An Extraordinarily Beautiful Memoir
by Jack Dermody
At a Phoenix Publishing & Book Promotion Meetup, it was enough for me to just glance quickly at Jan Krulick-Belin’s brand new memoir, Love Bill. The cover itself is a work of beauty. I met Jan a few days later for coffee, where I got to feel the pages, look at the photographs, and become awestruck with the research and careful thought that went into the production of this self-published masterpiece.
Love Bill is a bittersweet story of knowing one’s father only at an early age, losing him, then having to play detective many years later to discover who Dad really was, what his relationship with Mom was, and why his unique character was a great reason for family pride for generations to come.
Jan spared no amount of time or money to create this work of love. Everything you read about successful self-publishing you will find in Love Bill. An artful cover, high-level mainstream editing, the right choice of fonts, and a stellar overall design. She not only used her research skills for the project (as former Education Director at the Phoenix Art Museum), but detailed the work in painstakingly delivered references.
If you have ever researched your ancestors, you know how valuable a memoir like this can be. Most of the time, you are limited to core documents like birth certificates and obituaries. One rarely gets the whole story about their ancestors. Names and dates are boring, but stories are precious gifts.
In my own research for ancestors, I stumbled upon an uncle who turned out to be a novelist of note in the last century, friendly with the likes of Anais Nin. The best news was that his most important novel was simply a thinly disguised autobiography of himself and the family around him at an early age.
Writing a memoir is a special gift to generations perhaps hundreds of years in the future, so I believe we should all consider doing it. Believe me, good documents and good stories are more precious than diamonds. Everybody says they want to write, but few people do. If you are actually writing, then you might want to indulge yourself a glance at Jan’s memoir. With her as a role model, get crackin’ on your own (memoir) writing.
Jack Dermody teaches Personality as a Second Language and is a national group facilitator and corporate trainer; textbook author in linguistics and psychology; and author of Job Interviewers: Get Inside Their Heads. He is formerly published with Prentice-Hall, ELS Language Services.