TTQ – There's an interesting passage in the book where you talk about writing and dealing with the past as being an act where you could not muster enough egotism and narcissism to do it properly. What encouraged you take these as you describe 'horrific leaps of faith' in order to properly tell the story of the 'comfort women'?
Mark Sampson – I think any act of literature, any work of fiction, is a tremendous leap of faith. It takes a certain amount of assuredness – if not outright arrogance – to think that what we concoct out of our imaginations would be of interest to other people. I really believe that you need that cockiness just to get past the fifth paragraph, no matter what your fiction is about. But what I’m doing in Sad Peninsula is a bit beyond even that, because half the story I’m writing is in no way related to me or my own experiences. But there was something in the character of Eun-young that really spoke to me, and so once I mustered up the courage to tell her story (and it took a while) I knew that it was all a leap of faith. It still is. But I guess in that scene, Michael is maybe acknowledging the power that fiction has to put us inside the mind of someone else – and, this case, someone very different from ourselves.Anyway, thanks so much to Darryl for showing such interest in the book. Read the full interview here.