Author Conversation with Memoir Writer Sue William Silverman Emphasizes Tenacity

by Matilda Butler on October 26, 2009

catnav-interviews-active-3Post #28 – Women’s Memoirs, Author Conversations – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler

“Tenacity. Be tenacious. I can’t say that too much.” As part of her response to several questions, Sue William Silverman, author of two memoirs and a new book about writing memoirs, kept bringing us back to this point. There are many ways to get detailed as a writer and we valued her reminders that success comes only if we are willing to be tenacious about our schedules, about our writing, about our goals.

Here’s a sampling of the questions that Sue answered during our fun and informative interview:

1. Should I use my real name on my memoir?

2. What experiences have helped you grow the most as a writer?

3. What is the hardest part of writing for you and how do you overcome the problems or get past them?

4. How did you choose the format for your memoir Because I remember Terror, Father, I Remember You.

5. How do you remember details from when you were very young?

6. What is the best advice you ever got from an editor?

7. I’m reading Love Sick right now. You use the five senses so well. Does this come naturally for you? Do you have any particular techniques to make sure you include all the sensory detail?

8. I’m reading your memoir writing book Fearless Confessions and see you started your writing life as a novelist. Since you’ve written in both genres, would you talk about your perception of the similarities and differences in the two forms of writing?

9. Is memoir writing as creative as writing fiction?

10. You’re an award-winning author. What’s the road to success?

11. I teach fiction writing for a well-known creative writing program. It may seem silly to worry, but my memoir delves into my experiences with bipolar disorder and relationship addictions. I’m worried about publishing a memoir under my real name. Any insights for me?

Listen here to our interview with Sue William Silverman. As just one of many treats in our conversation, you’ll hear her definition of memoir writing that we think is the best we’ve ever heard: “Taking your life story and crafting it into an art form.” With Sue’s advice and suggestions, you’ll be closer to finding the right way for you to craft your personal story.

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