Writing Your Personal or Family History

Your Company’s History

 Writing Your Personal or Family History

Nobody wants to be forgotten.  But when we pass away, our memories, the family tradition and culture we come from vanish unless we record and document them.

The interest in personal and family memoirs has grown dramatically in the last few years — especially since the baby boomers are reaching retirement age.  Not only do they want to see their own life stories recorded but their elderly parents’ memories as well. Here is where Legend Crafter can help.

Wouldn’t it be unthinkable if your grandchildren or children did not know your particular story?  If they didn’t know your experiences as a very young child with your own parents? Of your struggles growing up, raising a family, of your life in business? Most likely, your children will not know the story of your grandparents simply because so few families document these lives.

Having a collaborator such as Legend Crafter in telling your story allows you to explore thoughts, memories, insights and traditions without the added obstacle of becoming a writer yourself.

I have seen elderly people tell me their stories and their life has been transformed.  Old wounds and family discord have been ameliorated by the mere process of sharing one’s story to a trusted collaborator.

Some of my clients have even used their memoir as the spring board to a published book.

With a skilled writer — with an international perspective — listening, asking questions, interested in your story, helping make connections, providing research, you can count on your story fulfilling your deepest longings. That’s what we do at Legend Crafter.

But My Relative Has Passed Away.

Perhaps the person you want to remember and whose life you want to document has died.  You and even your relatives and friends can meet with me to share your memories of that dear one.

Legend Crafter can help you by stimulating your memories of mother, father or Uncle Jack.  I will assist you in collecting the memorabilia and photography that reflect his or her life and honor it.  With my help, you and your family can create a family album of your memories and pictures.

 It’s Important

In America, life moves so fast.  People no longer live out their lives in their birthplace.  Grown children and grandchildren move away. It is harder and harder to keep the family and family lore intact.

Documenting your life or supporting your parents to do so is vital to maintaining recollection of your family’s history that you can pass on to the next generations. Legend Crafter can help.

A Family Memento

Let us say a member of your family has died and you want to commemorate his or her life.Creating such a tribute can take many forms.  Perhaps you and your relatives can agree to share your memories of this person with specific anecdotes.

They frequently start out in this way:

“I remember the time when Mama and my sister…”

“I’ll never forget the look on his face when Uncle George came back from the car and…”

“And then there was a time when we were in Budapest looking for a restaurant and Dad said…”

I will be happy to interview you and your relatives to retrieve the richest and fullest account of your departed loved one.

This document will be amplified with any photographs and memorabilia you want to attach to it. Objects that were important to your deceased relative can be photographed as well.  Even audio material can be included.

It can be produced as a book, a CD or a web site, or any combination of these media.  The resources for self-publishing are abundant these days and we can use them to fulfill your family’s desires.


Your Company Has Had a Life Too

Your company is invested with your life’s blood — your time, your energy, your intelligence and your associations.  As time passes, the narrative of how you managed that company or how your predecessors did is apt to be lost or forgotten.

It just happens. The Bank of America, Wells Fargo and other huge institutions keep archives.  Most companies don’t.

It would be my honor to chronicle the history of your company, whether yours is a family-owned company, a publicly traded entity, or a nonprofit that you direct.

Perhaps you want to recount how you started your business, its place in your industry, your innovations in your field, copyrights and patents.

Firms or nonprofits with a long tradition have always intrigued me.  I want to know what the dynamic was that has kept that organization vital, creative and productive over decades.

Who were the personalities?  What were the strategies and the challenges ?

I have been a business journalist since the late 1970s.  I have written about hundreds of companies and interviewed innumerable chief executives, executive directors and other corporate officers.

It has been my privilege to interview executives when their companies were flush and when they were struggling. Domestic and overseas as well. I have investigated and written about startups, longtime institutions, the street corner mom-and-pop and, inevitably, failures.  Many nonprofits have also been the subject of my research.

One of my proudest achievements has been the history of America’s longest surviving Italian restaurant — the Fior d’Italia in San Francisco.  The restaurant commissioned me to write its history so that the many legends, anecdotes and yarns that were spun since the restaurant’s founding in 1886 would not be lost.

The book, The Fabulous Fior — Over 100 Years in an Italian Kitchen, examines the financial, historical and human forces that shaped North Beach institution.  Available on

Its second edition includes 3 new chapters including the history of the San Remo Hotel, The Fabulous Fior — Over 125 Years in an Italian Kitchen, is an e-book available on Kindle or Nook.



Maybe you are an entrepreneur/sole proprietor?

Envision a book about your company, one with your name on it.

Consider that you have worked all these years developing and marketing your product or service from scratch. But maybe you feel your reputation does not yet match the quality of your service. Even if you have a website and you blog, you know from your own revenues whether you need more public appreciation of your service or product.

Meanwhile, your more muscular competitors have any number of brochures, white papers, lavishly produced annual reports, press releases, and multiple pages on their websites. And more staff to sell.

The next time you meet a prospect, instead of just handing them card you offer them a book — a book with your name on it. There are few things that can render you a standout performer in the public’s eyes more than a book with your name on it.

Whether it is a traditional book in paper or a more economical e-book, this document will present you as a true expert and a credible competitor in a crowded market. And it can be used as a springboard for more attention in the press.

As a ghostwriter, I write for you under your name. The ideas and content are all yours. As a business journalist for over 30 years, I can help you do that. And I have done it.

Let’s envision what kind of a book it would be.

It could be your life story through the filter of your industry expertise. For instance: how you came to this industry and excelled in it or how you have improved the industry; and the innovations you have created and introduced.

Or maybe you would prefer to be more customer focused:

you explain to the consumer how to make a good choice of supplier. With my help you can present your view of how the industry works behind the scenes, in a way the customer could never perceive.

I can help you get it published in paper or help you create an e-book that would appear on your website and be downloadable on an e-reader.

Or? You imagine and I will help you realize your vision.

 Posted by at 2:46 am