The Process

Goal Setting meeting

We meet and chat about where things are at for you.  We talk through what your goal is for this project. Then we make a simple plan to ensure we capture the things that matter to you and your family, during the service and beyond, and what you all want to get out of this experience. We will provide a simple biographical information sheet to gather the basic factual information, such as birth dates, spellings of family members’ names, wedding dates, schools attended and jobs held. That way, when we meet with the narrator for the interview, we can focus on capturing memories and collecting stories.

Interviews

We’ll arrange a series of meetings with you so that you can tell us more about your life. Most people prefer to meet us in their own home. We have found  meeting weekly allows good time for reflections and memories to crystallise, and provides scope for further insights that you may wish to expand upon. Usually each interview session will be up to two hours.

We use our research and writing skills to bring together all the stories you share with us and turn them into a book that you’ll be proud to share with others. 

We also leave the narrators with a small booklet where they can jot down memorable stories or life events, or anything that comes to mind later that they may have forgotten to mention. We make certain to address those items in subsequent interviews.

By asking simple, straightforward questions, we prompt the narrator to share stories that begin flowing easily. We may jump around during the interview, as one story may follow from another, but the organization can come later during the editing process. The important thing is to capture the narrator’s recollections in his or her words.

Transcribing

Outside of the sessions, the audio-recording of each interview is then transcribed and used as a starting point to create a cohesive text. Our goal is to keep close to the teller’s words, so it is true to the way the speaker talks. But we shape the story. We note areas that could use more detail or clarity in our next conversation.

Life themes emerge. Such insights are often the most powerful outcome of this work.

We review regularly allowing you complete control over what is included in your story, so you can remove anything you want excluded and add or extend areas that we first touched on.

Gathering Resources

We ask the storyteller and family members to gather photos and other memorabilia they’d like to have in the final book. We either scan the items at the client’s home or transport them carefully in a fire safe to ensure they remain unharmed. After scanning the photos and backing them up, we return them in the same condition.

Putting it All Together

After the interviews end, we edit the transcriptions into either a first-person or third-person narrative, depending on the client’s desires. During this phase, we conduct extensive research to fill in any gaps and double-check facts and figures. Then we provide a first draft copy for corrections, additions or deletions.

When the first draft is returned, we make any changes indicated, and then design the photos and stories into a beautiful book. A draft of the book is provided to the client and/or narrator for any final changes.

After those changes are made, the book receives a final look for any typographical errors or other problems. When all changes are made, we print the book in either color or black and white, again depending on the client’s desires, and have all the copies bound. You have a beautiful, bound memoir that you can proudly display to friends, families and colleagues.

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