Mark Brandi - author of Wimmera
Tell us about your book – what inspired you to write it?
Growing up in a small country town (and later work in the justice system) inspired the tone, texture, and focus of Wimmera, but these are things I only see in hindsight – it was the characters who drove the writing, who dictated their story.
While Wimmera is a tale of crime and vengeance, at its heart lies the intense friendship between two boys, Ben and Fab. Together, they grapple with troubling new awakenings, and encounter the dark undercurrents of rural Australian life.
Which book would you want to read again for the first time?
This Is How by MJ Hyland – its lean, sparse prose belies a deep empathy for its characters. For me, as a reader and writer, it was revelatory.
Which author/s living or dead would you like to have dinner with?
They say you should never meet your heroes. And what makes a great writer does not, necessarily, make a great dinner companion.
That said, Cormac McCarthy would be high up my list (The Road is an all-time favourite). And aside from his literary talent, George Saunders just sounds like a lovely bloke!
What’s in your reading pile now?
Robert Lukin’s The Everlasting Sunday, Christian White’s The Nowhere Child, and Sarah Winman’s Tin Man.
We know you are a talented writer, do you have any hidden talents?
I can clearly recollect and recite obscure country Victorian advertising jingles from the 1980s.
Can you tell us what you are working on now?
I’m always a little cagey when discussing new work … it’s a novel, also with crime at its centre, but in an urban, contemporary setting