Case Study: Peter Kysel

Peter Kysel - Age of Storms from Story Terrace “You are an enemy of the State”- this is how Peter Kysel’s story begins. Peter enjoyed a family-centred childhood in Prague. But all this changed when he was a teenager, and the State turned against him. He was persecuted for his father’s former social class, banned from further education and publicly stigmatised. Ultimately, Peter was driven into exile. Despite discrimination, traumas, and self-doubt, Peter secured a place to study at Oxford University, where he found sanctuary. Now Peter has written his first autobiography - ‘Age Read more

The Memory Prompt Cheat Sheet: How to Write Your Biography, Life Story or Memoir

Wondering how to write your biography? Whether you are writing yourself, or working with a ghostwriter, it can be hard to know where to start and what to include. At Story Terrace, we often use memory prompts to kick-start the process - easy and fun questions designed to jog your memory and bring back moments you haven't thought about for years. It's the perfect first step, and something you can later assemble into a timeline or structure for your story. We’ve hand-picked 65 of our favourite memory prompts to share with you. You can check out 9 example prompts right here on the blog - but make Read more

10 Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing a Ghostwriter!

In the age of the internet, it can seem easier than ever to find people to help with… almost anything! From laundry, to taxis, and even writing your life story, memoir or autobiography. Unfortunately, when it comes to choosing a ghostwriter for your book, it’s all too easy to make a costly mistake - especially if you are a relative newcomer. When you’re investing in something as important as your own story, you don’t want to choose the wrong person: you could find you have to abandon the project halfway through and start again; or worse, that you get the finished product, and it bears Read more

Writing Your Life Story? Our 7 Must Reads!

You’re writing your life story. So far so good - but writer’s block can get in the way of reaching your potential. In this article, we’re focusing on the creative solution to writer's block: Inspiration. Therefore, we’ve rounded up 7 of the most inspirational blogs to help write your memoir, autobiography or life story. Check them out! 1. Positive Writer Positive Writer is a blog for writers and all creative people. Created by writer, Bryan Hutchinson, it provides tips on overcoming fear and doubt. So if you find yourself stuck in doubt or uncertain of your abilities, then this blog Read more

Writing therapy: How writing your life story can benefit your health

Did you know that writing about yourself can benefit your physical and mental health? It may sound strange - but multiple scientific studies have shown that the simple act of putting pen to paper reduces the risk of depression and other illnesses. In the last two decades, research has demonstrated that writing about painful memories and traumas can be an effective form of therapy. More recently, scientists have found that writing about yourself in a positive sense is also linked to better health. Either way, the claim is the same: writing about yourself is good for you! Let's review the Read more

7 Amazing Apps & Sites to help you Write Your Autobiography

Old Manual Typewriter
Writing your life story can be difficult. Even if you think it through carefully, everything ends up looking different on paper. To give you a hand, we have gathered a list of useful websites and apps that will definitely help you write your autobiography! So, here are 7 of our favourites: 1. Organise your ideas with Evernote Evernote helps you gather your thoughts and have them available on all your devices. With this app, you can easily create multiple notes, project to-do lists and archive what has been written as well as share your ideas with others.   2. Focus on your Read more

Dear Dad: The Secret Story of Father’s Day

When thinking of your father, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Hard work providing for you when you were young? Tough love to make sure you did well in school? Or what about his old stories - past adventures that taught you so much about life? Every dad is different, but we can all agree that fathers can be true heroes: protectors, advisers, and even friends. It’s Father's Day this month, so today we’re looking at all things dad related: The Mysterious History of Father’s Day How Rutger Bruining’s grandfather inspired him to start Story Terrace How you can get your Read more

How to Capture Your Parents’ Life Stories

How much do you really know about your parents’ lives? So many stories took place before you were born, or were old enough to understand. Your parents know your whole history – but chances are you only know a fraction of theirs. As our parents get older, these stories start to become more important to us. We want to preserve our memories – we don’t want these irreplaceable memories to be lost. A Story Terrace biography is a great way to ensure your parents' stories will last the generations. However you want to record your parents’ life stories, the first step is to start talking. Read more

How Story Terrace matches you with your perfect ghostwriter!

Congratulations! You’ve decided you want your very own beautifully bound Story Terrace book. Our professional ghostwriters will help you to make your life story the best it can be. The next step is to find your writer. With the largest pool of specialist ghostwriters in the world, part of what makes Story Terrace unique is our ability to pair you with your perfect biographer. As our Managing Editor Alice Nightingale says, “we pride ourselves on matching our clients with their ghostwriters carefully.”  That means you can rest assured that you will work with a writer who can capture Read more

The most sentimental gift for your parents

With mother’s day approaching fast, we’re thinking about gifts to give our parents. Every year a plethora of occasions - birthdays, Christmases, anniversaries - call for a new and different gift. Just buying something expensive isn’t enough to show you care - it’s the thought behind the present that counts. So here is a unique idea - what gift could be more loving than capturing your parents’ life stories in a memoir or biography? At Story Terrace, we bring together family stories to create beautiful books. Our specialist writers can tease out your parents’ memories, and carefully Read more

How to capture your parents’ life stories

How much do you really know about your parents’ lives? So many stories took place before you were born, or were old enough to understand. Your parents know your whole history - but chances are you only know a fraction of theirs. As our parents get older, these stories start to become more important to us. A lot of us turn our minds to making a record - we don’t want these irreplaceable memories to be lost. A Story Terrace biography is a great way to ensure your parents stories will last the generations. However you want to record your parents’ life stories, the first step is to start Read more

“Writing my life story” An interview with a Story Terrace customer!

In this blog article, we’re interviewing Story Terrace customer David Taylor to find out how he found the process of writing his life story, ‘A legitimate life’ and how he found working with ghostwriter Lisa Chilvers! Confused about what a ghostwriter is? Click here for more information. Why did you decide to write your life story? Having been born in 1939, as my life has progressed into my late 70s, along the way, I’d often thought about writing my life story down. This was spurred on by the fact that my forbears have left no ‘footprints’ of their lives, so all that I have to Read more

Interview with Row Smith about her experience writing The Earth Moved

People write their memoirs for many reasons: some want to record family stories for future generations; some want to reflect on their experiences; and some people - like Row Smith -  decide to share their story to make a difference in the world. As a survivor of the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, she has used her story to raise thousands of pounds for victims of the disaster. Read on to discover Row’s incredible story, and her experience of creating her charity memoir, ‘The Earth Moved’. In April 2015, Row and her husband Tom embarked on the adventure of a life time: trekking through Nepal’s Read more

True love stories: Issy and Steve

In the run-up to Valentine’s day, we’re blogging about some of the amazing true love stories our customers have shared with us. One of our favourites is from Isabella Matthews memoir, 'Being Issy'. "Maybe it’s not about the length of time you’ve known someone; maybe it’s about instant recognition. On an unconscious level, our souls knew each other". It was later in life when Isabella and Steve met on a holiday to Benidorm. Their meeting seemed almost an act of fate; Issy should have already gone back home, but her friend had accidentally booked a few more days, and Steve had Read more

True love stories: Stanley and Anneliese

This Valentine’s day, we’re blogging about an amazing true love story our customer has shared with us. ‘Stanley and Anneliese’ was commissioned by Jenn Clark for her husband Dominic. It charts the lifelong romance of Dominic’s grandparents, who met in the aftermath of World War II. Our story begins in 1945 when Stanley, an English corporal, and Anneliese, a young German woman, met by chance on the banks of the River Bode. Annoyed at the presence of British soldiers, who had occupied her home and seized her possessions after Germanys defeat in WW2, Anneliese marched up and told Read more

True love stories: Simon and Becky

In the run-up to Valentine’s day, we’re blogging about some of the amazing true love stories our customers have shared with us. One of our favourites is in Simon Wilkinson’s memoir, ‘A Lifelong Springtime of the Heart’: (You can read an extract of Simon’s book ) In 1970 Simon was a young Police Constable, yet to realise his destiny was to become a priest. One day, he and a friend stumbled into the local nurses’ residences, to ask if anyone wanted to come out. He wasn’t expecting anyone to say yes - but fate intervened. Becky, who had just come off shift, was happy to oblige. Read more

The power of true life stories

Stories have the power to captivate a reader - dazzle them into anger, or happiness or bewilderment.  They grip the imagination, and can transport you into a different world. “Stories are important, the monster said. They can be more important than anything. If they carry the truth.” Patrick Ness,  A Monster Calls Still, we all have that one friend who won’t read a book or watch a film if it isn’t based in reality. Why? Why does it matter if these stories are true or not? This blog article explores this very question. True life stories are relatable Reading a fantasy novel Read more

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

Behind the cover? Ghostwriting for success

What is ghostwriting? The term ‘ghostwriting’ might conjure imagery of some dark ethereal being haunting the living by wielding a pen. But in reality, a text is ‘ghostwritten’ when someone besides the named author wrote it. It could be a novel, an autobiography, lyrics, a script or just about anything else you can put down on paper or in pixels. Simple! Read What is Ghostwriting? for more information. As a process, it can be more complicated. At Story Terrace, ghostwriters are meticulously matched with customers to create life stories. Story Terrace Managing Editor Alice Nightingale Read more


Living life to the fullest
Everyone is the author of their own unique life story. Therefore, it is not surprising that at some point in our lives most of us ask the question: am I living my life to the fullest? It’s easy to get stuck in a routine where you continuously repeat the same day over and over again, and yet expect something amazing to occur. Albert Einstein famously defined insanity as the process of “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” It falls to you to take your destiny into our own hands. If you want a beautiful story, pick up a pen and start writing. Robert, Read more

What does Remembrance Day mean to you?

Remembrance Day Poppies
Remembrance Day is a memorial day in which the Commonwealth nations remember and pay their respects to the brave men and women of the armed forces, who gave their lives in the line of duty. In most countries it takes place on 11th November, signifying the end of all hostilities in World War I at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. The red remembrance poppy has become the iconic emblem associated with Remembrance Day. The poppy came to be associated with this day due to the actions of a professor at the University of Georgia named Moina Michael, who penned the poem ‘We 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 much do you really know about your parents & grandparents?

H ow much do you really know about your parents & grandparents? Do you ever wish you had a record of their lives before you were born? Dominic Clark had fond memories of his glamorous grandmother and lively grandfather. He knew they met in the aftermath of World War II - Stanley a British soldier, Anneliese a young German girl. As the family story went, Stanley was lovestruck when he came across Anneliese emerging from a dip in the river near a German village. But details of their life story were thin on the ground. That all changed when Dominic turned 40. In secret, his wife Jenn Read more

Three Women, Three Powerful Life Stories

H ave you ever tried to keep a diary? It can be challenging to keep up the discipline - but fascinating to look back in later years at how you felt. But what if you don't have a record? Or you want to turn your experiences into something you can share with your family and friends? Today we are looking at three women - Sue Hodges, Ichko Gomobodorj, and Teresa Samuels - who have tried a new approach. Working with a professional writer & interviewer from private biographers Story Terrace, they created their very own memoirs. These women are part of an emerging trend - ordinary people creating Read more

How to Collect and Record Memories

Turning the meaningless into the meaningful We record memories and keep mementos, often unconsciously, on a daily basis. We know the stories behind the photos and trinkets we keep, but to a stranger, our collection is meaningless.  For example, you may pick up a photo of yourself with friends, sitting around a table. You look fondly at the picture, chuckling 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? Now imagine this same photo, but with the caption: ‘The gang, aged Read more