Lawrence Knorr on How Family History Has Inspired Him as an Author

“Write what you know” is an old maxim that holds new truth for a writer. In an age abundant with content, it’s more important than ever to write compelling stories. Writing what you know can illuminate fresh, exciting perspectives that garner unexpected attention. For example, Lawrence Knorr, author and founder of Sunbury Press, talks about how his days as an amateur genealogist propelled him into a writing career. His family stories fascinated him as he discovered his family members from the Revolutionary War on one side and the Mennonite faith on the other. This was particularly interesting to him because his family didn’t talk about their history. Tracing his heritage became a journey of discovery and surprise, as he was drawn into stories and toward the physical places his ancestors had been. Out of this natural fascination, he began to write. This began as a project simply for his family but then tapped into a wider audience. Personal stories and interests can create dynamic books. Knorr's personal testimony prompts authors to ask: what are their passions, hobbies, or questions and what is the most effective way to write what they already know?

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