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Living Legacies


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Living Legacies


 

"Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can't remember who we are or why we're here." - Sue Monk Kidd

An unbelievable number of people I've interviewed for business stories and Becoming think that they are uninteresting. But as Mark Twain says, "There was never yet an uninteresting life." You don't have to be Solomon Northup, Jeannette Walls, or Ishmael Beah to share your story with the world. You matter. Your family matters. Your career matters. Your business matters. 

Commissioning a memoir provides the unique opportunity to create a tangible, timeless legacy that benefits you and those who come after you, while also reconnecting with your roots and engaging with your journey. The process is empowering, rewarding, and almost always transformational (if not therapeutic). We spend so much of our lives powering forwards that we forget to reflect back on our journeys and revel in the memories, both struggles and triumphs, that have changed us and propelled us forward.

Whatever you need to tell your story, I can help. I can interview you and those close to you to write a collection of essays that, combined, tell the story of your family or your business. I can work with you alone to talk through the journey of your life or career to write a memoir exclusively about you. Or I can take your own writing and help you transform it into a cohesive, beautifully written memoir that combines your voice with my writing and editing expertise. The potential options and approaches for telling your story are limitless.

PERSONAL AND FAMILY MEMOIRS

In this digital age, we tend to document every detail of our lives online but we forget to connect with each other, our families, and our roots. We spend too much time making small talk and forget to share our hearts. We don't ask our parents and our grandparents about their lives and their histories and we don't talk about our own. We all too often lose out on truly knowing and connecting with our heritage, only realizing what we've lost once a loved one has passed on. 

YOUR STORY

Is your life story burning inside of you, aching to come out? Putting your life into words will change you and it will allow the people in your lives to see you as a multidimensional person, to know you in a deeper, more meaningful way. Not only that, but writing a memoir gives you perspective, it lets you investigate your past from a distance, unearthing memories and moments you may have forgotten or didn't realize impacted your path. And it leaves behind something permanent, an heirloom for your family, the chance to share who you are with future generations: your children, their children, and all those who come after them. Honour your journey and create your legacy through commissioning a Living Legacies memoir.

YOUR FAMILY'S STORY

Who came before you? What were their childhoods and their lives like? Do you know your parents' and your grandparents' dreams, regrets, and triumphs? Do you study or explore genealogy but long to connect stories to the lineage? How many stories in your family remain untold? A family story involves intimate interviews with selected participants - your parents, your grandparents, your siblings, whomever you wish to include - from which I write a collection of essays that, together, tell the story of your family. Honour your heritage and create a family heirloom through commissioning a Living Legacies memoir.

CAREER AND BUSINESS MEMOIRS

Successful careers and businesses don't just happen overnight, they are the result of onerous work, stubborn dedication, and unwavering, yet adaptable, vision. Sometimes those efforts - the years of barely making ends meet, working around the clock, often doing more than one job, volunteering and networking at every opportunity - are forgotten, buried beneath the fruitful garden of your success. Whether you've built a career or a business for yourself, the world needs your story.

CAREER STORIES

Much like a personal memoir, a career story focuses on one person's trials and tribulations on the road to success. It explores the seed of that career, how you watered it and tended to it so that it grew into the proud, sturdy, beautiful oak it is today. We spend most of our lives building careers, whether we are makers, builders, or leaders, and our stories deserve to be told. Share your wisdom and your strength with up-and-comers. Show the world what it took to bring you to this point. Honour your path and create your legacy through commissioning a Living Legacies memoir.

BUSINESS STORIES

Are you the owner, CEO, or president of a thriving business? Do you long to share not just the milestones and stats, but the story behind how it became what it is today and who contributed to its success? A business story combines biography, corporate history, and the stories of the people responsible for its achievements and advancement. You don't have to be Apple or Nike to tell your business' story. Honour your business and give hope to new entrepreneurs through commissioning a Living Legacies memoir.

Whether you're looking to commission a memoir or for assistance editing and reworking your memoir, contact me today to discuss your Living Legacy.

 

 

 
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The Process


The Process


 

THE PROCESS

THE START-UP MEETING

Writing your memoir begins with a free, start-up meeting to discuss your goals for the project. A commissioned memoir can manifest as a book or an essay about one person or business, or it can be a collection of essays that unite the stories and experiences of many. At this meeting, we'll discuss the core events and themes that you want the memoir to capture, as well as outline the timelines and determine the number of interviews and information required. After our initial consultation, I will create an estimate for your project and send it to you for approval.

*Prices range depending on the length of the project and the number of interviews required.

THE INTERVIEW

Openness and honesty are essential to a successful interview. Whether the end product is a personal or career driven memoir, through generous listening and sharing some of myself, I engage with participants wholeheartedly, creating a safe space for opening up and letting the stories tumble out. I love engaging with people, finding that one thread and gently tugging until their story unravels. There's beauty, truth, and real connection there, which is not just what I work for, but what I live for. My interview style is warm, attentive, and conversational, so interviewees quickly forget that they are being recorded and speak naturally - we part as friends. While the interview is probing, with the aim of uncovering your truth,  I expertly and empathetically help participants to explore and answer the difficult questions. Every interview is then transcribed so that I can review it and pull out content to construct your memoir.

THE WRITING

As a writer, my goal is to write an engaging, authentic, beautiful story that connects not just with your mind, but with your heart, with who you are at your core, with your values, and with your experiences. I take the transcripts from interviews and extract content to create your narrative. Your memoir can be written in first or third person narration and drafts are provided as we progress, with editing inclusive in my rates. This is your story, so constructive and specific feedback is required throughout the process to achieve a final product that resonates with and defines you, your family, your career or your business. Commissioned memoirs are, by nature, a collaborative feat dependent upon our working together from start to finish. Included in the fee is a stylized PDF copy of your memoir.

THE ADD-ONS

If you'd like your memoir printed in a book with photos and supplementary materials (family trees, letters, lineages, memorabilia, etc.), you can provide me with high resolution, scanned images with descriptions/captions and I can design a layout for your book. I can print it in hard or soft cover with Blurb, an online company that prints professional quality books and magazines, for an additional fee. I've also partnered with Kelly Marleau at Fiddle Leaf Photography to provide documentary-style, environmental portraits for your memoir, if you wish to include current photos in the PDF or book.

* Add-on pricing is dependent upon the parameters of your project.

Whether you're looking to commission a memoir or for assistance editing and reworking your memoir, contact me today to discuss your Living Legacy.

 
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The Feedback


The Feedback


 

THE FEEDBACK

PERSONAL STORIES

“I enjoyed being interviewed by Athena as she makes you feel comfortable by relating your experiences with her own, showing that she understands where you're coming from. She is open and transparent about her own life which helped me open up about my own experiences. After our interview, I felt like we were great friends and that we have known each other for a long time.” – June Rorke

“I was nervous about doing a very personal interview but Athena was warm and pleasant and made it easy to relax and open up, like a casual visit with an old friend. Her essay surprised me with the depth of its insight and was beautifully written and kind.” – Emily MacKenzie

"Athena was an incredible interviewer. She was attentive and open, allowing me to guide the conversation while still staying on topic and making sure I was responding to the question. She was able to help me open up about very difficult and emotional topics in a way that was caring and compassionate. She made me feel comfortable and, more importantly, like she was a safe person to share my story with. I highly recommend her." – Salima Versi

CAREER AND BUSINESS STORIES

“When I read it to my husband he said, ‘wow, this writer really got what you do and who you are.’ In saying that, I absolutely loved the article, you helped people understand what it is I do and that is pretty difficult because it’s intangible and the process is intuitive and organic, instead of it being clinical. Thank you so much, I really appreciate you. You write from your heart and soul and it shows.” - Youmashni Naidoo, Divinity Within

“Thank you again for taking the time to write my business story and the review on my cooking class! You are so talented! I couldn’t have asked for someone better to write about my business. I was saying to my sister that after reading the review, I felt even more inspired and motivated to keep doing what I do!” - Alisha Duret, La Oliva Gluten-Free Kitchen

Whether you're looking to commission a memoir or for assistance editing and reworking your memoir, contact me today to discuss your Living Legacy.