Those of you that have known me a little while may know that I am currently working on a book about my late father, Alan Carter.
My dad was a larger-than-life figure, who was a role model to me and many others. I’ve decided that this is the year that I need to finish the book, as of course, memories are fading. The people I need to speak to that remember my dad are getting older, and I just need to get this done.
I have a few chapters under my belt already, and they were enjoyable to write. I enjoyed researching about my dad’s grandparents as I didn’t know too much about them. Even my Dad’s own father, he hadn’t told us very much about him growing up, so it was interesting for me to explore why that was the case.
Most helpfully though, my dad had written several detailed accounts of highlights from his childhood and youth. These were invaluable as they were rich in detail and full of mischievous exploits. Having these accounts, plus the input from my dad’s younger brother, Chris, meant that writing about the early part of my dad’s life was effortless, I could let his words do the talking.
The next couple of chapters were ok too, I have my own memories of growing up, so have been able to draw on those. The later chapters I’ve been finding much harder. I left home pretty much at the age of 18 to go travelling and then off to university, so I don’t have the same first-hand lens through which to view everything.
Also, I hit a particular block that lots of biography/memoir writers hit. You can’t cover a person’s whole life chronologically, as it falls into too much repetition. You need those natural story arcs and themes to carry it through. I had an idea of themes to pick up for the second half of my dad’s life, but with an exceptionally busy year last year work-wise I had no mental space left for creativity. So, this is the year.
I have recognized for a long time that I need some professional input to help me with this task. I have looked at various book coaches over the last couple of years, but no-one seemed exactly right. I have now found a book coach that is a good fit. We had our first meeting a week ago (which was amazing) and she gave me some great suggestions to the many questions I had about how to proceed.
And that’s also the reason for this blog. Now that I have a plan, to have the manuscript written by July, and the book published (I’ll be self-publishing) by November, I need to connect with potential readers! If you are someone that will be interested in the book, please hit follow on this blog, as I’ll be using this blog to update progress and announce when it’s ready.
Also – if you were a friend of my dad’s or worked with him, and you have a story or experience to share – please do get in touch, I’m actively looking to fill in some gaps and to paint a picture of the fabulous life that he made along with so many of you.
2 thoughts on “‘It’s a Challenge: The life and adventures of Alan Carter’ My book goal for 2023”
Hi Rachel, I know nothing about blogging. Did your father go to Zambia at some time?
Hi Janet. Yes, he went to Zambia for work a few times – there’s some stories about that in his blog here: https://breakingrods.blogspot.com/search?q=zambia