April 24, 2018

Bible on Bible: Michael Bible, author of the brand-new Empire of Light, interviews… himself


There will be other interviews, and there may be better interviews, but there will be no more intimate interview of Michael Bible, whose excellent new novel Empire of Light hits shelves today, than this one, performed by… Michael Bible himself.

That’s right — Michael Bible asked Michael Bible the tough questions, and Michael Bible didn’t let Michael Bible get away with easy answers. Take a look, steep in the wisdom, and then hit up your friendly neighborhood bookseller for your copy of Empire of Light today.


MB: What’s your favorite place to work or write?
MB: In bed with coffee.

MB: How do you want to die?
MB: Listening to Beethoven on psychedelics.

MB: Most unique job in NYC?
MB: I taught a class at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to one student. My job was to give the kid a tour of the Met every Friday for an entire semester. He just smoked cigarettes on the steps while I looked at art.

MB: What’s Empire Of Light about?
MB: A kid who accidentally kills a stranger.

MB: What’s the genesis of the book?
MB: I witnessed a car accident when I was thirteen years old where a woman died. It inspired me to write a story about the guilt that survivors encounter sometimes. It happened on the side of the road in the snow, very much in the same way it happens in the book, except I didn’t cause the accident.

MB: Talk about your process
MB: I put one sentence down and then another. And then the characters start talking. At some point I want to make everything crystal clear. Samuel Beckett talks about writing in no-style at all. I don’t really have any philosophy other than that.  Just now, a girl walking across the street was yelling into her phone, “Mom, you crossed the line again” — there’s a whole story in that.

MB: Why do you write short books?
MB: I like keeping it to 100 — 120 pages. Makes me condense the prose. I’m looking for the sprint not the marathon.

MB: What’s your favorite band?
MB: I prefer soloists.

MB: Describe your ideal reader.
MB: A cyborg weeping under a waterfall, born 200 years after I die.

MB: What’s your least favorite word?
MB: Toot.





Empire of Light is on sale now. Buy your copy here, or at your neighborhood independent bookstore.

Michael Bible is originally from North Carolina. His work has appeared in Oxford American, The Paris Review Daily, Al Jazeera America, ESPN: The Magazine, and New York Tyrant. His books include Sophia, published by Melville House in 2015, and Empire of Light, out now.