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Denis Ledoux: At The Memoir Network, we had the pleasure of working with Katherine Sullivan for several years as she edited her memoir, Don’t Worry About a Thing, with one of our editors, Frances King, and focused on book production with Sally Lunt. Because of her insightful articulation of her life experience, I am delighted […]
Denis Ledoux: At The Memoir Network, we had the pleasure of working with Katherine Sullivan for several years as she edited her memoir, Don’t Worry About a Thing, with one of our editors, Frances King, and focused on book production with Sally Lunt. Because of her insightful articulation of her life experience, I am delighted she agreed to do the following interview (conducted by email.)
Denis: Can you tell our readers—your fellow writers—what your book is about and why you were impelled to write it? What was driving you to spend the time, energy and money to get this book out into the world?
Katherine: Don’t Worry About a Thing is a coming-of-age memoir about life in a small Maine town in the middle of the twentieth century. As a child of a Greek immigrant and a Maine country girl, I tried to find my place in the world. Not all immigrant stories are success stories. I was impelled to write this book to help me find meaning after a childhood spent with a father whose gambling addiction affected every aspect of my life. I searched for answers in an unstable world, and writing was a place where I could question and discover who I was and where I fit in the world. My personal therapy.
The Develop Vivid Characters Program
- Are the characters in your memoir captivating your readers—rather than boring them?
- Are you at a loss—“Help! What can I do!”—about how to make the people in your memoir more relatable?
- Are you embarrassed by the “stick” characters you have presented? “She really was a complex person, but I don’t know how to show her that way.”
Denis: Tell us about your writing process and how long you worked on this memoir.
Katherine: I began actively working on this book in my fifties, so about twenty years, but I knew from when I was a young girl that I wanted to write. There were long breaks when my life in the present got in the way of my writing about the past. I knew though, that I would finish, and to get me motivated during those dry spells, I took writing workshops at various intervals.
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