Posted on Feb 27, 2019 in Editorial.
I applied for a job as a LifeBook interviewer because I love to hear people’s stories. My grandfather-in-law lived to be 94 and, over the years, I spent many hours asking him about his life and listening to his tales; when he died I inherited those memories, but with the passage of time, they have faded and like old hand-me-downs have lost all the vibrancy of their original form. If only I had recorded our conversations. It’s too late for that now, of course, but, thanks to LifeBook, I can help others record their stories and this gives me such pleasure that I set off to every interview with a happy heart and a cheerful smile.
Starting a journey with LifeBook can feel a little daunting for new authors, but when they discover I share their passion and commitment, the respect and trust between us builds and we quickly form a unique relationship. As the weeks roll by, our bond grows and we find ourselves greeting each other like old friends and looking forward to our meetings because we know that when the voice recorder goes on, the outside world goes off and we can lose ourselves in the past. Of course it is not all sunshine and roses, sad memories crop up too, but the trust in our relationship gives the author the security to speak freely – and there are always enough happy memories, bursts of surprise or laughter to keep us smiling.
To spark a memory with a question and watch an author light up as a new story unfolds is a wonderful, addictive experience; the more I discover, the more I want to know. Thankfully, my authors are usually only too pleased to oblige and I am sure they find our relationship just as stimulating as I do. We really are ‘in it together’ and the author knows I am there for them throughout the process, not just to help draw out the richness of their memories for the ghostwriter, but to help with everything from review notes to choosing photographs.
It is a blessing and a privilege for be a part of someone’s life in this way and I wish the interviews with my current authors could go on and on, but all good things must come to an end and when we reach our last meeting, I hope I leave each of them not only with a beautiful book, but also with happy memories of time well spent with a new friend.
– Joanna Moyser, LifeBook Interviewer –