“Writing my life story has been quite a tedious process at times, but rewarding nevertheless. Over a period of about four years, with the help of my editor, Charlene Homan, I was able to put together a wonderful legacy to leave for my family and friends. The time and effort invested in writing my book were well worth the end product. Charlene was an excellent guide to keep me on track with interviews and thought-provoking questions to jog my memory. I could not have written my story without her professional help. Now I have the pleasure of personally delivering copies of my book to family and close friends and seeing the delight on their faces as they peruse through over 200 pages. I would highly recommend hiring Charlene Homan as your writer/editor. So no more thinking about it——just do it. You’ll be glad you did!”
— Julie H., Sun City West, AZ
“I became acquainted with Charlene Homan and Touchstone Storytelling while taking a class at Heartland Community College. The class was “The Making of a Memoir: Writing Your Life Story.” Charlene made a presentation to the class. At the time, I had written most of the content of my memoirs, but I needed help in organizing, wordsmithing, and ideas on what to include and not include. I contacted Charlene after the class, and we started working together on my project. She was easy to work with and met all timelines we established. She did research on some of my topics using resources that I wasn’t aware of or had access to. This allowed her to add pertinent information and pictures which added a lot to the content. Charlene was a tremendous help in the organization of the end product. I learned a lot about the process, and I hope she also learned a bit about what it was like growing up on a farm in the 1950s.
I would certainly recommend contacting Charlene if you have been thinking about writing your story!”
— Randy O., Bloomington, IL
“We were connected with Charlene Homan through our daughter, Karen, who thought we should write our family history. It was a little overwhelming and we didn’t know what to expect. We met with Charlene during Covid wearing masks. Charlene made us feel comfortable and we were able to determine the direction of the narrative. Although it was a lot of work revising what we had written, it was a wonderful experience. Charlene was very professional & pleasant to work with. We would recommend Charlene to anyone wanting to tell their story.”
— Dick & Lyne S., Bloomington, IL
“When my daughter asked me to meet Charlene I was excited. I was finally going to have help in what I wanted to leave to my grandchildren: the testimony of the lives of their grandparents for posterity. Charlene was exceptional in providing me with advice, suggestions and listening to my accounts with loads of patience. It made me happy to be able to share with her so many memories of my life. I know it must have been hard to spell so many foreign names. She did an excellent job with it. I know she has a special talent to help people build memories for their families. Keep up with the good work you are providing. My family and I were happy with the end result of our collaboration. Thanks for all you did for me.”
— Dina B., Chicago, IL
“I had written my story about growing up in a small town in Iowa and had a lot of pictures to go with it, but I had no idea what to do next. Fortunately, I had cut an ad out from The Pantagraph for Touchstone Storytelling and called. Charlene came right over. She took my story and my pictures, and we began finishing my book. With her help my story became better and the pictures were placed in just the right places. My book was published and the comments I have received back from those I gave my books to are better than I ever imagined. One comment noted, ‘This is so professionally done, from the writing to the layout to the binding!’ I could never have done this without Charlene’s expert help and know-how. Thank you, Charlene.”
— Betty J., Bloomington, IL
“Charlene was my editor on a two-year project of writing my memoirs which will be almost 200 pages. Only five copies are being made for my four grown children and me. I did all of the writing, but she polished some of the dialogue and helped me to refocus, particularly on one chapter where I struggled. Another benefit was the use of AP Style that gave consistency to my writing in terms of grammar, punctuation, etc. If you are going to engage in a life project such as this, I highly recommend the professional help that Charlene Homan and Touchstone Storytelling can provide.”
— Allan P., Champaign, IL
“I had started writing a book about our family when I heard Charlene with Touchstone Storytelling present at a local meeting. She talked about her professional ability to help clients write their memoirs and family stories. I asked if she would look at what I had started and give me ideas for finishing the book. The book is now complete and my family loves it. Charlene was a delightful, very professional lady who worked hard using my writings, interviewing me, writing my story, placing family pictures in appropriate places, and adding her own touches that made the book special. I would highly recommend you contact her and ask for her services as you consider writing your own story!”
Charlene M., Bloomington, IL
“We want to thank you, Charlene, for the beautiful job you did on our book. Each member of the family was gifted with a copy this Christmas and it was a definite hit. I particularly appreciate the research that was done. It has been delightful working with you and we wish you the best.”
— Mary Anne and Bill N., Walloon Lake, MI
“Charlene Homan’s work on my husband’s biography was professional and well organized.
“It has been my desire for more years than I can remember to relate my life experiences to others and I often said, “I wish I could write a book!” But, I had no idea where to begin. When I found Charlene Homan I was ecstatic and my adventure began. Charlene helped me so much by asking me pertinent questions about my life and then listening to me for hours and hours! She collected photographs from me and researched the internet to find information, dates and more photos to enrich the information I could provide about my ancestry. She even found some information that even I didn’t know. I had a list of people waiting in line for a copy when they found I was writing the book, and the comments have been very positive and even flattering.”
— Earl and Suzanne A., Bloomington, IL
“We believed that our mother’s experiences deserved to be recorded in some way, and we are so pleased that we placed our trust in Charlene to write her story. After many hours of interviewing, researching, writing and arranging, Charlene produced a book that is not only a record of Mom’s journey, but a beautiful story about family, love, war and a new life in a new country.”
— Kathy and Leroy J., Bloomington, IL
“Recently, I worked with Charlene Homan on an autobiography about my dear Aunt. She’s 91 years old and my last living relative, who is so very dear to me. Through the process I gained valuable insight about my maternal family. I wish I had done this for my mom. Having this experience with my Aunt brought me so much closer to my mom and her family’s history. Charlene personally interviewed my Aunt in her home for three sessions to my Aunt’s delight. She so enjoyed sharing her story with us. Charlene is so gracious, accommodating, an excellent listener and an expert at discovering the lost yet important facts about the past. I’m extremely grateful for her dedication to factual information and crafting it into a beautiful story about the life of a very special woman. If you are interested in preserving a beautifully written historical account of someone’s life, I highly recommend Charlene and Touchstone Storytelling.”
— Andrea K., Wauconda, IL
“You’ve done an outstanding piece of work. I love it and I can’t wait to start sharing the book and experience with friends.”
— Lynn W., Bloomington, IL
“The manuscript of the history of Labyrinth Outreach had been sitting on my desk for over a year. I had always wanted to write the organization’s history and the women it serves to bring awareness to others of their challenges and struggles as they reintegrate into the community after years behind bars. I also wanted to honor the hundreds of volunteers and donors who generously and willingly share their talents, time, and skills to help shape Labyrinth. But where do I find someone, an editor, who can work on my manuscript and help me publish my book?
Charlene was referred to me by a friend after she wrote their family history. I met with her and I shared my goal and intention. We agreed to meet after she had read my manuscript. On the second meeting, Charlene, told me that she can edit my work but asked me if I had considered including my personal life in the book. I cringed at her suggestion as I did not want to be “exposed”. She lovingly convinced me that the organization and my life are intertwined. Since I did not see it that way then, I asked for some time to process it. I finally agreed to include my life in the book. Luckily, I kept short reflections of family events which I shared with her. She continued to encourage me and she gave me the confidence to share my life. She believed my story is not just worth telling but worth writing and inspiring. She asked questions that helped me put together important events that led to the creation of Labyrinth. She helped me with everything: researching/updating information; collating pictures that went with the topic; writing/editing patiently the themes and chapters; creating the narrative for the back book cover; finding the designer for the book cover; and reminding me of details to be done and the endless work that goes with writing a book. Besides her exceptional editing job, Charlene also helped me with the marketing of my book. It was a new endeavor for her but she tackled the job head-on. She designed the book’s business cards, posters, bookmarks, and banner. She assisted me in determining the price of my book; in selecting the best media for promoting it; and identifying customer needs. She was generous with her time and developed attractive and colorful publicity on my Facebook Page. Within a month, I had over 100 followers!!! Currently, I have reached over 1500 people!!!!
As an editor and marketing person, Charlene is par excellence! I cannot speak highly enough of her. She is invaluable.”
— Feli S., Bloomington, IL