Library lecture to cover writing, publishing an autobiography

Liz Coursen faces several hurdles when convincing people that their life is interesting enough for an autobiography.

That’s one reason why her 10:30 a.m. lecture today at the Augusta-Richmond County Library is titled “Yes, You! An Entertaining Autobiography in Three Easy Steps.”

“We have really bought into the notion that you must have been a celebrity, wealthy or infamous” to deserve an autobiography, Coursen said by phone from her home in Sarasota, Fla. But looking back on your life, you’ll realize that the people who really made a difference in shaping you never made it onto a magazine cover, Coursen said.

Today’s lecture takes participants through the process of collecting stories, interviewing friends and family, and writing. One of the tips she shares is to think of the questions you wish you could ask your great-grandparents.

“They need to be more than name and date of birth and death,” Coursen said.

In the course of writing her how-to guide, Coursen read more than 200 autobiographies to find what makes a good story and, more importantly, what detracts from the storytelling.

Once the story is complete, Coursen takes participants through the process of self-publishing.

“It’s never been as easy or inexpensive to publish your book,” she said.

A presentation at 1 p.m. will show participants how to establish a successful book tour.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Yes, You! An Entertaining Autobiography in Three Easy Steps lecture by Liz Coursen

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. today

WHERE: Augusta-Richmond County Library, 823 Telfair St.

More