Vincent Donovan – Four Novels and Counting…. Epiphany Comes in Turning Things Upside Down

The Evolution of Vincent Donovan:
Author, Innovator, Storyteller

PHOTO: Vincent Donovan: Author of captivating literary journeys through realms of redemption and self-discovery.

Vincent Donovan, an accomplished author and former biopharmaceutical leader,
navigated career shifts before pursuing writing.
His novels, including “Chasing Mayflies,”
reflect themes of redemption and self-discovery.
From grappling with rejection to his latest psychological thriller,
his journey inspires aspiring authors to persist despite challenges.

Vincent Donovan, a two-time quarter-finalist in the highly competitive Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest, graduated with a B.A in English from Merrimack College and an M.B.A from Rivier University. For over twenty-seven years, Vin worked in various leadership positions in the biopharmaceutical industry. His debut novel “Chasing Mayflies” was a 2017 finalist for the Christian Small Publishers Association Book of the Year Award for General Fiction. His follow-up literary adventures, “A Difficult Crossing” and “Only Dead Leaves Fall” received rave reviews. His latest novel, “Killer Dreams” was released by Black Rose Writing in August.

How did you transition from the corporate arena to becoming an author?  

When I graduated from college, a severe recession limited career opportunities as a writer. I worked in various industries and went to graduate school at night to earn an MBA. I joined Millipore Corporation in 1988 (which became part of Merck KgaA), and had a wonderful career contributing to its noble mission of working with bio-manufacturing companies to develop and manufacture life-saving therapeutics. I often included stories in my presentations to drive home a point or motivate the team. When my daughters were in high school, they urged me to get back to writing and not abandon the muse that inspired my youth. Since my position required extensive travel, I began working on a novel and disappeared into what John Gardner defines as a “fictional dream state.” I quickly learned the hard part in the creative process to edit, polish, and repeat seventy-times seven!

How did you progress from writing in your spare time to your debut novel being a finalist in the Christian Small Publishers Association Book of the Year Award?

It was a brutal education over many years! “Chasing Mayflies” is my third novel, but the first to be published. Rejection is tough but also contained key lessons which strengthened my work. I was the runner-up for the Tuscany Prize. This led to a publishing contract and working with award-winning editor Natlie Hanemann to bring the novel to its full potential. The New Hampshire Union Leader summed up “Chasing Mayflies” the best: “In movie terms, it’s a bit like Dead Poets Society meets the Bucket List.”

Despite tackling different genres, are there common themes in your four novels?

In grammar school, I memorized a speech by Robert F. Kennedy that contained a quote by George Bernard Shaw that never left me. “Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and say why not.” I believe you can be the change you want to see in the world through faith and perseverance. My novels portray redemption through a personal quest. The catalyst for these characters is turning things upside down — and in that uncomfortable state, uncovering an epiphany or two. The feedback I treasure the most is when a reader accompanies these flawed characters on a journey of self-discovery.

How to you develop an interesting story that will resonate with readers?

I once had a discussion with a bookstore owner about the popularity of Hemingway’s “Old Man and the Sea.” The story question is the reason why a reader of any age will buy a book.  In the case of “Old Man and the Sea,” will the old man Santiago catch and bring in the big fish? At the heart of a good story is a fair amount of conflict that explores how nature and nurture shape each of us in a unique way. 

What advice can you give aspiring authors?

I gave a presentation to a writing group on the ups and downs (and pitfalls) of getting published. It can be a brutal industry and I used to carry a note in my wallet which listed all the key stepping stones in getting published. That list is a mix of hope, pain, and growth. The terrain proved exceedingly difficult at times and the weather fickle. But as Mark Twain once stated, “if you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a minute,” which I did and kept polishing my work. I would encourage every aspiring author to keep at it! Don’t let anyone discount your dreams. Read critically acclaimed works, study the mechanics, digest the criticism, hone your craft.  

Your new upcoming release, “Killer Dreams,” ventures into the realm of psychological thriller. What’s it about?  

Cassie MacLean has been under siege since that cold January night when her mother, Rose Owens plowed into a group of pedestrians killing five and critically-injuring many others. The town’s pent-up fury explodes when Rose begins to emerge from a coma ten years later. Cassie feels conflicted about the awakening—as well as her father, who is enjoying a successful second act with another woman. But after a brush with cutting-edge technology, Cassie believes her mother is innocent and embarks on a quest to prove it. While she risks alienating many and having her sanity questioned in the process, what’s not in doubt is a vengeful world where the truth depends on who you ask.

What’s the last great book you read?

“Have You Seen Luis Velez?” by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Eloquent and powerful!

You’re organizing a small dinner party. Which authors, dead or alive would you invite?

William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Flannery O’Connor, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver with Malcolm Gladwell as moderator.

Is there a writer who is not widely known but should be?

I would highly recommend “Notice of Release: A Daughter’s Journey to Forgive her Mother’s Killer” by Stephanie Cassatly.  Profoundly beautiful.

Who is one of your favorite fictional hero’s?

Andy Dufresne in Shawshank Redemption.

What do you plan to read next?

“Where You’ll Find Me. Risk, Decisions and the last Climb of Kate Matrosova” by Ty Gagne

PHOTO: Vincent Donovan: Author of ‘Chasing Mayflies’ and ‘Killer Dreams,’
blending literary prowess with a biopharmaceutical background.
A journey from corporate leadership to captivating storytelling. 


“Killer Dreams” is a wonderful mix of suspense, mystery, and emotional trauma, filled with unexpected twists.” -Sublime Book Review

“This is one of those books that grabs you from the start and pulls you in. The story is endearing and heartbreaking… a real eye-opener. An exceptionally grand read!” -Amy’s Bookshelf

“Heart pounding thriller that left me on the edge of my seat. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. Definitely one of the best books this year.” -Lynn Beck, Washington Life Magazine

“I’ve been a fan of Vincent Donovan for years. He weighs each word, its necessity, value and contribution to the overall story. I recommend this compelling read for anyone who is searching for something truly exceptional.” -Kimberly Shumate, author, agent and project developer


Cassie MacLean stared at the pool of liquid wax in the bottom of the glass candle jar and resisted the urge. For the past ten years, every candle she blew out was accompanied with a silent plea for the nightmare to end. But not today. Instead, she let the saliva pool in her mouth before hurling it at the dancing flame.

“Sometimes spit is just pissed off tears,” she whispered to the insulted wick.

Folllow Vincent Donovan 


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