View Full Version : Memoir beta readers/mentor wanted

01-24-2014, 10:31 PM
I'm looking for beta readers or a mentor who can help me put the finishing punch on my memoir, The Troubles.

Basically, in 1976 I was a twelve year old kid in Anchorage, Alaska, who got sent to boarding school overseas for seven years, and when I came back everything was different. I was no longer that normal, average American kid. I'd literally been around the world, called Saudi Arabia “home”, and loved Manchester United as my favorite football team.

The troubles refers to the troubles with my brother that resulted in us both being sent overseas to boarding school, the troubles I had while away, the Troubles in Northern Ireland where much of the story takes place, and the troubles I had after getting back.

I thought The Troubles would be about the physical and emotional abuse that you'd expect from boarding school, and I was convinced that was why I had troubles afterward. But when I took a long, hard, honest look back I discovered things were not always what I remembered (or assumed), or why, and I gained a whole new appreciation and understanding of sacrifice and love. The trouble I've had is in getting too emotionally caught up in it all. So I'm asking for help.

What do I need? Ideally I'd like to find someone who can see the big picture and help me precisely define the “What's it about.” That may sound odd but I can't help but feel like I'm afraid to say what it's really about. I've dug myself into a corner and am not too sure of what's the right next move.

The story is sandwiched between 2 present-day bookends that were designed to show that I've accepted or embraced many of the things that set me apart from being the normal, average American I thought I started out as and that, while I faced the past in order to let go, my brother hasn't.

So, if any of this sounds remotely interesting and you'd like to read a sample, the first 50 or so pages are here: http://www.richardpnixon.com/The_Troubles_long_excerpt.pdf

Thank you.

01-25-2014, 11:49 AM
I'm very good at seeing where a story has the potential to go- maybe I can help you find out where you're going with this novel.

Send me on here and I'll send you my email. I'll read what you have and offer up my opinions. :) You can send me a word document.

01-25-2014, 06:10 PM
aestival, may I suggest--strongly, even--that you remove your email from your post, or at least replace the @ with [at]? Unless you want email retrieving software which crawls every forum to find that email and send you all manner of spam and worse.

Maryn, hoping you see this soon

01-26-2014, 01:07 AM
Thanks Maryn, fixed it.

01-26-2014, 05:46 AM

Thanks for your interest. If you haven't already done so, I'd recommend you read the sample I linked to - that will give a good idea of the story.

Also, I probably should have mentioned this in the OP - the word count is currently around 115K.