The Huffington Post interviewed Tod about writing in the time of Trump:
Are there tricks for reading around the unreliable narrative of a psychologically unwell person in order to get at what’s really going on?
I think understanding the difference between truth and fact is the key here. An unreliable narrator recounts their truth irrespective of the facts. Several years ago, before her eventual death, my mother had a complete psychotic break. She’d earned it: years of cancer and lupus, what was likely untreated bipolar disorder, months and months of chemotherapy. At any rate, I found her in her home, naked and lost, ranting at the world, looking for an ex-boyfriend who she would periodically find and then lose again. My siblings and I ended up getting her 5150’d. We had to. It was horrible. A horrible experience. She’d been having delusions that men in black Suburbans were chasing her off the road. She had the rapid speaking. The delusions of grandeur and persecution. Sort of textbook stuff. After the 5150, she was better, because we got her on medication that helped her, but frankly, she was never the same. We didn’t talk too much about the actual day that we had her taken away, but sometimes she’d bring it up, and I would remind her that what she was experiencing wasn’t real. And it would be as if that made sense for a bit. But the problem was, she couldn’t fathom how she’d been duped, how she’d believed in some delusion more than reality, and so it always boiled down to a simple thing: We were the ones who didn’t know what was real. It was a tiresome thing. And she was sick, so we didn’t want to fight with her about it, because there’s no sense in fighting with your dying mother. But Donald Trump believes – or wants his followers to believe – a set of lies, a reality that is his alone, as if the rest of the world does not see the truth. Eventually, in a novel, an unreliable narrator bumps up against reality, and that’s when there’s a moment of reckoning. The American people are going to have to provide the President and his administration a moment of reckoning every single day. It will be exhausting. But there’s a lot of us.