Frequently Asked Questions

What You Want to Know

What is a personal history?

A personal history is your life story. Memoirs, celebrations, military experience, the history of a family business or a recounting by others at a family reunion.

Where do I start?

The process can be effortless—and even enjoyable! In a series of informal conversations in your home, Milestones will guide you in capturing the rich details of your life story. Carefully crafted questions are provided before each conversation.

Who will write my story?

You—with the help of Milestones, The Gift of a Lifetime. Our team is skilled in the art of interviewing. Bonnie Bell enjoyed a long career with People magazine and has been assisting clients to write their life stories since 1999.

How long will it take?

Depending upon the scope of your project, Milestones will provide you with a beautifully bound book or video in as few as three months. All interviews are conducted in person unless prior arrangements are made for telephone interviews. You will select the photos and memorabilia to be featured in your life story. All text is professionally copy edited and prepared for printing.

What will I get?

A library-quality book that includes a table of contents, chapter headings, your personal narrative, quotes from friends or relatives if you wish, treasured photographs in black and white or color, and photocopies of personal documents. See samples on Home page.

How do I decide if my “story” is worth telling?

Everyone has a story to tell but just to convince yourself, review our Personal History Checklist.

Memoir Checklist:

  • Knowledge of my parents’ and grandparents’ origins
  • Memories of siblings
  • Favorite childhood friends
  • Favorite family stories; quirky relatives
  • First loves
  • Memories of holiday gatherings
  • Schools days
  • War stories
  • First job
  • Career stories
  • Memories of early marriage & children
  • Favorite vacations
  • Ancestral photos
  • Childhood photos
  • Documents recognizing personal and professional accomplishments
  • Photos of milestone events
  • Paths not taken
  • Lessons I’ve learned
  • Old family jokes
  • Mentors and people who have influenced me