Interview: Brendan Deneen

April 2, 2014 Author Interview, Feature, Uncategorized 0

The Ninth Circle


Welcome Brendan, thanks so much for being on Contagious Reads today.


Thanks so much for having me!


CR: Tell us a little bit about yourself. You’ve had quite the career, Hollywood, Executive Editor for Macmillan Entertainment, editor of the Walking Dead graphic novels among others and now novelist. How did you find the time to write a novel?

Well, I started writing the book in 1995, so it’s not like I wrote it very quickly.  But yes, there’s no question, I have a lot (perhaps too much) going on! But I’ve always been a writer… as far back as I can remember.  When I was a pretty young kid, I wrote 20 issues of a comic book called MARVEL MAN.  I wrote a ton of short stories in high school and my first (bad) novel when I was 18.  It’s just something I always had to do, and still need to.


CR: How is the process of writing a novel different from writing a graphic novel?

With a comic book, it’s much more like a script.  You’re describing what you want to see to the artist and you’re writing the dialogue but you don’t necessarily need to get into the level of detail needed for a novel.  It’s much more difficult (for me) to write a book, where the onus is completely on you to create a mental picture for the reader.  But it’s much more rewarding when it works (though I absolutely LOVE writing comics!).


CR: Any cool Hollywood stories you can share with us?

One time I was in LA and I was riding the elevator with Ben Stiller (we were both heading up to the Miramax/Dimension office).  We somehow got talking about New York City and riding the subway.  The next day, I was on the set of STARSKY & HUTCH and I was introduced to Todd Phillips (who later went to direct THE HANGOVER, among others) and Ben Stiller.  Ben took one look at me and smiled and was like, “Subway guy!”  It was pretty cool.

CR: Tell us about your upcoming graphic novel, The Island of Misfit Toys.

I’m not able to talk about it too much yet but as you’ll see from the Amazon listing, it’s coming out this fall and coincides with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’s 50th anniversary.  I’m hugely excited about it.

CR: You drew a lot of different inspirations for the novel The Ninth Circle, Dante, The Night Circus, Geek Love. Tell us a little bit about that? What makes this book unique, and a must read?

THE NINTH CIRCLE is a love letter to Dante’s INFERNO, to magical realism, to early Tim Burton movies, to anyone who has felt outside of the mainstream.  It’s a about a kid who doesn’t fit in no matter where he goes.  I think that is universal for everyone and is something I really tried to tap into.  It’s also super dark and get s really gruesome the deeper into “Hell” that Dan goes.

CR: What’s up next, we know you have the new graphic novel coming out, but what else can we expect to see from you in the future?

I’m under contract to write a horror novel called THE CHRYSALIS, which I’m really excited about.  It’s kind of a cross between THE SHINING and ALIEN.  And I’ve actually been toying with a sequel idea to THE NINTH CIRCLE…….


Thank you so much for your time. We look forward to reading The Ninth Circle.


Thank YOU! I really appreciate it.

Find the Ninth Circle on:


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Bloody Good Reads

Look out for our review for this book coming soon!!!!



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