Good Reading : July 2017
secretsSmall-town UP CLOSE 1 GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOOD READING JULY 2017 22 ■ Your decision to take wr iting ser iously was triggered by a bike accident, in which you were struck down by a car. How did that lead you to becoming a published author? The accident was life changing. The driver fled the scene, and I was left on the road with broken ribs and a buggered shoulder. Still, give or take a split second either way, it could have been much worse. I was already making progress on Wimmera, but the accident made me realise just how short life can be. And it was during a painful recovery from two shoulder operations that I decided to leave my career and pursue writing more seriously; I needed to give it the energy and focus it deserved. It probably would have been completed if the accident Mark Brandi’s Wimmera raked in several accolades before even being published, including the UK Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger. Set in a rural Australian town, the story follows two best friends, Ben and Fab, who are about to start high school. Over the holidays, a girl was found hanged from a clothesline, and another group of boys find a garbage bin tossed into the river with its lid nailed shut. A strange, huge man moves into the house where the girl died. The boys try to distract themselves from the weird events by yabbying and playing cricket – but it’s impossible to ignore the sinister undercurrent running through the town. We asked Mark, who used to work in Victoria’s Department of Justice, about how Wimmera came to be.