storyical the podcast

Patricia Hamilton is owner and CEO of Park Place Publication, and Keepers of our culture imprint. Patricia started writing about personal history when taking journalism in high school. She gravitated into publishing other people's memoirs after she finished her initial career. Patricia is a book publisher and Personal Historian and describes her job as going from getting the words from a client to putting it on the internet.

Today we talk about two things ? the magic of memoir writing, and the second is how Patricia got her town to write a book.

 Her latest book is not by a single author but sourced by residents and visitors to Pacific Grove. She never planned the project, it just happened! Whilst she was teaching a free writing class, she mentioned to one of the participants that the stories everyone was writing were so good they should be in a book, but would need illustrating. Fortunately, he was an illustrator, and offered to do the illustrating if Patricia published the book. The book is called "Life in Pacific Grove California, Personal Stories by Residents and Visitors". It's the seventh book she has done on the same type she started in high school, a book based on a questionnaire Patricia devises. The book has over 400 contributors to the book and is over 500 pages long.

 The way people were encouraged to send in their stories was via a web page specially set up to accept their stories. The value of the book woke up the town to the value of telling our stories. A publication date was set, and its release date coincided with celebrating Pacific Grove as Butterfly town.

Patricia also talks about the magic of memoir. Memoir can teach us so much about ourselves. The time for reflections lets us look at our lives in a different light, and adult perspective on a child's struggles for example.

Patricia gave advice to those who have not yet started to write their life story. She says that you don't need to figure it all out before you get started. You might not be able to remember the details of your life at certain stages, but you don't need to. Just write down one thought, and your brain will do the rest, bringing up memories you thought you had forgotten. Get a ream of paper and keep it in a conspicuous place. When you see it, write down just a sentence or two describing a story that you want to write further about. Pretend the thought police are coming the next day, and tonight you have to write down all the memories you don't want them to erase. Then when you have the desire, sit down and write out in full about one of those topics. Keep it up and you will have a memoir written.

Contact Patricia Hamilton at

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