In The Chair 63: D.J. Bennett

Merry Christmas, D J Bennett!


How would you describe your Christmas in only three words?

Debbie: Indulgent, family and television. I’d like to say relaxing – but really it isn’t! Wine helps…

If you could have a relationship with a literary festive character who would it be and why?

Debbie: What kind of relationship? And I don’t know any literary festive characters apart from the obvious ones like Scrooge – and who on earth would want to have a relationship with him? Altruism would definitely take a back-seat here – unless of course the BBC decide to do a re-make and cast Aidan Turner as the lead, in which case I’ll be first in the queue! What about one of the ten-lord’s-a’leaping? One of them must be sexy and rich, surely?

If you had to exist for a week in a Christmas story … which one would it be?

Debbie: Oh I think it would have to be The Christmas Story. I’m not particularly religious, but imagine being there – in Bethlehem. Being able to listen in and witness the story first-hand. Imagine having the comfort of that level of belief in something spiritual, something bigger than the world we live in? Right now, that’s a strangely comforting idea at the end of 2015.

tumblr_m8za06Cg9e1qf53zzo1_500Dead or alive literary Christmas lunch: who would you invite, and what would you serve?  

Debbie: The Grinch, of course! And I’d serve green eggs and ham and hand out thneeds as presents. Maybe I’d invite the Cat too, as he has a certain outlook on life … We’d debate Truffula Trees and the existence of Whoville, and at the end of the evening Thing One and Thing Two could do all the tidying up.

If you had to write a Christmas themed story in your current genre, what would the title be?

Debbie: Five Gold Rings. It’d be a Christmas serial killer, and each murder would relate to and happen on the twelve days of Christmas. Urban mayhem – cold and dark, icy canals and  everybody’s too busy celebrating to have time to figure out what’s going on. Hmm. I can work with this…


What do you dislike the most about Christmas?

Debbie: Disruption and mess. I’m very much a creature of habit, order and routine. Typical Capricorn, really!

Favourite festive word? Debbie: After resisting the obvious it’d have to be TINSEL, because it’s just pretty and sparkly!

D. J Bennett was in the Christmas chair: author of the Hamelin’s Child series 


In The Chair 35: D.J.Bennett

Welcome, D. J. Bennett.

How would you describe your writing style in only three words?

Debbie: Gritty, graphic, up-close-and-personal. Are hyphens cheating?


If you could have a relationship with one of your fictional characters who would it be and why?

Debbie: It’d have to be my bad-boy Lenny. He’s the only one I fancy. And since he’s as good with women as he is with guns, I suspect it would be a thrilling – if very dangerous – ride! I’d have to be thirty years younger, but since this is fiction, I don’t suppose it’d be a problem.

If you had to exist for a week in one of your books … which one would it be? Would you be a central character or simply watch the story unfold from the sidelines?

Debbie: All my crime books are set in contemporary England and mostly inner-city, or at least urban. Since I’m generally wallowing in the dregs of society, I don’t think I’d want to be a central character in any of my books, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be a minor character and risk being killed off. So I’d probably have to lurk – and interfere, of course. I’m good at interfering.

Dead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve?


Debbie: I’ve been lucky enough to have eaten and/or got drunk with most of my favourite living authors already. People are never how you expect them to be, are they? So let’s go for dead ones. as they can’t talk back. Or am I bringing them to life for one night in some amazing feat of reincarnation? What about somebody like John Wyndham, maybe? With Robert Heinlein and Aldous Huxley. All hugely influential on my 11 year-old mind and set me off wanting to write stories too… What would we eat? A pub meal somewhere, nice and informal so we could concentrate on chatting. But there would have to be wine. Lots of wine.

If you had to write in a different genre which would it be and why?

Debbie: My writing roots are firmly set in fantasy – contemporary and epic. I’ve been involved in the fantasy scene for a couple of decades, dabbling in fiction and running conventions. If I wasn’t writing crime, I’d be back there playing with psychic stuff, world-jumping, telepathy and all that kind of thing. In fact I have an urban fantasy to finish when I’m done with my current crime project.

What do you dislike the most about being an author?

Debbie: Not having a life? Sometimes it’d be nice to not have anything to do. I’d love to sit down of an evening and watch television, without feeling the itch to put fingers to keyboard. Even when I’m not writing, I’m plotting. I’d be lovely to not feel that pressure.

 Favourite word?

Debbie: Love? No – that’s cheesy and nobody would believe it. What about Awesome? I say that a lot. But they don’t really mean anything do they? I use lots of words and I don’t have favourites as that wouldn’t be fair on the others. Can I have simply Bollocks? Or is that too rude? It just kind of sums up my attitude sometimes …

D. J. Bennett was in the chair: Author of  The Hamlin’s Child series, several short stories & a fantasy; Edge of Dreams.