Supreme being and all round sound patriarch, ‘God’, has gone public for the first time about his frustrations with his publishing team over the omission of powerful female characters from his iconic novel, The Bible. Attributing his early success to a misplaced appraisal of misogyny, God reveals that fame among zealots and bigots has led to a shallow career and few true friends. We sat down with God to hear the full story about the Bible that could have been.
Although blaming himself for many mistakes, God stresses that the publishing world is unfair to young writers with truly radical ideas. ‘I was so excited when they took me on’ said God, ‘I’d all these great concepts about love and unifying mankind and they told me I’d go global. I was so naïve’.
When pressed further about what went wrong creatively, God buried his face in his hands to hide his embarrassment. ‘It all went pear-shaped when I started the Ezekiel passages. Do you know how much LSD is needed to write about four winged angels made of rings of fire? It got so intense. I took a few weeks to detox in Asia. Hung out with Buddha to forget the pressure of deadlines. He got me into this Zen lark, sound guy Buddha. Good laugh. But I’d no idea my publisher would hire a ghost writer – Larry of Babylon – in the meantime and pump all that homophobic Leviticus crap into my book. When I came back a month later with the first draft of the New Testament, they’d already gone off the walls with that Sodom and Gomorrah stuff, making me out to be a megalomaniac asshole. I mean Jesus, what were they thinking? God damn Larry.’
One would think that God, being supreme, would have fought for his original artistic vision, but the author insists he did not possess the confidence. Blaming his lack of self-belief for the book’s contradictions, continuity errors and meandering subplots he feels he failed to write a truly timeless work. ‘I was told I should split the Bible into a trilogy’ God confessed, ‘you know, make breathing space to flesh out themes and characters but I was just so pissed with all that apocalyptic nonsense they’d crammed in that I couldn’t stand the thought of publishing further novels with these assholes. One book. If James Joyce could do it so could I!’
We asked God how he could have admired James Joyce’s work back then when Joyce wasn’t born until 1882. God merely replied with a knowing look, ‘continuity errors lads. You see them everywhere when you’re divine.’
It was perhaps God’s stubbornness to fit all his boundless imagination into one book that was the greatest impediment for his female characters. ‘You make the world in seven days’ God told us, ‘and suddenly you think you can write a masterpiece on your first go. I was arrogant. My editor was telling me they couldn’t publish a trillion pages but I just kept writing about plagues and lads in deserts and suddenly I’d no room for all these powerful women that I’d spent ages designing. Moses was supposed to be a transgender revolutionary. Archangel Gabriel had a twin Gabriella. Eve had this bad-ass subplot where she assembles a dinosaur army to try reclaim Eden. They took it all out! Even my damn dinosaurs! I thought it was my best stuff but that gobshite from marketing – Tim of Assyria – said the two Mary’s would probably do. We’re selling to a very masculine culture he said. It just won’t work. How was I supposed to know feminists would hate me thousands of years later? I can’t even show my face in public anymore!’
It’s clear whirlwind fame has had a damaging effect on God, yet he remains hopeful his new novel will correct the earlier mistakes of his career. ‘It’s going to have powerful women, sexual liberation and a whole cast of likable twenty something year old friends living in a New York apartment block in the 90s . . . and dinosaurs too’, God told us. ‘I’m hoping it will get transformed into a popular television show and everything!’
When asked whether he worries that his transition into a new genre will alienate his older fans in conservative religious circles, God did not seem to care. ‘I mean, my heart goes out to them, but they need to let go of all this blasphemy shite. Do you honestly think the Lord of infinite love here is going to send you to Hell for taking the piss? I’m constantly taking the piss myself. Remember when I told my whale to eat Jonah? I was only having the craic. My conservative readers need to just chill. Hopefully they’ll enjoy my new tales of dinosaurs and sexually empowered ladies but God only knows.’
God’s new novel Sex, Drugs and Everything Else I Previously Told You was Wrong but I Don’t Mind Now Because I Changed My Mind Since I Went to Electric Picnic Last Summer will be available in bookstores by Christmas.