This week, Turk Pipkin launches his new Book of the Every Other Month Club on the crowd-funding site Indiegogo. Subscriptions help fund new libraries in Kenya as part of the ongoing Nobelity Project. Since he has enough time to write and publish six new books, I’ve added to his load by asking him to interview himself. So here are five questions and five answers by funnyman Pipkin — a project that only Pipkin would agree to do.
Turk Pipkin: So Turk, why would any writer be crazy enough to write and publish six books in a year?
Turk Pipkin: That’s what I keep asking myself! I’ve been writing the past decade while I was making films and building schools for the Nobelity Project, but only published “The Tao of Willie” (or “The Toe of Willie”, as my co-author Willie Nelson calls it). But these other stories and ideas kept coming. A while back, I sent my new novel “All for Love” to some New York publishing suspects and they all said it would make a great movie. Sure enough, I sold the movie rights in L.A., and I think it would be great if people could read the novel before they see the film.
One down, five to go. Are you getting any sleep?
What? Sorry, I dozed off there for a second. Maybe it wasn’t a coincidence that “The Sopranos” cast me as a narcoleptic. In answer to my question, I’m considering a tattoo that say, “I’ll sleep when I’m published.” In my defense, I have a great copy editor and six great book designers on the publishing team, and they’re all good at making coffee.
What’s your favorite of the books?
It’s not good to play favorites with your children. But I love them all and whichever one I’m playing catch with at any given time is my favorite. The past few weeks, I’ve been reviewing the copy edit and design for “Moleskin Mystery,” which is a New Orleans love story about a guy who finds a partially written journal and takes over the writing to solve a mystery and shed a little light in his own life.
“Moleskin Mystery” ships to subscribers in time for Christmas, which immediately changes my favorite, “Requiem for a Screenplay,” my second book-child which I describe as my magnificent failures — three original screenplays that went up and down the Hollywood development process without getting green-lit. They never made it to living color, but I think they stand up to the test of the time in black and white.
Next November when the sixth book, “A Christmas Song,” is shipping to subscribers, it will be my favorite. There area a lot of fans waiting for this follow-up to my Algonquin Christmas novel, “When Angels Sing,” and the movie “Angels Sing,” which starred Willie Nelson, Connie Britton, Harry Connick, Jr., and Kris Kristofferson.
Are you shipping books all year at the same time that you’re building three new libraries at schools in Kenya?
All I want for Christmas is a direct flight from Austin to Nairobi. Is that asking too much? And yeah, every two months, I’ll be shipping another new book to subscribers. I’ll also be working with our building contractors, and our library book publisher in Kenya to get a beautiful libraries functional for the 1,500 kids at three remote schools. In the U.S., we take books for granted, but access to books for the kids we work with in Kenya and creates a lifelong love of books, improved literacy and higher scores. A new library can be life-changing as it enables kids to achieve their true potential. One for one, book for book, everyone who subscribes to the book club will be making that possible.
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Sounds like a perfect Christmas gift. How does someone buy the series, and—more importantly—how close were you to the lions in those photos?
Turk, you of all people should know that there are links at TurkPipkin.com to buy the series and get the “Moleskin Mystery” before Christmas. The higher subscription levels include canvas prints of my best Kenya wildlife photos. The big male lion with the scars was about 20 feet away and looking right at me. And that’s the real reason I can’t sleep.