William Timothy O'Brien - Interview with William Timothy O'Brien: clip: Writing while in country: wrote a few letters home; didn’t go into much detail; motive was "more superstitious"
than protecting parents; wrote some short pieces for the Minneapolis newspaper and one for Playboy (published after he returned)
that became the basis for his first book, If I Die in a Combat Zone; had always wanted to be a writer, but Vietnam made him need
to be a writer; pieces were about events and other people, not about him; went to graduate school at Harvard after his return,
kept writing short pieces, not intending them to be a book, but at some point, they accumulated into one.