Mikki Lincoln Edits a Memoir (and a giveaway)

Kaitlyn Dunnett here, on release day for A Fatal Fiction, the third entry in the Deadly Edits Mysteries. When this one opens, Mikki Lincoln’s freelance editing business is doing quite well. One of her current clients is eighty-six-year-old Sunny Feldman, a prominent Lenape Hollow resident who is writing a memoir about the days when Sullivan County, New York was known as the Borscht Belt and her family owned one of the most successful of the Catskill resorts.

As always in writing this series, I incorporate some of my own memories. I grew up in the Borscht Belt during the 1950s and 1960s. Lenape Hollow is fictional, but it shares many characteristics of my home town of Liberty, New York. Liberty was semi-famous as the home of Grossinger’s. Lenape Hollow has Feldman’s Catskill Resort Hotel. The remaining buildings at The G were torn down in 2018. In A Fatal Fiction, Feldman’s is scheduled for the wrecking ball. Of course, since I write murder mysteries, things don’t go smoothly. When a body is found on the premises, demolition grinds to a halt and Mikki, who quarreled quite publicly with the victim only the day before his death, shoots to the top of local law enforcement’s list of suspects.

My recollections of living in a town where the population more than doubled every summer make it easy to create a background for Mikki Lincoln, but in this book I was also able to make use of another personal experience. When my grandfather died at the age of ninety-five, I inherited his papers and diaries, including the reminiscences he titled “The Life of a Plodder”—his autobiography. At that time, I was the unpublished author of several historical novels. For the family, I tackled the job of pulling Grampa’s story together and in 1980 I distributed the result to numerous cousins. The experience was educational. The biggest lesson I learned was that you can’t entirely trust memory. Grampa’s version of some events differed considerably from what was reported in newspaper articles written at the time. On the other hand, there was a gold mine of information in his diaries. Notes on crops he planted took up a lot of space, but he also recorded bits and pieces of his neighbors’ lives—the kind of detail that is so often lost to history.

Anyway, long story short, I’ve had some experience working with a memoir. In fact, over the last forty years, “The Life of a Plodder” has been through several revisions. It was available for the general public to read at my webpage for some time and I recently updated and published it as an e-book. You can find links to buy at https://books2read.com/u/mlwvAP. Like Sunny Feldman’s memoir, it’s rich in local history. Although it may be of limited interest to most people, those whose grandparents or great-grandparents are mentioned in it may someday want to read what my grandfather wrote.

For those interested in discovering what Sunny’s memoir has to do with murder, click here for links to retailers.

For a chance to win a hardcover copy of A Fatal Fiction, just leave a comment and you’ll be entered in a drawing to take place July 7. I hate to do it, but I have to make this entries from U.S. mailing addresses only. Good Luck!

With the June 30, 2020 publication of A Fatal Fiction, Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett will have had sixty-two books traditionally published. She won the Agatha Award and was an Anthony and Macavity finalist for best mystery nonfiction of 2008 for How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries and was an Agatha Award finalist in 2015 in the best mystery short story category. She was the Malice Domestic Guest of Honor in 2014. Currently she writes the contemporary Liss MacCrimmon Mysteries and the “Deadly Edits” series as Kaitlyn. As Kathy, her most recent book is a collection of short stories, Different Times, Different Crimes, but there is a new, standalone historical mystery, The Finder of Lost Things, in the pipeline for October. She maintains websites at www.KaitlynDunnett.com and www.KathyLynnEmerson.com. A third, at A Who’s Who of Tudor Women, contains over 2000 mini-biographies of sixteenth-century Englishwomen.

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30 Responses to Mikki Lincoln Edits a Memoir (and a giveaway)

  1. Ann Hough says:

    I have ordered the e-book but will gladly take a hard copy. :). My mother, at 84, wrote her life history. I helped her with it and did the final typing and we had it printed and bound and sent out to family. She titled it from 1916 to 2000. She lived another 8 years. It helps so much to have this family history in actual written form.

  2. kaitlynkathy says:

    Ann, what a wonderful experience. I would have loved to be able to talk with my grandfather (and ask him questions!) while I was going through the handwritten pages he left behind.

  3. Brenda Buchanan says:

    I’m really looking forward to A FATAL FICTION. Mikki is such a wonderful character, and I love the setting for this series, too. Congratulations on its release!

  4. Alice Dashiell says:

    I have enjoyed following Mikki’s adventures but I particularly look forward to this next book – – I have been the instructor of many memoir writing classes. Lots of amazing stories!

    • kaitlynkathy says:

      Thanks, Alice. It must have been fascinating working with so many different people on their memoirs.

      • Alice says:

        I have heard so many amazing stories read by my students. We often decide that there is no such thing as a functional family – – all are dysfunctional to some extent.

  5. Kay Garrett says:

    I find it fascinating to learn about ones past. Our forefathers had a vast array of knowledge to pass on if we are fortunate enough to be able to know of it. What an extremely wonderful find when your grandfather’s memoirs were found. And how fortunate for generations to come that you saved them in such a fabulous way. History from memory often takes it being told by many sources, as each one’s memory may be quite different, and then research to confirm or deny those facts. Take my family for instance, my grandfather migrated to the United States but the age and port he entered differed greatly from verbal recounts and written documentation. If it was all so easy to piece together, what would be the challenge of doing it?

    Congratulations of the release of “A Fatal Fiction”, a much anticipated book! I know that I personally have been looking forward to the opportunity of reading it having it on my TBR list.

    Thank you for the chance to win not only a copy, but a hardback copy! Shared and hoping to be the very fortunate one selected.

    Be safe, stay healthy and have a little adventure along the way – even if through the pages of a good book.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  6. crys101497 says:

    Your grandfather’s book sounds so interesting. I am saving this blog post for when I get paid so I can get your grandfather’s book. Thanks so much for this post.

  7. Carol Knudtson says:

    This book sounds wonderful. Thanks for the contest.

  8. Sally Fortney says:

    I enjoy all of your series. I’ve always liked history and still read autobiographies and some biographies. Stay safe and well.

  9. Jane Nelson says:

    Oooh, I can’t wait to read this. As you know, I’m a big time fan of all your series. And since genealogy is one of my hobbies, what I wouldn’t give for a family memoir!

  10. karaleigh2 says:

    Very interesting! legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  11. Julianne Spreng says:

    Nothing like a drawing to excite us commenters! My youngest sister interviewed my dad before he died and was able to get some WWII memories from him. He was always free with family stories and was a natural story teller. But, he kept the war stories to himself. She recorded the talks. So, we not only have the stories but in his voice. It’s something I treasure.

    It’s true that as we experience time, we don’t know how precious it is. We all lived through periods that are gone and will never happen again. Some we may prefer to forget. Some we may wish to remember often. Your living through the Catskills era probably didn’t seem so memorable at the time. Looking back it’s quite remarkable. I’m glad that you have those memories and the memories of your grandfather.

    • kaitlynkathy says:

      Thanks, Julianne. I have my mom and a couple of her friends on cassette tape, talking about growing up in the same area of New York State in the 1920s and it’s priceless.

  12. diannekc says:

    You were so lucky to have your Grandfather’s written memories. Must be nice being able to read them. Would really like to read “A Fatal Fiction”, sounds like my kind of read.

    • kaitlynkathy says:

      Thanks, Dianne. I was doubly lucky in that I got to spend a lot of time with him when I was growing up. I have him to thank for my interest in history and genealogy.

  13. Marla B says:

    I admire anyone who can write a memoir. It’s a wonderful thing to do for future generations especially.

  14. Lori B says:

    I really am enjoying this series. Can’t wait to read this one. Thanks for a chance to win!

  15. itslorrie says:

    Yeah! Another Deadly Edits book. I love this series.
    Thanks Kaitlynn for doing this giveaway!

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