What's a Raconteur?

rac·on·teur
/ˌräˌkänˈtər/

A person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way; a storyteller; a narrator

Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Raconteur

Meet Olivia

Co-founder / Life Story Writer / Chief Editor

Olivia Savoie grew up in the South, surrounded by incredible storytellers. Grandparents, neighbors, and relatives shared captivating stories around the dinner table. Her grandmothers both spoke French as their native language and would sprinkle French words into their stories. They referred to story time as “Raconteur Time,” which meant “Storyteller Time.” 

After graduating from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelor of Arts in English and history, she knew that she wanted to find a career that blended her two passions. Then, her grandmothers made her remember a third passion: family stories. 

Raconteur was born out of the desire to preserve Olivia’s family’s stories. She interviewed her Mimi and Granny and became engulfed in their tales of childhood adventure, early married life, and overcoming obstacles. After the interviews, she wrote and published their life stories for her family to enjoy. 

And then she wondered if other families had access to this invaluable gift—if other families could open a book tomorrow or in 20 years and read about their beloved family members.

She writes life stories and works with the team that creates lasting family heirlooms. The stories Raconteur documents are breathtaking, beautiful, one-of-a-kind, and immeasurably important to families.

Raconteur photo - Olivia
Raconteur photo - Joshua

Meet Joshua

Co-Founder / Project Manager

Joshua Savoie graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelor of Business Administration in both finance and management. After losing two grandparents unexpectedly, Joshua realized how little he knew about their life stories. Now, he is honored to help other families avoid his regret by capturing memories that would otherwise die with their owner. Joshua corresponds with our storytellers and their families, schedules interviews, and ensures our clients have smooth life story preservation journeys.

Meet Emily

Life Story Writer

Emily holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in philosophy from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s in philosophy from Ohio State University, and another Master’s in library and information science from LSU. Emily is the author of two novels, Louisiana Saves the Library and Ava’s Place, and has worked as both a reporter and a features writer. As a life story writer, she is fascinated by the people she encounters and the stories she is privileged to preserve for their loved ones.

Raconteur photo - Emily
Raconteur photo - Amy

Meet Amy

Life Story Writer

Amy Schwarzenbach, who calls Lafayette, Louisiana home, earned a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in art history and history from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, and a Master's in library and information science from LSU. Amy has a wide-ranging business writing background, including grant writing. As an avid reader of both history and biography, Amy knows every person has a story to share and has a family who wants to preserve it. She loves recording individual’s life experiences for future generations to treasure.

Meet Valerie

Editor

Valerie Andrews is an editor living in the greater New Orleans area. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in
journalism from Northwestern State University and a Master of Journalism from LSU. She has
worked extensively in PR and advertising, as well as held editorial positions for two magazines and
faculty positions at various universities. She has been published in textbooks, academic journals, and
national and regional magazines. Valerie is honored to be part of the process of documenting life
stories.

Raconteur photo - Valerie
Raconteur photo - Mary

Meet Mary

Book Designer

Mary Karnath Duhé earned her Bachelor of Arts in history and Master of Arts in public history from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She has been designing books since 2012 for the UL Press and since 2018 for Raconteur Story Writing Services. Laying out and designing life story books bridges her loves for history and design and allows her the opportunity to create gifts that will always be cherished.

Meet Abby

Book Designer

Abby Meaux Conques is a native of Lafayette, Louisiana who holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass
communications and advertising and a Master of Arts in creative writing. A graphic designer with 16
years of experience, she loves weaving her penchant for design with storytelling. Although she was
always intrigued by stories of human connection and believed that every family's story holds points
of interest and captivation, after losing her father unexpectedly in 2019, she gained an even deeper
appreciation for the art of storytelling and memory documentation. She is honored to have a hand in
the process of crafting other families' legacy books.

Raconteur photo - Abby
Raconteur photo - Taylor

Meet Taylor

Proofreader

Taylor Doyle can’t remember a time when she wasn’t absolutely in love with reading. Over the years, she gravitated toward the grammar side of language. This Louisiana native is meticulous and detail-oriented, so the proofreading role fits her flawlessly. She especially loves proofreading life story books, finding it richly rewarding to achieve excellence in lasting family heirlooms.  

Contact Raconteur

The subject(s) of the book will communicate their story to a writer.
The subject(s) of the book has passed away and other loved ones will relay their story to the writer.
The subject(s) of the book has written pieces of their life story, but needs a writer to add to and refine the work for publication
Other

Are you ready to learn more about preserving your loved one's life story?


Let's Get Started

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