I ghostwrite memoirs Find Your Voice The Story Within How I Work About Me Timeline & Fees Contact Me Clients Books Book Reviews Journal

I ghostwrite memoirs

My Name is Ruby Peru. I Ghostwrite Memoirs.

Dear Friend,


My name is Ruby Peru and I ghostwrite memoirs for a living. I am the very best at what I do for one simple reason: I'm the only memoir ghostwriter I know of who uses humorous ghostwriting to heighten and explore the events of your life.

I don't write stand-up routines.

I don't write jokes.

I ghostwrite memoirs in an easy-going, novel-like style that brings out the best in your personality. I use humorous ghostwriting because it keeps readers reading, and it's the most natural style for me.

In fact, I consider this humorous ghostwriting style a strength of mine—a unique take on the world that few other writers have mastered.

Events of the past can't be changed, yet how you and I look at those events can. By taking a lighthearted view of life's ups and downs, we insulate ourselves from the tendency to let triumphs go to our heads and failures, to our hearts.

That said, I don't know of another memoir ghostwriter on the internet who exhibits my unique understanding of irony and playfulness. This style elevates the meaning of each scene, enabling readers to laugh even as they cry.

Are you looking for a humorous ghostwriter to help bring your story to life?

Are you concerned that the style of the book not only reflect your personality but enhance it?
If the answer is yes, then I can help.

Call me (505) 310-5546
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Find Your Voice


Find Your Voice: Using a Ghostwriter to Tell Your Life Story

I have over a decade of ghostwriting experience and have studied with masters including the great Kurt Vonnegut, best-selling novelist David Foster Wallace, award-winning memoirist Thom Jones, actor Alan Arkin, and poet and New York Quarterly founder William Packard.

I have learned from these exceptional authors that great stories don't present themselves whole but must be nurtured, cultivated, and developed into maturity.

In fact, when the most heart-breaking scenes of your life are depicted with subtle wit and strong emotion, readers intuit that hindsight has given you perspective, perhaps even a new philosophy. Here lies the difference between autobiography (little more than a recounting of life's events) and true memoir, where the writer (sometimes through a ghostwriter) offers insights upon a theme in his or her life.

My approach to story development ensures your memoir will build, through action and suspense, to a dramatic ending that shows how you have changed and what you have learned.

My clients have included immigrants, artists, business owners, gamblers, sportsmen, ministers, and adventurers. They each offer a unique viewpoint stemming from life's risks and revelations. Over my ghostwriting years, I have created a wide range of narrative voices in order to tell these true-life stories.

One benefit of choosing me as your ghostwriter is that you will come away from the ghostwriting experience feeling that, for once, you have been understood. People who can laugh at their triumphs and wrong turns show a hard-won maturity, and that is the "you" readers will finally meet.

If you are still asking yourself, “What is a ghostwriter, and what does a ghostwriter do, exactly?” I'm here to walk you through the process of hiring a ghostwriter for a life story. Every ghostwriter works a little differently, so feel free to call or email so that we can talk in detail about your story, your unique needs, and the ghostwriting process.

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The Story Within


Memoir Help: Finding The Story Within

Here's why I’m one of the best ghostwriters out there.

I spend my time writing memoirs and performing improv comedy. You heard me right. I perform comedy in front of crowds in and around my home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In ghostwriting, as in comedy, my work is about revealing everyday truths in new and exciting ways. In my experience, readers yearn for an author insightful enough to inject levity into a tragic or frightening situation. In doing so, a memoir writer helps make the experience more memorable and more meaningful.

I have ghostwritten more than ten memoirs in the last several years and if you will allow me, I'm ready to offer memoir help by honing the poignant and powerful moments of your life into a focused story.

If we work together, my first task will be to find the core of your story. I'll listen and ask a few questions. I will prompt you to remember the pivotal moments of your life and, together, we will uncover important details that reveal your life as exceptional and unique.

Throughout this process, we'll uncover the central message of your memoir.

As a ghostwriter, I work with the clay of your life experiences—selecting the telling moments, leaving out the boring stuff, plumbing deeply for meaning, and working it all into a can't-put-it-down book with your name proudly splashed across the cover.

Writing memoirs is all about what to put in, what to leave out . . .

It's important that we identify the critical events of your life. Interestingly, those moments are not always the most dramatic. These events, however, are the most emotional. These emotional events could include a moment of heartfelt advice from your mother, the day you got married, an injustice you witnessed, or the day you met your spiritual guru. As a ghostwriter, my job is to find the story within the story.

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How I Work


How To Write a Memoir the Ruby Peru Way


How To Write a Memoir Step 1: Finding Deeper Meaning

Throughout the first month of our work, you and I will talk extensively on the phone, via Skype, or in person. During each meeting, I will ask you to recall the stories you remember most, sense memories that never go away, and details of each scene. Using this background, together we will uncover hidden meanings and emotions. I’ll ask you to be honest and tell the truth without any self-editing — an essential step for all memoir ghostwriting relationships.


How To Write a Memoir Step 2: Dealing with Delicate Subjects & Letting Loose

Our initial interview will include a discussion about which subjects and characters need to be handled with kid gloves. Thereafter you can feel free to simply let loose and describe things exactly as you felt them, knowing I am already aware that certain information (if any) must be dealt with delicately in the pages of the book.


How To Write a Memoir Step 3: Going Beneath the Surface

Your ability to remember sights, sounds, smells, and emotions is crucial to creating an engaging, true-to-life novel. I want to hear your opinions, prejudices, angers, and joys. As your ghostwriter, it’s imperative that I know what lies beneath the surface.

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About Me


About Me: Ruby Peru

I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico with my loyal dog, Lightnin' and write in cafés, on couches, in notebooks, on computers, and every place else that's helpless. I'm a perpetual student, always working on improving my craft and adding new skills and new styles to my repertoire. I enjoy ghostwriting because, since these books are assignments--clients ask me to write a particular story, in a particular style--they always challenge me. I learn something new from each book and sometimes get ideas for additional work as well. The ghostwriting assignments inspire my own writing, and vice versa.

Here in Santa Fe, I host a show called the Santa Fe Speakeasy (The last Thursday of every month. Check us out on Facebook!) where real people tell true stories, live, without notes. We use a tiny little stage in a local pizza parlor, and it's a lot of fun. The group has a loyal following of listeners and storytellers, which is always growing. This is a fun thing I do to bring people together over true stories and to bond the community around celebrating our unique lives and all we have learned from them. We laugh a lot, we shed tears, occasionally, but most of all we--the storytellers of the world--find one another.

I grew up in a family where dinner table conversation wasn't about how your day was, or what's going on in the news. It was about telling true stories. Us kids always wanted our parents to tell us about the things that happened before we were born and the adventures they went on in their youth. This was how we, as a family, learned who we were and where we fit into society, or why we sometimes didn't. So, maybe that's why I'm so interested in helping others tell their stories.

To me, the difference between writing fiction and writing memoir isn't as great as you might think. I think when people say "write what you know," that doesn't necessarily mean the exact people, places, and events that you know. I think it means to write the emotional realities that you know. In fact, it's impossible to write an emotional reality you've never experienced. So, whether a book takes the shape of a novel set in a completely fictional world, or a fact-based memoir, or a novel based upon a true story, my clients and I are always writing about emotional realities that are very real, journeys that take us to places we understand. So, that's a little bit about me as a writer and a person. If you want to know more, feel free to get in touch!

Experience and Education

My path toward becoming a ghostwriter has taken many forms, but the most instructive work I have done on my journey has been one-on-one with excellent teachers. At Carnegie Mellon, I had the opportunity to attend lectures from the great Kurt Vonnegut.  Then, in graduate school, I studied under David Foster Wallace. I saw the source of the outrageous humor, intelligence, and complexity of his work as he made me into a strict grammarian with license to break those rules at will. In my school days, I also learned from Thom Jones, whose short stories bring out immense emotional content with aggressive, undiluted voices. Here in Santa Fe, I've enjoyed the privilege of studying improvisation under the great actor Alan Arkin. During my acting and improv days in New York City, I discovered William Packard, the founder of New York Quarterly. As a playwright and poet, he worked with me on finding new voices, integrating emotion into the work, and discovering unique ways to use imagery.

Today, my ghostwriting is an attempt to give back much of what my teachers have given me and to honor their memories. Because I recognize the value of working one-on-one with great teachers, I continue to do so. Every year I work with an established or new mentor, developing my craft in a new genre, fleshing out a novel of my own, or perfecting ghostwriting skills. Also, every year I mentor a local writer, helping him or her learn and grow as my teachers did for me.

Over the past 20 years, I have published extensively in books, magazines, and newspapers. I worked in the editorial department at McGraw Hill Publishing, and contributed to the text in several educational history books. Locally,  as Ruby Peru, Santa Fe writer, I wrote a dating and humor column entitled “Romancing the ‘Fe,” for Santa Fe's Local Flavor magazine, where one of my pieces received a 2008 AIGA New Mexico Showdown award.

My ghostwriting work is rooted in compassion for people’s life stories and in understanding that those who have led unusual lives are the dreamers and the searchers of this world. I believe the search for truth often leads us down unexpected, sometimes dangerous paths, but, in such a life, there is no room for regret. In my work with clients, I strive to ensure that every moment of a life is celebrated by discovering and revealing the incredible learning experiences we all have along the way.

Read my journal about the ongoing adventure of being a ghostwriter at www.rubyperu.com 

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Timeline & Fees

ruby0179If you choose me as a ghostwriter, I will deliver a 240-page memoir worthy of mass-market publication in six months.

I charge a flat rate of $35,000 for my ghostwriting fee, and the sum is divided into six monthly payments.

Beyond memoir ghostwriting, I also offer these additional services to complete your book project: 

  • Domestic and international travel for interviews and research
  • Book coaching for any author interested in polishing a self-written book
  • Referrals to small publishers, marketers, publishing agents, and others who can guide you toward publication
  • Writing queries, book proposals, synopses, and other marketing materials  (only for the books I ghostwrite)
  • A ready-made author platform with extensive mailing list of fans of my work.
  • Daily blogging on rubyperu.com to help build a fan base for your book and/or yourself.


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Contact Me

ruby0182 Contact Me: Ruby Peru

To contact me about the project you have in mind, just call me anytime between 9 am and 9 pm, at (505) 310-5546

I reside in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, which is in the "mountain" time zone.

For those not residing in the USA, please email me and we'll set up a time (perhaps today!) to connect about your ghostwriting project via Skype.

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I look forward to talking with you,

Ruby Peru


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
(505) 310-5546
121 Moore St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501

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al staggsRuby has been an extremely valuable resource in my efforts to complete my memoir. Her insights were of great assistance and provided valuable guidance.

--Al Staggs, author, poet, performing artist

scott-cansdellWhat can I say but simply amazing work! Worth every cent and very professional. Fast turnaround and open to feedback. An A-team member without a doubt. I have been looking for a writer for a long time, I've tried many. I can now stop looking. The quality of this work is simply outstanding. I can only offer praise and more praise. Thank you!

--Scott Cansdell, business developer

kim whitefordRuby is really tapping into my sense of humor in writing this book and has definitely gotten what am looking for here. . . really fun!

--Kim Whiteford, Wink and a Smile: True Stories of Online Dating

william de oraRuby is a superb creative thinker and writer. Ruby can take the complex and turn it into an entertaining document. On time and easy to work with as well.

--William De Ora, Quantum Dynamics Business Consulting

david bailey photoRuby is Amazing! She took my vision, ideas, and story and made it into a masterpiece. I'm looking forward to our future professional relationship.

--David Bailey, Making a Melody Corp.

martypicRuby, you listened, really listened, and told my story back to me in a way that was insightful, but also really entertaining. Sometimes I laughed and cried on the same page. Having you tell my life story as an epic romance, which it really was, made me feel like everything I have been through was for a reason.

--Martin Kraidin, Broken Contract: a Love Story

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Books by Ruby Peru: Memoir Ghostwriter

From spiritual enlightenment to the quest for true love, my extensive and diverse body of work proves why I’m the best ghostwriter for your story. My top ghostwriting goal: help my clients share the most powerful moments of their lives in their own voice. With my humor-based approach, I uncover the levity, irony, and laughs even in the face of heartbreak. The result? I always deliver page-turning works your audience won’t want to put down.

By permission of certain clients, some of the book images below provide links to sites where you can buy them. Be aware, when you click, that the titles and cover design are often changed during the publishing process, so you may see something different on the link page.

Want to see your memoir below? Please contact me: Ruby Peru, memoir ghostwriter.

burning wives second
wink5 gods coach
Become a Mogul visionaries3

bama 4

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Book Reviews

Please enjoy these memoir book reviews. The books I review here are not memoirs I've written, but simply memoirs I find interesting, which you can find at your local bookstore. If you are considering hiring someone to ghostwrite a memoir, it can be instructive to look at other memoirs—whether classics or the latest best-sellers—for guidance, tips, and encouragement.

Just Kids from the Bronx

Just Kids from the Bronx

I've been reading a lot of memoirs lately, but none I felt compelled to review, until I got to Just Kids from the Bronx. This isn't a memoir, as it's not about one person, rather it's a collection of oral stories told by a variety of people who grew up in the Bronx--most at some point between the forties and sixties. Most stories are no more than seven pages long, some much shorter, but they are fun to read, indeed...

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Considerations, a book of es…

Considerations, a book of essays

I went to another book reading at Collected Works (an independent Santa Fe bookstore) the other day. Every time I pop in there, someone seems to inspire, excite, or confuse me. This particular reading was by a bunch of guys who run an independent press called Asymmetrical Press out of Missoula, Montana. One of them, Colin Wright, has written a lot of books, all small-press published. The one I'd like to talk about here is called Considerations, which is a...

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Kabul Beauty School

Kabul Beauty School

I'd like to talk a little bit about back matter, and the memoir Kabul Beauty School is a great example of it. Every memoir really does have the potential to be used as a teaching tool. In this particular case, the memoir is about a woman who works to empower other women in Afghanistan by keeping a beauty school and salon alive in a culture that represses women and their ideas in many ways. The beauty school is a place...

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A Heartbreaking Work of Stag…

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Dave Eggers' sort-of-a-memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for good reason. The story is compelling--in short, his parents died tragically, and Dave, in his early twenties, was left to raise his eight year old brother like a single parent. His writing style lets you in on every doubt and insecurity that an ordinary parent would have, as well as the unique problems he and his brother confront daily--like not fitting in with the PTA...

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Fire by Anaïs Nin

Fire by Anaïs Nin

Its time we talk about two types of memoirs: sexy ones and stream-of-consciousness ones. Welcome, Anaïs Nin, with her famous trilogy of sexy-diary memoirs. Fire is the third book in a trilogy starting with Henry and June and Incest, but it's the one on my coffee table today, so we'll start there. For the whole story of insatiable Anaïs' sordid, orgiastic, incestuous, unapologetically promiscuous love life, though, you'll need to read them all in order. To do so, however, means...

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A Visit From the Goon Squad

A Visit From the Goon Squad

Hi folks. I haven't been blogging for a while because I haven't been reading memoirs. My reading these days is encompassing some subject matter that plays into my work as a ghostwriter quite a bit, but in some unexpected ways, and I thought I would share that with you. For instance, I'm reading Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad, which is interesting for a couple of different reasons. First, its subject matter deals a lot with music and...

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Waiting for Snow in Havana

Waiting for Snow in Havana

Waiting for Snow in Havana is a fascinating memoir for anyone who loves descriptive language and imagery, but also for history buffs interested in the rise of Castro in Cuba in the late fifties and early sixties. The level of detail with which the author, Carlos Eire, describes the images of his youth really shows the reader the love he had for Cuba, as it was then, and for the world in which he came of age. This book is...

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My Life and Hard Times

My Life and Hard Times

Prior to publishing this "break-out book" in 1933, James Thurber had already made a name for himself as a writer for the New Yorker, but My Life and Hard Times did a great deal to propel the fame of this legendary American writer. As we enjoy his stories of small-town life, lessons learned, and the simple amusements of ordinary people, it is easy to see how Thurber's material still provides wonderful fodder for folk-style memoir, be the setting contemporary or...

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This Andre Agassi memoir has been called "one of the best sports autobiographies of all time." I would have to agree. Agassi talks at length about his harsh upbringing, his failure at school, and his drug use. He displays amazing insight as far as looking at his life as a youth and his early career. He is aware of others' impressions of him, at that time, as a grandstander and a hot shot, and he comments with unexpected and touching...

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Kevin Smith's Memoir, Tough …

Kevin Smith's Memoir, Tough Sh*t

Director Kevin Smith's new memoir, Tough Sh*t, Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good  is a forthright yet humble new work worth reading for both Kevin Smith fans and anyone with big dreams. About the work, Smith says, "If you like me, I'm a good role model, and maybe you want to do the stuff I've done. But if you don't like me, you use that as fuel too, and you say, 'If this fat chump can...

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My writing blog covers ghostwriting topics, such as what it’s like to ghostwrite memoirs, research memoirs, and help clients through the rough spots. It also talks a lot about the writing process and gives tips to other writers out there. You might even encounter a little philosophy, along the way. When you click on a blog, it will take you to my personal website, where you can learn more about me, my latest releases, my speaking engagements, and my ongoing oral-storytelling projects here in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico. Enjoy!

A Great Challenge: Incorpora…

A Great Challenge: Incorporating International Politics in a Memoir

My favorite memoirs to ghostwrite lately have been those that incorporate international politics. Sounds dry, but actually its quite the opposite. In fact, memoirs are a very popular type of text for teachers to use, these days, in teaching world history (Remember Diary of Anne Frank?) especially because they aren't dry and informational. They're packed with real-life conflicts and show how political conflict affects real people. Of course, every memoir has some type of setting, starting with family. First, the...

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Writers, Choose a Style that…

Writers, Choose a Style that Matches your Material, Not You

One of my favorite aspects of ghostwriting memoirs is when I have gathered all the information for the book and I get to choose the style I'll write it in. To me, style is everything, and I don't choose a style lightly. I have to ask myself: does the book want to read clipped and straightforward, like a detective novel, or descriptive and flowery, like a romance? In making the selection, I have to look at the information that needs...

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Story Structure: Keep it Sim…

Story Structure: Keep it Simple, Gimmicks Seldom Work

Let's talk about structure. I recently edited part of a book for a client who overthought his structure, and I'd like to share this issue with my readers. What I mean by overthinking it is, basically, doing anything other than straightforward storytelling: using language that's so poetic it makes no rational sense, mixing up the story structure so that it isn't told in any semblance of normal order, failing to thoroughly introduce characters so readers don't really know what they...

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Don't Forget about Style in …

Don't Forget about Style in your Query Letter

Query letter writers, let's address another issue I often notice when I'm looking at query letters clients have written--that of style. Remember that your query letter is a sales pitch for your book and as such it should intrigue the reader from the first word. Basically, you are Don Draper, this letter is an advertisement pitch from Sterling Cooper Draper Price, and you have got to get that client on board with no delay. The best way to do this...

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In Query Writing, Show your …

In Query Writing, Show your Research in a Subtle Way

Let's talk about query letters, today. I recently edited a query letter for a client and I think some of the items he needed to improve are things my blog readers could stand to learn from, too. In writing your query letter, many of you are going to do quite a bit of research to learn more about the marketability of your work. If it's a memoir, you may want to learn more about how well your type of memoir...

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Chapter Titles: Probably not…

Chapter Titles: Probably not as Important as you Think

I've never  been a fan of chapter titles. I just don't see the point. I mean, if you liked chapter one, you're going to read chapter two, whether it has a catchy title or not. And three seconds after you read the chapter title, you're going to forget it. You don't read along, thinking, this chapter was called Starfish, so there better be a starfish in here somewhere! No, you forget all about it, because you're interested in the plot of...

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Save a Soul Today

Save a Soul Today

    Sometimes, when you look at the news, or just contemplate the state of world affairs--wars, pollution, economic stagnation, murder, suicide bombings . . . It's easy to think there just isn't any hope for us all It's easy to get angry, but don't forget: the world has always been full of terrible stuff. And, for those of us who survive it, it's fodder for our art. As a memoir ghostwriter, I help people come to terms with their world...

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Do The Research!

Do The Research!

Whether I'm ghostwriting your memoir or you are writing a memoir yourself, it's important to have a pretty comprehensive understanding of the events on the periphery of your life. Some memoir ghostwriting clients will talk about aspects of the world they didn't understand at the time and simply conclude: I still don't really get it! For instance, "I remember my parents fighting about the Iran-Contra scandal, but I don't know what it was all about." "In the eighties, I didn't...

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Politics Matter: Include the…

Politics Matter: Include them in your Memoir

Let's talk today about political memoirs. When your story is inextricably tied to the political events going on where you live--for instance if you grew up in wartime--your memoir is unavoidably political. Even if you don't want to put forth any particular opinion about these events, you can't avoid talking about how these events shaped your life. Setting is crucial in any story, but in a memoir, showing the time and place that made you who you are makes your...

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Cheapskate Logic: How to Mov…

Cheapskate Logic: How to Move Cross Country without Breaking the Bank

I was raised by cheapskates. It's true. It's something I've fought with all my life, because I would truly love to be that person who just takes the most convenient but most expensive option just to make life easier. Stay at the luxury hotel with the perfect location. Buy the coolest car without shopping around. But, even when I have the money, I pretty much never do that. I just figure if it's easy, it must be a rip-off. Putting...

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Eschew Present Tense! Write …

Eschew Present Tense! Write from a Place of Wisdom

Writers, here's another reason why present tense lets you down. I've been thinking about how best to describe the problem, and here it is. Let's say, like in the case of the present-tense book I just read (which I won't link to here, since this isn't much of a recommendation), your story has a great and surprising ending. In fact, if the book is a memoir, it's entirely likely that, like this one, your book gets off to a bit...

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Live in the Present--but don…

Live in the Present--but don't write that way

Let's talk about the use of present tense in a memoir. I'll start by making it clear, I'm not a fan; the reason being, it's impossible to have hindsight in present tense. Among those I've met or read who write memoirs in present tense, the author usually gives as a reason the idea of wanting that sense of immediacy, of putting the reader in the moment. They think writing in present tense gives them that. For me, I've never felt...

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