Brendan Detzner lives, works, and writes in Chicago. His work has appeared in Chizine, Pseudopod, Edge of Propinquity, Ruthless Peoples, Untied Shoelaces of the Mind, and the Book of Dead Things anthology, as well as elsewhere. His short story collection “Scarce Resources” is available at his web site. Brendan has also been featured at the Twilight Tales and Reading Under The Influence reading series in Chicago and runs his own reading series Bad Grammar, which takes place every 2nd Friday of the month in the Chicago Arts District.
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
My name's Brendan Detzner- I live, work and write in Chicago, and my business card says "Horror/Fantasy/Strangeness". I've been published in One Buck Horror, Chizine, Pseudopod, and many other places. I run the Bad Gramamar Theater reading series and often perform at other reading series around the city.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
Weird Fiction works best for me- the subtitle of my short story collection "Scarce Resources" is "18 Weird Stories"- but I generally speaking if you tell me that you love me or pay me money I'll claim whatever flag you want.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
Neil Gaiman is definitely the guy whose work I love and who people have heard of and whose career I would also like to have, thank you very much. On the fantastic side of things I also love Caitlin R. Kiernan. I read a lot of crime fiction, both new and old, by people like George Pelecanos, Andrew Vachss, and John Burdett. And I'm in the privileged position to know a lot of wonderful writers personally at this point, and enjoy trying to keep on top of their stuff. You should go put "Dead Boys" by Michael Penkas on your Kindle immediately.
What are you reading now?
"Assimilate" by S. Alexander Reed, the world's first in-depth critical history of industrial music. On the fiction front I'm going to get back to "The Last Six Million Seconds" by John Burdett as soon as "Assimilate" is done, and look forward to getting to "Proactive Contrition" by my Bad Grammar buddy Wayne Allen Sallee once my slate is otherwise clear.
How would you describe your writing style?
Minimal and punchy, except when it isn't. I try to throw a jab whenever I see an opening and try not to worry too much about if it "sounds like Brendan Detzner" or not. In terms of subject matter it's a compromise between what I think I can get published and trying not to be predictable. Happy endings don't come up too much.
Describe a typical day spent writing. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I've never not had a day job, and I've mostly had a day career, so writing has usually felt like an indulgence, and anything that puts me in that state of mind helps me get started. Junk food and loud trashy music are standard operating procedure.
What’s your favourite food?
What’s your favourite album?
That's a bloodletting question, but I've listened to "How I Got Over" by The Roots more than anything else over the last couple of years.
What’s the most important lesson you have learned about writing?
That's it's a wonderful privilege to be able to do it, and not something to be taken for granted.
Fame and fortune, or respect?
What I've always wanted, and am slowly starting to get, is time and energy to write and an intelligent audience that will pay attention to me. And I also want to have fun. So I guess respect from the right people, with a little fortune to tide me over.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
The two Charlie Harmer stories that were produced by Pseudopod. My best work, and the best presentation I've ever had.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
I've got a dark-fantasy-that-stars-adolescents-but-is-not-a-YA-book making the rounds with agents, a novel set in a maximum security prison for teenage girls finished but in hibernation, and I'm working on a Charlie Harmer novel right now. I also have the short story collection out and will cheerfully put out another one as soon as I've got material to fill it.