#5 What Makes A Memoir Compelling – Ray Richmond

A memoir is a personal account of one’s life. It can be a portion of his or her life or span many years. Memoirs are a wonderful way for us to understand someone else’s story. They give us a slice of history and can help us empathize and relate to people who might be celebrities, athletes, journalists, players in historical events, or even every-day people with extraordinary stories. Lessons learned, and the moments that shaped one’s life are often the goal of writing a memoir.

Why should we read them? What makes a memoir compelling? And, who should write, and what should they know about the process?

We’re talking to Ray Richmond. A professional journalist and author, he was also a television critic, columnist, and reporter for several publications, including The Hollywood Reporter, Daily Variety, the Los Angeles Daily News, and more.

His books include The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family (1997), This is Jeopardy!: Celebrating America’s Favorite Quiz Show (2004), TV Moms: An Illustrated Guide (2000) and My Greatest Day in Show Business(1999). He contributed to the book The Moment as well.

Ray is also the founder of Family Sleuth Memoirs. It is his belief that working with others on their memoirs might help change the world—for the better—as we know it.

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Phil Giangrande