The following is reprinted from the Fernando Po Literary Review, published Dec 23, 2017. It is an interview with Roberto de Guillermo, editor of that journal and Paul Michael, author. Mr de Guillermo was lucky enough to catch up with Mr Michael at the Tequila y Mota International Airport and was able to conduct the interview in the departure lounge and capture it on his minidisc recorder.
RdG: Oh I’m sorry, are you alright? Let me get your bag.
PM: No, that’s quite alright, just an accident. I can get that.
RdG: Ay! That’s heavy! What do you have in there, gold bricks?
PM: Haha! No, no … er may I take that?
RdG: Wait. Aren’t you Paul Michael, the famous author of the Jennings and Jennings series?
PM: You’ve heard of me?
RdG: Of course, you are famous on this island! Are you in a hurry? I’d love to do a an interview!
PM: Well, my flight to Panama is…
Voiceover (in background): We regret to inform you that the Aeroflot flight AFL123 to Panama City has been delayed by 6 hours.
PM: Apparently I have time.
RdG: So we are all looking forward to the release of The Paris Awakening, your forthcoming novel. We’ve been hearing news of that a lot this year. It must be due for release soon?
PM: Yes, yes it’s due soon.
RdG: How soon exactly? I think I heard it would be out by now.
PM: Well, you know, publishers and so on, and, and marketing schedules, etc, etc. Bit tricky to say right now.
RdG: Of course, of course, but it’s finished now at least?
PM: Well, there is a little editing to do, maybe a bit more writing.
RdG: A few words, I’m sure.
PM: Well, maybe a few at the end. And maybe some in the middle. And possibly one or two at the start.
RdG: One or two words at the start?
PM: One or two thousand at the start.
PM: You see, it’s probably more accurate to say it’s not really completed. And even more accurate to say it’s not even written. It’s the literary equivalent of vapourware. It’s a vapelit romance.
RdG: So this is why you are fleeing to Panama with a sack full of gold bullion?
PM (dejectedly): Yes.
RdG: Mr Michael! Don’t lose heart so quickly! Why you are the mighty author that has written six most exciting serials. Why not treat this the same!
PM: What, you mean serialise the novel?
RdG: Charles Dickens! Arthur Conan Doyle! Alexandre Dumas! What do they teach you about writing?
PM: That I should change my surname to start with D?
RdG: No sir, that the serialised novel can be a classic of literature! Return to your home sir, serialise your novel! Tell your story to the world.
PM: My God, man you’re right! I shall, I shall! (Voice fades)
RdG: Mr Michael, you forgot your bag!
(Sound of zip opening, then exhalation and a clinking sound.)
RdG: Oh well, finders keepers…