Author William Joyce Enjoys Fantastic iPad Run

In just a few short months, e-book The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Lessmore has sold upwards of 55,000 copies (at $4.99 each) and claimed a spot as the first-ever book app to hit number one on the iPad hit list. It sat atop those charts for two straight weeks.

Today, Thompson on Hollywood contributor Bill Desowitz chats with the book’s author William Joyce. The Louisiana based artist explains how the idea for this enterprise took root on the cusp of the electronic novella era:

“The idea came to me eight years ago when I was on a plane to New York to visit my mentor, Bill Morris, who was dying,” recalls Joyce. “He was part of that old publishing ethos that was about taking care of your authors… So I wrote this funny, little parable [about the curative power of books] on lined notebook paper and by the time I landed, I pretty much had done it, and I read it to him in our last visit and he seemed very pleased.”

Via Moonbot Studios, first came the animated short and then the e-book. Among the dozens of reviews at iTunes are several from happy parents, who detail how they were able to enjoy the pleasures of Mr. Lessmore on an iPad in the company of their children.