Today I’d like to share a wonderful interview I had with Kathleen Aherne over at her generous blog – Bloggers Lifestyle. I was just ecstatic when Kathleen wanted to interview me on Writing Memoir. Kathleen also invites bloggers to add one of our blog post links to her Friday posts with a chance to meet and mingle with other writers and bloggers and asks that we click on any of the links on the list, go visit that post and meet a new blogger. I was also honored to have been chosen a few times for the Bloggers Pit Stop feature of the week on her blog. Please enjoy!
Writing Memoir with author Debby Gies
Debby Gies is an accomplished nonfiction memoir author, writing under the name of D.G. Kaye. She writes about life, matters of the heart and women’s issues. I have read her first book entitled Conflicted Hearts. Any good book will keep your interest; a great book feels like you are right there feeling what the characters are experiencing. Conflicted Hearts is such a book, and that is why I read it cover to cover in one day. The sequel to this book has just been published.
Emotions of Writing Memoir
Reading old journals and delving into the past can be an emotional rollercoaster. Do you have advice on how to use these emotions positively and not be swamped by them?
It’s hard to escape the emotions arising when we re-visit painful past hurts. Writing memoir is different from writing fiction because it’s hard to separate our feelings from our words. I like to dissect my memories and look at the reasoning behind the emotion.
I’m a truth-teller, always looking to resolve conflict. The way I process my thoughts about hurts that I harbor within is to find a release for them, usually through my writing. For me, writing helps analyze things and put them in a perspective. My writing isn’t to convict anyone, rather to expose the problem and share how I dealt with my problems; solving my own anxieties from my situations and hopefully leaving a message for others.
This was why I wrote my newest book, the sequel to Conflicted Hearts, PS. I Forgive You, because I knew I had to find resolution and peace within myself for closure from the decision I made to finally abandon my narcissistic mother, and live with that decision after she died. I couldn’t write about it until I experienced the feelings I would go through.
Consulting Family Members
Do you consult with other family or friends to clarify your recollections of past events?
Yes I do. It’s funny though, writing in memoir is writing our truth, the truth as WE know it and remember it. I remember much more than my siblings do because I was the eldest and I took the brunt of my mother’s wrath for years.
I’m also an empath, very in-tune to other’s feelings. I was aware of the discord I grew up in while my siblings chose to tune out. I often spoke about incidents with my siblings and friends who were witness to situations I encountered in my younger life. In my newest book, I did many interviews with various family members.
Permissions and Disguising Identities
As a memoir writer do you need permission to name others mentioned in the story? Do you ever disguise people or place names to protect identities?
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