The New Yorker Talks Trances With Madison Smartt Bell

Over at The New Yorker’s Book Bench, Jeannie Vanasco talks to Madison Smartt Bell about the unique writing technique he used in writing his novels—including his latest novel, The Color of Night. The two discuss how he’s learned to put himself in a “mild trance” in order to conquer writer’s block, and Bell offers tips on how to get yourself in a creative flow state.

In the interview, Bell notes, “I have always had a mystical attitude toward inspiration.” That shouldn’t be a surprise to fans of Bell’s complex, visceral writing (previous novels include All Souls’ Rising and Devil’s Dream). In The Color of Night, Bell ventures into the darkest corners of the American psyche, emerging with a dark, immediate story about the long-ranging effects that violence can have on the individual.

Click here to read an excerpt from the book, and click here to download a reading group guide.