Book ideas don’t materialize out of nothing. Built on foundations of experience, or rooted in something larger than a single story, ideas begin as ethereal and boundless shapes. Over time they take form, eventually becoming distinct and real. Bitterroot: A Salish Memoir of Transracial Adoption is such a book. Although shaping the story has its challenges, writing memoir requires a discussion of ethics, because each of our lives intersects with so many others. In what way does one write about these intersecting lives in respectful ways?
Editor, Tony Eames, of the blog site NFReads.com, recently asked me questions about the book, and my answers evolved into the short essay, posted here, that explored not only the roots of Bitterroot, but my personal ethics in writing memoir.