Have you thought about creating a book about your family but didn’t know where to start? One of our new Family Tree University classes, Creating a Family History Book, takes you step-by-step through the process!
Instructor Nancy Hendrickson gives you advice for determining a theme, collecting the information you need for the book and putting the whole thing together. She’s also got tips for great family interviews:
Anecdotes are the heart and soul of interviewsthey are those wonderful little stories we all love reading. But how do you get those anecdotes? Author John Brady writes, “If he says, ‘I owe my 40 years of marriage to absolute understanding and compatibility,’ ask him, ‘What do you mean by understanding and compatibility? Can you give me some examples?'”
Asking follow-up questions is important because it lets the subject know you’re genuinely curious and interested in what theyre saying. Although you have a prepared list of questions, don’t be afraid to follow one of your subject’s comments off into unexpected territory.
If this is your first interview, you may feel nervous and awkward. Take heart. You’ll improve with practice. When you think the interview is over, ask one last question: “Is there anything else I should have asked you?” You’ll be surprised at the great information this question elicits.
This class starts Monday, June 21 and lasts for four weeks. It’s self-paced, so you can work on the exercises and your book project whenever it’s convenient for you, and Nancy will give you personalized feedback on your work! You can download a copy of the syllabus here and sign up for the class here.