My book, Raising My Family Around the World ~ The Adventures of a CIA Wife and Mom in Stories, Snapshots and Letters, was self-published in the summer of 2015. Two hundred and thirteen pages and two hundred and thirteen photographs make up my hard-bound book. This was actually a surprising coincidence and not planned!
Several months later, I did a re-print—this time in paperback, a much cheaper alternative than the costly, but beautiful, hard-bound version. I gave the hard-bound copies to family members. I am selling the paperback copies and doing well with this effort.
My intention in writing my story is to tell and preserve my story for my descendants. I have two adult daughters and three young grand-children at this point. Who wants to be forgotten after they pass away? Not me! I’m not expecting to die any time soon. However, I felt now was as good a time as ever to write my story.
Writing a book about being a CIA wife takes a good bit of time and reflection. Before I started writing the story, I wrote notes to myself about which stories I wanted to be sure to include and then I looked for personal photographs that would enhance the stories. In my case, I had the advantage of five hundred and twenty-three letters to refer to. These were both letters I had written to my grandmother and which she had written to me over a period of thirty-nine years. My memories were triggered by those letters and they were a tremendous help to “remember.”
Then, I started to write.
I was actually excited as I sat at my MAC and began to write my first draft. The words flowed as I recalled story after story. I enjoyed the process immensely and the reminiscing took on an almost therapeutic effect.
I find that, after I write, I like to “put my words to bed” for a while. I like to re-read text when I have almost forgotten it and then read my words as if I were another person. This helps me to create a little distance from the creative process. Sometimes I like the way the words sound, but there are other times when I feel the need to do serious editing. I can’t be rushed through this process as it takes time. In fact, it took me just about two years to put everything down on paper and to get it the way I liked it.
A personal note
I have been a CIA wife to a man who worked for the agency for thirty-two years. We spent many of these years living outside of the USA. I tell my story from the context of being a wife and mother making all those moves — 18 in 21 years. At the expense of the U.S. federal government, I have lived a very nomadic life which was full of adventure. Bill is now retired.
Writing down my stories was a large item to check off of my Bucket List. When I finished this gargantuan project of writing Raising My Family Around the World ~ The Adventures of a CIA Wife and Mom, I felt very pleased and relieved.
The response from my family and friends has been very positive.
We have helped many people whose lives demanded to be recorded but who themselves were not writers to create interesting and well-written memoirs.
We listen to you speak your story. We ask you a multitude of questions. Then we get to work writing. We come back to you with text and you make lots of corrective comments and we ask you a whole lot of new questions. Then, we go back to writing again.
Over time, your story develops into a memoir—one that you have shaped at every stage of the writing process.
We offer a free consult. Call today at 207-353-5454 to make an appointment.
To learn more about ghostwriting, click here.