Iowa City native Tim Johnston was interviewed for On The Fly while in town for the 2015 Iowa City Book Festival. His literary thrilled Descent was published earlier that year. Johnston also has a short story collection and a young adult novel to his credit.
Johnston reveals how a carpentry job in Colorado was the impetus for Descent, even though he was “actively trying not to write” at the time. He explains the ways in which carpentry is a “good companion kind of work to writing.”
His morning writing routine finds him reading until “I find that I’m not reading anymore, but I’m writing something in my head.” He explains how an editor’s comments about a word used too often led to an additional revision of Descent. He considers the spiritual aspects of writing, saying he thinks there may be a “spirit that moves us in ways we don’t understand,” an idea given credence, he says, by readers who point out aspects of his book that he wasn’t aware of, but which don’t seem like accidents.