Memoir Moment #8: Interview with Sue William Silverman About Writing Your Memoir Opening

by Matilda Butler on December 6, 2009

catnav-interviews-active-3Post #32 – Women’s Memoirs, Author Conversations – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler

Want to learn about writing effective memoir openings? Stuck on how to bring readers into your story? Worried your memoir is written in a boring way? Don’t want to take a memoir class?

Several weeks ago, Kendra Bonnett and I interviewed award-winning author Sue William Silverman. We had so much to discuss that we decided to leave the topic of memoir openings for a separate interview.

Sue is an energetic and gracious woman who shared many of her ideas for writing memoirs. Our interview began with a discussion of the openings that Sue crafted for her first memoir, Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You. I say openings because she has a Prologue before Chapter 1. I’ve had students ask if they should have a Prologue and I think you’ll find Sue’s insight quite helpful.

Here’s our interview:

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In Sue’s commentary on the opening to her second memoir, Love Sick, she shows us how to use the five senses to convey emotions. Be sure to listen to the audio above to gain insights about your own use of the five senses.

If you’re working on your memoir or thinking of starting, Sue’s book about memoir writing can guide you on your journey. In our interview, Sue talked about her struggle to find the right voice for Fearless Confessions and how a memoir vignette helped her create the bond that she wanted with her readers.

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