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Writing & Selling Your Memoir Reviewed by Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com
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Norm Goldman


Reviewer & Author Interviewer, Norm Goldman. Norm is the Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com.

He has been reviewing books for the past fifteen years when he retired from the legal profession.

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By Norm Goldman
Published on August 1, 2011
 

Author: Paula Balzer

ISBN: 13:978-1-59963-135-5: 10:1-59963-135-0

Publisher: Writer's Digest Books





Click Here To Purchase Writing & Selling Your Memoir: How to Craft Your Life Story So That Somebody Else Will Actually Want to Read It

Author: Paula Balzer

ISBN: 13:978-1-59963-135-5: 10:1-59963-135-0

Publisher: Writer's Digest Books


Perhaps, as a result of leading an unusual life, you are contemplating writing your memoir or just simply you want to pass your life experiences onto your descendants. However, for one reason or another, you are procrastinating, knowing full-well that this can be quite a challenging and gut wrenching chore requiring a great deal of time, planning and hard work.

Paula Balzer has now come to your rescue with her excellent tome, Writing & Selling your Memoir that effectively lays out the framework of how to write a well-crafted memoir with her clear and coherent step-by-step instructions that will help you turn your memoir into a compelling and meaningful read.

Dividing this insightful guide into three parts, Balzer provides some excellent counsel dealing with the preparation and tools required to write a memoir and the kind of memoir writer the publishers seek out. Topics explored include three key differences between the memoir and other genres which Balzer sums up as: the creation of a personal connection between the author and reader: the transporting of the reader to a place that they would not ordinarily go: and the battling of the “so what” moment or who really cares what your life is about. We are also informed as to what memoirs are not about including not being a book-length rant or an autobiography. Other topics Balzer discusses include setting your parameters, structure, voice, dialogue, pacing, killer first paragraphs and the first draft.

And to exemplify effective memoir writing, Balzer refers to some delightful and memorable memoirs as Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love, Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, James McBride's The Color of Water, Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, Lucy Grealy's Autobiography of a Face, Jeannette Walls's The Glass Castle, Ruth Reich's Tender at the Bone Growing Up at the Table, and a host of others. In each case Balzer gives us the basic premise of the memoir, a typical moment and a breakdown as to why they work. In addition, at the end of each chapter there are exercises that help you reinforce the principles expounded upon.

The final section of the book deals with familiar topics concerning the craft of writing as editing, being stuck in your productivity, social media, and the publication of your book. Also included are not so familiar matters as literary agents, as well as navigating the difficult waters of memoir writing. This last one briefly touches on the scandal concerning James Frey's A Million Little Pieces that was promoted by Oprah Winfrey in 2005 for her book club where the memoir instantly became a New York Times bestseller. However, we all know what happened with this book when it was discovered that the author had written a memoir that was not exactly true as initially claimed. Another was Margaret B. Jones's memoir Love and Consequences published in 2008. Balzer provides her readers with tips as to how to handle different memories and generally stay out of trouble and is the story all yours.

No doubt, within the fifteen chapters of this 226-page book you are sure to discover some excellent and useful tips and techniques that are worth digesting and they may even given you that needed impetus to write your memoir.

Paula Balzer is a literary agent who has worked with Oscar-award winning writer Diablo Cody of the screen play Juno, American Idol's Randy Jackson, New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Robbins, and Bobby Anderson author of Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti.


Click Here To Purchase Writing & Selling Your Memoir: How to Craft Your Life Story So That Somebody Else Will Actually Want to Read It