Willow Springs, the literary journal from Eastern Washington University, has a wonderful interview with Tim O’Brien. The conversation covers a lot of ground: from his books to politics, to how he writes, to his current project. What I love about Tim O’Brien is how heartfelt and honest he seems. As in his stories, when he’s talking about fiction, nothing seems quite as important as what he is saying.
In this interview, he describes writing the first sentences to “How to Tell a True War Story,” the emotional torment he experiences when audience members thank him for his service to the country, and what he strives for in his writing: “something that’s beautiful in one way or another, a story that does something to our hearts that wouldn’t have been done otherwise.”