…a bit about me. If you would like to find out about my credentials and professional history scroll down and go to My More Formal Bio.
After you have a read, click here and tell me your story. I can’t wait to hear from you.
I’m a non-fiction author, professional ghostwriter, and book/writing coach. I’m a proud #memoiraholic – I adore the genre, the memoirists and especially, being part of the publishing industry’s love affair with personal history and tale-telling. I’m a rare disease advocate, writer of memoirs with a decidedly strong medical and science-y theme and the mother of two very tall young men, who still let me hang out with them, because I am so very, very cool.
I am an alchemist of story. A magnet for life writing. An eager listener who feasts on the details. I’m that person you meet at a dinner party, between the shelves in the bookstore or in the coffee shop line that you find yourself telling your history to.
I have a ton of formal education (and way more painfully-earned street smarts). The education may explain my appreciation for formal writing and my many years of experience coaching aspiring university essay writers. Learning lessons the hard way, through loss, crisis and life journey surprises taught me to be a keen observer, and to miss nothing. In addition to my obsession with diction, and passion for distinctive and underused words, these are unique skill sets that inform and enhance my writing. I’ve authored two memoirs, both seeking publishers who love them. You can read more about my work-in-progress on My Books page.
I love the challenge of short pieces and am a very active and widely published blogger. Come find me on social media where I post about my writing life, memoirs that deserve your reading time, and the things I pick up along the way as I take stories to their place on the page.
#whatsyourstory #memoiraholic #pattimhall and #raremoms are all me.
Betsy Rapoport, wildly experienced former non-fiction acquisitions editor, sought after professional editor, life coach, writer, and ghostwriter has this to say about me: “Patti Hall understands the intimate, tender, often heart-breaking process of diving deep into the psyche so necessary for memoir writing. Let her lead you through this difficult yet rewarding journey as you find your voice and tell your story.”
My More Formal Bio
I achieved a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto and after years working in municipal government, I completed a lengthy Master in Environmental Studies degree at York University. Among my research interests was a consideration of sense of place and the persistence of historical and architectural legacy in urban environments. I’ve written and published academically, and produced significant policy documents as a strategic planning advisor in a major regional government. I have ghostwritten in the genres of memoir, self-help and business, and maintain coaching relationships with a select group of brilliant writers who are driven to tell the stories of their lives.
If you are interested in what I’m up to now, here are some summaries of ongoing non-fiction book and essay length projects I’m working on:
- Our Own Forever: a mother a son and the unthinkable: A memoir that brings to light the innumerable roles that a parent assumes when their child is diagnosed with a chronic or critical illness. Our Own Forever is the story of my endurance and self-destruction, while I unwittingly sacrificed everything including marriage, extended family support, friendships, new love but perhaps most significantly, myself in order to be what my son needed when the ultra-rare diagnosis of gigantism was tossed into our family like a grenade. I became cheerleader, advocate, unofficial scrub nurse, lay expert, researcher, folklorist and counsellor to get my teenaged son essential and timely treatment. But the roles of mental health patient, orphan and crisis mom resulted from extended periods rejecting my need for self-care. This is every parent’s story, but certainly a book that will appeal to anyone who is confronting, fearing or suspecting that a medical monster is going to attack their child’s future. There is a state beyond fight or flight where I believe the parents of sick children live, and it is endurance–a place where we dwell, morph, evolve, and persist until our child is safe enough for us to return to our own care. For many of us in the rare disease world, that day never comes and so we endure some more.
- Promises Never Die: What We Really Want At Our Life’s End: This non-fiction manuscript feathers together the end-of-life experiences of two men I loved, one who came into my life via an Internet accident and the other by an accident of giving me his DNA. My ten-month long palliative care companionship of a forty-something-year-old man confronting the infamous diagnosis of pancreatic cancer taught me how a dying person might measure the essence of a life well-lived, the importance or lack thereof, of bucket lists, and the power of feeling in control. The ten-day bedside journey with my father, revealed the same lessons in microcosm. Promises Never Die touches on the history of the study of grief, the personalization of bereavement while holding the palliative care movement in highest regard as it evolves slowly in tandem with a resurging reverence for “the good death”.
- Living Large: I’m exploring the compelling fact that the way giants (people with the disease gigantism and its adult iteration acromegaly) have been depicted in myth and folklore has scientific accuracy in the clinical symptomology of the disease. I’m drawing attention to the persistent writing, reverence and revulsion human societies present of giants in fairy tales and cultural tomes. While I’m at it I highlight the latest genetic research into gigantism, hotspots for the disease around the world (Ireland in particular) and debunk some of the false information that we’ve been fed by movies and media. Fireside stories were created to entertain, yes, but more than that they were crafted to convey legacy. In essays on the subject of folklore in life, gigantism looms large because of my personal relationship with the disease and intimate connection, genetic and otherwise, to people who have borne the diagnosis since its label was established in the 1880’s.