“Am I in it?” “I don’t remember it like that.” “Why didn’t you include the other story?” “Didn’t you miss out the other part?” Writing a memoir with so many real life people in it can make for a whole lot of “experts” on your subject…
The book is fairly self explanatory, it’s pretty much take it or leave it, there’s not a whole lot of misconstruction that could result from reading it.
Having said all of that, given that it’s a memoir, it’s not a fiction book where there are no additional backstories that the author simply didn’t flesh out. There are in fact thousands of moments and millions of seconds of detail that I simply couldn’t include. Editors are there for a reason, and they’re to make sure the arc of the story is formed by including only that which is deemed necessary.
So with that said, there are some disclaimers that I want to put out there that I would love for people to bear in mind as they read Lou Who?
Just because I didn’t include a story, or person, or event doesn’t mean it wasn’t important to me personally. I would have loved to include every sentimental memory and funny tidbit, but apparently 314 pages was quite long enough for my first book. If a story isn’t in there, or a friend isn’t mentioned, it’s not because it/they aren’t incredibly important to me. This book is not a checklist of my favourite things.
The book tells my story, it depicts my experience of the events I recount. As such there is the potential that other people involved in the same events remember them differently or experienced them differently. For every story there are 3 sides – my side, their side and the truth. That is the nature of the human condition. And I am wildly open to having other people share their sides, it just so happens that I wrote about about mine.
My opinions are exactly that, mine. If I thought a decision of mine was not the greatest, or described someone as the best sex I ever had (jokes, I don’t think I give that title to any one guy in the book), then that’s what I thought at the time. It’s not to say it’s true, it’s not to say it’s even what I think now, but for that moment in time, it was my truth.
Not every minute of those six years of my life are in there. It’s maybe hard to believe but there are stories I missed out. There will be other context or details that I didn’t include. The decision to leave anything out was in no way meant to mislead readers or misrepresent anyone. Especially not to misrepresent me into looking better. If anything one of my concerns with my writing this book was that I didn’t want to go “too easy” on myself. As the author I could have ensured I looked like a fully functioning, kind, considerate, mentally stable adult for the duration, but well, that’s not the truth. And so if anything was left out it was because we (my editor and I) felt that the general sentiment was construed with the information we did include.
None of these things should take away from what you read in Lou Who? but if your mind does start to wander to “what is she not telling us?” or “why am I not in there?” I hope this quells some of those thoughts. And really, how much more detail do you want?!