Why write my biography? Because your story matters

‘Biographies are for celebrities’. Bookshop shelves heave under the weight of the latest celebrity autobiographies. In 2016, the stories of Bruce Springsteen, Phil Collins, Alan Bennett and many more made the best-seller lists. Celebrity stories are a global obsession - but here’s something different: Story Terrace aims to be everyone’s personal biographer.  It’s a somewhat novel concept: we really believe everyone’s stories matter. So in this post, we’re giving you three reasons to write your memoirs. 1. You should share your experiences with your family ‘I wanted to Read more

What is a ghostwriter?

a photo of someone ghostwriting
What is a ghostwriter? There are a number of myths and misconceptions surrounding the term. To those unfamiliar with this term, the image that comes to mind when first hearing it is of an intangible, supernatural being with an unworldly passion for writing. Unfortunately for some, the true meaning of the term has no connection to the paranormal whatsoever! According to a quick Google search, a ghostwriter is ‘a person whose job it is to write material for someone else who is the named author.’ This is broadly true. However, the job of ghostwriter is far more complex and wide-ranging than this Read more

How to Collect and Record Memories

Turning the meaningless into the meaningful Collecting memories and mementoes is something most of us do, often unconsciously, on a daily basis. The advantage is that we know the stories behind the photos and trinkets we keep, but to anyone else, this collection is pretty much meaningless.  For example, you may pick up a photo of yourself with friends, sitting around a table and you might look fondly at the picture and chuckle to yourself, remembering all the events that occurred that night. But, let’s say your great-granddaughter picks up this same photo 40 years from now.What would she see? Read more

Questions to Inspire Memories and Life Stories

A great way to learn about someone’s past is to start by asking them questions about their early life. It’s not always easy to know where to start, so here’s a few ideas of questions you could lead with to inspire rich memories and life stories. Storytelling: For most people, preserving both their own stories and those of friends and family is very important, after all, that’s how we remember people after they’ve gone. Storytelling has forever been the most effective way of sharing knowledge, and as soon as we, as humans, began to record these stories, civilisation was effectively Read more

Ghostwriting: Myths and Misconceptions

Ghostwriting can be loosely defined as the process of writing a book on someone else’s behalf. The contribution of a ghostwriter varies from book to book and from writer to writer. A ghostwriter’s task can range from predominantly editing to writing a complete novel or biography based on someone else's story or idea. Outside of the publishing world, the ghostwriters existence appears to be just as elusive as their name suggests, with many people being blissfully unaware of the ghostwriters contribution to the trade fiction sector. It seems to be widely accepted that biographies and cookbooks Read more

How to Write a Memoir

First-things-first, let’s establish precisely what a memoir actually is. It is not an autobiography. An autobiography is an account of someones life written by that person. So what exactly is a memoir? Well, memoirs are personal accounts of specific memories or stories from your life; it is not a record of your entire existence. One: that would be pretty much impossible to write down, and two: that would probably be a rather boring read. Learn more about the difference between a memoir and an autobiography (What's the Difference Between a Memoir and an Autobiography?)  Memoirs, like autobiographies Read more

The Recipe for a Good Ghostwriter

Problem: you want to share your story, but you feel as though you don’t have the time or the necessary literary skill to be able to convey it properly. Solution: Ghostwriter Simple. Somewhat. Getting a ghostwriter is one thing; getting a good ghostwriter is another. Here’s what you’ll need: INGREDIENTS 2 mugs of mutual understanding 1 generous serving of empathy 1 sprinkle of flair 2 drops of clarity 6 doses of stylistic transparency 2 clean ears 0 spoons of judgment 4 helpings of industry expertise 1 dash of wit 6 spoons of patience 1 Read more

How the internet has transformed the Life Story

Thanks to Aaron for pressing the shutter release. He is himself an aspiring photographer now, thanks to the Canon AE-1 he borrowed from his dad.

Project365: 233/365
“For many years I have had a big social presence and even though I love using Facebook and Instagram and Twitter, sometimes it is hard to share your experiences on such limited spaces. I love writing and I love making pictures,” writes Ella Dvornik on her ‘I Am Ella’ life story blog. “I am not a professional writer, I am not very literate and English is not my first language so I tend to make mistakes, but I love what I do and I love doing it.” Stories are uploaded everyday. Pictures are uploaded everyday. We write, craft and shape our biographies online without even thinking about Read more

How to write a good biography

Picture by starmanseries
The best biographies are written for novel reasons. A biography aims to inform, captivate, enrage, inspire, or all of the above. They offer us an extensive insight into the life of a remarkable person. They are the lifeblood of any section marked ‘Non-Fiction’. The worst biographies are written for no reason at all. Or no real reason, anyway. They fail to capture the imagination and, as such, are often abandoned mid-way through, left unread on the dusty shelf of an obscure bookshop or marked as spam in a potential publisher’s inbox. And trust us, it happens all the time. But it doesn’t Read more

What’s the Difference Between a Memoir and an Autobiography?

Until recently, the words autobiography and memoir were distinctly separate, though similar, words that described the first-person, written depiction of the author's life. For hundreds of years, as the popularity of sharing life stories has grown, the two forms have co-existed in playful harmony. If you're reading this post, chances are you might be confused about the similarity between these two terms. It seems that people these days often use the two words interchangeably – a real disservice to the form and function of the delicate, but mighty, memoir. Well, fear not, gentle reader, because Read more

5 Incredible Memoirs & Biographies to Read Now

Looking for a new life story to read this spring? We've got you covered with this list of recently published memoirs and biographies that share amazing stories of resilience and determination.     A Different Kind of Daughter: The Girl Who Hid from the Taliban in Plain Sight by Maria Toorpakai This memoir tells the story of Maria Toorpakai, a brave young woman from northwest Pakistan who refused to let society and the Taliban dictate whether she could or could not play the sport she loved -- squash.  As a youth, she played the game by disguising herself as a boy, but later rose Read more

Q & A with Story Terrace Ghostwriter Clare Pugh

Ghostwriting life stories involves much more than simply editing another person's words. It's an entire process focussed around the storyteller, their stories and their voice. Clare Pugh, one of our skilled contemporary writers, fully understands how to bring these elements together to create engaging memoirs and biographies. In this special Q & A, we ask Clare about her experience working on Story Terrace books, providing insight into her perspective as a ghostwriter.   Your first few books for Story Terrace had been purchased as gifts by relatives. Were the recipients a Read more

It Never Gets Easier, You Just Go Faster: Cycling Tour from Milan to Nice, 2014

Each month we like to spotlight a recently finished Story Terrace book to showcase the range of titles and types of books we produce.  For February, we've brought you the story of Ian Bagshaw and Mark Dickinson and their book, It Never Gets Easier, You Just Go Faster: Cycling Tour from Milan to Nice, 2014.  Bagshaw and Dickinson came together to commemorate the outstanding dedication, and physical triumph, of 35 individuals who helped raise over £100,000 for charity. Read on... A common cause, a sense of humour and a raised glass can go a long way. After Dan and Danny passed away Read more

Sue Hodges Testimonial Video

Last month, we brought you a case study of Sue Hodges' book Don't Switch Me Off with exclusive excerpts and photos.  Today, we have a special testimonial video, in which Sue shares her personal reasons for wanting to create a bespoke book to pass on to her children and grandchildren. She also discusses her experience working with a Story Terrace ghostwriter.  Through this process, Sue was able to recount and record her exciting life story, which included many years of travel that led her from London to Turkey and finally to Greece, before returning home to the U.K. Take a moment and Read more

Holocaust Memorial Day: Ride For the Living

To commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, we would like to share a special excerpt from Robert Desmond's book Ride for the Living, produced by the Story Terrace team. After being struck by the gravity of Auschwitz during his first visit at the age of 22, Desmond decided to return, this time by bicycle from London.  He biked along the route taken by the Allies as they fought back against Hitler and chronicled his journey online to share the experience with the world. Day 18: Weiden, Germany to Pilsen, Czech Republic, 115km (1685km total) Another unforgettable day on this incredible journey Read more

How It Works: The Story Book Process | Step 6

In six simple steps, you can take part in creating your life story to save and share for generations to come. In this article, learn about the final, sixth step in the Story Terrace story book process. Once you’ve finished working with your experienced ghostwriter on making edits to your story, the finalised manuscript will be sent to your Story Terrace editor for review. Now you can sit back and let our skilled editorial team ensure your book is thoroughly edited and proofread. {Tweet: Learn about the 6th step in the @StoryTerrace biog process. Go from final manuscript to printed hardcover Read more

Out of the Darkness, Into the Light

In her biography, Into the Light, Teresa Samuels recalls her hometown of Wau in the south of Sudan, shaded by mahogany and mango trees. Despite memories of hunger and hardship, her family were happy and lived in the rich grassland of the savannah, just above the equator, where the air was sweet and fragrant with the scent of wildflowers. When Teresa was just 11, all of this changed with the onset of the Sudanese civil war. South Sudanese defence forces clashed with Arab officers from the north just miles from Teresa's school, and fifty years of fighting began. “Making this book has given me Read more

Tracing Family Genealogy Back to 1681

Sue’s story in a nutshell… Every month we like to bring you some insight on a completed Story Terrace book. Providing you with an overview of the varying biographies created with us. This month our focus is on a lady named Sue Hodges, her life story is being featured in line with our genealogy themed month. Enjoy..... Though Sue Hodges now lives a quiet life on a Gloucestershire farm, she has had more than her fair share of adventures. Full of mischief as a child, Sue grew up to be a fearless woman. In the sixties she was propped up at the bar – vodka tonic in hand, Marvin Gaye in the Read more

HOW IT WORKS THE STORY TERRACE PROCESS | STEP 5

Your own Story Book – How does it work? In six simple steps, you can take part in creating your life story to save and share for generations to come. In this article learn more about Step 5. So the main body of work has been compiled and the content of your book is starting to resemble the finished piece. This is your chance to read the story thoroughly and comment on any aspects you may feel it need's be it a tweak or even a change of stance. The ‘comment on the draft’ stage allows you to, for the first time, read your ghostwriter’s work on your project. It’s going to be quite Read more

Unique gifting ideas for the Man Who Has Everything

This month at Story Terrace it’s all about unique gifting ideas for the man that has everything... So it’s that time of year again when everyone is thinking about purchasing unique Christmas gifts but surely it’s fun and rewarding delving into our pockets to buy for the one’s we love.  That is, when it’s easy and you know what somebody wants or needs! But what about that special man in your life who owns everything? Or that elusive man in the family who honestly never reveals what he wants - what on earth do you buy for him? From the team here at Story Terrace, here are some perfect Read more

The Importance of Life Writing

In each field of research, there are those scrupulous academic wonders who know their subject down to the tiniest detail. For the study of life writing, Craig Howes is the one to talk to. The director of the Centre for Biographical Research in Hawai‘i discusses developments in Life Writing, constructing identity through Facebook, and the huge surge in interest in writing down one’s own life story. Hawai‘i as the centre A green button appears on my screen; Mister Howes is calling in from Honolulu, Hawai‘i. He opens the Skype conversation, enables the camera, and pops up dressed in Read more

HOW IT WORKS: THE STORY TERRACE PROCESS | STEP 3

In six simple steps, you can take part in creating your life story to save and share for generations to come. In this article learn more about Step 3. The Interview How? Once you’re matched with your Story Terrace accredited ghostwriter, and you’ve filled out your Story Terrace questionnaire (step 2) you will be interviewed by him or her. Your ghostwriter is there to help you find your voice and write your story in the most conscientious way. This meeting needs to be extremely beneficial to you both. You’ve been matched to you writer through us at Story Terrace so a connection Read more

HOW TO FIND THE BEST GHOSTWRITER FOR YOU

Writing your life story is not something you trust to anyone. We understand that. That’s why all Story Terrace ghostwriters are selected very carefully. All of our ghostwriters are advanced biographers, experienced interviewers and, above all, they can grasp your personality in the perfect words. Making a choice amongst that is therefore quite the task. Because who is the right match for you? To make it a bit easier, we hand to you our best tips in finding the right ghostwriter. 1. Style Every ghostwriter has his or her own style of writing. One is a skilled novelist, who finds the right Read more

Write your biography with Story Terrace

6 steps to writing your biography with Story Terrace
We’d like to share with you the process on how to write your biography with us at Story Terrace – this is a great insight into how fun and monumentally brilliant it is to create a life long keep sake, for all the special people in your life. Step 1. Meet the ghostwriter! Tell the Story Terrace team a bit about yourself and what direction you want your biography to go (you may not even know yet, but that’s ok!) We will match you with your writer- someone we feel suits your personality and will engage with you in the best possible way. Step 2. Brainstorm We supply a useful questionnaire Read more

Storytelling: The Power of Stories

By Liset Hamming, guest writer Story Terrace Storytelling: On the Power of Stories ‘When the first men started telling stories to one another, so came an end to Chaos’. Imme Dros, Greek Myths, from Vertel, over de kracht van verhalen (Storytelling: On the Power of Stories) by Christien Brinkgreve, 2014. Christien Brinkgreve, until recently a professor of social sciences at Utrecht University, argues in her latest book Vertel, over de kracht van verhalen for the importance of stories. ‘It’s through stories that we learn how to empathise with others, and in this way the real world becomes Read more

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