Criminal Justice and Country Victoria: Mark Brandi

Criminal Justice and Country Victoria: Mark Brandi

Mark BrandiFact File: Mark Brandi

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.

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          Synopsis

          In the long, hot summer of 1989, Ben and Fab are best friends.

          Growing up in a small country town, they spend their days playing cricket, yabbying in local dams, wanting a pair of Nike Air Maxes and not talking about how Fab's dad hits him or how the sudden death of Ben's next-door neighbour unsettled him. Almost teenagers, they already know some things are better left unsaid.

          Then a newcomer arrived in the Wimmera. Fab reckoned he was a secret agent and he and Ben staked him out. Up close, the man's shoulders were wide and the veins in his arms stuck out, blue and green. His hands were enormous, red and knotty. He looked strong. Maybe even stronger than Fab's dad. Neither realised the shadow this man would cast over both their lives.

          Twenty years later, Fab is still stuck in town, going nowhere but hoping for somewhere better. Then a body is found in the river, and Fab can't ignore the past any more.About the AuthorMark Brandi has been published, broadcast and shortlisted in journals and competitions both locally and overseas. Originally from Marche, growing up Italian in a rural Victorian town influences much of his work. Mark graduated from a criminal justice degree and his career includes roles as a policy advisor and project officer in the Department of Justice, before changing direction and deciding to write. Mark's writing has appeared in THE GUARDIAN, THE AGE, the BIG ISSUE, and is often broadcast on Radio National. He is the winner of the 2016 UK Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger for his first novel, Wimmera, which he developed during two residential fellowships at Varuna.
          Mark Brandi
          About the author

          Mark Brandi

          Mark Brandi's bestselling novel, Wimmera, won the coveted British Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger, and was named Best Debut at the 2018 Australian Indie Book Awards. It was also shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards Literary Fiction Book of the Year, and the Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year. His second novel, The Rip, was published to critical acclaim by Hachette Australia in March 2019.Mark's shorter work has appeared in The GuardianThe Age, the Big Issue, and in journals both here and overseas. His writing is also sometimes heard on ABC Radio National.Mark graduated with a criminal justice degree and worked extensively in the justice system, before changing direction and deciding to write. Originally from Italy, he grew up in rural Victoria. Mark now lives in Melbourne and is working on his next work of fiction.

          Books by Mark Brandi

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