Why the Most Difficult Part of Writing a Memoir is Being Truthful

From October 20—22, 2017, the Stratford Writers Festival will take over Stratford, Ontario, as some of Canada’s top literary and creative talents come together for this unique three-day festival. With the festival rapidly approaching, we caught up with attending author Lorina Mapa to ask her a few questions about her latest projects, and why literary festivals are important to the Canadian artistic community.

To hear more from Lorina, click here to purchase tickets to her upcoming Stratford Writers Festival panel entitled My Life: Memoirs As Told By Grief with authors Glenn Dixon and Marianne Apostolides, and moderated by Alison Wearing.

Why do you feel that graphic novels are growing in popularity?  

These days, most readers (especially younger generations) are aware that comic books are no longer the sole domain of Batman or Archie (both of which I am a fan of). With the constant blurring of genres in all types of pop culture (films, music, and books), graphic novels are simply seen as another way of telling a story.

For me, there is a certain intimacy with graphic novels in the same manner there is with radio or subtitled foreign language films; because not every bit of information has been given, a more active participation occurs. Although the artist/writer can draw their world, since it isn’t in a realistic style, a reader also has to interpret and imagine things, and that can lead to powerful connections. So, for me, it’s a different way of connecting.

What is the most difficult part of writing a memoir? 

Being truthful while respecting and knowing that what you say may not always be perceived well by those you love. I’m not bothered about how I come across to the public, but this may not be the case with others in my life, and it’s not like they had a choice in the matter.

Why do you feel it’s important to meet readers at events such as the Stratford Writers Festival?

I think it emphasizes an authenticity with readers, the fact that writers are real people. And more importantly, we are all celebrating a shared love of books.

What is your favourite part about attending writers festivals or literary events?

I love everything about it: meeting readers, fellow authors, and event organizers.

Are you working on any projects right now?

I’m working on two projects right now: one book of short stories (about animals) that take place during my childhood; another is a somewhat wacky sequel to Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos and Me that takes place when I am aged 16-21 and move to the States. My boyfriend from art school (and future husband) visits the Philippines for the first time. Culture shock on both sides and hilarity ensue, so I’m having fun doing that. Neither of them will have anything near the dramatic stakes or depth of my first book, and I am okay with that.


To hear more, don’t miss Lorina’s panel entitled My Life: Memoirs As Told by Grief on Saturday, October 21, 2017, at 1:30 pm at the Stratford Writers Festival. See you there!

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Do you read graphic novels? Why do you think they are growing in popularity?