Mitten in der Nacht wachte Leroy Kervin auf und sah, dass er in einem Krankenhauszimmer lag. Seine Arme und Beine waren am Bett festgebunden und hinter ihm brannte eine trübe Lampe. Er konnte Menschen auf dem Flur reden hören, spürte den Schmerz in seiner Brust und den Schlauch in seiner Kehle. Er geriet nicht in Panik; er sah einfach, wo er war, und wollte dort nicht sein.
Hier noch ein Auszug aus einem Interview mit Willy über "Die Freien":
RN: This is our third interview already. The last one we had was almost three years ago. Back then you have just finished a new record for Richmond Fontaine called “The High Country” and were working on a novel about a nurse. I assume the novel you were working on back then was “The Free”, which was just released this month in the US. How satisfied were you with the working process of the book?
Willy: It was the hardest book I’ve ever written. The three main characters, the intertwining of them and the serious nature of the book about did me in. I re-wrote it 13 times. A real tough one.
RN: When did “The Free” really started in your head?
Willy: I guess it began around 2009 with two songs, A LETTER TO THE PATRON SAINT OF NURSES and 43 off the RF record WE USED TO THINK THE FREEWAY SOUNDED LIKE A RIVER. They were ideas that grew from songs and finally I started the novel.
RN: You’ve been pretty loyal to your style and characters. What I really like about this book and your past work is when reading your stories one is instantly hooked to the story. After the first few lines you are there knocked back in the chair, reading and reading...did you cut a lot out from your first draft?
Willy: I always edit a lot. I tinker endlessly so the drafts changed quite a bit. What didn’t change are the ideas of the book and the three main characters. As far as loyalty to my style and characters. They’re what I know. I like working class stories because those are the stories and people I know, that I understand.
RN: One of the characters is an ex-soldier who was wounded in Iraq, the other one is a guy who works two jobs to make ends meet. Two subjects that are constantly on the agenda in American politics. How frustrated is it to hear these things on the news knowing it will probably go on for years or maybe never stop?
Willy: Obviously the US involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq is distressing to say the least. Besides civilian casualties the thing that I can never quite shake is our soldiers getting hurt. And they say this is the war of brain injuries and what an injury that is. I always try to write about the things that haunt me or scare me or upset me or I’m trying to lay to rest. Soldiers are generally working class and poor and they’re usually the ones that get it the worst. I’m not a soldier and I’ve never been in the Army so it’s not my place to write about war, but most everyone experiences taking care of someone with a long term illness or injury. And that idea led me to think about the health care system in the US and my families own struggles with trying to get health insurance.
erschien in Jahrgang 1 - Ausgabe 8: