Julia McCutchen interviews Brenda Peterson
Everyone has a remarkable life story. The challenge is to tell it well. A memoir is like a love story, with all the ecstasies, disappointments, and turning points of any relationship. And at the end, you might be surprised to discover that the love of your life is—your life.
For three decades, acclaimed memoirist and writing teacher, Brenda Peterson, has taught the transformative process of memoir and how telling your life story will open doorways to yourself and the world. She shares the elements of craft specific to memoir—story arc, point of view, epiphanies, characterization and dialogue, and offers proven writing exercises and prompts, as well as insights into traditional vs. indie publication.
Whether you’re writing to leave a legacy, for soul work or for publication, Brenda’s approach to memoir is rich with insight, advice and encouragement for anyone eager to bring their real-life stories to the page. In this interview we will discuss:
- The Ten Best Tips for Writing Successful Memoir
- Finding Your Own Voice
- Showing Up: Creating a Character of the Self
- One Scene that Explains Your Whole Life
- The Truth, the Truth, and Nothing But?
- How to Create a Plot of Your Life Story
Brenda Peterson is a writing teacher and author of eighteen books, including the novel Duck and Cover, chosen by The New York Times as a Notable Book of the Year. Her memoirs are Build Me an Ark and I Want to Be Left Behind, selected by independent bookstores as an Indie Next and “Great Read;” also named among the “Top Ten Best Non-Fiction Books of the Year” by The Christian Science Monitor. Her latest Your Life is a Book co-authored with her long-time New York city literary agent, Sarah Jane Freymann, was selected as an Oprah.com fall 2014 book: “The process of writing about your past can lead to a boost in self-acceptance, self-awareness and fulfillment . . . exercises [from the book] may help you face a difficult experience and recognize your own strengths, personal growth and—yes—wisdom.”— Oprah.com. For more information visit www.BrendaPetersonBooks.com