Cheryl Tan is a New York-based writer and author of A Tiger in the Kitchen - a memoir about discovering her Singaporean family by learning to cook with them. A Tiger In The Kitchen was published by New York City-based Hyperion in 2011. Here is a recap of her creative writing workshop, “Digging Up Skeletons: How to Mine Your Family History for Stories“ on October 7, 2012 at City University of Hong Kong. She offered tips on interviewing family members and how to structure a book.
At the @litfest_hk to support @cheryltan88 and learn about finding stories from family history #AAJAlove [pic]: http://4sq.com/UL7CRm
Tan emphasized the importance of recording the interviews on tape, just in case if there is a conflict between family members. Also recording the interview on video can trigger the writer’s senses, especially if the writer picks up the writing months after the interviews.
Writing tip from @cheryltan88: record family history on tape, took as many photos or videos to trigger your senses when you write #AAJA
Tan talked about how she utilizes her blog while writing her memoir. Besides using it to document her journey on writing the book, she also uses it as a tease to her readers and a way to let her audience to learn about her voice.
Writing tip from @cheryltan88: start a blog to find your voice if you are planning to write a memoir and may get noticed by editors