When I began writing professionally nearly 30 years ago, I felt fortunate to work with experienced journalists. All believed that the first three rules of journalism were “accuracy, accuracy, accuracy.”
My editors also taught me some tricks of the trade: to vary my sentences and the way I described my subjects and invite the reader into the story. They insisted that I contact all sources and present the full story and added that the best writing came from rewriting.
I have never visited Haiti, but I have been there through the written words of the late Horace Dade Ashton, his son Marc Ashton, and writers Tracy Kidder and Edwidge Danticat. The first two gentleman gave me the opportunity to help them write The Spirit of Villarosa: A Father’s Extraordinary Adventures; A Son’s Challenge, which debuted on June 28, 2016.
Horace Ashton first visited Haiti in 1906, when he wished to learn more about Voudou. He wrote, “On that first visit I fell in love with Haiti in a way that haunted me for life. The breathtaking beauty of this island paradise rivaled that of anywhere in the world I had visited. I fell in love with its vivid colors and vibrant music; the rich green texture of its mountains beyond mountains; and its turquoise ocean, so clear I thought I could reach down and touch the bottom. I felt an immediate connection to this country and its people, culture, and religion that would ultimately become my home and final resting place.” (more…)