Q: What was your process?

A: About two years ago, in addition to the material drawn from my personal notes and the oral history project, I began collaborating with a wonderful writer, Ron Powers. Ron and I, and my editor and publisher Jon Karp, spent hours and hours together in Washington, Key Biscayne and Hyannis Port. I talked until I was hoarse. I also answered page after page of follow-up questions that Ron and Jon had after our meetings. Then Ron would submit his draft. I remembered how the great biographer David McCullough told me that his wife, Rosalie, would read every word of his manuscript aloud to him after he wrote one of his books, and that helped him to hear how it sounded so he could make his changes. My wife, Vicki, and I decided to follow that same approach. So she would read the draft aloud to me, and we'd refine it, word by word. Often, I remembered other things that were triggered by hearing the words read out loud, and I would dictate them on the spot. All in all, the process was very rewarding and I hope very successful.


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