Fredric Sinclair, CT
Fredric discovered his love of helping people tell their stories and hone their voices teaching creative writing at Boston University, where he earned his MFA. Since then, he has worked as a freelance writer and developmental editor helping authors write their memoirs—from an AIDS survivor to a priest turned pothead to a successful doctor who almost lost it all. Fredric’s own stories have been published in literary journals, he has written and produced plays in New York City, and he’s been awarded writing fellowships and residencies to develop his craft. In addition to his writing career, Fredric has worked to support humanitarian causes all his life, including healthcare and environmental justice organizations. When it comes to book projects, he is not shy of difficult material and has a particular interest in elevating stories of people overcoming adversity in all walks of life.
As a StoryTerrace writer, Fredric interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know him better by reading his autobiographical anecdote below.
Radio Killed the Cable News Star
At the height of Hurricane Sandy, when the lights were flickering, I was watching the local news stations, Facebooking, and web surfing away when suddenly my TV went to snow. I tried to reload the browser on my laptop and got a connection error. My last hope was my iPhone, but didn’t have a Wi-Fi connection. The Internet was out.
In an instant, I had lost contact with the outside world. I couldn’t even place a phone call since I used my cell as my main line. True, I was in New York City, surrounded by people. I could knock on a neighbor’s door in an emergency. But whereas only moments ago I had been connected to the outside world in every way imaginable — now I had virtually no way to communicate during one of the greatest natural disasters the city had ever seen.
I sat back on my couch and looked up at the ceiling, feeling helpless, vulnerable, the tree outside lashing my window with each progressively powerful gust.
Then it struck me: I had a portable radio! I had bought it for Tropical Strom Irene a year earlier but never needed it. I unearthed it from the dusty cupboard above my stove and found the batteries I had bought for it. I plopped them in and switched it on.
Ah, voices! Music! Information! I dialed down to News Radio 88. The familiar voices of their news team soothed me even if what they were reporting was not so soothing. Less sensationalistic than TV anchors, the radio newscasters were somehow more engaging in their minute-by-minute, play-by-play rundown of events. The Internet had gone down just before New York harbor began to inundate lower Manhattan. The station had a man live on the ground in the Battery, running over to Broadway and Rector, then over to the Financial District, then up to Brooklyn Bridge, reporting on everything he was seeing. And what he was seeing, by his description and the sound of his rising voice, was unimaginable, historic, and horrific.
With Facebook and cable news, I was more distracted than anything. With radio news, I was absolutely riveted. That’s the first time I truly realized the power of words, of listening and imagining what people are experiencing by the words they are using. Without pictures, it takes thought and imagination to piece a story together. I got more of a sense of the power of the storm that night than in all the days after when my Internet finally returned.
The spoken word. Storytelling at its finest. A lesson learned as a writer.
Get in touch today to work with Fredric!