Today, on #twitterviews, we talk to Tim Johnston, who not only was once a carpenter, but has also accomplished the similarly Jesus-like feats of winning an O. Henry Prize and the favor of David Sedaris. His latest is the Algonquin Books publication, Descent. It is his adult fiction debut detailing a family's undoing by the disappearance of their daughter in the Rocky Mountains, and it has exploded into an Oprah-level of popularity that, quite frankly, it (and he) absolutely deserves. Great book. Great guy. Take it from me ... well, and, you know ... Oprah.
Question 1: You've said you thought of Descent while all alone working on a house in the Rockies. Have you read/seen The Shining?
Question 2: Why did you elect to use multiple perspectives?
Question 3: Did you know the ending before you started?
Question 4: I'm a big fan of Appalachian writers. As an author of a Rocky Mountain novel, what's the difference between the East Side and West Side?
Question 5: Your writing has followed you a bit. You've had an Iowa YA (degree from U. of Iowa) and Rocky Top lit thriller (Shining moment). Is there a Memphis (taught for U. of Memphis MFA) book in you?
Descent is out in stores now. This is my second week in a row when I feel a touch late to the party. I'm pretty sure everyone I know is reading this book. But, if you aren't, then go. Now. Do it.
"I thought I knew ... but couldn't go there. When I understood where I could go, the writing resumed."
on the ending of Descent