Ishmael Beah’s “A Long Way Gone,” a memoir of time spent as a child soldier in Sierra Leone, was a sensation when it was published in 2007. This month the author’s first novel, “Radiance of Tomorrow,” comes out. Writing fiction, he said, felt liberating compared with memoir.
“I think the pain of sitting down and writing is the same,” Beah told the Globe in a telephone interview. “You have to sit there and put time in to it. But the difference for me really was that I found writing fiction more freeing. I had more time to play more with language and play with the timeline and do things I couldn’t do in a memoir.”