12.27.2006

HH Com 474-2 (two people got the number)

From the age of three, when she is placed in a children’s home, Sally faces life alone. Her inner voice says, “I am my family. Wherever I go, my family will go. I will never leave me.” The memoir, COME GALLOPING BACK, is her journey into young adulthood and her search for family love.

Sally’s husband, John, is a fighter-pilot whose jet is shot down over North Vietnam. She is told there was radio contact with him from the ground but because it is dusk a rescue can’t be attempted until first light. As she anxiously awaits news of his rescue, Sally’s thoughts drift back to her early childhood, five years of lonely institutional living. Then she was moved to a foster home where she lived for only one year, but where she understood the meaning of family for the first time. As Sally was removed from this home, her foster mother gave her a pin of a galloping horse and said, “When you need me, pin this next to your heart, close your eyes, and come galloping back. I’ll be there with my arms open wide.” The reader is returned to the young wife who learns her husband’s rescue was unsuccessful. He remains Missing in Action for five years. When the Prisoners of War return without John, a devastating depression takes hold, and Sally finds herself listening to the voice of her childhood once again.


There's an earlier post about the difficulty of memoir. All that applies to this as well.

7 comments:

Ski said...

Difficulty aside I would be interersted in reading your story. Good Luck.

Rgds.......Ski

jamiehall said...

There is a strong poignancy to the first paragraph. After that, it is hard to hold the various threads of the story together.

If you could find a way to eliminate the back-and-forth feeling, this might work better.

Ryan Field said...

I think I'd like to read it, too.

Best of luck.

Sallymannder said...

After reading Miss Snark's responses to the two earlier memoir submissions, I suspected this would be the response to my memoir also. I understand the genre is difficult to sell, and I appreciate Miss Snark's frankness. Thank you ski and ryan for your kindness in saying you would be interested in reading my story. What seems like an extroadinary journey to the person who lived it, isn't necessarily so to anyone else.

I was thinking that *life* was the antagonist. Is that possible?
...Sally against life? I would appreciate anyone else's view on that.

Is it possible to publish a memoir if you're not a celebrity, politician, anyone famous, and if the story isn't humorous? Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

anonymous said...

I think your story sounds touching. I'd read it, so I'm hoping there are agents out there not afraid of memoir. To your question about non-celebrity memoirs, Rachel Vater recently posted something about an "unknown" woman who wrote about an abusive husband. Read what she said about that query having a powerful voice. Can you pick up any hints from that for your own query? Then try Rachel Vater. Good luck with it.

Mark said...

I think it's possible to publish a memoir if you've done something that makes it stand out, not just ordinary life. First person journalism comes to mind, where you are in the story. Of course it's really attractive to publishers if you lie, not not recommended.

Sallymannder said...

Anon:
Thank you very much. I now have Rachel Vater on my "favorites" list and will check her blog regularly.

Mark: After A Million Little Pieces
exploded with inaccuracies and untruths, I was extremely careful to avoid even the slightest exaggeration.

Thanks!