What words will you first fire out to greet your readers? How will you grab their interest and attention? What approach will you take at the beginning of each following chapter or vignette? Will the same concepts work with the first sentences of paragraphs?
Opening Salvos Blog will put the spotlight on opening sentences of published memoirs and hold the microphone to capture the words of wisdom of published memoir authors. Come for the fun. Come for the information. Come for the inspiration.
“Reading Rosie’s Daughters changed my life; I will never be the same.” Matilda Butler’s book, Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story recently earned these words of praise. “I understand what this reader meant,” Butler says. “Writing the book had the same effect on me. Until I gathered and compiled women’s stories into this collective memoir, even I didn’t grasp the significance and impact of our lives.”
In Rosie's Daughters (a 2008 IPPY National Book Award winner), Butler defines a generation of women usually relegated to the Silent Generation. She contends that Rosie’s Daughters (of which she is one) have earned separate status as the “First Woman To” (FW2) Generation: “We were born during WWII (daughters of the iconic Rosie the Riveter), raised in the placid `50s, shaped by the tumultuous `60s, and refused to take ‘no’ for an answer.”
Butler is surprising her Rosie's Daughters’ cohorts with the fact that collectively they hold more firsts in business, entertainment, professions, sports, government and education than any other generation of women. Think Nancy Pelosi, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Barbara Boxer, Diane Sawyer, Alice Waters, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Judge Judy, Martha Stewart, Billie Jean King, among many others. No Silent Generation there. The milestones, accomplishments and turning points attributed to the millions of Rosie’s Daughters overshadow even Baby Boomer women.
All of this has a generation of Rosie's Daughters retracing and reflecting on lives that now span six decades. Their actions and accomplishments, good and bad, have changed the lives of all successive generations of women. The book of this trailblazing generation encourages women of all ages to examine their lives. One woman said, “I’ve been busy just living my life. This book caused me to look at the successes and failures I’ve made. Now I can quit repeating my mistakes.”
As a direct result of the 100+ interviews for Rosie’s Daughters, Butler came to understand the need for women to tell their stories. For too long, their stories have been kept private. To help women, she now teaches and coaches them in writing their memoirs. With her co-author Kendra Bonnett, Butler has founded Two Women Business and Publishing to create products and services that help women to not only write their stories but also to publish and market their books.
Learn more about Matilda at her web sites: