Friday, May 31, 2013

Why Am I a Ghostwriter/Collaborator? (Part 4 of 5)

As I pointed out in a previous blog, one of the things I like about being a collaborator is that I keep learning. And the source of my information usually comes from or through the author.

For example, the first eight ghosted books I did were autobiographies. Most of the celebrities had such a wealth of experience, I hardly knew where to begin. I figured out one thing that helped me get that answer and be a learner at the same time.

When I met with Dr. Ben Carson, I asked him to give me a copy of the major published article he felt provided the most insight about him. He photocopied a feature article from the Sunday section of the Detroit Free Press newspaper. For his book Rebel with a Cause, Franklin Graham handed me an article from Gentlemen's Quarterly. "That writer caught me better than anyone else," Franklin said.

I also do objective research so I can have a broader perspective. When I wrote With Byrd at the Bottom of the World for Norman Vaughan, the last surviving member of Admiral Byrd's historic trip to the South Pole in 1928–1930, I read Byrd's memoir, Alone, as well as three books on Antarctica. Norman supplied me with the May 1930 issue of National Geographic, which was devoted to the white continent.

I could have written Norman's book without those resources, but they enriched my understanding and improved the content. I felt I had been to Antarctica even though a decade passed before I finally visited the country.

I'm a lifetime learner;
I continue to find ways to stretch my understanding.

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