Moving Memoir

by Guest Blogger, Karen Abarbanel

Dec. 23, 2021

“The many months my pilot and I spent apart also showed us the strength of our marriage and our love for each other…we knew any trials to come would pale in comparison to what we’d endured in wartime…Life is nothing but new beginnings.”

A gifted artist, teacher, and writer, Sarajane Giere had a story she wanted to tell: a story of love, resilience, and family. Her award-winning memoir, My Pilot, was years in the making. It developed over time into a book that’s garnered wide praise, not just from everyday readers, but in military circles as well.

At its core, My Pilot is the story of Bernie and Sarajane Giere’s marriage and Bernie’s distinguished career as a fighter pilot in Vietnam and a commander in the Air National Guard. It’s also a story of perseverance. Sarajane’s journey from page to publication took patience and planning:

She made her story bigger: While My Pilot is a memoir, Sarajane transformed it into more than just her personal story. It’s also about the military family Sarajane and her husband and children belonged to.

She reached out for expert help: As her story began to take shape, Sarajane began working with Lorraine Ash, a book editor, writing instructor, and memoirist. Lorraine helped her structure the book, encouraged her, and “guided her on the path to publishing.”

She honed her craft: Sarajane’s essays have appeared in The New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor. She workshopped her memoir at writing retreats and with the Write Group, where fellow writers critiqued and helped sharpen her prose.

She did her homework: Sarajane was a newbie to book publishing, but she quickly educated herself about the industry and social media. Ultimately, My Pilot was accepted by a small, well-regarded independent, Imzadi Publishing.

Sometimes stories take time to ripen and reach their full potential. But when they do, it’s immensely satisfying. Bravo, Sarajane! Write on!

Thank you, Karen. 

Please visit Karen’s blog to read more:

For more on Sarajane and My Pilot, visit:

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