British Fantasy Award winning author Chaz Brenchley is the author of nine thrillers, most recently Shelter and two fantasy series, The Books of Outremer and Selling Water by the River. As Daniel Fox he has published a Chinese-based fantasy series, beginning with Dragon in Chains, as Ben Macallan, an urban fantasy, Desdæmona. I talked to Chaz about his many hats, and his writing.
Paul Weimer: So let’s begin with a deceptively easy question. Who is Chaz Brenchley?
Chaz Brenchley: Chaz Brenchley is a British novelist and short story writer. He sold his first stories when he was eighteen, and he’s never had another job: which means he’s been making a living from his keyboard for thirty-five years now. He’s published short fiction in almost every genre except Westerns (and that may change). His novels range from mysteries through supernatural thrillers to fantasies and SF. He likes to say he lives down the dirty end of genre fiction; in fact, after thirty years in Newcastle on Tyne, he’s just moved to Silicon Valley with two fractious cats and an unconscionable quantity of books.
Also, Chaz Brenchley is Daniel Fox. Who went to Taiwan for the millennium, as a guest of the government; went back as a guest of his interpreter; studied classical Mandarin for six years after that and then wrote a trilogy set in an analogue world, transposing contemporary Taiwan – loosely – onto imperial China.
Also, Chaz Brenchley is Ben Macallan. Who began life as the narrator of two Chaz Brenchley novels, Dead of Light and Light Errant, but then branched out into writing fiction of his own. His first book, Desdaemona, is an urban fantasy set in an England saturated with mythic figures; the sequel, Pandaemonium, has just been published.
Away from the keyboard, he has been described as “the finest cook in this room”. That isn’t always true.
He has also been described as “the only man we know – apart from Christopher Lee – who’s met both Tolkien and Gandalf.” As far as we know, that one is true.