Carmit Roslyn, Personal Historian


Why would I have my story written by someone? 
My clients have important stories to tell, but many are too

busy to write themselves. Others are not trained, disciplined

writers and want to entrust their stories to an expert who will

preserve them in a timely way.

How will your book on me be unique?
Recording, editing, and giving historic context to your story is

only a starting point. I am a literary memoirist. As such, I will

also create an additional layer of original text around your story, giving new life and meaning to cultural pieces, time periods, and beloved figures. I will treat your story like literature. 

Will this still be my story, flavored by me?
Absolutely. There is no single “true” version of a story. Ten people would tell ten different versions of the same incident. I am interested in preserving your version. What that means is that you are the source of our information and so everything will be crafted around you and your point of view, including the voice. 

Can you veto a choice made by me?
You entrust me with creating the best possible version of your book. Naturally, there are various checkpoints built in to the process so that you can take part. Ultimately, this is your book, so the final say is yours. 

What will my book look like?
Your book’s appearance will depend on your personal style and vision. It can be elegantly simple or rich with photographs and color or full of recipes and artwork. I will recommend a fitting style. Also, depending on the story you have to tell it will likely be between 50 and 150 pages.

How long will the process take?
This will roughly be a 3-month project from start to finish, depending on how quickly you are able to return approved material.

What if my vision is different from the above?

I am happy to work with you, tailoring the process to your specific needs.  I can coach your own memoir writing, or trail you for six months to observe your story intimately and write it from scratch.

Story Preparation

Whether you will be retaining my services or writing your life story on your own, here are some suggestions on how to collect the ideas, prompts, and props that will make your memories more accessible.

-Look through old photographs, albums, and letters. Pull out the ones that are especially significant to have handy.

-Call up family members, specifically with the intention of talking about “old times.”

-Listen to music that reminds you of a certain travel experience.

-Eat a comfort food that you haven’t had in many years.

-Open up a random chest (hand-me-downs trophies, ballet shoes, baby clothes, etc). See if you can dig up the physical manifestations of hobbies, affiliations and relationships that have been important to you.

-Organize any official papers you may have containing birth, death, and marriage information for various generations.

-Write a letter to future generations offering these lessons on how to live life.

For further reading:

- On Writing:  A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King

- Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt