Beer & Coppertone.

Beer & Coppertone.

‘I think of those days and nights and I can remember the smell of beer and Coppertone, and a perfume that a lot of girls wore at the time called Tuxedo… My sense of smell will send my ass right back to a conversation I am having at the beach in 1980.’ AJ Benza
Stormin' Norman.
Stormin' Norman.
Going public with your memoir? Be careful what you admit to. Socialite Carole Mallory tried to sue Simon & Schuster over comments in a book about her relationship with author Norman Mailer being ‘strictly sexual’ rather than ‘long-time loving.’ The judge decided her own memoir with its slew of celebrity shaggings was enough to nix her complaint.
I was born in 1939. The other big event of that year was the outbreak of the Second World War, but for the moment that did not affect me.
Clive James
Nobody cares.
Nobody cares.
Are you a nobody? Has anyone ever heard of you? Have you lived an exceptionally uninteresting life? If that’s how you see yourself, then this is for you.
WILD, WILD, COUNTRY.

WILD, WILD, COUNTRY.

If watching Netflix’s WILD, WILD, COUNTRY surfaces memories of how your life was touched by a cult in some way, you should write about it. If you haven’t seen it yet it’s worth the binge.
Disney scared me witless.

Disney scared me witless.

There aren’t many people alive today who’ve escaped Disneyfication. BuzzFeed asked its community for their WTF Disney moments from when they were kids. What’s yours?
Your life in trees.
Your life in trees.
For Arbor Day 2018 an arboretum asked for tree stories which prompted a flood of tree-related memories from a reporter at the Chicago Tribune We say, if that’s the angle that floats your log, go fir it.
Hill Street Blues.

Hill Street Blues.

For those of you watched every single one of the 146 episodes of Hill Street Blues in the 80s and still miss it, here’s what HSB creator Steven Bochco had to say about his self-published autobiography, Truth is a Total Defense: My Fifty Years in Television.

‘I was sick, very sick a couple of years ago, I wasn’t sure I was going to come out the other side and I promised myself that if I did I was going to write this book, to leave a coherent chronology of the life I’ve lived over the last fifty years in this business, for my kids. I remember when my father died, in retrospect, I didn’t really know much about his life. He was busy being a breadwinner and I was busy being a kid, you know. So, having done it, I’m very proud of it. Steven Bochco, August 2016.

Made in Childhood.
Made in Childhood.

The story of your childhood is the story of what made you.

Curtain Call.

Curtain Call.

Recent retiree and advertising titan Sir Martin Sorrell thinks writing an autobiography is the final curtain-call. He may see that way but what way to bow out. Here’s the story of his career.
One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is to have a happy childhood.
Agatha Christie
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Writing with scissors.

Writing with scissors.

Your memoir might become the love story of your life. Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears says that letting his book ‘Boys Keep Swinging’ go after the final edit was, ‘just devastating to me, there wasn’t any way it could have been a happy feeling, I’d worked on it for two years and it was such a big part of my life to let it go was really hard.’ He also says he could have written thirty different version of the book and often remembers stories he missed, thinking ‘why didn’t I put that in there?’
Writing can set you free.
Writing can set you free.
Proof that writing about your life can not only set you free it can make you famous.

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter’s promising boxing career was cut short in 1966 when he and friend John Artis were wrongly accused of murder. They were twice tried and convicted and Carter spent twenty years in prison, ten in solitary confinement, where he had plenty of time to write his autobiography, ‘The Sixteenth Round: From Number 1 Contender to Number 45472.’ His was a cause celebre taken up by Muhammad Ali and Joan Baez amongst others. Bob Dylan wrote the song ‘Hurricane’ about him and Denzel Washington played Carter in the 1999 movie. He received an honorary championship belt from the WTA in 1993. He deserved it. https://buff.ly/2FVuIr3

Fall from grace.

Fall from grace.

Nothing like a scandal to reduce the 5* reviews on a once best-selling autobiography. Until about 2009 It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life by Lance Armstrong was top of the cycling charts. Then it drops to a 1* – you can’t rate lower than a 1*. Forget the book, amazingly still for sale, the Amazon reviews pre and post-scandal are well worth a read. We hope Bradley Wiggins’ My Time: An Autobiography doesn’t suffer the same fate.
Treasure hunt.
Treasure hunt.
In 2010, millionaire art-dealer, Forrest Fenn self-published his memoir, ‘The Thrill of the Chase’ in which a six-stanza poem contained clues to a hidden chest filled with $2m in gold coins and jewels. Four people have died looking for it. It hasn’t been found yet.

24-year old centre for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, Steve Adams says of his autobiography ‘It’s all about myself … that’s pretty much it.’

It certainly is.

Remembering Sir Roger.

Remembering Sir Roger.

‘Life must be lived forwards even if sometimes it only makes sense as we look back.’ Roger Bannister admitted to wrestling with the prospect of writing about his feelings in his memoir, The First Four Minutes, but as he wrote he gained insight into a ‘pattern of striving – of success and failure’ that was all his own. Lesser mortals may also reap insightful rewards from writing about their own lives as young adults.
Flowers again?

Flowers again?

Treat your mum to something different this Mother’s Day and help her begin the story of her life. A gift voucher for an annual subscription to Johnnybio’s Child and Teenager chapter is only £30.
I wrote my memoir to show that I had made a journey from a position of darkness and narrow thinking to quite the opposite.
Armistead Maupin
What's up, Doc?

What's up, Doc?

A bunny story for Easter. In 1796 Mary Toft gave birth to some live rabbits. An eminent surgeon diagnosed ‘maternal impression’ blaming the pregnant woman’s over-familiarity with her household pets as the cause. Her story and other ‘Portraits, Memoirs, and Characters, of Remarkable Persons … Volumes 1-2′, by James Caulfield, published in 1819 is available free of charge and well worth a read.

🐰 Hoppity, hop. #NotAprilFool

Live. Write. Publish.
Live. Write. Publish.
Turn your memories into a memoir for as little as $50. Johnnybio will guide your writing and Lulu will turn your writing into a book.
All autobiography is storytelling; all writing is autobiography.
J. M. Coetzee
Spying for the Russians?
Spying for the Russians?
Stay true and you might live long enough to write about it. Defect and the world will cry with you. British spies Kim Philby, John Cairncross, and Anthony Blunt all wrote about their double lives. If you’d like to make a written confession we suggest you do it sooner rather than later.
Andrew unmasked.

Andrew unmasked.

Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote his 500-page memoir, ‘Unmasked’ on an iPad, bullied into it by people constantly telling him that his stories were ‘kind of interesting,’ even though he thought they were boring. He writes about his charmed life up to Phantom of the Opera where he stopped because after that things didn’t run as smoothly and he found out things about people that he doesn’t want to write about. He did write how he the ‘loved the sex’ with second wife Sarah Brightman. This delivers a mental imprint which may take the reader several days to forget. Thanks, Andrew.

Write about your life up to the point you started to go off other people.

Money can't buy.
Money can't buy.
He sells out shows but has never sold out. He has survived the ravages of poverty (‘the one thing money can’t buy’), addiction, and TB. Performance poet and punk icon John Cooper Clarke’s autobiography will be released by Picador in 2019.
Comey’s memoir tops Amazon’s best-seller list.
Your age of innocence?
Your age of innocence?
When you were a child you came to realise that not all people are born equal. It might have been a small thing that made you aware that your chances were going to be better or worse than some others. What was it? Maya Angelou’s childhood memoir is brim-full of stories like those. Was your upbringing more wake-up call than age of innocence? Write about it now.
Your autobiography, it's a fake.

Your autobiography, it's a fake.

Let’s not get po-faced about finessing our personal histories. Historians have been subjectively authoring history since history began. Instead, embrace the chance to fashion what may be the only insight of any permanence as to who you are. Even if it is a little faked.
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Gentleman Les.

Gentleman Les.

The story of a life less privileged often makes an interesting read. London’s East End is a tough place to grow up as ‘Gentleman Les’ Clayden attests in his autobiography ‘Swimming with Stingrays’. He survived poverty, disease, and gangsters to become an arm-wrestling champion, challenging the rich and famous to charity tournaments. If your childhood was a struggle, perhaps you should write about your own experiences?
No filter.
No filter.
Bill did it. Ronnie did it. Keith got paid $ 7.3 million just for promising to do it, and we don’t know about Charlie, he might never do it. Mick did it back in the 80s but he hasn’t let anyone see it, yet.

Jagger’s memoir has been described as a masterpiece and is surely the most anticipated rock autobiography of all time. Until then we’ll just have to make do with the bluesmen on tour this year as the Rolling Stones embark on their five-stadium ‘No Filter’ UK tour in May and June.

Write it down.

Write it down.

Ain’t Had So Much Fun Since Uncle Quentin Died: Memories of Growing Up in Rural South Carolina is the title of Tony Deaton’s self-published memoir. He saw an interview with a Pulitzer Prize-winning author advising people to write down their stories, even if they were never published. Deaton says, ‘Everyone should write their memoirs … nobody will know that part of your life if you don’t write it down.’

Johnnybio’s Child and Teenager chapter will guide you to your finished childhood memoir. Try it free now

Act of cupidity.
Act of cupidity.
Valentine’s stories feature in many an autobiography. For some Valentines Day is like a stick poke into feelings and not all of what gets stirred up is pretty.

In Climbing the Broken Stairs, a Memoir, Frieda Annette Adkins remembers February 14 as, ‘Just another way to be humiliated.’ In contrast, Frederick Douglass, the African-American abolitionist, social reformer, and author of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, adopted Valentine’s day as his birthday. Born into slavery Douglass wrote, ‘I do not remember to have ever met a slave who could tell of his birthday.’ He picked February 14th because his mother, whom he had only been allowed to see four or five times during his life, called him her ‘little Valentine.’ That’s love.

It’s harder to discern the sentiment behind the ‘I love you’ present of a bag of meat, which comedienne Sarah Millican once gave her husband on Valentine’s Day. She wrote about that and what is arguably a much worse act of cupidity in her book, How to be a Champion; she once sent a boy a Valentine’s card that played the theme to Love Story.

Love it, loathe it, ignore it completely? What’s your Valentine’s story?

Michelle Obama Tweeting about her forthcoming autobiography.
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Scandal on ice.

Scandal on ice.

Two Olympic standard skaters, one vilified one venerated. One went too early with her autobiography the other got the movie deal.
Let your love flow.
Let your love flow.
The Bellamy Brothers are alive and kicking. They release their joint autobiography Let Your Love Flow: Life and Times of the Bellamy Brothers on April 17. The dynamic duo can also be seen hosting a new reality show Honky Tonk Ranch from April 8th on the Cowboy Channel – who knew?

For Millennials and iGens, the Bellamy Brothers were big in the 70s.

All autobiography is storytelling; all writing is autobiography.
J. M. Coetzee
What’s your poison? Help yourself to the cure by writing about tough times.
What’s your poison? Help yourself to the cure by writing about tough times.

At times, our lives are poisoned by things that were done to us, things that just happened, or things we did that we’re less than proud of. Writing about tough times can help you forgive, feel better, or just like yourself again.

Guided write.

Guided write.

Writing your memoir needn’t be a scary prospect. There’s an option that sits between going it alone or hiring a ghostwriter.
Your life is a climb and every step a story.
Your life is a climb and every step a story.
RIP Billy Graham

RIP Billy Graham

We hope Billy Graham may be realising at least one upside to his passing. When good pal Johnny Cash died in 2003, Billy had a message delivered at the funeral. He said that he looked forward to seeing Johnny and June (Carter-Cash) in heaven one day.

They both had nice things to say about each other in their autobiographies. In Cash: The Autobiography, Johnny wrote, ‘He’s never pressed me when I’ve been in trouble; he’s waited for me to reveal myself, and then he’s helped me as much as he can.’

In Graham’s book, Just as I am, published in 1997, he wrote, ‘We have laughed together and cried together as families, sharing each other’s burdens during times of illness and heartache.’ He went onto say that they had no better friends than Johnny and June.

That’s nice.

What will you have to say about your special friends in your memoir? More importantly, what will they say about you?

Nolte tells his own story.

Nolte tells his own story.

Nick Nolte begins his memoir, Rebel: My Life Outside the Lines, with the story of a fictitious testicle tuck as told to Good Morning America back in 1991. They cut that interview off mid-air. Although his story is trodden into his face, he wanted to write it down. ‘A memoir offers the opportunity to tell your story YOUR way. I have control over how I tell the story. This appeals to me.’ He wrote it himself. That appeals to us.
for the write of your life.
for the write of your life.