As a LifeBook Memoirs editor, certain books tend to linger in your mind long after they’re finished. Martin Sterne’s autobiography, A Rollercoaster Life, is one such book for me. Although Martin received his completed memoir more than a year ago, I still remember the project very fondly.
Martin was proactive with his LifeBook Memoirs project team from the very beginning. He worked with his ghostwriter and editor to ensure that his life story was told in precisely the way that he wanted. With style and tone perfected, his team proceeded to write a life story of extraordinary variety.
Voyage to the East
We learn that, after several brushes with tragedy in his early years, Martin took an extended voyage to the East through the Voluntary Service Overseas organization. The 18 months that he then spent in Borneo were eventful – his stories from this period range from the funny to the profound. Martin describes his daily routine of waking on a bare-board bed, running a school, and trying to teach the locals how to play rugby, but he also shows an interest in the social and political struggles of the people around him. In this way, A Rollercoaster Life is not just a collection of memories; it is also a slice of history that will be treasured by his family for generations to come.
Back home, Martin’s career took several twists and turns as he worked in accountancy, the meat industry, the property business, and a number of other business and community ventures. While his book is structured chronologically, his project team used thematic chapters to provide each aspect of his life with a sense of narrative.
A philosophical approach
Martin also devotes several chapters to his beloved wife, children, and grandchildren, as well as to his adventures around the world. He talks with humor and grace about the passing of time and how his priorities have changed over the course of his life. Martin’s philosophical approach adds a further layer of depth to the facts and events of his life, and his authorial voice conveys a strong sense of his personality to his readers.
We all enjoyed working on Martin’s LifeBook Memoir, so much so that we were almost sorry to see it finished! Once it was printed and bound, Martin was delighted with the finished product. In his own words, “Your warm, attentive approach, my interviewer’s humor, and the excellent end product are a tribute to LifeBook Memoirs.”
Written by Ben Creeth, LifeBook Memoirs editor