Frequently Asked Questions

1. What can I expect at the consultation?
The consultation is your opportunity to state and explore exactly what you hope to achieve. From that, we will assess your goals and suggest those services that will best meet those goals. We will want to determine what you may already have in place, such as company or family records and photographs.

2. What are the different packages?
You can custom design your project by piecing together the services we offer. Interviews can be audio or video. These interviews can be transcribed. Further, the material from these interviews can be developed into a full storyline for a book. The video can be edited to a shorter version for a half hour-to-hour movie.

3. What is the process once we get started?
If oral history interviews are in your package, each recording session is one and a half hours. A life story usually runs from seven to ten hours. A company history can range from 10 to 30 hours. We can schedule a morning and afternoon session so that covers three hours of the total. We will give the interviewee some advance tools so as to note special events and stories that should be covered. We may also contact other people in the company or family to add ideas for topics to be covered.

4. What happens after the interviews are completed?
We strongly suggest that the interview at least be transcribed. The material can then be edited so that it is presented in a logical order and, as mentioned earlier, we can now begin crafting a narrative storyline.

5. We heard you talk about historical research. What does that mean?
As researchers, we will scour newspapers and archives for items that might add to your storyline. Examples of past research results: A photo of a company house that reflected the type of home in which the interviewee’s father lived. A copy of a publication of the hometown’s history. A newspaper account of the ancestor’s company that was set up graphically like a comic strip. Creating maps that show where the ancestors lived.

6. How extensive is your genealogy research?
Good question! Initially, we will include the information you have on hand and then discuss with you how far back you wish to go with your tree. Extensive research means obtaining birth, marriage, and death certificates, census records, passenger records, grave markers, etc. With today’s databases, quite a bit can be accomplished with eight hours of research.

7. What if we want a book?
A book requires a graphically pleasing look and we pride ourselves in this. We work with selected photos and craft custom graphics such as time lines, maps, and family/company trees. We will show you fonts selections and design title pages for your approval. Then we are ready to discuss options for printing and bookbinding.

8. Once I commit, how soon will I have the finished product in hand?

An average project that includes oral history interviews, a narrative account, historical context research, genealogy, photo research and restoration, printing and binding takes anywhere from a year to three years. This takes into account the turnaround from the various contractors: transcriptionist, editors, printer and binder. In addition, genealogy research takes on a time line of its own. We may send for a death certificate that we hope will tell us the great-grandparent’s name and place of birth. It can take up to twelve weeks to get that certificate in the mail. With the great-grandparent’s information in hand, we now turn around and request a certificate for that ancestor and that is another twelve weeks.

9. What if I commit to a package and the research or interview hours exceed the package agreement?
Our contract spells out exactly what we will deliver based on the estimate for the services you want. Should it look like the interview hours could exceed our estimate, we will contact you and see how you would like to proceed. This so rarely happens because we are more likely to overestimate, which we do on purpose. In that case we credit you! A best case scenario.

10. How much collaboration am I allowed?
We love collaboration. We want this to be your project.

Sting Interview“Well, I’ve never thought that I would write a book, frankly. I was honour-bound really to dig deep and bring memories, perhaps, that had been suppressed for a long time, that I would have preferred, perhaps, to remain in the sediment of my life. But having done that and having got through this process, I now feel so much better. I’ve really forgiven people in my life and forgiven myself. And I feel much lighter because of it. So the process has been wonderful. And I’m advising everyone I meet, all of my friends and everybody – people in the street, ‘Write your own book.’ Whether you publish it or not, it feels really good.”
— Sting, from Katie Couric’s interview about his book Broken Music