An Interview with Timothy L. O’Brien

Yesterday I reviewed The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy L. O’Brien. Today, I’m happy to welcome Mr. O’Brien to The Relentless Reader. I was excited to ask him a few questions that I hope were a little bit different than the norm. I’m glad to hear that we’ll be hearing more about the protagonist from The Lincoln Conspiracy again. 

Tell me a little bit about the cover design of The Lincoln Conspiracy?

That was all Random House’s doing, but I had input on it and was thrilled with their choices. I think they came up with something that’s eye-catching and evokes the themes of the book as both a mystery and as a work of historical fiction.

What is the last book that you read?

I read “Mission to Paris” by Alan Furst and “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. Enjoyed both of them!

Do you have any writing superstitions or rituals? 

I work best late at night and I work best when I have slippers on. 

Which character was your favorite to write? 

I love Temple, Fiona and Augustus, of course, since they’re all very close to me emotionally and in my imagination. And there are a number of historical figures in the novel who I enjoyed building characters around, specifically Alexander Gardner and Allen Pinkerton.

How long was this book brewing in your mind before you set pen to paper?

In all honesty, for a few decades. I’ve been a Lincoln fan since I was a little kid.

Will you be writing about Temple McFadden again?

A: This is the first in a multi-part series about Temple McFadden and his wife, Fiona. The next book will be set largely in New York, where they will encounter Maestro once again, but Washington will never be far from their thoughts or actions.

Timothy L. O’Brien is the Executive Editor of The Huffington Post, where he edited the 2012 Pulitzer Prize–winning series about wounded war veterans, “Beyond the Battlefield.” Previously, he was an editor and reporter at The New York Times. There, he helped to lead a team of Times reporters that was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in Public Service in 2009 for coverage of the financial crisis. O’Brien, a graduate of Georgetown University, holds three master’s degrees — in US History,Business and Journalism — all from Columbia University. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife and two children.