Memoir Author Interview: Michelle Cromer, Author of Where Am I Going?

by Matilda Butler on September 21, 2011

catnav-interviews-active-3Post #62 – Women’s Memoirs, Author Conversations – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler



Memoir Author Speaks About Writing Her Memoir

Kendra Bonnet and I are pleased to welcome Michelle Cromer to Women’s Memoirs. We invited Michelle to share with us her experiences in writing her memoir: Where Am I Going? Moving From Religious Tourist to Spiritual Explorer

Here’s our first question:

memoir, memoir writing, journaling, autobiographyWomen’s Memoirs: 1. Your book, Where Am I Going? Moving From Religious Tourist to Spiritual Explorer is more than your personal story. We’ve talked to many women who are interested in writing a spiritual memoir. Yet when we ask them what they mean by that, they are often at a loss to explain the scope. How do you define spiritual memoir?

memoir, memoir writing, memoir author, journaling, spiritual memoirMichelle Cromer:

I just wrote my story down. It happened to turn into a memoir that was spiritual. It really was never my intent to write any kind of memoir, but I felt it was important to tell the reader my struggles and how I managed to emerge from the human experience rather than to avoid it. I felt if I could share my heartaches and struggles, then maybe readers might see something in my crazy life that they could identify with in theirs.  

memoir, memoir writing, journaling, autobiographyWomen’s Memoirs: 2. Memoir writing is how we share our life stories. The question becomes what stays in and what gets left out. Would you share with our readers your guidance about finding the central theme for your memoir and then deciding which stories to include?


Michelle Cromer:

The theme of my book is the seven stages I think we all have the potential to go through in order to achieve inner transformation.  It wasn’t difficult to find personal stories to use as examples because these stories propelled me forward and into another stage of the soul. I held nothing back and even though I was exposing a very personal level, one that I had withheld from everyone I know, I knew the honesty of my stories would resonate with the reader as authentic, which is critical if you are writing a spiritual book.  In becoming authentically oneself, a person becomes capable of originality and becomes able to author aspects of their own life. 

memoir, memoir writing, journaling, autobiographyWomen’s Memoirs: 3. Some memoirs stay true to the genre. Others combine elements of how-to or self-help with memoir. It seems that you have successfully bridged genres. How were you able to do that and would you recommend that other memoir writers try to include additional elements?

Michelle Cromer:

I wrote down my truth and in doing so, my hope was that I could help someone with their spiritual journey. So in a way, my book became a self-help memoir. Each woman must look inside herself and decide on the story she needs to share and from that she will be able to find the right genre.

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