- Memory can be flawed and/or skewed. What I remember about that time may differ from what my family and friends remember--such a disconnect could cause family strife. In the case of my ex-husband, I actually gave him drafts of the book to read. Over the years, we have maintained a good relationship, and I didn't want to blindside him with a published "tell-all" book. I figured that any fallout should occur before publication. It was a good call; at first, he was a bit uncomfortable with having his past uncovered--I can't say that I blame him. Surprisingly, he eventually came around and is now looking forward to seeing the published version. I did delete a few problematic passages from the final version--sometimes life forces us to make compromises.
- "Outting" other people and their foibles and youthful indiscretions can be embarrassing and actually harmful to them. I made a commitment to protect when I could and to minimize when I couldn't completely shield a person.
- Exposing one's troublesome past not only affects people from the past, but also people currently in one's life, such as children and new spouses. I have had to come to terms with the fact that my granddaughters will some day read my book.
- My life will suddenly become an open book to strangers; it's one thing to couch truth in one's fiction, but a memoir should be what it purports to be: The Truth as the writer sees it.
After Frey's frying at the hand of Oprah, I reworked my author's note:
Some names and/or minor characteristics of real persons have been changed to protect their privacy. Nicknames have been used for some real persons, most notably, Stoney.
Some minor locales have been changed. The Crystal Ship was a real rock/head shop, but the name and locale have been changed.
For coherence and literary purposes, some passages have been compressed, expanded, or shifted around. Some scenes and dialogue have been recreated.
The time lines, late 1968 to May 9, 1969, April 2002, and August 2004 are accurate, and the facts of the case are correct, including the amount of time I spent in Cherokee, Iowa.
Events for which I have no documentation and/or memory of exact dates have been presented as flashbacks.
For my late grandparents’ first person narratives, I have referred to interview summaries contained in my hospital records–interviews conducted and summarized by my psychiatrist (and other hospital personnel). I have also relied on my personal knowledge about these people who raised me. The voices I have recreated are the voices I remember, and may not reflect the memories and viewpoints of my family. Chapter 54, the scene in the Sioux City police station, is a possible scenario that occurred between my grandfather and the police matron. The chapter is based on textual clues contained in my court records. When the paperwork for my hearing was being filled out, I was not present; I was locked in another room.
Minor factual errors, albeit unintentional, are mine alone.
I suspect that my note may be overkill, but better to be safe than sorry.
I can always revise it again.