Frequently Asked Questions
Q) What is your idea of a memoir? What exactly are you creating?
A) We are producing a paperback book. We start by creating a text transcript of an audio interview
conducted over the phone. We then review that transcript and fix transcription errors, grammar,
spelling, punctuation, and clarify specifics. The interviewee and designated family members will have
the chance to review the transcript for accuracy. We then convert the text transcript into a paperback
book. Photos can be added for an additional fee of $10 per photo, but they are optional. You will also
have the option of requesting an audio file.
Q) Why create a memoir?
A) For starters, it’s a fun family activity that can bring you closer together. This gives people something
to do, something thrilling to work on. It’s a great gift for adult children to give to their parents or
grandparents. You’ll also be creating a document that adds to the body of genealogical knowledge.
Q) How much does a memoir cost?
A) The Creative Memoirs basic package is $350, which includes two 45-minute interviews, careful transcription and editing of the recorded audio, and publication of a hardbound book. We recently interviewed a 90-year-old man and managed to capture his life story in 2 sessions, but you may request as many hours as you like. Each additional interview is $90. Photos can be added for an additional fee of $10 per photo.
Q) What payment do you accept?
A) Checks and PayPal.
Q) How does the payment process work?
A) Pay for the Basic Package on the Purchase page, and a Creative Memoirs staff person will be in touch with you within a few days. You may also contact us for a complimentary introductory consultation.
Q) How long will the interview take?
A) Interview sessions are approximately 45 minutes.
Q) How long will it take to get a completed memoir?
A) We strive to produce your Creative Memoir as quickly as possible. The time period from conclusion of
interviews to publishing is usually less than a month.
Q) Can I add photos?
A) Yes, for $10 per photo. The photos will be printed in black and white.
Q) Can I get a copy of the audio interview?
A) Yes. We will be happy to send you an MP3 audio file upon request. You’ll have 30 days to request it,
otherwise we will delete the audio file for privacy reasons.
Q) How do you ensure accuracy?
A) The phone interview is recorded. We then use speech-to-text software to create an initial transcript.
An editor will review the initial transcript to ensure it matches the audio. The interviewee and
designated family members will have a week to review the transcript and make revisions. We also make
use of an optional intake form to verify the spelling of names, cities, schools, employers, etc.
Q) Will I have a chance to review the memoir before it is published?
A) Yes. We will make the draft document available to the interviewee and designated family members
for one week for revisions. This will be your chance to correct misspelled family names, cities, schools,
Q) Does my relative have to tell their entire life’s story?
A) They only tell the story they want their heirs to know, that’s all.
Q) My relative lives in London/Mumbai/Sydney, Australia. Can you still do a memoir?
A) Absolutely! If your relative speaks English and has access to a phone, the interview is on.
*Due to the ongoing global impacts of COVID-19, however, our third-party publisher is temporarily
shipping printed memoirs only to the United States and U.S. Territories, Canada, and Australia.
Q) Will my book be copyrighted?
Q) What will the final memoir look like?
A) We will create a hardback book with the title you choose. This book is published privately for your family only. Each 45 minute interview typically results in 15-20 pages of text. For an additional cost, we can also help you
publish a retail book for sale. Claire Anderson has already helped 20 clients publish their books on Amazon.
Q) How will the memoir be delivered to me?
A) We work with a third-party publisher who will mail you your final memoir.
Q) How many copies do I get?
A) Your purchase price includes one hardback copy of the memoir. Additional copies are available for
Q) Can you give me some examples of interview questions?
A) We tailor our questions to the age of the person being interviewed. For example, an older adult might
be asked the following: Did you live during the Depression? Do you remember food stamps? Do you
remember rationing cards from World War II, what did they look like and how did you use them? What
was it like after the war? When did you get married? Who did you marry? How did the Vietnam War
affect you? Did you know anybody who was involved in the McCarthy era? Did you march for civil rights,
or were you opposed? Did you go to your senior prom?
Q) What if you ask a question and my relative can’t remember the answer?
A) Lots of people can’t remember things. We can simply skip the question. We don’t try to make them
remember what they can’t remember.
Q) My aging relative doesn’t own a smartphone. Can you still do the interview?
A) Yes. It’s OK to conduct interviews on a traditional landline.
Q) Who is Claire Anderson and why is she qualified to produce memoirs?
A) Claire Anderson is a businesswoman, writer, publisher, and instructor who has taught memoir-writing
classes in Seattle for 10 years. She has found that everyone has a story to tell, but many need the help of
a trusted expert to transform their memories into a published product. With gentle yet insightful
personal interviews, Claire draws out long-forgotten history and recollections from the days before cell
phones and social media dominated our lives.
Q) If Claire Anderson is legally blind, how does she create a memoir?
A) It’s true, Claire Anderson has been legally blind for 15 years. But she has the tools and technology to
get the job done. After recording your phone interview, she’ll use state-of-the-art speech-to-text
software to create a transcript. She employs a sighted editor to proofread the transcript for accuracy
and to clean up spelling, grammar, and punctuation. She also works with a third party to turn the
transcript into a published book.
Q) How do I get started?