Brindley Hallam Dennis lives on the edge of England and writes short stories, many of which have been broadcast, published and performed. Some have won prizes. He writes to be read aloud, but is uncomfortable with the ‘p’ word.
He began writing at school in the 1960s. Took a fifteen-year break (writer’s block), and circa 1998 resumed, writing his first short stories as Brindley Hallam Dennis. He writes in other genres (poetry, plays and essays… mostly on the short story) as Mike Smith. Neither is really a pen name… but one is pre and the other post adoption. He doesn’t mind people knowing this, if it interests them.
Q: If you could travel in the past, which one of the great writers would you like to meet and why?
A: A. E. Coppard, because he doesn’t fit any of the English stereotypes… at least, not the ones I’m familiar with.
Q: Is there a book that you keep going back to and how many times have you read it?
A: Lots. Ulysses… five or six? Twice aloud with friends and colleagues. A couple of years ago a friend drove me to Trieste to miss seeing the statue of James Joyce there (only pretending… I saw the balmy bollocks for sure).
Q: If you could teleport yourself anywhere, real or fictional, where would it be and why?
A: Haven’t a clue. I tend to like ‘here’, wherever it happens to be.
Herbert Wubbins wasn’t the first actor to make his fortune with his face. He wouldn’t be the last. He was just one of the luckiest, and, obviously, one of the unluckiest. It was all down to practice. Muscle control. Hours of staring into a mirror and willing himself to look like that, or this. He …
Let me tell you about yourself. You were only a little unhinged. You just wanted a quiet life. Where could be quieter than a national park? A job in a national park. Trees. Lakes. Mountains. Tranquillity. There were the tourists, of course, but you learned to avoid them. Besides, there wouldn’t have been any jobs …
The rich always die last, the old man croaked. His voice whipped away, swept across the white scoured snow-surface of the plain. Friend leaned forward trying to catch the tail end of his words. The man’s eyes were black, yellowing skin around them, red patches on his cheeks. Piss-holes in the snow, Friend thought. And …