A: Drasko’s personal situation is what struck me the most. He doesn’t have the luxury of ignoring the tension of the adult world. He has to navigate his own way through it.
A: The first line of the story is “See that man in the floppy hat? That’s Milo. He’s my father.” With those words John immediately set up a recognizable trademark for Milo. The next line is “He can sniff out the best roses in all of Sarajevo.” Milo and Drasko only get to spend a couple of pages together, but their relationship is the heart of the book, and the hat symbolizes that relationship. I knew I wanted to see Milo hand the hat to Drasko when he leaves for the battlefield, and I knew I wanted Drasko to put it on his own head for the first time after hearing Vedran Smailovic play his cello in the rubble of the breadline massacre. The music inspires Drasko toward his own selfless act, which also echoes the generous spirit of his father.
Q: What do you hope readers take away from your art?