At LifeBook, we’re lucky that our authors often pop into our offices in Godalming. It might be to see some finished books prior to beginning their own, to meet with their project manager for a chat, or to collect their finished books and thank the team behind their project.
We love meeting with authors at the close of their projects to present their books. It gives us a chance to open a bottle of champagne and celebrate, and authors can even bring their friends and family to share in the moment.
That’s exactly what Richard Maylam did recently. Having finished his book back in August, Richard was keen to return to LifeBook to thank the team personally.
He was accompanied by Anne, his interviewer, as well as his wife and several members of his family. Among them were Richard’s two granddaughters, who can proudly claim they were the first in the family to finish reading his book.
Richard generously provided six bottles of champagne, and we treated him to a cake replica of his book, Richard’s Living Memories.
Richard and his family were shown our library of completed autobiographies and got an insight into the process behind the scenes. He met the people who had helped him create his book – including Sue, his project manager, and Halima, his editor – and the whole LifeBook team was able to join Richard for lunch.
“Thank you for all you did in producing this lovely book for us. The family love it. Thank you to Ann for being an excellent interviewer and for putting up with me.
I want to say that I’m very impressed, Roy, with your organisation.
As soon as I came here, in September last year, I thought, wow, I’m interested in this. I signed up immediately. I have advertised it to quite a few people; they were very impressed with the book, by the way!
I am proposing that sometime, and I haven’t told my wife yet, I will do a volume two.
Thank you very much all of you, I found it a pleasure working with you. It’s been a fantastic experience, and I will certainly recommend it to everybody.”
One aspect of the process that Richard spoke especially highly of was the initial welcome pack that he received, which included our LifeBook Journal. This is the first thing a new LifeBook author receives and is representative of their final, finished book, even down to the same archival-quality paper.
The prospect of condensing a long and varied life into a book may seem like a daunting task. Thankfully, the LifeBook Journal can prompt the author to start reflecting on their life in a new way. It features maps, extracts, notes on key events through the decades and timelines so the author can if they choose, begin jotting down ideas and memories before their interviews.
“The beautiful journal served as my companion throughout my autobiography journey. It helped me prepare for meetings, triggered memories and thoughts of what I wanted to be included and, in the end, became the place where I jotted down my notes for my next meeting. Having never written an autobiography before, it not only gave me ideas but showed me the size, shape, and quality of what I was working towards.”
Roy Moëd founded LifeBook out of a very personal wish to preserve his father’s legacy, so to see Richard celebrating his book with his family, and especially to hear his granddaughters talking so effusively about the book, summed up everything that LifeBook is about.
We’re excited for Richard to begin the second volume of his life story. If you’re interested in capturing your story for future generations, please get in touch.