My dear mum, born in 1930, turned 90 this month. As for every other lockdown birthday-girl or boy, the celebration wasn’t what we’d planned. Hugs were out, but at least we could shower her with love from a safe distance.
My present to her was a published book of her early memories. We’ve been working on it for months, with me scribbling away while Mum put names and dates to the oldest photos in her cardboard-box archive and reminisced about everything from cruel headmistresses to VE Day celebrations.
For a writer, nothing beats receiving a box of newly-printed books, whether they’re traditionally or self-published. Opening this box gave me such a thrill, and I can’t wait to give out copies to the rest of the family sometime soon!
Helping my mum write her memoir reminded me that it’s too easy to let our elders’ memories slip away. Lockdown may be the time to encourage youngsters to learn a little more about their grandparents. So next time they’re facetiming Grandma or Granddad, perhaps suggest they ask them about their earliest memory, and see where the conversation goes.
I chose Matador (self-publishing imprint of Troubador) for Mum’s book on the grounds that their website information is clear, with a handy cost-estimate service available before you sign. The production process was smooth and friendly, and they delivered a beautiful, high-quality product. In the end, even covid-19 didn’t upset their schedule.
Our book is a legacy memoir just for Mum’s close relatives, so I haven’t used and can’t comment on Matador’s promotional or marketing services. But judging by their handling of this non-commercial self-publishing project, they do a great job.