LifeBook can help you piece together those items, anecdotes and memories to create an incredible book, a story of your life to treasure for yourself and future generations to come.
What is it like to work with LifeBook to write your life story, and where do you start?
Alice Horne began her journey when she picked up the phone to call LifeBook in 2020, having seen their advert. She had wanted to make a record of her family history for many years but never managed to achieve it. Following her call, she was soon introduced to her specifically matched interviewer, Stephen Ross, and Louise Hall, her project manager. Both of whom are named in the dedication to her book, which speaks volumes about their role in helping her to create it. The process involves a series of in-depth interviews, which are then written up and proofread to create each chapter of the book. Alice found this to be a ‘first-class’ system. Talking through her past with Stephen in each interview made the creation of her book possible, and she describes his work as ‘absolutely fantastic’.
Give the LifeBook team a call on 0808 296 6071 today and begin your storytelling journey.
What goes into the book?
The books can be structured thematically or chronologically and will cover exactly what you would like. Carefully conducted interviews help organise your recollections into a coherent structure and can draw on photos and documents as well as beautifully written accounts of key moments from your life. The interview process is wonderful for reminiscing over fond memories as well as unearthing details that might have otherwise been forgotten.
Friends who know Alice well say her ‘voice comes through very clearly’, and that her style and story has been accurately captured within her book. From her early years in Malta, to her time at London’s Royal Academy of Music, to her work singing arias as she served up beef stew (which ‘went down a treat’), these beautiful books cover it all. She also mentions
her family, her parents, husband and children and their early years in her LifeBook, which is a wonderful way to include others’ stories alongside your own. Small family moments are placed against a background of larger political events making these books an incredible source of social history as well as touching family mementos.
What is most enjoyable, rewarding and interesting about creating your book?
Talking to Alice, she said writing the book was a fantastic way to ‘Get it off my chest’, and there’s certainly a cathartic element to the process. Alice’s story ‘…Could Be Of Interest’ covers many of her life’s incredible moments, for example, her experience escaping from Hungary with her mother when their lives were in danger. It’s very rewarding to share your family’s culture, history and heritage, and create something for prosperity.
It’s also a great way to relive and savour happy times. Alice recalls her first singing performance, age 6, wearing a pale pink dress, white shoes and socks, singing her heart out with a group of ENSA performers as back up, a picture-perfect moment to keep, set down for prosperity.
How to begin conversations about your family’s past
Perhaps this has inspired you to look more into your own past or have a chin wag with some family members about their own lives. Maybe you wonder why you love music, are good with numbers or love to travel? A conversation with a family member can illuminate elements of your own character you always wondered about.
Alice remembers having lovely evenings with her father, talking about his younger days over glasses of malt whisky. It can be hard to ask parents personal questions but sitting with her father on a balcony and sharing a drink meant Alice was treated to an abundance of fantastic family anecdotes, so much so that ‘without that, there would be no beginning to the book’. Her advice is to sit down with your parents, your grandparents, forget about modern technology and have a good conversation. If you learn and understand their experiences, you might choose to live your own life differently.
Ask the Interviewer
Stephen Ross has been an interviewer for 35 LifeBook authors, including Alice’s. He shares his insight on the LifeBook journey and the role he has to play in the creation of each one.
Could you describe your role in creating a LifeBook?
I see my role as supporting the author to produce the stories of their life that they would like to set down for their friends, family and those still to come. In most cases, they thoroughly enjoy the journey remembering and retelling the details of their lives. Often my questioning brings back their memories of events that they had completely forgotten.
What do you enjoy most about it?
Building a rapport with the author so that they feel comfortable in relating their stories. On quite a number of occasions, they will comment that they have told me things that even their closest friends and family are unaware of.
What are you most proud of?
Each book is unique to the author. Some know exactly what they want to set down whereas others are anxious and uncertain, perhaps their family has persuaded them to write their autobiography. It’s most rewarding to help the anxious authors to produce their book and see their pride when the project is completed.
LifeBook offers the perfect way to share your life experience and include others’ stories who did not have a chance to share theirs. It’s also a great gift to give to a loved one.
Create a precious heirloom for your children, grandchildren and beyond, a cathartic experience creating a story which only you can tell. If it’s something you’ve wanted to do for a long time, then don’t put it off any longer, Alice puts it simply by saying she is ‘Delighted and thrilled with the end result of what I’ve been wanting to do for many years.’
Give the LifeBook team a call on 0808 296 6071 today and begin your storytelling journey or visit their website for more information lifebookuk.com.