Posted by: Lisa Hill | March 16, 2018

Meet an Aussie Author: Venero Armanno

Venero (Veny) Armanno is the author of two short story collections, Jumping at the Moon and Travel Under Any Star, and nine critically acclaimed novels. These include Black Mountain, (reviewed here) The Dirty Beat, Romeo of the Underworld and Candle Life. His novel Firehead was shortlisted in the 1999 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award; in 2002 The Volcano (which I read pre-blog) won the award with Best Fiction Book of the year. His works have been published in the United States, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, Israel and South Korea. Veny is a trained screenwriter and currently teaches creative writing at The University of Queensland.

Armanno’s most recent work is Burning Down, which I reviewed here.

Thanks to Sally Wilson for facilitating Armanno’s participation in Meet an Aussie Author.

Here are his answers to my questions:

1. I was born … in Brisbane to Sicilian migrant parents who regarded Australia as equal parts magnificent and terrifying, and therefore gave me the template for my life.

2. When I was a child I wrote… othing very much but read avidly, everything. At seventeen I got a guitar and started writing songs while at the same time writing my first novel, which I completed at eighteen. The novel is as “brilliant” as those songs, which will thankfully never see light of day.

3. The person who encouraged/inspired/mentored me to write was… no one until I was at university, where I had a great friend who also wanted to be a writer. None of my family knew I wrote until I had my first book published, and even then they weren’t too sure what was going on.

4. I write … mostly in my study at home. Sometimes on my computer, sometimes longhand.

5. I write … always VERY early. My favourite time, and the norm now for many years, is 4a.m. before anyone else is up or before family matters have to be attended to.

6. Research is… is wonderful and I love doing it. I think research opens up new vistas and ideas. The problem is falling in love with all this material and not wanting to let it go, 90% of which you have to…

7. I keep my published works in… my study but some are in boxes in a store room. I rarely look at any of them – just pull a book out every now and then to give as a gift to someone who might want one. I never reread my work.

8. On the day my first book was published, …I ’m pretty sure I had a fair bit to drink, but I was also overwhelmed with a sense of guilt, because I knew a lot of writers who I considered far, far better than me, and they hadn’t been able to get a contract yet. Catholic guilt, thanks…

9.At the moment … I’ve just finished a big new novel and it’s getting copy-edited, so I’m not actually writing a new book while I wait for that one to come back. I do know exactly the book I will write once that project is done, and I have a beautiful opening paragraph to remind me/start it off…

10.When I’m stuck for an idea/word/phrase, I … go for a run or long hike. These moments are gold. I usually have to run back to my car in order to get my notebook and jot down what the wandering mind came up with as solutions to problems etc. This never ceases to amaze me. During runs/walks sometimes stories “appear” whole.



  1. I have one Venero Armanno, Strange Rain (1996). I’m afraid I must have read it a long time ago as the stamp inside the cover says ‘Port Adelaide Market Book Stall’ which means I bought it in 1998 or 9.


    • I think this most recent one is the best of the three I’ve read…


  2. Thank you for this one, Lisa. I’ve read all his novels and love his work!


    • All of them! Gosh, that’s devotion!


      • Yep, you could call me that. What I love is that his work is so original in that every novel is completely different from a previous one – not many writers achieve that.


        • That’s true, quite a few of them just write the same novel over and over again. Lloyd Jones is one who’s always different, I love his writing.


          • Yes, I do, too.

            Liked by 1 person

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