A person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way; a storyteller; a narrator
Olivia Savoie grew up hearing her grandparents tell captivating personal stories. After graduating from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelor of Arts in English and history, Olivia interviewed her grandmothers and became engulfed in their recollections. She wrote and published their life stories for her family to cherish.
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.
Since then, Olivia co-founded Raconteur and has personally written more than 40 life story books for people around the country and world. She has carved out her place as a master craftsman of family heirloom life story books.
Olivia was honored to be named Louisiana’s honorary secretary of state and to be featured in more than 30 newspaper and magazine articles, radio shows, and TV news programs. She speaks to audiences about her passion for and the importance of life story preservation.
Olivia’s love for her subjects is at the forefront of every life story book she crafts. When that love is combined with her interview skills, meticulous attention to detail, and prowess for capturing each individual’s voice, the end results are treasured, page-turning narratives.
Joshua Savoie graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelor of Science in 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.
Emily holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in philosophy from the University of Minnesota, a Master of Arts in philosophy from Ohio State University, and another Master of Science in library and information science from LSU. Emily is the author of two novels and has worked as both a reporter and 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.
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 of Science in library and information science from LSU. Amy has a diverse writing background, including grant writing. As an avid reader of both history and biography, she knows every person has a story to share and has a family who wants to preserve it. She loves recording individuals' life experiences for future generations to treasure.
Cheré is an award-winning journalist and author living in Atlanta, Georgia. A native of New Orleans, Cheré began her career in communications at the 1984 World’s Fair. She has written for magazines such as Variety, TravelAge West, AAA, Forbes, and many other publications and blogs. She has also authored more than a dozen novels and history books. She is especially enthusiastic about life story writing. Cheré has worked with countless people to capture their stories by teaching life story writing classes, editing manuscripts, and being a part of the Raconteur team.
Alyson Rockhold is a native Houstonian who has also lived in Tanzania, Haiti, and Zambia. She holds two master's degrees from Arcadia University and has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers. Alyson is a full-time ghostwriter who helps others achieve their book-writing dreams. She is also president of the board of the Divine Mercy Centre, a ministry that serves the elderly in Tanzania.
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 magazines and faculty positions at various universities. She has been published in textbooks, academic journals, and regional and national magazines. Valerie is honored to be part of the process of documenting life stories.
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 for over a decade. Designing life story books bridges her loves for history and design and allows her the opportunity to create gifts that will always be cherished.
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, both from ULL. 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, she gained an even deeper appreciation for the art of storytelling and memory documentation. She is honored to have a part in the process of crafting family legacy books.
Taylor Doyle earned her Bachelor of Liberal Arts from Louisiana Christian University. She 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.
Sydney Guidry earned a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. At Raconteur, Sydney's love of books unites with her love for history. She takes pride in helping the Raconteur team and researching storytellers' family histories.