Born: Ascoli Piceno, in Marche, Italy.
Childhood: After his parents migrated to Australia, he was raised in a country pub in western Victoria. They were the only Italian family in town, and that sense of otherness still shapes his writing.
Best known for: His 2017 novel, ‘Wimmera’, which won the UK Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award.
How many books published/ Most Recent Book: Just ‘Wimmera’ for now, although another one is coming a little way down the track …
How he became a writer: After working in the justice system (and writing on the quiet), a serious bike crash in Fitzroy made him question whether he was doing what he really loved. So he then quit his day job to write full-time (with a little help from game show host, Eddie McGuire).
Star Sign: Aries.
Quotable quotes:“People were always getting ready for tomorrow. I didn’t believe in that. Tomorrow wasn’t getting ready for them. It didn’t even know they were there.” Cormac McCarthy, The Road.
Past Times/ Hobbies / Interests: Going for a long run every day – it’s important to get away from the desk, and running helps him feel centred (and is often when the best ideas happen!).
Did you know?: It was almost inevitable that his first novel would feature a crime. On top of his own background in criminal justice, his three brothers all work for Victoria Police – the eldest a forensic scientist, the next a prosecutor, and the third in the sex offender register.
Favourite Book/Favourite Author from 2017: Much too hard to pick a favourite, but currently enjoying Sarah Krasnostein’s ‘The Trauma Cleaner’ – Sandra Pankhurst’s life makes for compelling reading.
One thing they love: Staffordshire Bull Terriers – his daily writing companion is a bossy blue Staffy, named Millie.
One thing they hate: Hate is much too strong a word, more intense frustration when he neglects to write down an idea (usually after a run), then quickly forgets it.