Amanda Hampson is the author of two non-fiction books and three novels. Her most recent novel, The French Perfumer, is out this month. Amanda regularly runs her ‘Memoir Made Simple’ workshops at the NSW Writers’ Centre with a focus on self-publishing.
Why is writing memoir so popular these days?
Self-publishing has become so simple and cost-effective, there’s never been a better to time to capture those memories. Your life story or family history is an invaluable legacy for your descendants. I’ve had a number of students complete their memoirs: not only did they love the whole experience of taking that walk down memory lane, but they also felt immensely proud to have produced a book.
You’ve written fiction and non-fiction. How did you come to focus on memoir?
My memoir workshop was developed in response to people coming to my fiction workshops to learn writing and storytelling skills. They had wonderful stories to tell but were struggling to make them interesting on the page. I realised that while it’s a completely different genre, fiction writing offered some helpful techniques that also make a life-story engaging.
What’s one key tip for anyone writing their memoir?
Start with a period in your life that you are truly attracted to writing about. Just hoe into it without thought of it being read by anyone, and see where the story leads you. Then try another period. Don’t worry about editing and polishing until you have a complete draft.