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In this interview we discuss writing memoir as a way of helping others through grief as well as using Scribd.com for book promotion.
Hyla Molander is the author of the forthcoming memoir ‘Drop Dead Life: A pregnant widow's heartfelt and often comic journey through death, birth and rebirth”. She is a photographer and has also put several of her chapters of her book onto Scribd.com
In this podcast, you will learn:
- Bad things happen but what we do with the emotions that surface from these experiences is what counts. Hyla describes her story of being widowed when 7 months pregnant and how writing her memoir has been a way through that.
- How writing can be used to heal grief over time as well as other forms of help. It can bring meaning to the experience even though the writing of it can be a heart-rending experience. How the tone of the writing has changed over 7 years and includes some comic relief and happiness amongst the raw material of the original pain.
- Where the line is between writing for therapy raw material and actual publishable material. How you have to bring the ‘rules' of writing to the page so you create character and voice, dialog and description to shape the organic material. You cannot just publish your diaries. You must still be honest and authentic but to make it powerful you need to edit a lot.
- We have a little aside about internet dating… 🙂
- How grief helps to direct your life to the most important things. Each moment is precious and you want to be real. There's no point in surface small talk. Life is about living deeply.
- How Hyla has been using Scribd.com to promote her book even before it is published. The publicity she has got from it has attracted publishers and other media after previously being rejected because she didn't have a platform and wasn't a household name. It is a great tool as it has a lot more traffic than most blogs. It allows ‘Readcast' function which broadcasts across several different social networks. It also offers network opportunities across different areas. It is a social network in itself. You can easily upload a document without any technical knowledge beyond MS Word.
- Great tip for using Scribd.com. Embed a picture or a cover as it is more likely to get featured on the front page which gets it more views. Use the Readcast function as a status update and also comment on other people's information.
- Hyla's realization that the time she was spending on shopping around for an agent was stopping her writing. When she discovered Scribd, it helped her get over insecurity about her writing and also has built her platform. She is now aware of the publishing options for authors these days including Scribd which offers ebook publishing options for US residents whereas other ‘big name' published authors are not making much money. It's very important for authors to be aware of the realities of the publishing industry.
You can find Hyla at her website HylaMolander.com . You can also find her first chapters and other essays on Scribd here – excerpt below.
Hyla's widowed web group on Facebook is here. She is also on Twitter @hylamolander
Drop Dead Life: A Pregnant Widow's Memoir (Excerpt)