This year my family celebrated their 62nd annual reunion. The events take place in different states and this year the gathering took place in Michigan. Each year, as part of the fun, a souvenir book with a schedule of activities and family milestones was distributed to each participant. As chairperson of the hosting committee, I combined my love of writing and joy in researching genealogy in a special section of the souvenir book.
I solicited help from my sister who interviewed several cousins about past reunions. Her son took photos of Detroit and my husband edited my finished work. I’m still receiving positive comments about the book.
I now return to my fiction writing with the idea in the back of my head of writing a longer memoir. But first I have to decide if there would be interest in the story outside of my extended family.
How would a writer decide what would be of interest to readers of memoirs? Does the story have to be about surviving catastrophic events? Does the memoir have to take place during turbulent times? Or can the memoir relate the everyday events in the lives of several generations and how they stay connected?
What type of memoir holds your interest?
I enjoyed this entry. I have enjoyed all kinds of memoirs. I think the style depends on the intended audience, whether it be future or younger family members interested in their own family history or the public at large. Another possibility would be for the writer’s own enlightenment, either to preserve or explore memories. I also see many memoirs as a creative act of generosity which can become a treasured item of historic value depicting the life of a specific individual and family during a certain time period.
Memoirs is a largely unread genre for me. But with the popularity of creative nonfiction, you may have many readers interested in others’ experiences.
Human interest is the simple key behind any of the memoirs that I have read. It could be turbulent times or happy family connections. As long as I can relate to the people involved and find some connection to my life, I will get something out of the memoir and enjoy it.
Human interest and the ability of the reader to relate to the people in a memoir seem to be the key for a successful book. Thanks, Sue, for your input.
Thank you, Claire. My family has shared fascinating and heartwarming stories among ourselves. I wonder if they would be of interest to others.
i enjoyed to read your story.
I think your memoir should be included all of the events that you listed in your story.
Thank you, Kook-Wha, for your advice I’m happy that you enjoy my blog.
I enjoyed reading this. While high adventure memoirs are interesting to read, I also enjoy heartwarming stories about real people living their lives.