An Interview with Chaz Fenwick, author of Hooligans

hooligans_cover

Chaz Fenwick is the author of Hooligans:

The Metalheads – Heavy metal music, partying, drugs, alcohol and sex are the only things that matter to this subculture of teen misfits.

When the hottest rocker chick in town, Trisha Williams, is thrown a 16th birthday bash at her father’s house, things take a turn for the worst. The notorious Westside Gangstas, a criminal gang feared for its ruthless street thuggery, gatecrash the party. A brawl erupts and popular teenager Dayne Hetfield is caught having sex with a gang member’s girlfriend. This begins the cycle of tit for tat violence that turns the streets of urban Sydney into a battleground. Friendships become strained and relationships are broken as the beatings, bloodshed, bombings and murder take their toll on Dayne and his metalhead mates. Yet, neither side is willing to submit to the carnage, and the animosity rages on until only one side is left standing.

Note: If you do not like excessive violence and vulgar language than this book isn’t for you.

Read on for an interview with Chaz.

S.R.: What inspired you to write Hooligans?

C.F.: The inspiration to write Hooligans came from reading/studying a book in high school called “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton. The idea that the story featured two feuding subcultures, the greasers and socials, really appealed to me. At the age of 15, I became a fan of heavy metal music and embraced the metalhead subculture which is fairly similar to the greaser’s lifestyle. While my teen years weren’t as violent as the events in Hooligans, there were instances where us metalheads would go to parties and be targeted by other groups just because we didn’t look the norm. So, I wanted to take the whole subculture conflict idea and craft a more modernised story of my own that centred on teenagers of the heavy metal/ metalhead subculture.

S.R.: What was your writing process like for Hooligans?

C.F.: The story itself as gone through many different variations over the years and was originally written as a screenplay. I had never intended turn it into a manuscript, so learning how to write a fictional novel has been fun and challenging experience. Though I’m glad I was forced on to this path since it gave me a chance to give the story much more plot and character backstories. 2012 I began writing and it took me about two and a half years to complete the novel with the help and advice from Paul Vanderloss who edited the book.

S.R.: Any plans to also turn it into a film or TV show?

C.F.: Unfortunately, any plans I had to bring Hooligans to the screen have been put on the back-burner for the time being. The reason for this is a long story but I will give you the short version. 2012, I had a plan to start a small independent film production company so I could begin filming Hooligans using my own finances. The final script I settled on was a more affordable 40 minute short film. This version was only told from the point of view of the metalheads, featured no Sari (gangsta) storyline and Trish was written out of the script in the early stages (big mistake!). To pay for the production I had to sell off some or all of my stock market portfolio but before I could take this action my stockbroker called me to tell me the portfolio had been wiped out and I had nothing left. Determined to get my story out into the world, I then decided to turn Hooligans into a novel. While the goal of bringing Hooligans to the screen seems much further away now, I will not give up on it!

S.R.: Your author bio says that you worked in the adult entertainment industry. Is Hooligans based on any real life experiences?

C.F.: In regards to my past involvement in the adult entertainment industry, Hooligans is not based on any of those experiences, I’m saving that for my autobiography which I plan to write after the second Hooligans book. However, there are bits and pieces of Hooligans that are based around things that occurred during my teenage years such as locations, dialogue and events. Two examples I can give occur at Trish’s party at the beginning of the story. This scene was based on a party I went to where a heap of guys tried to crash it, trashing the yard and house to attempt to get inside. Trish’s party also featured Het hooking up with Sari, a gangsta chick. This resulted in Het being caught out and beat up, this actually happened to a friend of mine. He got his head punched in by the boyfriend and his gangsta mates.

S.R.: What do you hope readers take away from Hooligans?

C.F.: While I take some events in the book to the extreme I tried to write the violence as realistic as possible and to show the consequences of it. To quote Martin Luther King, “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.”

S.R.: Hooligans ends on a cliffhanger. When can readers expect the sequel?

C.F.: I hope to release the sequel next year, though I’m only about half through the story which takes place during the retaliation riots.

S.R.: What are you working on next?

C.F.: The plan I have set for myself is to write 2 Hooligans novels then my autobiography/memoir, followed by a final Hooligans book. The working title for the second book I am currently writing is called Hooligans: Riot!

Chaz Fenwick was born May 11, 1980 in the seaside city of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. Heavy metal music became his passion when he was introduced to the genre at the age of 15. Metallica’s black album was his first listening experience and he has been hooked ever since. To this day Metallica is still his number one band of choice to the point of obsession. Since discovering heavy metal, he has spent his teenage years partying, playing the bass guitar, writing screenplays and not taking school seriously. In class, he would spend time writing movie scripts inspired by Quentin Tarantino instead of the subjects he was there to learn. Rather than doing homework, he would spend hours learning bass riffs from three of his most influential bass guitarists Steve Harris, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted. In his 20s he fell into money and into the adult entertainment industry, starting as a web designer for adult models. It opened the door to working on various projects alongside strippers and escorts. He lived for two years in Los Angeles, California, working on television production pilots with varying success (2006–2008). One show, Kiki’s American Adventure, turned into a single season on Playboy TV. In between film shoots he spent his time partying with porn stars on the Sunset Strip getting wasted at the Rainbow and Whiskey A-Go Go. Visa issues forced him back to his home country where he relocated to Noosa Heads in Queensland. This didn’t stop him from travelling extensively to countries like the UK, France, Monaco, Thailand, Cambodia and Russia. It was during his travels that he started planning out a film script called Hooligans with the intention of independently producing a short film or trailer with the ultimate goal of it becoming a TV series or feature film. Those plans were crushed during the time of the euro crisis when he lost everything on the stock market. He currently resides in Surfers Paradise on Queensland’s Gold Coast and has continued his Hooligans story in the form a novel.

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