Michael’s work has appeared in Barrelhouse Magazine, The Canary Press, Bridge Eight, Adelaide Magazine, The Feminist Literary Magazine, and more. He lives with a blind dog above a duck-pin bowling alley in Baltimore. He has written five unpublished novels.
Eckleburg: What captures your interest most in your work, now, as a reader of your work?
Michael J. Coene: Atmosphere. When I’m writing–or reading–my focus is always on atmosphere. I like a strange mood. I like prose that uses rhythm to paint a weird gloss over ordinary things. I like dialogue that speaks in implications. Honestly, I don’t care what a book is about; I care about how it goes about it.
Eckleburg: What are you working on now?
Michael J. Coene: Currently, I’m sending out query letters for my fifth novel manuscript, THE SLEW RATE, as well as working with a team of illustrators to put together a literary graphic novel about social anxiety. I’m also hard at work on my sixth novel manuscript, but it’s too soon to share anything about that one, just yet.
Eckleburg: Who and what are your artistic influences?
Michael J. Coene: I realized that I was meant to be a writer when I read John Irving’s THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP. I picked it up by chance, and as I was reading it, understood exactly how to go about writing that kind of novel. I’ve been at it, obsessively, ever since.
Over the years, plenty of other writers have come along and influenced my style and approach, including Charles Bukowski, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Keri Hulme, Bret Easton Ellis, Stephen Dixon, Anthony Burgess, Don DeLillo, to name a few.
I’m also very influenced by the music of Bjork, who I listen to almost exclusively while writing.
Eckleburg thanks Michael J. Coene. Do you have new work published here at Eckleburg or elsewhere? Add your Selfie Interview and share the news with our 10,000+ reading and writing community. If you have a new book out or upcoming, join our Eckleburg Book Club and let our readers know about it.