Springfield Man Writes Other’s Stories with LifeStory Memoir

Photos courtesy of Richard Squires

 

By Steve Sears

For 43-year-old Richard Squires, Thanksgiving of 2015 will always be special.

That very Thursday, his Grandpa Ben asked Squires when he was going to write a story about him. 

Squires embraced and embarked on the request. The book was printed two days before his grandfather died. 

There’s sometimes a touch of melancholy. “Come Thanksgiving,” Squires says, “I start to think about that. My grandfather was in the hospital, he had a stroke, and I was there and I was able to tell them that we finished the book and it was at the printers. He wasn’t able to speak, but he could communicate with his eyes, and it was a beautiful moment that I’ll never forget. I could see that he was very happy about it.”

25 copies of the book were printed, and it was the inception of LifeStory memoir. “I gave it out to my cousins, my aunts and uncles, and my brothers. I have a couple copies here, I keep it with me, and I always talk about it. I love to share it because that was before my branding. My books now all have my logo, so it really was the lightbulb moment with my business.”

Squires, who has done corporate writing and has taught the writing at both Kean University and Union County College, has written thirty memoirs for clients and is currently at work on six others. Both the initial meeting with a clients and handing them the final product – their own memoir – are equally exciting for him. “When I give them the book – I call it the Big Book Reveal – I like to video it so I capture their expression when they first see it. I capture it on video and then I have it edited into professional quality, and I’m able to provide that to the clients, also. But that’s just a moment. The interviews are probably my favorite part. What’s so great about it is that they really open up to me, telling me the heart of their lives. And I asked them a ton of questions, and we always have an idea of certain things we’re going to talk about, but then through the questions that I ask, I kind of probe and make certain connections, and they always think of things that they haven’t thought about for years.”

A trust is cemented between Squires and those he writes for. “And it really continues on forever,” he says, “because for pretty much all my clients, we become friends. I’m always available to them. They are in touch with me, they may want to do other books, sometimes they want to make a change, or sometimes they have questions for me or they need my help.” 

Squires work is not limited to memoir writing. Consider his LoveStory keepsake books for those getting married, eulogies and programs authored for funerals, slide presentations, podcast and workshop work. “I offer memoir writing workshops and creative writing workshops,” Squires says, “and that includes the genres of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. And I’m always available to chat with people. I talk with a lot of people who don’t move forward with projects, but I’m always happy to do it. Some people have already done some of their writing or are in different stages. Some people have interviews with family members who have already passed away. I work with all that.”

And there is a pressure to get the work done when it comes to memoir work. “There’s this pressure,” Squires says, “because for one thing, a lot of my clients are elderly, and I need to get the project done. Time is of the essence. So, there’s that, and just that my clients are waiting on me. And I put that pressure on myself because I believe in customer service. I’m big on that. I want all my clients to be happy, and I’ve had 100% satisfaction; my clients have been happy. And I want to keep going.”

Squires is fully committed to his wonderful career. “I am blessed. I figured out a way to do something that I love to do that’s in my skill set, and it’s just amazing. Better than anything I’ve done before.”

For more information about LifeStory books, visit www.lifestorymemoir.com. Squires can be contacted at (973) 903-1487 or Richard@LifeStoryMemoir.com

 

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