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Writing Books/Non-fiction involving family history


I am currently working on a self-help book based on the growth I've had as the result of an abusive and dysfunctional childhood.  Are there legal ramifications for writing about my mother and stepfather as I outline my experiences and how they've shaped me based on how I was raised and what I was exposed to?  They are both alive and there is child sexual abuse involved, from one parent and other perpetrators.
Thank you for your assistance.  

If you want them to sue you for liable, slander, defamation of character, loss of jobs and monetary losses, etc. go ahead and use their names because they will sue you.

You cannot write a biography or any non-fiction book and use real names unless you go to an attorney and draw up legal permission and have on file ready in case....

You must change their names to fictional characters and state that in front of the book names are changed to protect the innocent and to protect against liable in case of possible consequences deriving from the likeness and similarities.

People often think they can write bios and use real people's names. It is done, yes, but those writers have permission.

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Jannie Balliett


I am a published writer, Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing, specializing in novel writing, and creative writing. I can answer most any question concerning writing a book, plot and characterization, tighten the prose, and the editing process, and help advise with publishing and the requirements of obtaining a literary agent.


I'm a published writer, freelancer, and Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing for my two Online writer workshops.

Sisters In Crime Internet Chapter, The Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Brazos Writers Group.

Writers Post Journal magazine, May 2006 issue, Augusr 2006 issue, Nov/December 2006 issue and soon in 2008, On A Whim, flash fiction anthology, offered in Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.

Some college, creative writing, fiction writing

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I have numerous clients using my service through my editorial service and numerous members in my Online writer workshops.

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