K. V. Turley: What do you understand as a writer’s vocation?
Michael O’Brien: As with all Christian art, the writer’s calling is to make visible what is invisible, but in such a way that the reader experiences wonder and reverence for Being itself. This means telling a story in which the mysterious movements of divine providence in human life become more comprehensible, and that the great drama of existence in which we are all immersed is seen with new eyes—fraught with dangers and with sublime beauty. Whether one’s work is explicitly or implicitly Christian in themes, the writer’s fidelity to ultimate reality—to Truth—enlarges the reader’s universe.
K. V. Turley: What has writing and being a novelist taught you?
Michael O’Brien: The long discipline of being an artist in Christ throughout more than forty-five years has taught me to see that creativity is not my possession. It’s a co-creative grace—grace and human nature working together to create “words” that give life to others. And, that in order for one’s art to be living words, prayer is absolutely fundamental.