About History for Hire
Every person has a story to tell. No matter how simple their lives may appear, there is a history there, and in many cases that history is about to be lost. What do you know about your grandparents, or your great-grandparents? Don’t you wish they had written something down?
I’ve been telling other people’s stories since 2001. I’ve got four non-fiction books with major publishers under my belt, and I’m on contract for a fifth. I’ve also produced a number of pieces for the NPR show All Things Considered. I love nothing more than researching lives and putting them into words, and this year I’ve started a new business writing people’s personal histories. It doesn’t matter how different your life has been from mine, I can capture it and put it on the page.
From an Amazon review about The Restless Sleep, my book about the NYPD’s Cold Case Squad: “As a retired S.F. police detective I found the language, the description, the feel of it all, right on the money … I was left wondering how she got those New York detectives to open up so clearly, but she obviously did. A great read.”
I often hear how I uncovered part of someone’s story that they had forgotten, or that they never even knew. When I wrote about the former Duke Parapsychology Laboratory, one of the scientists admitted she was afraid to read what I had written, but “your factual history of Parapsychology is just what I’d hoped it would be … you have dug out details of the Duke Lab’s history (many of them almost forgotten by me) that I find fascinating. I am convinced that no one could have done a better job of keeping the facts straight while making the story such an interesting one.”
I know how to interview people to get their lives onto the page, and I will do whatever research is necessary to fill in the blanks. I’ll work with you to pick photographs and other memorabilia to scan and include with the text. What I will give you in the end is a beautifully written and illustrated book, which captures your life, your work and your passions. Using on-demand print services, your history will be printed and bound like any other professionally published book, and you will be able to order as many copies as you like.
I will also be available to write the history of your business. Having started a business myself, I know how much one puts into a business over the years. In reality, every business is someone’s life story. And to put it into words would make a more meaningful retirement gift than a watch.
The work I do for you will be written with the same care and attention I gave the detectives of New York’s Cold Case Squad—the same care and attention that has gone into all of my books.
Process and Pricing
We’ll begin with a discussion of what you want your book to cover and what will be involved to accomplish that. Things to be determined may include how many interviews I will need to conduct with you. Are there other people I should talk to besides yourself? I may need to spend some time doing genealogical or other research.
At some point I will spend time with you going through your boxes of photographs, documents and other mementos, helping you make decisions about what to include. What might seem like a boring piece of paper to you could lead to an interesting story about your past that would mean an awful lot to your children and grandchildren. I can help solve (or uncover) family mysteries. Every book is different.
Pricing will be based on your unique book and how many hours it will take to put it together. But to give you an idea, the cost of a finished bound memoir starts at $5,000 and can go higher depending on the scope of the project. If you have something simpler in mind, a lower price can be discussed.
In the initial consultation we will discuss what price range works for you and together we’ll work out a plan and design the final project around that.
If this sounds like something you’d like to explore, please email me! Don’t let their stories disappear forever!