The Gift of Memoir

Author and editor Diane Taylor has published a new book called The Gift of Memoir.

I highly recommend it.

Diane is part of my blog community: you’ve likely seen her replies to my posts. When she asked me to read her manuscript, I said “Yes”, and dug in.

Yippee! I can tell you without reservation that this is a strong book. It’s full of useful and inspiring tips that benefit not only writers of memoirs, but any author.

Edited and published by BPS Books, this is a great read.

Blog Photo - Gift of memoir front cover

Here’s what’s been said about A Gift of Memoir so far:

“Every writer can benefit from reading Diane Taylor’s wonderfully clear, down-to-earth, practical, and inspiring book. But for the memoirist, in particular, Taylor’s expertise is invaluable.” –PHILIP MARCHAND, National Post books columnist and author of Ghost Empire: How the French Almost Conquered North America

The Gift of Memoir will lift you from desire, doubt, and inclination to exploration, discovery, and triumph. A bountiful gift for the hearts and minds of aspiring memoirists.” –DAVID H. HUGHES, author and ghostwriter of thirteen books.

Among the topics addressed:

  • Telling the truth when you aren’t sure
  • Journaling as a kind of personal writing workshop
  • Four strategies to retrieve memories
  • How to use anecdotes and establish themes
  • How to write through the five senses
  • How to choose a form that fits your writing
  • The revision process

Diane Taylor lives in Northumberland County, east of Toronto. She has had a varied life, working as a lab technician, seamstress and book seller.  Some years ago, she and her partner built a large sailboat and “sailed south”.

Blog Photo - Diane Taylor1

That’s when she started writing.

“Life on the ocean and in the islands was so fresh and immediate,” she says,  “I felt an urgent need to record it so as to not forget it, to re-experience it in words, and to communicate it to others in various sailing magazines. A book resulted: The Perfect Galley Book.”

Other books followed.  Diane has also taught memoir-writing and is an avid member of the Spirit of the Hills writers’ group. (In fact, the book explains why writers should join such groups.)

You’ll find my own recommendation for The Gift of Memoir on the book’s back cover.

This is a fine book, a great read and a worthwhile toolkit for authors.

Congrats, Diane.

*This book is sold on Amazon, Chapters Indigo and other online bookstores. Links are contained in the text of this post.

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33 Comments

Filed under A Good Home, Authors, Diane Taylor, Memoir-Writing, New Books

33 responses to “The Gift of Memoir

  1. This sounds excellent. I am also intrigued that she has written for The Journal of Palliative Care and has recorded oral histories, and ghostwritten memoirs for elders. A few days ago we were having a wonderful discussion of memories with my father. On Sunday he had an emergency trip to hospital and is still there with double pneumonia. These sudden changes bring home how important it is to gather stories whilst we may.

  2. Oh thank you so much .. I shall look out for this book! Just what I need 😀

  3. Ann Moser

    Thank you Cynthia, always on the lookout for the next great read. Congratulations Diane!

  4. Thank-you for this great review, Cynthia. It looks a very useful book indeed with lots of sound advice.

    • It is indeed, Clare. Hope all goes well with you and family. that big pond of yours looks enormous. does it ever freeze over?

      • Yes it is big and it does freeze quite regularly though this year the ice has been quite thin and has melted quickly. Thank-you Cynthia.

      • So that means the real cold weather hasn’t lasted long each time this winter, right?

      • Yes, that’s right. We have had short cold spells and then spells of milder weather. The longest the ice stayed on the pond this year was about ten days. It has been colder than last year bu still not as cold as it usually is. The rest of the country has been colder than us as well because most of the weather has come from the west By the time it gets here in the east it has lost its power. I’m sorry you have had such an awful time this winter. Our weather forecasters have been talking about it.

  5. I said it before and I’ll say it again: This is a great read for anyone aspiring to write a memoir.

  6. Thanks for the recommendation Cynthia. I enjoy reading memoirs and aspire to write one someday (or at the least, let someone actually read what I’ve written). Diane’s book looks like it can help me. 🙂

  7. gary hodgkins

    Gary Hodgkins

    I read the book in one sitting! Diane has said it all. It is a recipe for good writing. Congtatulations

  8. Thank you, Cynthia, for sharing Diane’s book. I’ve added it to my wishlist since I absolutely want to write a memoir–one day.Your own memoir won my heart over to the idea.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

  9. Wonderful recommendation and write up Cynthia.

  10. Sounds great. When I don’t have much time, I’d do a quick sketch to capture the impression. I used to write a lot in my native (Latvian) language and also poems in German so to say to capture the disappearing feelings. The list of themes already seems to be interesting and worth exploring. It’s a specific genre, but memoirs can be the most exciting reading.

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