You may be wondering what to expect. Well, here’s a glance at how the process generally works. Feel free to tweak this process as you feel is necessary:
- Let’s talk. We’ll meet to discuss what you’re hoping to achieve, and the options available from John Peel – Life Preserver. Whose story is it? Should we focus on one person, one event, a whole family? My bread-and-butter is the story, and I’m eager to take the next step and put the story in book form. A short video is also a possibility. If a face-to-face meeting can’t be arranged, we can do this by phone.
- The interview process. With your help I’ll arrange to interview you, your parents, your friends, former teachers and coaches – whoever plays a key part in the story. At this time I’ll also begin collecting photos to use for the book.
- Research. I’ll listen again to the interviews, do some historical research to put events into context, do a little bit of genealogical sleuthing, and contact interviewees to answer questions or for more information.
- Writing. Using interviews and research, I’ll craft a story, highlighting common themes, funny anecdotes, and important events. Depending on how long a story you’re looking for, the number of interviews, and the amount of research necessary, this can take a couple days for a basic story up to weeks or months for a novel-length story.
- Book design. I’ve written many human-interest stories over the last couple of decades, but I’ve also spent many years as a newspaper page designer. I enjoy this stage almost as much. Along with photos I can add maps and even an ancestral chart or timeline to spruce up your pages.
- Editing and proofing. It’s your book, and I’m not a success if you’re not pleased with the work. I will send you a draft of the story, and you can make changes. I will also send you proofs of the pages, and you will have the same chance to make alterations. I suggest we meet again at this point.
- Printing. I’ll send the proofs to the printer, and in a week or so we’ll see the final product!