View Full Version : Mama Book Based on E-mail Letters

09-24-2004, 03:39 AM
Hi Folks,

I'd appreciate your thoughts about a book I'm writing. It's about my mother; more specifically about our relationship and how it grew and was made better through our e-mail communications of the last few years.

I want to use her actual e-mails and my comments and anecdotes. She writes in a simple style about her everyday life and the folks around her. She's funny, but doesn't know it, and wise beyond what I or others have ever given her credit for.

I want the book arranged logically, but I'm having a hard time deciding how to structure it so that it presents a cohesive theme. How much should be e-mail, how much my commentary? Should I include dates on the e-mails?

I have a few of the e-mails, a tentative preface, and a story about us making a banana pudding together on my website.

If any of you would care to offer your thoughts or reactions to a book like this, I would appreciate it very much.


Writing Again
09-24-2004, 11:35 AM
It would be difficult but could be done.

I would seriously consider a chronological approach, but flying by the seat of your pants, what seems right to you, is probably your best bet.

09-25-2004, 07:47 PM
Yes, I favor the "flying by the seat" of my pants approach! It is definitely a challenge, but should prove worth the effort in the end. Thanks for replying.


Tish Davidson
09-29-2004, 03:12 AM
Just remember that if you use her e-mails, you have to get her written permission. With letters and e-mails, the recipient owns the piece of paper of the file, but the writer owns the right to publication. If you have been following the story about the new Hemingway piece that has surfaced, it is a perfect example. The son of letter/story recipient (who inherited the letter/story) wants to publish it, but the Hemingway estate will not give publication permission. The owner of the piece of paper has the right to sell it, but the new owner does not have the right to publish it. The right to publication stays with the Hemingway estate. So using someone else's letters/e-mails is not as simple as it sounds.

09-30-2004, 05:15 AM
Thanks for the heads up!