Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Karen Tyrrell Talks Writing and Editing her Memoir

The prize draw will be held at mid-day Monday 21st EST (Australia)  21/05/2012

Today I welcome Karen Tyrrell who is answering some curious questions about writing and editing her memoir Me & Her: A Memoir of Madness..

Writing & Editing Process ME & HER: A Memoir of Madness
1.        How did you go about reconstructing the scenes that took place during one of your later memory blanks?
My husband helped me to remember those traumatic memories which I had suppressed.  With his hot-poker reminders and fish oil supplements, my memory eventually returned.
2.        Did you find it difficult to distance yourself from the material during the editing process?
I wrote about the most traumatic events in my life, first as flashbacks. When I was emotionally ready I was able to disclose those events in detail.  Beta readers, The Society of Editors and editors like you, Sally offered advice and perspective when I was “too close” to my memoir.
3.        How much, if at all, did you change the order or impact of events to make the story work AS a story?
I wrote my memoir over six years, perhaps with a hundred drafts. I changed the order of chapters and events several times. The earliest draft was a chronological biography, and then my husband suggested I start at a pivotal point when the police thumped at my motel door, demanding me to open up.
4.        How did you know when it was time to write a mental “finished!” on the Ms and go for publication?
I thought ME & HER was finished several times. After I received feedback from a publisher I would rewrite again and submit. I did this several times.  Then, I added a present day epilogue and a short introduction to each chapter from the ME, recovered perspective. Finally I sought a professional assessment, editing and a final proof read.
Writing my own personal journey into and out of mental illness was one of the most difficult things to write about. I wanted the reader to understand the two points of view, the normal ME and the manic HER.

ME & HER: a Memoir of Madness launches this week on Amazon as an eBook. To find out more about Karen Tyrrell and where to purchase ME & HER please check out her website,
http://www.karentyrrell.com .Click on BUY BOOK to purchase an eBook!

Please comment here or ask Karen a question, to be in the draw for a FREE eBook. Two copies to be won!

Follow the Tour!

ME & HER Blog Tour 14th - 20th May

14th May Kaz Delaney- Writing Inspiration http://kazdelaney.wordpress.com/

                Prachi S.Vaish - Psychologist - Interview www.hopenetwork.in

15th May Tuesday Writing Tips- Writing Memoirs http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com/

            Dr Happy – Happiness after the Gloom http://www.thehappinessinstitute.com/blog/

16th May Sally Odgers - Writing & Editing Process http://spinningpearls.blogspot.com.au/

17th May Gabrielle Sheppard, UK - Bipolar Recovery www.bi-polargirl.com/blog

18th May Natasha Tracy, Canada - Writing for Recovery http://natashatracy.com/

19th May Jill Smith- Book Review & Interview http://authorjillsmith.wordpress.com

           Kids Book Review- Mental Health Books 4 Kids http://www.kids-bookreview.com/

20th May Ang Hall - ME & HER Book Review- http://bluedingonet.wordpress.com/


Karen Tyrrell said...

Hi Sally,
Thanks so much for hosting this VIP interview of my Blog Tour.
WOW! Thanks for those really "Curly" interview questions ... You really made me think. I'll be here LIVE to answer your Readers questions. Remember everyone who comments here or asks a question about the writing and editing process, will be in the draw to WIN #2 free copies of ME & HER ... Good luck!

Dale said...

Interesting to hear Karen,how you rewrote and rearranged chapters to start at that pivotal point of the motel door. Sounds like a great supportive husband too. Hope you sell heaps, Karen.

Karen Tyrrell said...

Thanks Dale, for dropping by.
YES, once I started at the pivotal dramatic point, the narrative structure greatly improved ... Karen :)

jillwrites said...

Sally these are really questions with insight. Thank you for this interview, another great stop on the blog tour journey.

Karen Tyrrell said...

Thanks Jill for dropping in with your comment on Sally's astute interview questions.
Jill, they certainly were insightful ones, weren't they?

Peter Taylor - Author and Illustrator said...

Hmmm, yes, this is what I need to do with my work in progress. It's a sequence of events at present - but I'll work through that to the end as a draft and then I'll have to start the chopping and changing process.

I didn't realise you had spent so long on this book - huge congratulations on its release and reviews that have praised its excellence. I know Sally will have given you a lot of useful editorial advice - so I should congratulate you both. All my books have been improved by professional editing - but not all editors are equal. Sally's always provided me with amazing insights when I've asked her to assess my stories. Thanks again, Sally.

All best wishes

Peter Taylor

Karen Tyrrell said...

Hi Peter,
I agree. Finish your first draft THEN work out the sequence of events. Good luck with the redrafting and editing.
Sally is a magnificent editor. I'm so lucky to have found her!

Robyn Opie Parnell said...

Fascinating to read about the writing & editing process of ME & HER: A Memoir of Madness. Thanks for the insights, Karen and Sally. I admire your bravery and strength, Karen. You are an inspiration and I wish you great success.

Charmaine Clancy said...

Great look at the process of getting a memoir written. Well done Karen, you've taken on this project with an amazing amount of professionalism. Come chat on my blog anytime you like!

Karen Tyrrell said...

Thanks Robyn, for checking out my writing & editing process with Sally.
I really appreciate your encouraging and supporting words. Thanks x

Karen Tyrrell said...

Hi Charmaine,
Thanks for checking out this Writing & Editing stop on my blog Tour. I'd love to chat with you on your Blog sometime soon. Karen :)

Sally_Odgers said...

Thanks Karen, for adding a big upswing to my blog audience today.

Sally_Odgers said...

Thanks for visiting us Charmaine.

Sally_Odgers said...

Thanks for coming to visit, Robyn!

Sally_Odgers said...

Thanks for the kind words, Peter and Karen:-)

Sally_Odgers said...

Thank you Dale. As you see, I finally got back into my own blog.

Ani Peters said...

Hi! I lost the last post so I hope I can remember what I wrote lol. I am enjoying your blog tour very much and gaining alot of insight into your approach to writing your memoir and how writing your story helped you feel more whole again. This wonderful venture sounded quite an exhausting and creative process having to do many rewrites. How did you know which was the right publisher for you and is it true that most writers now should get a literary agent first to help with the publishing? I look forward to continuing on the blog tour tomorrow. Blessings ~

Karen Tyrrell said...

Hi Ani,
Thanks so much for supporting my Blog Tour and understanding how writing became the key to my recovery and healing.
I was determined to get my story of hope into the community, so I persisted with the rewrites.
In the end, I was offered two publishing contracts but decided not to go with them. Instead I started up my own publishing imprint and now have 100% control on ME & HER's destiny.

Kelly McDonald said...

great interview.