Here's the scenario: your parents are about to celebrate a major life milestone--birthday, anniversary, or some such. You would love to create a family history book for and about them to help celebrate the occasion. But here's the catch: your parents are not cooperating, because they are modest, or they don't want you to make a fuss. (Or perhaps they don't even know about it, because you want to keep it a surprise.)
What to do? You can create a tribute book (or multi-media presentation) about them--without their assistance--by interviewing their family and friends and enlisting the help of their loved ones in gathering the stories and photos.
Here's a case study from one of our clients:
Marvin Johnson was about to turn 85. The family of the world-renowned chemist wanted to create a book about his life, to be presented to him and his family and friends at a festive birthday celebration. Everyone that knew Marvin was excited about the book and couldn't wait to read it.
The problem was that Marvin himself thought it was a dumb idea.
Nevertheless, the family persisted without much cooperation on his part. His wife Marilyn wrote a short narrative about his life and began collecting photographs. Each of his children and grandchildren wrote a little piece about Marvin's profound influence on their lives. Even a few close friends and sons-and-daughters-in-law got in on the action, adding their reminiscences.
Fortunately, we also had some of Marvin's writings and media articles written about him to shed some light on his scientific career.
As the project began to take shape, Marvin softened a little and even consented to write a page of his own. (Although he still suggested, with characteristic self-deprecating humor, that the book should be titled "Marvin the Obscure" or even "Handsome as S%*t.")
We helped the Johnson family put it all together into a delightful hardcover book about this delightful man: The Man Behind the Legend: the Extraordinary Life of Marvin Johnson. The book was a resounding success at Marvin's birthday bash, and the family has a keepsake that will last forever. What could be a better tribute than that?
Click here to see more examples of tribute books and other custom life story books. Here are a few more pages from Marvin's book.