Oversight of the printing and binding process.

 

See sample pages from our books.

 

Trena conducts an

oral history interview.

The CDs of a client's oral history, and the accompanying print memoir.

 Trena (right) helps a client organize her family records. Below, designer Izumi Motai reviews her photos.

Designer Susan Davis photographs a client for her Legacy Letter.

          At our 50th anniversary party, we laid our memoir books out on a table. They were the hit of the evening! Several people commented on what a great idea that was, and how it was time they did something like that.                           
- C. & V. Scott
Placerville

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