Posted by: Lisa Hill | April 28, 2012

Meet an Aussie Author: Mark Dapin

Mark Dapin, author photo by Ingrid Shakenovsky

Mark Dapin is the Sydney-based author of Spirit House, longlisted for the 2012 Miles Franklin Award.  (You can see my review here, and a Sensational Snippet here). A journalist, Dapin has an established career as a travel writer, a columnist for Good Weekend magazine and an author of social commentary non-fiction and fiction.

After migrating to Australia in the late 1980s, he became editor-in-chief of ACP’s men’s magazines, and in 2004 wrote his memoir of his time in the industry called Sex and Money.  This was followed in 2007 by Fridge Magnets are Bastards and in 2008 by Strange Country: Travels in a Very Different AustraliaHe edited a collection of diaries, memoirs and reports of life on the front line for his most recent publication, The Penguin Book of Australian War Writing (2012).  His first venture into fiction was a  novel, King of the Cross, (2010) which won the Ned Kelly award for best first crime novel.

This is Mark’s contribution to Meet an Aussie Author.

1. I was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, but I don’t remember it ever feeling like home.

2. When I was a child I wrote stories, poems, songs, essays and graffiti.

3. The person who encouraged/inspired/mentored me to write is/was… my mum, who was probably the only mother in history who hoped to raise a poet.

4. I write in my underpants.

5. I write when I am awake, not drinking and not in the gym.

6. Research is a pleasure, when it’s archival, but a bit of a grind when it’s based on secondary sources.

7. I keep my published work/s in contempt. I don’t file or collect them anymore.

8. On the day my first book was published, I couldn’t bear to look at it.

9. At the moment, I’m writing this questionnaire.

10.When I’m stuck for an idea/word/phrase, I keep working on it until I become unstuck.

Thanks, Mark, for participating in Meet an Aussie Author!

My thanks also go to the publicist for the Miles Franklin Award, Rachel Caton from Honner Media, for her assistance in the preparation of this Meet an Aussie Author blog post, and for providing the author photo.

Sex and Money: How I lived, Breathed, Read, Wrote, Loved, Hated, Slept, Dreamed and Drank Men's Magazines Fridge Magnets are Bastards Strange Country: Travels in a Very Different Australia King of the Cross Spirit House The Penguin Book of Australian War Writing


  1. Hi Lisa, Just want to let you know I really enjoy the meet an Aussie author series thanks, Julie.


    • Thanks, Julie:) I’m always so grateful to the authors for making the time to contribute!


  2. My mother supports my poetry writing too! Therefore I am clearly on the same career trajectory and will soon publish a book and have a regular column in a magazine or newspaper.

    Well… a girl can dream, right? And I think I’ll have to work on the writing in my underwear thing, as I’m not entirely sure my housemate will enjoy that aspect of living with me.


    • Attagirl, Hannah! I can see the book now: Ode to Chocolate, lavishly illustrated with chocolate in all its lovesome forms.


  3. […] Mark Dapin is the author of three novels: King of the Cross (2009) which won the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction; Spirit House (2011) which I read when it was long listed for the Miles Franklin Literary Award (and was also shortlisted for the Age Book of the Year and the Royal Society for Literature’s Ondaatje Prize); and now R&R (2015), which I bought last year at the Melbourne Jewish Writers Festival. […]


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