Monday, January 2, 2023

The 40 but 10 Interview Series - Ben Arzate


New year, new interview series! Looking forward into 2023, I have decided to retire the literary Would You Rather series, but didn't want to stop interviews on the site all together. Instead, I've pulled together 40ish questions - some bookish, some silly - and have asked authors to limit themselves to answering only 10 of them. That way, it keeps the interviews fresh and connectable for all of us!

Today, Ben Arzate helps up break in the series! Ben is a long time friend of TNBBC - he's been kind enough to review a bunch of our clients' titles over the years and we're thrilled to be able to help support him! 

Ben lives in Des Moines, IA. He is the author of the novels The Story of the Y, Elaine, and Music is Over! He's also written the poetry collections the sky is black and blue like a battered child and dr. sodom and mrs. gomorrah. His first book of plays, PLAYS/hauntologies, was released through Madness Heart Press. Find him online at

Why do you write?

I originally started off writing song lyrics in high school. Then I moved into poetry, and from there, stories and novels.


Describe your book poorly.

 A guy in a dress and a woman with facial scars fail to catch the right train


What is your favorite book from childhood?  

The Kryptonite Kid by Joseph Torchia


What are you currently reading?

The Passenger by Cormac McCarthy


What genres won’t you read?

While I wouldn't refuse to read any genre, I'm really not a fan of high fantasy in general.


What’s the single best line you’ve ever read?

 This line from Stephen Crane's “'Truth,' said a traveller.”

 '“Truth,” said a traveller,

“Is a breath, a wind,

“A shadow, a phantom;

“Long have I pursued it,

“But never have I touched

“The hem of its garment.”'


What’s on your literary bucket list?

 Besides all the books on my shelves, I want to read the complete works of Pierre Guyotat.


Do you read the reviews of your books or do you stay far far away from them, and why?

 I do read them, mostly because I don't get very many, so I can give them the attention.


If you could time travel, would you go back to the past or forward into the future?

 I'm already a time traveler. I travel into the future one second at a time at all times.


Are you a book hoarder or a book unhauler?

 I'm definitely a hoarder. I have way too many books and I have trouble letting them go.


Between 2001 and 2013, the leader of the Japanese noise band The Gerogerigegege, Juntaro Yamanouchi, disappeared. Where did he go for over a decade? Perhaps he met a victim of the Slit-Mouth Woman and they took a night train to nowhere. Perhaps they stumbled on an industrial wasteland of a city filled with strange doctors, mysterious foreigners, psychotic policemen, and unfriendly residents. Perhaps they became caught between violent struggles they barely understood in their journey to go back home. One can only speculate.

Malarkey Books is proud to present Music Is Over!, a surreal picaresque horror novel by Ben Arzate. It’s very weird, it’s totally bizarre, it’s kind of violent, and it’s weirdly touching. It’s all of these things but more than anything it’s just a cool book.


Buy his book here:

No comments:

Post a Comment