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Personal Histories

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why are my stories important?

A: The world is always changing; yet the basic human dilemmas remain the same. Your family, your friends, your community will benefit greatly from your experiences. You may also be at a point where reviewing you life would be a helpful to you. Stories of our daily lives as well as major events can be very useful to those who come after us. Don't you wish you knew more about the lives of those who came before you?

Q: Who would want to see my life stories?

A: Your family, but also those with whom you share community and values. In addition to their children, some of my clients have shared their stories with their church or other organizations. I have helped my clients place their stories in archives about union, women's or LGBT movements.

Q: Can I just do it myself?

A: You can, but you also can have my help so the process does not become overwhelming. I work in collaboration with you, sensitive to your purpose and style.

Q: How long does it take?

A: It depends on the project. A full life story takes 8-13 hours of interview. A smaller project on a particular subject might be as little as 2 hours of interview.

Q: Do you produce videos as well as books?

A: I work in book format. If you would like an interview session in video I can arrange for that. I can also recommend local videographers.

Q: How do I pick a personal historian?

A: Find out about personal historians at www.personalhistorians.org; have a first meeting to see if you would be comfortable collaborating with the personal historian, look at their work.

Q: What is your training?

A: I have a Ph. D. in sociology.

Q: Do you come to me or do I come to you?

A: We usually work in the comfort of your home.

Q: What geographical area do you serve?

A: The United States. You pay my plane fare and accommodations.

Q: What is the cost?

A: Since each large project produces a custom book, the costs vary. When we have decided on the scope of your project, I can give you an estimate. A full life story costs about $10,000 to $15,000. The smaller projects run from $400 to $2000. I am also available to give support and advise on your own writing projects at $50/hr with a two-hour session minimum.

All photographs are protected by © copyright law. For permission to use and other information, please email Cathy@CathyCade.com or phone: 510/251-2774.

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