If I ever wanted to be mentioned in another author’s book under a specific chapter, I would want it to be entitled “Truth.” My developmental editor, Laura Kalpakian, author of nearly 20 books with numerous awards, mentioned me and In Search of Pink Flamingos as an example in her chapter called Truth. Her newest book, Memory into Memoir: A Writer’s Handbook, explains that speaking one’s truth doesn’t always have a good outcome. Here an excerpt from her book.
From the Chapter, Truth:
The memoir offers up private truths….They are open to discussion, contention, dissension. Within families, sometimes a good deal of discussion, a lot of contention, and much distension.
In writing In Search of Pink Flamingos, Susan Greisen,…told ….her deeper story of a young woman torn between the need for parental approval and the need to find her own path. Her parents emphatically did not approve of that path, and they let it be known….Greisen created a harsh picture of (her father’s) beliefs, his values, his words and actions. When finished writing the book she sent it to her brother; she wanted him to know what she had said about their father. The brother’s ringing endorsement of her portrayal permitted her to move forward with publishing.
Sometimes speaking the truth can be difficult and even painful. Even though my life experience with my parents was somewhat different from my brother’s, he never denied my feelings or the events I experienced. I am forever grateful for his steadfast support. I acknowledged Bob in my book with this excerpt.
From Acknowledgments in my Memoir:
The actual publishing of my book hinged on one individual who has known me the longest. My brother, Bob, validated my truthful account of our family history and my own experience. He told me without solicitation, “Release it to the world.” Because of his unwavering acceptance, you hold my memoir in your hands.
Another added bonus! Kalpakian placed my name alongside other greats in the industry in her section called “Works Mentioned.” I couldn’t imagine my name in the company of renowned authors such as Anthony Bourdain, Virginia Woolf, Ulysses S. Grant, James Baldwin, John Steinbeck, Charles Dickens and so many others including Mark Twain. Although I am not an avid reader and may not have learned from many of these writers, what I do have is the skill of channeling my heart and soul. But above all, I speak the truth. Something we all need now in this fractured world.
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