Daniel Marc Chant is an author of strange fiction. His passion for H. P. Lovecraft & the films of John Carpenter inspired him to produce intense, cinematic stories with a sinister edge.
Daniel launched his début “Burning House” in 2015, swiftly following with the Lovecraft-inspired “Maldición.” His most recent books “Mr. Robespierre”, “Aimee Bancroft and The Singularity Storm” and “Into Fear” have garnered universal praise.
He has featured in the anthology collections “Cthulhu Lies Dreaming” from Ghostwoods Books, “Death By Chocolate” from KnightsWatch Press, “VS.” from Shadow Work Publishing and “Bah! Humbug!” from Matt Shaw Publishing, and the upcoming “The Stars at My Door” from April Moon Books.
Daniel also created “The Black Room Manuscripts” a charity horror anthology & is a founder of UK independent genre publisher The Sinister Horror Company. Please welcome Daniel Marc Chant to Roadie Notes……
1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
I would have been around nine or ten at a guess. I was certainly in the later years of Primary School here in the U.K. During those formative years I was very interested in the Fighting Fantasy series of books as well as tabletop fantasy gaming. I remember writing a series of stories based around a burly Orc warrior named Grogan who was always caught up in some hapless adventure that required his specific brand of violence. No doubt inspired by early watching’s of Conan. Sadly Grogan’s adventures weren’t that great, but they do still exist somewhere in my parents attic. Along with my soul.
2. How many books have you written?
Well it depends on whether you count released and unreleased? Released I have Burning House, Maldicion, Mr. Robespierre, Aimee Bancroft and The Singularity Storm, Into Fear and One Girl Army – so that’s seven. Unreleased (but practically finished) I have Devil Kickers and Incarnate so that’s another two. All in all nine. Not a bad tally.
3. Anything you won’t write about?
Sexual violence and animal cruelty. I’m no prude but I couldn’t personally use those subject matters and write a convincing tale that would justify their inclusion. Other writers have done so masterfully but I know I would struggle with it, and therefore it’s not for my fiction. I’ll leave that to others. My style is a cocktail of 80’s nostalgia, Lovecraftian mythos and John Carpenter homage.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
I’m 38 years young (he says with bones that crack every morning) and I live in Bath, Somerset U.K. with my girlfriend Christian Lourenco (yes, she does have a boy’s name, she’s half-French). No kids, never wanted any and luckily nor did Christian so we’re good on that front! During the day I am a mild-mannered office worker in the world of finance (there’s a far lengthier explanation of what I do, but it makes most people’s eyes glaze over so I’ll stick to that).
5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
I would have to say Mr. Robespierre. It’s the encapsulation of the 80’s style horror that I adore as well as being a love letter to my good lady Christian. The little girl Chrissy is based on her, and her parents Dom and Sandy are based on her real parents. The book is full of little details and nods to incidental things that I think help flesh it out to be a believable slice of unbelievability. It all happened because I had just finished Maldicion and I (foolishly) asked her what she would like to read about in a book by me. Her response was, “cats, ghost, Madonna and me,” in that order. And so Mr. Robespierre was born.
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
Many things. I fit within your typical horror author stereotype in the fact that I didn’t have a great experience during my school years (bullying and shit like that – don’t worry, I’m fine) so that led me to find escapism in other avenues. Books, comic books, films, and music became the universes that I would escape to. And the more you escape to a universe the more you want to be part of it, so you start creating elements to contribute towards it. At first clumsy fan-fiction and then as it develops you go further down the rabbit hole. The lightning bolt came when I first read H. P. Lovecraft at an impressionable age. His concepts really resonated with me, and still do to this day.
7. What do you like to do for fun?
I watch far too many movies. Far too many movies. And also I’m an avid gamer. For more socially acceptable pastimes I do love to cook and am fucking good at it, if I do say so myself. I blame the expectations of a half-French girlfriend.
8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
Think it’s all shit and cry alone. Does that count?
9. Where do you write? Quite or music?
I write at a table in my flat on a Samsung laptop. I always write to music. I cannot do it any other way. It’s always orchestral music too. Sometimes classical, sometimes film scores, sometimes video game scores, and other times just an eclectic mix of whatever Spotify throws at me. I tend to create a ‘mood’ playlist of stuff though and then play that. So for Maldicion it was all brooding pieces, Devil Kickers was Southern Blues, Mr. Robespierre was synth and so on.
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
I pride myself on being a B-movie writer. What I mean by that is that I like to think of my work as self-contained little stories, like movies, that you’d find at the rental stories of my youth. You’d pick them up, watch them and have a laugh or a jump scare and then job done. I’m not, and never will be, the award-winning author whose works transcends the genre. I write monster books.
But the flip-side to that is that my scope can sometimes feel limited to me as I tend to be drawn to throw monsters in everything. And I mean everything. I’m not a master of subtlety and think I’ve got some work to do to in time to turn the dial down, rather than up, when a story gives an opportunity.
But still. Monsters.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
As I said above I have no aspirations to be the next Stephen King or whatever. I just want to write an entertaining yarn. If I make somebody lose themselves in the world I created for a few hours then that’s job done. I couldn’t be happier. In an ideal world I’d like to see a film or two based on something I’ve done but a boy’s got to dream right?
12. Where do you live?
Bath, Somerset U.K. A quaint little place that I love dearly. I’m not from here originally, I hail from a place called Gillingham, Dorset (which is also where Justin Park comes from funnily enough).
None. And it breaks my heart! I adore animals. Where we live we are unable to have pets because British rental rules are random. You can have a screaming, shit spewing child that draws on the walls but you can’t have a cat that will sleep most of the day.
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Monsters. And like I mentioned earlier I like to think of myself as a vendor of B-movie fiction and, being a fan of B-movie fiction, I like that my work does that.
15. What is coming next for you?
One Girl Army my young adult style novella is released on February 4th. That’s been a long time coming and is about a young woman whose relationship breaks down after she’s disovered her partner is cheating on her. She attends therapy (much to her dislike) to try to help and during these sessions each of her emotions takes physical form in her mind, kind of like Scott Pilgrim, and she must battle them to try and manage her depression and anxiety.
Incarnate is also imminent. It’s subtitled ‘a monstrous faerie tale’ and is an action adventure tale inspired by the works of Neil Gaiman and Guillermo Del Toro with my own twist. As with most of my stuff it features a female protagonist (I blame Aliens) trying to save her boyfriend from other-worldly horrors while being assisted by a demonic magic mirror.
Thanks for having me Becky! It’s been a blast!
You can connect with Daniel Marc Chant here:
Sinister Horror Company – http://sinisterhorrorcompany.com/
Daniel Marc Chant author page – Author.to/DMC
A few of Daniel Marc Chant’s books: