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In Conversation With David R. Stokes Author of JFK’S GHOST: Kennedy, Sorensen, and the Making of Profiles in Courage
From:
Norm Goldman --  bookpleasures.com Norm Goldman -- bookpleasures.com
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Montreal, QC
Friday, May 14, 2021

 
Bookpleasures.com welcomesas our guest David R. Stokes. David is a ghostwriter, best-sellingauthor, historian, broadcaster, and retired pastor.

David's book TheShooting Salvationist, appeared twice on the Wall Street JournalBestseller list in 2011. This story has been republished (2019)titled, Apparent Danger.

Screenplays based on twoof his novels, CAMELOT'S COUSIN and JACK & DICK,are currently being represented for production in Hollywood.


His forthcoming book,JFK’S GHOST: Kennedy, Sorensen, and the Making of Profiles inCourage will be released by Lyon’s Press in June.

David grew up in theDetroit, Michigan area and has been an ordained minister for morethan 40 years. Now retired from pastoral ministry, he writesfull-time. 

Good day David and thanksfor taking part in our interview.

Thanks for the invite,Norm…

Norm: How did you getstarted in writing? What keeps you going?


David: As a minister formore than 40 years, writing has always been part of my work. Butabout 15 years ago I started writing articles––book reviews, etc.And immediately knew that I wanted to write my own books.

I love working with wordsand the research, too. Now, retired from the pastorate, I can’timagine just sitting around and doing nothing. So I am writing fulltime. Both as a ghostwriter and crafting my own books. 

Norm: Do you have atheme, message, or goal for your books? 

David: Each book isdifferent, however, one common theme is that I enjoy finding storiesfrom history that have been overlooked or under-reported. Or, as isthe case with JFK’S GHOST,  a story that is well-known,but has never had a book-length treatment.

For fiction, I like tostart with a true-life mystery and go from there, like when I foundmyself curious as to why Lyndon Johnson didn’t attend WinstonChurchill’s funeral. That led to my book, THE CHURCHILL FUNERALPLOT

Norm: What helps youfocus when you write? 

David: I have a great“writing room.” I have had a great office wherever we’ve lived.

Norm: What has been thebest part about being published?  

David: Being publishedseems impress people far beyond what it really means. It is nice,though, seeing one of your books in a bookstore, or even a library. ?

Norm: What do you seeas the influences on your writing? 

David: The mostsignificant influence is my reading. I usually read 10 or so booksper month. I used to have a 7,000 book library, but that waspre-retirement, when I had the room for that many books.

These days, my library isaround 1,000 books. Francis Bacon said: “Reading maketh a full man;Writing maketh an exact man.” 

Norm: Do you write moreby logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Pleasesummarize your writing process.  

David: I think intuitionplays more of a role than logic. The best ideas come as I am writing,they are part of the flow.. 

Norm: Can you share alittle of JFK’S GHOST: Kennedy, Sorensen, and the Making ofProfiles in Courage with us

David: The story of thewriting, publication, popular reception, of Senator John F. Kennedy’sPulitzer Prize winning book, Profiles in Courage, is in manyways a window into the era of all things Camelot to come.

Kennedy’s rise to thepinnacle of political power after World War II is a compelling storyof ambition, wealth, skill, and a measure of cunning.

He was prone tosickness—near death on a few occasions—yet he won the White Housein 1960 with an image of youthful and vibrant energy. He broughterudition, charm, wit, and charisma to the presidency in ways neverbefore seen.

Not long after Profilesin Courage was released rumors began to circulate that Kennedyhad not actually written the book, and that sales figures were beingmanipulated to ensure the book’s longevity on bestseller lists.

If the rumors wereproven to be true, and there was a genuine charge of fraud, all ofKennedy’s hopes and dreams, as well as those of his die hard circleof admirers and boosters––not to mention his father––wouldcome to nothing.

In the book, I track therumors down and give the facts. It’s really the definitive accountof the story. 

Norm: What was thetime-line between the time you decided to write your book andpublication? What were the major events along the way?  

David: When I begin towork some as a ghostwriter, I read about several famous ghostwrittenworks from history. I came across the story of the “controversy”about Kennedy’s book.  And the idea for my book came alongquickly. 

I developed a bookproposal and found a new agent (Leticia Gomez) and she found Rowman &Littlefield/Lyon’s Press – they offered a contract and advanceand I wrote the book in about six months. 

Norm: What did you knowgoing in about the subject matter of your book?

David: I knew that therewere significant questions about Ted Sorensen’s role in thecreation of Kennedy’s book. However, I didn’t know if there wasanything definitive “out there.” 

Norm: What served asthe primary inspiration for the book? As a follow up, what were yourgoals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel youachieved them? 

David: The idea of writingthe definitive book on the subject was, itself, quite inspiring. Mygoal was and is to tell the story. Simple as that. No politicalagenda. Just follow the evidence wherever it leads. And, yes, I feellike I achieved my goal and the larger purpose for writing it. 

Norm: What was one ofthe most surprising things you learned in writing your book?  

David: I learned much moreabout John F. Kennedy’s health issues than I ever knew before, andthese issues played into the story of the writing of Profiles inCourage. 

Norm: Where can ourreaders find out more about you and JFK’S GHOST: Kennedy,Sorensen, and the Making of Profiles in Courage?

David: My personal WEBSITE

Norm: What do yourplans for future projects include? 

David: I am currentlyresearching a book about the personal relationships between John F.Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon. 

Norm: As this interviewcomes to an end, if you could invite three authors (alive or dead) toyour dinner table, who would they be and why?

David: Winston Churchill,because he was a writer before and after he was a politician. DavidMcCullough, because I LOVE his books. And Willi Manchester, becauseof his skill at research 

Norm: Thanks once againand good luck with all of your endeavors

 Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Norm Goldman
Group: bookpleasures.com
Dateline: Montreal, QC Canada
Direct Phone: 514-486-8018
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