A few weeks ago I got a great email from fellow author Kate Whouley about her new book, Remembering the Music, Forgetting the Words: Travels With Mom in the Land of Dementia (Beacon Press 2011).
For those of you who don't know, in Growing Great Characters I featured a segment of Kate's writing from her previous nonfiction book, Cottage for Sale, Must Be Moved! In that very charming book, she recounts finding, purchasing and moving a tiny beach cottage for the purpose of using as an addition to her Cape Cod home.
For those of you who would like to follow in Kate's footsteps regarding a memoir, but are worried the family issue you're writing about is too serious and depressing and may turn off readers, consider following Kate's lead, which she explains in her email:
Remembering the Music is a memoir, with my mom--you may remember her as the over-the-top Santa collector in COTTAGE--at the heart of the story. She suffered with younger onset Alzheimer's. Before you hit NEXT on your e-mail list, let me assure you this isn't a depressing book or a litany of "poor-me," but rather a story that affirms life, love and connection. It's peopled by some of the same "characters" I wrote about in COTTAGE--and not to give anything away, but I gain an honorary niece in this one, too. You'll also meet several members of a community band where I play--they provide much of the MUSIC in the title. All in all, I feel like I can pretty much guarantee that if you enjoyed the COTTAGE adventure, you'll be glad you came along for this journey too. Also, I can promise you at least a few laughs.
Feel free to help Kate get the word out about her new book by either purchasing a copy or requesting one from your library. Don't forget to write a quick Amazon review!
Lastly, when I initially called Kate some years ago to request permission to include the segment of her book in my book, she was very kind. My guess is that if you contact her via her website to ask advice about the memoir you're writing, and are courteous and patient, she'll be happy to answer your questions.