Marshall Browne Profile

Marshall Browne's new novel, The Iron Heart, features his German auditor Franz Schmidt, who first appeared in The Eye of the Abyss in 2002. Browne now has three series running: Italian Inspector Anders (see my review of Inspector Anders and the Blood Vendetta), Japanese Hideo Aoki, and the German Franz Schmidt.

The author talked to Jason Steger for "The West Australian".

Browne says he is interested in damaged heroes: Schmidt has only one eye; Anders only one leg; and he says that while Aoki is "intact physically, he's not intact psychologically. He's got a lot of things missing from his make-up in that respect."

But he writes from an image, not the character. Anders he saw in his mind's eye getting off a train in Italy and walking in a funny way. "I thought he's got an artificial leg and he was coming to this southern Italian town where there was a lot of trouble and there was a woman and she was going to take him further into this trouble. All this came in the first 30 seconds of thinking about it in bed one morning."

Schmidt was different, but not much. An image of him walking with a woman and a child to catch a tram in what looked like a German city in the 1930s. The eye problems came from Browne's father, who had just lost one.

Some writers plot their crime fiction to the nth degree; not Browne. He says he doesn't know where he's going when he starts a novel. "I set off and hope for the best. There's a lot of false starts, a lot of revision, but I'm not planning the end at all. I don't think I'd find it too interesting if I knew what was going to happen at the end."

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 12, 2009 10:22 AM.

2009 Miles Franklin Award Longlist Possibles #2 was the previous entry in this blog.

2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize Regional Winners is the next entry in this blog.

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