You talk about the interviews, but how do they work,
and how many would be needed?
We would chat one-to-one for at least some of the interviews at a location that works for both of us – if you wanted a third party present they are of course welcome. All interviews would be recorded by me. Experience shows that 20 hours of interviewing would be more than enough for most stories. That’s something we can assess when we first meet. Naturally the interviews would be broken up into whatever sized chunks worked for everyone, so we would need quite a few sessions spread over a period of weeks.
Depending on distance/practicality and your preferences, we can talk in person, via Skype, on the phone or whatever works for us best, but where possible it would be in person.
It must be said, for many people this is a very enjoyable and relaxed experience, talking about their memories, their past and their achievements to an interested audience.
Couldn’t I just write my own memoirs?
Yes, of course, and you are naturally free to do so. But it’s worth bearing this in mind: this isn’t a book telling the story of your life. It is a book telling a story about your life. Those are two different things. A memoir is making a story out of your life, it needs to include all the things you’d find in a novel or a fine non-fiction book – a narrative arc, the pattern of thirds and a whole lot more. That is a skill which some people possess, some don’t. If you want to try it yourself then that would doubtless be a fascinating project. If you want professional and experienced help with that, then that’s why I’m here.
What if we don’t get on?
Before we start working on your project we will have a chat by phone, Skype or in person, to see if we both want the book to proceed. I will then come and see you if you wish to discuss anything you want to talk about. It’s what the marketeers call, in their trendy way, a ‘chemistry meeting’ and it is of course free to you.
What is the timeframe envisaged?
The whole process should take about three months. That assumes we can complete the interviews within a month and then that’s two months for the rest of the project to be brought to completion. Since I work closely with the subject throughout, naturally the timeframe is partially dependent on the subject responding promptly throughout the process.
When you think that the time from a fully finished manuscript being delivered to a publisher to the book actually being published is at least a year, this is a fast-moving programme giving gratifyingly quick results.
You mention that the interviews will be recorded. What about confidentiality?
This is an issue I’ve worked happily with for decades, given some of the information that has been divulged to me by people I have interviewed. The recorded conversations will be transcribed by an agency conforming to full professional standards and then all material – aural and printed - stays with me until publication. At that point it is all delivered back to you for safekeeping. There is a confidentiality clause in the contract for your peace of mind.
What are the payment terms?
The payment terms are 50% on signing of contract, 50% on delivery of the finished books. Again, this is clearly laid out in the short contract we’ll sign.
What happens if you are unable to complete the project?
In the rare event that the project is unable to be completed e.g. if the subject falls ill, then I will complete the book to the extent of what content I have gathered. We will then agree what elements of the process should be completed e.g. to remain as a manuscript or publish what is available; and I will invoice you appropriately.
Got another question?
For any further questions, please contact me and I will be happy to answer any queries you have.