Veny Armanno

Veny Armanno

In 2002 , the year I first decided to take my writing seriously and  pursue the long-held dream, I attended lots of courses at the Queensland Writers Centre. One of the first I went to was taught by Veny Armanno. He made the world of writing sound so exciting, difficult yet rewarding, that I was inspired to apply for a Masters degree at the University of Queensland where he taught in the creative writing programme. I was lucky enough to be accepted and have him as my supervisor/advisor. It was from Veny that I learnt the importance of each sentence, the power of good strong prose. It was also from him I learned that discipline and persistence are as essential to the writing business as creativity.

I was already a fan of his work, especially Romeo of the Underworld and Firehead, where he infused laid back Queensland with a deeply sensitive Sicilian sensibility. Then he won the QLD Premier’s award for best novel for his epic The Volcano. I loved his recent release, The Dirty Beat and in a few weeks his new novel Black Mountain will be launched at Avid Reader Bookstore in West End. Time to go along and cheer!

Somehow Veny manages to keep on producing work of combined power and beauty, all while continuing to teach writing to upstarts like me.

I was honoured to have Veny launch Thrill Seekers earlier this year and am very grateful for all he’s taught me. He’s running a workshop at the QLD Writers Centre later this year, “Show Don’t ‘Tell” and I recommend that if you’re serious about improving your writing or just need a kick start, this is one workshop not to miss.

I’m looking forward to reading Black Mountain and seeing what he’s come up with this time. It looks fabulous!

Black Mountain by Venero Armanno

Black Mountain by Venero Armanno

Three cheers for Veny Armanno, one of this country’s most exciting, yet under-recognised, writers.

You’re recognised by me Veny, and by all those readers and writers whose lives you’ve touched.

Thank you.

With lots of love,



Thrill Seekers launch crowd

Part of the Thrill Seekers launch crowd

Now I know what it feels like to have your dreams come true. On Friday 9th March the night I’ve been dreaming of for ten years became reality as Thrill Seekers was launched at Avid Reader Bookstore in West End with a wonderful crowd of friends, family and well-wishers cheering it on.  It felt surreal but fantastic. A huge high. My most cherished  memories include Veny Armanno’s speech mentioning the Song of Bernadette, an all-time favourite movie, and of getting the crowd to bust out a few of my brother’s dance moves to his signature song  – Greased Lightning! I felt like a queen, or at the very least a head of state, as I greeted people and signed book after book.

signing books at launch

Edwina signing copies of Thrill Seekers at the launch

What a wonderful night. Here’s a  montage of photos by my friend, the fabulous writer, Isabel D’Avila Winter.  My lovely uncle Jonathan, was there and wrote a review of the night on his blog.

I’ve also been interviewed by the local paper South City News by Charley Rico and had a great time doing a radio interview (part two here) on Queer Radio on 4zzzfm102.1 with the charming Blair Martin who has the most delicious baritone voice.

And just when you think it can’t get any better Thrill Seekers made number one on the independent best seller list in The Courier Mail this weekend!  That’s another dream achieved. WOW!

I am so very grateful to the many people who have supported, advised and helped me all these long years working towards this goal. I share this joy with all of you .

me and Krissy plugging Thrill Seekers

Edwina and Krissy Kneen at the launch