Getting Your Biography Written

I love writing biographies. It is a rare privilege to be able to listen to your unique experiences and shape them into a compelling story.


While many recognise the value of recording life stories, most people are too busy living their own lives. Getting your biography written is the perfect way to capture and preserve your memories for future generations.


Everyone has an interesting story to tell. When a person starts to reminisce about their life, things rise to the surface: hidden memories, long-forgotten smells, sounds, tastes, images and emotions. It is both therapeutic and life affirming to relive these moments and know they

will be shared and enjoyed by family and friends.

To hold a person’s life in the palm of your hand is a magical feeling.

Family members often discover things about that person they never knew.

Life Stories:

I wrote biographies with Life Stories, a company that specialises in producing high-end, book store quality biographies and life stories.

Read about Life Stories in this article:


Western Leader: Fascination with other people's stories

Sunday Star Times: Paying to get your biography done

Biographies I have written . . .


Ian Devereux: To Cut A Long Story Short

'I wanted you to know how much we both enjoyed To Cut A Long Story Short. Brian reckoned Ian "jumped out" at every page turned and I felt it was a really good read - neither of us wanted to put it down. Congratulations to Karen on a story well written.'  Marj McGrath

To Cut a Long Story Short is a vivid account of an inventor who followed his passion and believed in himself.  From bullied farm boy to PhD scholar to family man and founder of the highly successful, internationally acclaimed company, Rocklabs, Ian Devereux has lived a full and fascinating life.


Devereux gives a gripping account of his work as a forensic scientist on the Arthur Allan Thomas case. Anecdotes from business trips to politically unstable countries, including near death experiences, will engross readers. His unorthodox approach and willingness to take huge financial risks gave rise to a niche marketing business model revered by economists of the day.


Shining through this biography is Devereux’s generous and trusting nature, formidable intellect and contagious sense of humour. Karen Jarvis’s lively narrative will keep the reader engrossed to the end.


‘Dr. Ian Devereux epitomises the very best of New Zealand’s entrepreneurial inventors, business builders and exporters. Through his leadership of Rocklabs, he has shown how small, creative and capable Kiwi businesses can earn global reputations in highly specialised, high technology fields.’


To Cut A Long Story Short was published by Life Stories in June 2017. Available in Auckland libraries and at

‘I loved it from cover to cover. I read it constantly until I had devoured the whole thing.’ Ruth Ward

'It is a wonderful story. The book adds depth and colour to your wonderful temperament and personality. You have much of which to be proud from your life's journey and achievements.

The author has done a great job in drawing this out in the anecdotes.'    Geoff Ashton

Good Clean Fun
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While Laurie Barclay’s passion lay in the clouds, the need to provide for a growing family drew him to the land. Laurie flew and worked as a farmer – transferring from cockpit to the cowshed in the afternoons. After a three-day stint in the air, he would swap his captain’s hat for a beanie and gumboots to rove the slopes of Kohekohe, his farm of over 100 acres on the beautiful Awhitu Peninsula.

Laurie was instrumental in forming the first privately-owned and operated public airline in New Zealand, SPANZ. Over his aviation career, Laurie mastered a vast array of aircraft, the size and complexity changing with the times.

Good Clean Fun is dotted with humorous anecdotes about family life on the farm and beyond. This vivid account reveals one man’s ambition, integrity, and success. Whether it was the cricket pitch, the cowshed or the cockpit, Laurie strove for excellence in every field of endeavour.



Good Clean Fun was published by Life Stories in September 2018.

A Skylark Sings

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A Skylark Sings about the life of Norma Pretscherer was published by Life Stories in June 2019.


Norma grew up on an isolated South Canterbury farm. Her father, a struggling World War 1 veteran, raised 10 children on his own. She recalls wearing underpants sewn from soft cotton flour bags and sleeping under potato sacks for warmth in bitterly cold winters. Freezing nights, like the one when her sister went missing.

Norma’s nursing career reveals how times have changed in the profession. She recounts moving stories of kindness and compassion, along with a good dose of humour, such as the morning she handed her elderly patients the wrong dentures! Norma does not flinch from shrewd perceptions when reflecting on bringing up her own children and helping husband Gus run his successful Remuera hair salon, at one time the largest salon in Australasia.

To buy a copy of Norma's book visit Simone's website:

Books I have worked on as a mentor . . .