I remember being a kid never rushing away after big holiday dinners as I enjoyed listening to the adults tell stories. My twin brother was always bored by such things, but I loved hearing the stories of my grandmother coming to America from Italy and what it was like not being able to speak the language. She told me how the Italians would mime out the things they needed at the grocery store and my favorite story was how she once saw someone clucking like a chicken in an attempt to locate eggs. Why take this walk down memory lane? Well, my guest today, Ellen Nichols, shared a memory of how, as a little girl, she used to sneak downstairs after her bedtime and hide behind the couch listening to her grandparents tell stories. She was captivated by these tales of old, and that is really where her story as an author began; as a little girl hiding behind a sofa.
Ellen grew up in the American Deep South, but with a spirit of adventure, she went up to Toronto, Canada, for graduate school, and stayed fifty years. She has been writing for a living for years, but always for someone else. Her grant proposals, direct-marketing letters, and especially her thank-you letters are legendary and her persuasive writing skills raised millions of dollars. Those Canadians loved her tales about her Southern life so much, she decided to write them down and they became her memoir, Remember Whose Little Girl You Are, which she joined me on Uncorking a Story to Discuss.
- Ellen’s motivation for writing her memoir.
- How she moved around every three or four years as her father was a Methodist minister.
- How moving around so much helped Ellen develop stronger communication skills.
- The significance behind the title of her book.
- The story behind the Teddy Bear in the frame of her video and the significance of the man who gave it to her.
I wanted people to know that not everybody who was white and living in the Deep South in the 40s, and 50s, and 60s, were all racist. Some of us were quite liberal and I wanted people to know that because I don’t think history made a big deal about that. And that was one of the reasons I wanted to publish it.” — Ellen Nichols.
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