What's in the Pipeline, Part 1
First of a two-part interview with John M Donovan, author of Love and Corn and Whatnot and three other novels
Q. So Love and Corn and Whatnot has been out for about three months now. How has it been received?
A. Mostly by mail.
Q. No, I mean—
A. I know, I know. I’ve done very little marketing on it, so I’m not even sure if all readers know it’s a sequel to Trombone Answers. But it’s out there, it’s available, and it’s a poignant and funny continuation of the Parker Graham saga.
Q. And the ending seems to indicate it’s going to be a trilogy.
A. The ending is cliffhangerish. Cliffhangery? But not in the edge-of-your-seat movie-serial way. If I never write another word about Parker Graham, readers could interpret the ending any way they want, based on the information I’ve given them about Parker. That said, when I wrote the first draft of Trombone Answers back in 2003, I always intended it to be a trilogy.
Q. So when can we expect the final book in the trilogy?
A. It’s in the pipeline but way back there. I’ve got at least three novels ahead of it and probably a collection of short stories.
Q. Let’s talk about the novels.
A. OK. I hope to release the next one in Fall 2020. It’s in the editing stage, it exists outside the Colby County universe, and it’s probably the funniest thing I’ve ever written. It’s a satire of professional sports called Fluffball: Or, How Five Really Tall Guys and an Immortal Chinese Philosopher Opened the Door to an Alternate Reality and Saved a Professional Basketball League.
Q. That’s a long title.
A. Is it?
Q. That sounds like something that would enjoy commercial success—
A. Ha! Oh, you were serious. Sorry.
Q. Would you consider trying to find a traditional publisher for that one?
A. Oh, I think that ship has sailed. Fluffball is a novel dear to my heart and I might never write anything like it again. But I do think people—sports fans or not—will find it hilarious.
Q. Do you ever stop to think that you’re conducting your writing life as if you were actually selling lots of books?
A. That’s very true. It’s also a good thing I have a day job. But that’s a decision I made when I decided to self-publish The Fraternity. I got tired of waiting for the gatekeepers to be in the right mood when they happened upon my query letters. I know how to write, and I refuse to release anything I’m not proud of.
Q. Let's pause right here. Part 2 of this interview will appear on this blog shortly.
A. Who are you talking to now?