The first sentence of Hollye Dexter’s new memoir, The Fire Season set up a page turning tension that makes the reader storm through every page and paragraph.
“You’d think there would have been more leading up to it, this moment when everything changes forever, but November 18, 1994 is just an average night.” We follow the clues of her intuition that night. “My neck is tight… What am I feeling?”
And, “I was still edgy as the sun set on this strange day, even more agitated when I saw the full moon rising.”
These passages lead up to the shocking surprise of a fire so hot, their child was already unconscious, and the family had to jump from a second story window to save their lives. They were burned, burned-out and in shock. Luckily the physical injuries healed fairly quickly, but the loss was profound, and sent emotional shock waves through Hollye and her family for years to come.
This book is about a fire, and it’s about tremendous loss and grief. It’s about how a life-threatening event changed everyone’s life for Hollye and her family and for everyone around them. This book is about literally rising from the ashes and the psychological journey of recovery of self. When everything is burned, diaries, work materials, beloved pets, all your clothes and furniture where do you go? What do you do? What other losses and dangers will arise as you try to move forward? It’s a story about how trauma burns a hole in your heart, and reminds you of all the other losses in your life. When everything is lost, how do you recover?
Hollye answers these questions and more in her just released memoir Fire Season—My Journey from Ruin to Redemption.
We’re lucky to have Hollye with us this week for our April Member Teleseminar. She’s going to share with us the secrets of writing a powerfully true memoir, a story that reveals the underbelly of relationships in family and friends that is not always ideal, a marriage that has strong love and strong conflicts, and a main character, Hollye, who reveals her flaws and freak-outs as much as the times when she finds her center and a new perspective. Hollye practices what she will talk about at the teleseminar on Friday: revealing truths that are difficult to admit and not pretty, creating fascinating and well-rounded characters in depth, and being able to keep all the threads and themes of her story alive and brimming with life all the way to the end of the book.
If you would like to join us, please go to the JOIN link on the website and learn about all the benefits you receive from becoming a member of the National Association of Memoir writers. We were in the New York Times last year, and we are always finding new ways to help you write and publish your memoir. Hope to see you this week on the teleseminar!