Before writing my book, I had to decide what the overall genre would be and what structure each story would take. Would On the Border be a traditional autobiography or memoir or one entire life story (although these terms are sometimes interchangeable) or a combination of these genres? Is the distinction even important? I was a little uncomfortable with autobiography or memoir, however, as I was not certain that my life had been that exemplary and neither was I famous, two conditions often considered de rigeur to write in those genres; nor had I reached the advanced age that I needed to sum things up for posterity before it was too late! But after some research and rumination, I concluded that regardless of the distinction between the the two terms, almost anyone can write in those genres. Indeed, potential readers might be attracted more to an account by someone who is more like them and relatable rather than the rich and famous .
Perhaps the memoir genre was preferable to autobiography, however, as it usually gives the author the privilege of focussing on certain events or ideas rather than relating an entire life, which was not my intent. And as my book was to commence two generations before I was born, it might not be considered in the traditional autobiographical tradition. But what I really wanted to do recount certain stand-alone commonplace and unusual experiences, influences and emotions which in some way help define who I am as a person, So for what it's worth, I used the plural term life stories in the book's subtitle.