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Chaz Brenchley: Mars Imperial

Cover image, Three Twins at the Crater School

Cheryl Morgan, publisher of Wizard's Tower Press, has acquired World English and ebook rights to three Crater School novels, a story collection and a school cookbook - and if this news leaves you bewildered, read on for an explanation of Chaz Brenchley's 'Mars Imperial'. If you have already encountered these "English girls' boarding-school stories. On Mars." you will be delighted that they are to be published in both digital and paper editions. The first volume, Three Twins at the Crater School, was published on May 6th 2021.

Cheryl Morgan says "I have been a fan of Chaz's work for a very long time. I am absolutely delighted to welcome him to Wizard's Tower, and be able to bring the Crater School books to the wider audience that they deserve." Read more praise for Three Twins at the Crater School - or visit the Wizard's Tower website for purchasing information.

The Crater School

"English girls' boarding-school stories. On Mars."

That was the original elevator pitch for Chaz'z Patreon: a very focused project, to let him write something from the heart that was not likely to prove commercially viable. His lifelong love for the Chalet School books of Elinor M Brent-Dyer is an open secret: one morning that coupled in his head with the Old Mars that he was already writing stories about, and he simply couldn't resist. "If Mars were a province of the British Empire," he argues, "of course it would need boarding-schools for girls (it was already canonical in the stories that boys were sent back to England for their education, but girls were not). Hence the Crater School, on the rim of a crater lake, taking girls from all over the colony, from the great cities of Marsport and New Victoria and Cassini to the pioneer farms on the frontier. With all the concomitant mischief-making, fire and flood, alarms and excursions, encounters with aliens and more. Sickly parents in the sanatorium across the lake. Old girls marrying doctors. Picnics and midnight feasts, secret tunnels and great revelations. Oh, and Russian spies for good measure."

"Doing monthly chapters," says Chaz, "is a weird way to write a book, and I'm still not comfortable about it; but on the other hand, it's brought me safe to the end of two Crater School books so far, so something works." Those two books are Three Twins at the Crater School and its sequel Dust-Up at the Crater School, published chapter by chapter to Chaz'z subscribers on Patron. But the latest phase of the experiment is something new: the first chapter of an adult novel, in which Rowany de Vere investigates murky goings-on in Marsport.

This comes prefaced by a content warnings: this is not your standard schoolgirl-adjacent Rowany kind of story. Marsport is a grimdark kind of place, and Rowany is being thrust head-under into it. Unpleasantness ensues. If you don't like dark crime thrillers, you probably won't like this.

If you do, though, head over to Chaz'z Patreon to read more about what is on offer, including the first chapter of that Martian noir adventure, free to read.

Three Twins at the Crater School: Chapter 1  |  Chapter 2

For a culinary sidelight on Imperial Mars, visit 'Mrs Bailey's Kitchen', recipes from the Crater Schoolo's redoubtable cook which Chaz has been posting at Medium.

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