What's a Raconteur?


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

Meet Raconteur Writer: Amy

  1. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
     In college, I was the weirdo who loved writing papers because I loved organizing information in a cohesive and persuasive manner. Early in my career, I always sought assignments that required writing and seven years ago segued into becoming a grant writer for a nonprofit.
  2. What led you to want to become a life story writer?
     Learning of the opportunity to become a life story writer was like a dream come true. I love both the similarities and differences life story writing has from the business and grant writing I had done prior to joining Raconteur.
  3. What do you most enjoy helping your subjects with during the interview process?
     I most enjoy building a rapport with my storytellers. At first, most of them are nervous, which I completely understand. Sharing your past creates a feeling of vulnerability. I reassure them that this is their story, which empowers them to open up to me. 
  4. What was it like the first time you interviewed a subject?
    The first time I performed an interview was in early 2021, so things were already strange with the pandemic still underway. My storyteller was a lovely man in the care of hospice for the final stages of cancer. His memory of his childhood and young adulthood amazed me as did his experiences and reflections. Because he was in a lot of pain and on medication that affected him, the experience taught me to be sensitive to my storytellers’ energy levels and states of mind. 
  5. What do you enjoy most about the photo searching process?
     My favorite part of the photo searching process is finding photos of my storyteller’s parents and grandparents. Those photos usually elicit more details that the storyteller hadn’t shared when we were going through our many questions. They also brighten the storyteller’s mood as the recall happy memories.
  6. What do you enjoy most about the writing process?
     There is a point with each book at which I feel like I’ve captured that subject’s story. It is kind of like putting together a 3-D jigsaw puzzle.
  7. What is a poignant lesson you’ve learned from a subject?
     One sweet soul imparted to me the importance of telling your spouse that you think they have done a good job raising children, being a partner, etc.—not just that you love them. It is easy to take our significant other for granted and forget to share those little things that are really big.
  8. What is the most memorable story you’ve documented so far?
     That’s so tough! However, the most memorable story must be of my storyteller who spent almost three years in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in the Philippines during World War II. I had no idea American civilians including families with young children were caught up in those awful times and had to endure so much hardship. It really hit home for me that people appear to be leading ordinary lives may have borne extraordinary experiences.

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

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

Let's Get Started.

© Raconteur Life Story Writing 2024 | All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy