About Romy Terkel

Personal Biographer 

M.Ed. School Psychology,
M.A. Counselling Psychology

My Story

I will never forget that day in April 2010, when a friend called to share some exciting news. Judy Maddren, a former CBC Radio announcer, was making audio recordings of people’s stories. It had been my dream to do similar work for years. But, with a secure job and a schedule that worked well for my young family, it was difficult to imagine leaving. Plus, finding a local business that was doing this type of work was next to impossible — I had been searching for a long time!

I immediately wrote an email to Judy, asking — no, begging — to work for her. Feeling too excited (okay… impatient) to hit “send” and wait for a reply, I grabbed the phone instead. When she answered, I rambled about my long-held passion for the kind of work she was doing and asked if her company was hiring. It wasn’t. But the very next day, Judy left me a voicemail. A man in his eighties wanted his life story written and her company didn’t produce written stories. Would I be interested in meeting with him if he agreed?

We met up a few days later, and after a fairly rigorous interview, he hired me. I loved everything about the project from the start — connecting with him, listening to his stories, drawing out the details, sorting through special mementos, and weaving everything together to create the book. It all came together, from the image of his favourite tree he knew he wanted for the cover, to the title he had somehow managed to secure years earlier.

They say, “When you know, you know,” and I knew: I had found my life’s work.

They say, “When you know, you know,” and I knew: I had found my life’s work.

Still, it would take another seven years to officially launch my business making what I call Legacy Books. I kept my secure job as a psychological services provider in schools and wrote people’s life stories as a “side hustle.” Looking back now, I can see how well my first career prepared me for my work as a personal biographer because I had fifteen years to hone my skills as an interviewer, storyteller and writer.

Many people ask when my journey began and how my passion for this kind of work developed. It definitely evolved organically. Even as a young child, I was curious and genuinely interested in people’s stories. Also, I always had a knack for talking to people and remembering the details they shared. These interests led me to complete Master’s degrees in School and Counselling Psychology.

My background also played a huge role in paving the way. Because most of my family died in the Holocaust, we didn’t have all that many stories to share. There wasn’t much I could connect to because almost nothing was saved — photos, mementos, or even names in some cases. So, from a young age, I understood what my family was missing and the value of what was lost. That understanding fuelled a passion in me to save people’s stories, for their families and loved ones, and for generations to come.

I can happily say that I now wake up every day doing something I love — honouring people’s stories and preserving their legacies. The journey is not always a clear-cut one, but it is much like a fingerprint, containing all of the loops, whorls and arches that make it uniquely mine.


I’ve experienced the sadness that comes from missing pieces of history.  So, I’ve made it my life’s work to help individuals, families and businesses preserve theirs.

~ Romy