In lieu of our own interview, we direct you to the "Books Personally" blog, in which you can find out more about David's time in Iraq, how he gets himself going in the morning, and how a caring editor helped him part with tens of thousands of excess words. More on the novel's judicious paring in this Salon article; and at The Millions, an essay about the "late blooming" Abrams and the six years he spent writing, editing, and pitching the novel. In the latter essay, special mention is made of an influential adviser in Abrams's graduate school years: UAA's own Jo-Ann Mapson, remembered this way by Abrams:
"I’ll never forget the afternoon she called me into her office. There was a single lamp burning on her desk and we sat there in that half-light talking for about 45 minutes about the book — the good, the bad, but mostly the good. Jo-Ann liked what she read, but… But then, and I’ll never forget this, she placed her hand on the top of the three-inch-high manuscript and looked at me as solemn as a preacher on a Sunday morning and said, “I think this is going to make a great second novel.”
Mapson's faith buoyed him. Eight months later, according to the article in The Millions, he was on his way to Iraq, where the idea for Fobbit would get its start.