Sidmouth author on course to aid life story writers

Novelist Sophie King offers to help others write their life stories

PEOPLE often remark “my life is a book” and, says Sidmouth novelist Sophie King, they could be right.

To encourage people to learn how to set about writing their life story, whether for publication or to pass on to the next generation, Sophie – who in reality is Jane Bidder, mother of three and a writer since the age of two – is running a four-week course at Kennaway House next month.

Starting on Wednesday, September 8, Sophie, author of How to Write Your Life Story in Ten Easy Steps, said: “When people start telling you about their lives you think it could be put in a book.”

By writing down events in one’s life it gives vital information for future generations, particularly those interested in family history.

“My mother died in her 50s and I only remember some of the things she told me. I wish I had written it down,” said Sophie.

“People are becoming more aware but don’t know how to write it down or where to start, how to marshal so much information.”

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Her course will suggest how to over come this, either by writing everything in chronological order, or by writing a series of ‘firsts’, such as first memory, first day at school, first exam and first job.

“Or there is the Desert Island Disc way. Listing five things they want to tell people about their lives…and have music at the end.”

Two years ago Sophie was asked to write down the life story of a wealthy aristocrat who lost everything in the war as they ran from the Russians.

“It doesn’t have to be dramatic. People might want to write down the funny things that have happened to them, they make good family stories,” she said.

More details about the course, and bookings can be made by calling the author on 07810480995 or Kennaway House (01395) 515551.

If successful, Sophie hopes to continue with a course after Christmas and said: “I would like to try to help people to get published and do a group pamphlet on Sidmouth life stories.”

The busy writer is also running courses at The Phoenix, Exeter, from Tuesday, September 7, from 10am to 12noon and 6-8pm on how to write novels and short stories.

“If people are interested in this course in Sidmouth I will do something after Christmas if people contact me,” said Sophie.