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Thread: MJJC Exclusive Q&A with Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard, authors of Remember The Time: Protecting MJ

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    Default Re: MJJC Exclusive Q&A with Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard, authors of Remember The Time: Protectin

    Not bad and admit it was nice. <3 But other things that have been said .... Oh, nevermind! I'll Stay watching the fire being erased with gasoline! :P NOW the fans will buy this book in bulk desperately!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaz View Post

    MJJC: What made you want to write a book?

    Bill & Javon: We wrote Remember the Time because we had a story to tell about the Michael Jackson we knew. If you’re a Michael Jackson fan and supporter, you deserve to know him more on a personal side, not just who he was but what he endured as a man, and as a father. You deserve a true account from those that were there, not from those who can only repeat what they heard second hand.

    We wrestled a long time with whether or not was should write a book. Fundamentally, we agree with those who say Mr. Jackson deserves his privacy and deserves to rest in peace. But ultimately we came to the conclusion that his fans deserve to know and, hopefully, in some way it will bring closure to some and truth to others. We also felt an obligation to tell the world about our time with Mr. Jackson because there really is no one else to tell this part of the story. During the time Mr. Jackson spent in Las Vegas, between his return from Ireland and the start of “This Is It,” there simply weren’t a lot of people around. Very often the only people there were us, Mr. Jackson, and the three children. Mr. Jackson has been robbed of the opportunity to tell his own story, and the children were too young to really know a lot of what was going on at the time. That leaves us. If the world ever wants to fully understand what happened to this beloved and incredible man, this is a story that needs to be told. We already know how Michael Jackson died. Our aim is to help people understand why.

    MJJC: How long did it take you to write the book? Was it a challenge putting the experience of protecting Michael Jackson into words? Please tell us about this experience.

    Bill & Javon: The longest and hardest part of the process was finding the right publisher who understood our approach and our philosophy. When he was alive, Mr. Jackson’s world was full of vultures looking to take advantage of him in every way possible. We saw that with him and we saw it again after he passed away, in the way people approached us about our story. There was a long, on and off process of interviewing possible collaborators, close to two years. Once we found the right partners, people that we trusted and felt comfortable with, the actual writing of the book actually took about a year. We spent several days sitting down, reminiscing and just telling our story, and then over the next several months, spent hours on the phone going over chapters, making edits, and so forth.

    In the beginning, it was difficult talking about our experiences. Often times it made us angry, thinking, “Was there more we could have done?” It was also painful to relive some of the bad things that happened to him. He was not at peace a lot of the time, because of how bad he was portrayed in the media, because there were so many people he couldn’t trust. We always wanted to shield him from it, but there were some things you just couldn’t control. But the more we wrote and relived the moments we shared with Mr. Jackson, the more we knew we were doing the right thing.

    MJJC: Most books about Michael are written with lots of sensationalism. Yours is not. Why is that, and why have you taken the approach of a general spoken account?

    Bill & Javon: Sensationalism was the opposite of what we wanted to write. First of all, our time with Mr. Jackson was not “sensational” in either a good way or a bad way. There were no big tabloid scandals, but there weren’t any sold-out stadium concerts, either. Most of our two and a half years with Mr. Jackson were a quiet time when he was focused almost entirely on raising his children and giving them a home. There was a lot of tension and drama going on with his family and with his business affairs, but no big spectacle, so telling our story is an opportunity to see who the man really was away from the cameras.

    We always tell people we didn’t work for the King of Pop. We worked for Michael Jackson. Those were two different people. It was only at the very end, when the machinery of This Is It started winding up in Los Angeles, that we saw the tabloid spectacle take over, and not in a healthy way. But we were not a direct party to that. We stayed in Vegas, handling some of Mr. Jackson’s business there, and we were slated to rejoin him in London to handle security on the estate he was going to rent.

    We chose to tell the story in the way we did, through our own personal, conversational voices, to give readers the sense of being there as things happened. A lot of what you read about Michael Jackson either puts him on a pedestal or throws him in the gutter. We wanted a book that gave Mr. Jackson his proper respect and honored his legacy, but also a book that was down to earth and showed him as a real, everyday person, because that’s what most people misunderstand about him. The tabloids always wanted to paint him as some kind of cartoon, but behind the King of Pop spectacle there was a real human being who was full of great love and generosity, but who also suffered from pain and loneliness. We wanted to show the world that real human being, because Michael Jackson deserves to be treated like a person.

    We also chose to tell the story from our own point of view in order to avoid all the second-hand speculation and the recycling of tabloid stories that other Michael Jackson books always rely on. Given the way the media treated Mr. Jackson’s life, to this day we don’t really trust anything written about him that we didn’t witness first-hand. Other than referencing well-documented information about Mr. Jackson’s past (like how many albums Thriller sold) and using some basic facts established in public records (like how the mortgage on Neverland was handled) the book is strictly an account of what we saw and heard and what our reactions and feelings were. We wanted it to be as honest and real as possible.

    MJJC: Lots of people from Michael’s past have used knowing/working with him to make money. Can you tell us if that was your motivation for writing this book?

    Bill & Javon: Money was and never has been our motivation. We turned down cash offers from tabloids that wanted us to dish dirt on the more scandalous elements of Mr. Jackson’s life. (We didn’t actually have much dirt to give them, because that’s not the man that we knew.) As we discuss in the intro to the book, we did not sell this for a huge advance to a big publisher looking for tabloid secrets. We went with a small publisher who was willing to pay a modest advance to take a chance on the kind of book we wanted to write. We also did not take any of the upfront money ourselves. We invested it in making sure Mr. Jackson’s story was done well. We paid most of it to a writer, Tanner Colby, a New York Times bestselling author, who we felt would handle the story with the respect it deserves. The rest of it went to cover various expenses, like travel to meet with our editors and so forth. The only way we will make money from this book is on the back end. If you, the fans, decide that we have done a good job and this is a book you choose to support, that will be our reward.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaz View Post
    MJJC: How often did Friend and Flower visit Michael? Have you heard from either of them since the memorial?

    Bill & Javon: Friend and Flower only visited while we were staying in Virgina, and separately of course. Since the memorial, Bill has occasionally communicated with Flower via email, usually around the anniversary of Mr. Jackson’s passing or on his birthday.

    Of course guys! Who would dare to imagine they were the two women together with Michael at the same time? :P *sarcasm* Sorry!
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    Default Re: MJJC Exclusive Q&A with Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard, authors of Remember The Time: Protectin

    Me thinks that since Michael was a 2 timing bleep and the sex manual language I've encountered on these boards, Lisa Presley was just a fleeting memory, isn't that right fans of the imaginary romance?!

    Now here's an Imagine I can believe in. Thank you John Lennon for bringing me a reality check once again!
    Michael is really great! He has no snobbery to him, he's just a good kid. Michael is a gentle spirit and he takes over our kids. He loves kid's, we watch a lot of cartoons together. - Linda McCartney being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey

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    Default Re: MJJC Exclusive Q&A with Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard, authors of Remember The Time: Protectin

    I wasn't going to buy this book but the Q&A has won me over. There appears to be a lot of respect shown for Michael. I just hope I'm not disappointed when I read it. But I must say this was a great Q&A, well done and thanks to all involved.

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