"If there's a book that you want to read,
but it hasn't been written yet,
then you must write it."
   Toni Morrison

Books, Other

Tyler BooksPapers and Presentations

Authors Blog

Writing a Memoir

By | Norm's Author Blog | 2 Comments

We would like to embolden you to consider taking pen (or computer) in hand and consider writing a personal memoir. Such a project can satisfy you in a number of ways. To encourage you we share the following thoughts and quotes other writers.

William Zinsser, in his book On Writing Well, says, “No other nonfiction form goes so deeply to the roots of personal experience as the memoir—to all the drama and pain and humor and unexpectedness of life. Memoir is the art of inventing the truth. What gives it power is the narrowness of its focus. The memoir writer takes us back to some corner of his or her past that was unusually intense.

“Memoir isn’t the summary of a life; it’s a window into a life; it’s a deliberate construction. The crucial ingredient in memoir is people. You must summon back the men and women and children who notably crossed your life. The most interesting character in a memoir will turn out to be the person who wrote it. The best gift to offer is the gift of yourself.”

Stephen King shared thoughts in his book, On Writing. “When you first write something, you should write it for yourself. When you rewrite it, write it for everyone else. Take out everything that isn’t the story. Once it’s out there, you don’t own it anymore, everyone else does.

“You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot, and the most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.”

Gloria Steinem in her book, On the Road, says, “…there is no better moment in life than finding the right word.” In so many cases, like hers and perhaps like yours, the need to get the words out is the most compelling reason for writing. We do it to share our stories, to elicit responses from others, and because it feels good. Emily Dickinson said it simply: “Tell all the truth but tell it slant.”

15 Generations…

By | Norm's Author Blog | Comments

Indications are my new book, 15 Generations of American Stories: Notable Descendants of Immigrant Job Tyler, is selling like hotcakes. Thanks to all who have purchased a copy, or multiple copies, as a gift for the holidays. I hope everyone enjoys reading the colorful stories of many generations of Tylers, just as I enjoyed discovering them. It’s available on Amazon Books under my name (Norman Tyler).

There is now a Facebook page, titled “Job Tyler Family History,” providing a way to keep informed on this book and other Tyler family history.

Tyler History Book now available!

By | Norm's Author Blog | 4 Comments

I am pleased to announce my latest book, 15 Generations of American Stories: Notable Descendants of Immigrant Job Tyler, has just been published. Although focusing on the extended Job Tyler family, this narrative history should be of interest to any reader fascinated by the human side of the American experience. Included are 35 biographies collected from five eras of American history. Stories include Mary Sawyer Tyler, whose lamb was honored in a very popular poem; Joseph Tyler, murdered by Caribbean pirates; Comfort Tyler, accused of being a traitor in the Aaron Burr Conspiracy; Mary Tyler, burdened for her entire life by accusations at the Salem Witch Trials; Moses Coit Tyler, a distinguished academic who established the first national historical organization; two Tyler Civil War generals and heroes serving for separate Union and Confederate armies; and relatives of three different United States presidents, none being President John Tyler.

The stories included in its 193 pages could be a wonderful gift for family and friends. You can find it on Amazon Books under my name. I hope you enjoy reading about the colorful stories of these individuals as much as I enjoyed discovering them.

Tylers and WikiTree

By | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

A note from Norm on two points regarding my current project:

First: I have just completed the manuscript for my new book, Job Tyler: History of an Immigrant Family Over Fifteen Generations. Chapter topics include: origins of the Tyler name; a history of the historic Tyler Homestead in Massachusetts; biographies of Tylers from many eras of American history; and a host of other topics of historical interest. The book includes profiles of 33 interesting and “notable” individuals from extended Tyler family lineages beginning with immigrant Job Tyler, who arrived in 1638. I am especially pleased a number of readers have volunteered to provide final comments on the narrative before it goes to press. (If you would also like to be a reader, please let me know now.)

Second: I have uploaded the family tree of each of those 33 individuals using WikiTree genealogical software. WikiTree allows users to research and contribute to their own personal family trees, while also building and collaborating on a singular worldwide family tree. Its mission in this regard is truly amazing. WikiTree now includes over twenty million profiles, and more than five million connections confirmed through DNA testing. Contributions come from over 600,000 genealogist volunteers. I myself have added more than one thousand Tyler names to its database.

WikiTree was selected for this purpose because of its ease of use, no cost, and ability to merge family trees from across the world. If you are interested in your family history, whether “Tyler” or another family, I encourage you to review their home page; you likely will appreciate what this dedicated group of volunteer genealogists is accomplishing. IMHO, WikiTree has served as an especially useful complement to the information in the new book.

So that’s my update. We hope you keep in touch on this and other topics of special interest.

The Thomas Jefferson Connection

By | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

We find it’s fun to discover new historical connections in our writing. Maybe you’ll enjoy this latest revelation of ours.

During our recent trip to Virginia we toured Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello. In his study we saw an open book with a detailed illustration of a Greek column, shown in the photo. Among all the other artifacts, somehow this book looked familiar.

As we completed the extended house tour, it dawned on us. These might be pages from Antiquities of Athens, written in 1762 by James Stuart and Nicholas Revett, who spent years in Athens documenting the remaining structures of ancient Greece.

What made this so special for us? Stuart and Revett’s book served as the basic “pattern book” for the Greek Revival style of architecture that became so popular in mid-19thcentury America. In our book, Greek Revival in America, we researched the style because our house, recognized as an excellent example of a Greek Revival residence, was based on the Temple of Artemis Agrotera illustrated their book.

We thought to ourselves: Did Thomas Jefferson use the same book as a resource for Monticello? Back in our hotel room, we opened our laptop and googled “Thomas Jefferson Stuart Revett” and found Jefferson had given the very same book by Stuart and Revett to his head carpenter, James Dinsmore!

This provided sufficient evidence to conclude that Jefferson referred to the same “pattern book” for the design of Monticello as was used for our house. Such is the fun of architectural history.

(For info on our books, see tylertopics.com/writing/books )

Subscribe to Blog
Subscribe to Blog to receive email notification of new postings.