I am pleased to give a shout-out to my friend, Miriam Hurdle, with the release of her latest book, The Winding Road. Miriam was one of the first people I met when I started blogging almost three and a half years ago. She is considerate and supportive, often taking the time to leave kind comments on others’ blogs. We first bonded because we’re both retired educators. Miriam not only taught but also became an administrator for several years near the end of her career. A second area we have in common is we both sang in church choirs. I know this is one of the things Miriam missed most during the pandemic. Finally, in retirement, we’ve both become writers. Having read her book of poetry, Songs of Heartstrings, and her children’s book, Tina Lost in a Crowd, I was excited to learn she had another story to tell. Her memoir tackles the most challenging of subjects—battling cancer. Time to turn things over to Miriam.
Thank you for hosting my launch tour today, Pete. I’m thrilled to be here to share my new book with your friends.
During the launch tour, I want to talk about memoir writing. Yesterday, I talked about the types of memoirs. My memoir falls into the type of experience memoir. Here is my topic for today.
How to Write an Experience Memoir
Set the focus
An experience memoir should set focus on a specific experience. Your readers will walk away knowing you and a particular experience you lived through on a deeper level. They also relate their own understanding and experiences to your story.
Include interesting elements
If you write about a snowstorm during your skiing adventure, you want your readers to learn about you along the way and how you manage the situation. You may want to include the details about the place, the people you experienced, and what you learned about yourself and nature. Your readers want to know the backstory. It’s the vivid details that make a memoir unforgettable.
Tell the truth
An interesting memoir is the author’s honesty. You tell the truth as seen through your eyes. It should simply share an experience that readers can relate to. It doesn’t need to exaggerate or bend the truth. If you find you can’t remember certain details, that’s okay, too. You can lean into what “would have been true” where the details are.
Example: In The Winding Road, I said, “I couldn’t remember what the show was about, but being with my daughter was enough for me.”
Take the readers along the ride
You can let readers see yourself through the high and low of your story so they can identify with your experiences. This helps the readers to connect with your emotions with pivotal reflections and takeaways throughout your story. You may create enough ups and downs to shape your overall story. In the end, the readers can draw their own conclusions and apply the lessons in their own lives.
Reveal the personal growth
At the end of your memoir, show the experiences you’ve gone through along your journey and reflect on the growth and changes you have lived through or survived.
Example: In The Winding Road, I wrote, “the cancer journey changed my priority and the value of my life.”
The Book Information
In the summer of 2008, Miriam Hurdle was diagnosed with melanoma-an aggressive and invasive cancer in her internal organs. The survival rate before 2008 was low. Besides risking harsh treatments for a slim chance of survival, Miriam had hoops to jump through. By the time she received treatment at the beginning of 2009, her cancer had progressed from stage II to stage IV. It was a rough and uphill winding road. But alongside her was support and encouragement. Accompanied by the love of her family and community, this is Miriam’s journey of faith and miracle. It is a heartwarming story of resilience, courage, and the will to live.
My Review of The Winding Road
Authors write books for many reasons. I sense that author Miriam Hurdle penned her memoir partly for cathartic reasons but mostly because she wanted to help those undergoing similar cancer treatments. Hurdle pulled no punches and shared her journey from beginning to end. I found this compelling tale revealed a great dale about her character and ability to keep fighting for herself and her family. There were plenty of challenging moments along the way, times when it would have been easier to give up, but she did not allow herself to go down that path. From physical, mental, and emotional challenges, Hurdle tells her story in an honest and heartfelt manner.
I came away with several takeaways after reading this book. First, one must keep trying and have strength and perseverance in believing they will get better. Next, the support of family and friends can make all the difference, particularly when a patient is going through low moments physically and emotionally. They may not be able to see their friends as much as they’d like, but the cards, phone calls, and favors such as offering to cook a meal are much appreciated. Finally, religious and personal faith was fundamental to her recovery. She believed she’d get better and continued to fight because she wanted to be there for her husband, daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren.
Nearly everyone has experienced cancer in their family as a patient or watched a loved one fight this battle. Reading Hurdle’s book brought back many memories as a young man as I observed my mom going through many of these same challenges. I think this book would be helpful for anyone in similar circumstances. I commend Miriam Hurdle for having the courage to write it.
How Do I Purchase Miriam’s Book?
The Winding Road Trailer
Miriam Hurdle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her publications include Songs of Heartstrings, and the children’s book, Tina Lost in a Crowd. Her poetry collection received the Solo “Medalist Winner” for the New Apple Summer eBook Award and achieved bestseller status on Amazon.
Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching, and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.
Contact Miriam at
Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW