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.