|Venero Armanno's ninth novel, Black Mountain has just been published by University of Queensland Press. He spoke to Jessica Au of the "Readings" weblog:|
The novel takes us from the sulphur mines of Sicily to the slopes of Mt Etna and into the centre of 20th century Paris - what was a research process like?
Both those areas you mention were infinitely fascinating to me, so there came a time when I had to physically force myself to quit the research and actually start writing.
Really, the terrible nature of life and death in the sulphur mines, juxtaposed with the excesses of life in the Paris of the twenties - especially in the maisons closes (legalised high-class brothels) - could have kept me occupied another ten or twenty years.
The thing is, I'm a writer of fiction, so I always need to remind myself that research isn't 'story' and that there is a time to absorb all that research, and consider it, then more or less forget it and start to concentrate on characters and what their particular journeys might be.
I will say though that I've now got material enough for plenty more books that might flow from Black Mountain. We'll just have to see if this one finds a readership interested in seeing what might come next.