You can imagine how busy he is: recently roasted (with wife Kelly Preston) at New York's Friars Club, working on back-to-back films and, as PW was trying to arrange an interview, readying for the premiere of the just-released hit movie Face/Off. Still, John Travolta gave PW some thought to questions faxed to him regarding his upcoming book, Propeller One-Way Night Coach, an originally self-published fable about a young boy's first trip on an airplane, written for Travolta's son, Jett, and now being released with a 250,000 first printing by Warner this October.
Publishers Weekly: How autobiographical is the story?
John Travolta: 50/50.
PW: Have you done a lot of story writing before -- or is this your first?
JT: [I've written a] 1983 Rolling Stone article [and] a 1994 Esquire article.
PW: How many copies did you print of the self-published book? Who did you give it to?
JT: 75 -- family and friends.
PW: How did you come up with the specific design of the book -- why all blue? Why text on one side only?
JT: Navy for night, [text on one side] for the joy of turning the page.
PW: How did you meet agent Susan Crawford [who ended up shopping the book]?
JT: In a restaurant in Camden, Maine. We were chatting, which evolved into book talk.
PW: Who do you see as the audience for your book?
JT: 12 years and up.
PW: Given your busy schedule, what are you hoping to do to promote your book?
JT: Don't know yet.
PW: How do you think Warner has helped improve/enhance your book?
JT: Everything pretty much stayed the same [from the self-published book.]
PW: You are doing a lot of movies based on books -- Primary Colors, The Shipping News, A Civil Action. Had you read any of these before you got these parts?
JT: No, I read them after, except for The Shipping News.
PW: How much do you consider book sales in agreeing to do the film adaptation?
JT: A lot; it's a good indication.
PW: Have you ever experienced one of your films leading people to go to a bookstore and get the book the film is based on?
JT: Yes, Get Shorty.
PW: Are there any books you personally hold an option on and would love to adapt?
JT:Battlefield Earth [Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's novel.]
PW: People are also, of course, interested in your and other celebrities' connection to Scientology. Would you ever consider writing about Scientology so people could understand it better?
PW: And, naturally, people would love your autobiography. Will you do it?
JT: Not yet. I'll have more to say later.