Status will get you nowhere. Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone.
Critics have a problem with sentimentality. Readers do not. I write for readers.
I find interesting characters or lessons that resonate with people and sometimes I write about them in the sports pages, sometimes I write them in a column, sometimes in a novel, sometimes a play or sometimes in nonfiction. But at the core I always say to myself, 'Is there a story here? Is this something people want to read?'
A memoir should have some uplifting quality, inspiring or illuminating, and that's what separates a life story that can influence other people.
Nobody's favorite movie is some dark, dysfunctional slasher story. Everybody's favorite song is a sentimental song. So why all of a sudden is it bad to be sentimental in books?
We all lose somebody we care about and want to find some comforting way of dealing with it, something that will give us a little closure, a little peace.