Q: What's the Deadline?
A: As soon as possible! I need a certain number of stories and I will keep looking until I have them. I gave the publishers an estimated timeline, though. I need to get things together soon so I can work on the editing.
Q: I'm worried that someone might be uncomfortable if they ever saw the story and recognized themselves in it.
A: If you are worried about this, there are two options. The first is to change the names in your story. If you are still worried that a close friend might connect the dots when they see your name at the top of the page, I would be happy to list your by-line as By Anonymous or By A Visiting Teacher, or something similar. If you have a pen name we can use that.
Q: What if I don't have a story of my own, but I have one that my friend or someone in my family told me?
A: The easiest option is to get their permission to do a "As told by...." story. That way it can still be in first person, but you can write it for them.
Another option is to focus on the way their story helped you. For example, when you heard their story, did it inspire you to be better at something or answer your prayers? This will help you to write the story from your own perspective and still keep it in first person as well.
Q: I'm not sure what you are looking for. Are there any sample stories I can read?
A: I am currently working on getting a couple sample stories posted on the blog. For now, if this is a concern, feel free to email me and I can send you a copy of a sample story.
Q: What form should the stories be in? Do you want dialogue and should it read like a fiction story might? Or do you prefer me to write it out like I would tell it to someone in a more essay-like form?
A: Either way works. Go with what is most natural and comfortable for you. I've written stories both ways and I hope that I can put up samples soon that will illustrate this. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, skip this question.
Q: I'm not a writer. Are you sure you want me to do this?
A: Yes! The unique part of this book will be the very human aspect of the stories. I want to hear your voice and testimony. If you are unsure how to start, go ahead and write it down just like you would tell it to someone. Share a small testimony of Relief Society. I can help with the editing. That's my job.
Q: I'm still uncomfortable with writing my own story. Is there another option?
A: Of course. I would be willing to write your story for you using an "As told by" by-line, which means at the top of your story it would say:
Visiting Teaching Miracles (Or whatever title we decide on)
As Told By Jane Smith (Only your name would be here instead of Jane's)
If you want to go this route, contact me at email@example.com and I will send you my phone number and we can get to work.
Hopefully this helps out a bit. As always, feel free to contact me if you have any concerns or questions.