Venero Armanno was born in Brisbane of Sicilian parents who arrived there in 1949. Armanno has published in English and speaks Italian and Sicilian. In 1980 he received a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from the University of Queensland. From 1980-1990 he was employed in the computer industry as an Account Manager. During those years he travelled extensively throughout Australia, France, Holland, Switzerland and Turkey.
Armanno has a BA from the University of Queensland, an MA and PhD in Creative Writing from the Queensland University of Technology and in 1991 he completed a one year Specialist Writing Course at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in Sydney. During this time he wrote ten unpublished novels and several of his scripts were accepted for film production. Among these were two episodes in a Drama series Summerville Court, and three short films, Obsesso, Old Magic and Roadsong. He also participated in a student exchange program with the TISCH School of the Arts, Dramatic Writing Program, New York University. He was awarded a Queensland Film Division Organisation grant under the New Writers' Scheme in 1992, and was a recipient of a Queensland Arts Division grant.
Armanno has been a full-time freelance writer based in Brisbane and has participated regularly in European speaking tours. His work has gained several commendations, including a First Prize in the Chimera Literary Magazine Short Story Competition, Third Prize in the Gold Coast Bulletin Tropicarnival Short Story Competition, and a highly commended at the Manly FAW Story Competition.
His novel Strange Rain was short-listed for the Australian/Vogel National Literary Award c. 1996. He is a full member of the Australian Society of Authors, and a member of the Fellowship of Australian Writers (Qld.). In 1993 he completed an original feature film screenplay about Sicilians and subsequently developed much of the material for his novels The Volcano and Firehead in 1997 with a six month residency at the Cite International des Arts. The former title, his sixth novel, was published in 2001 and the latter in 1999 and again in 2000 in America with the title Gabriella's Book of Fire. It provoked much interest from several producers and is to be filmed in Australia with the screenplay written by the author. It was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier's Literary Award in 2001.
Armanno has also published short stories, novels for adolescents and a play. He is a senior lecturer in the School of English, Art History and Media Studies at the University of Queensland and in 2004 won an Award for Excellence in Teaching.
'A rich, lyrical novel forged out of the fiery heart of Sicily, The Volcano tells the tumultuous story of Emilio Aquila, a boy whose very thoughts make him an outcast from his own village.
'Fleeing into the labyrinthine caves high on the slopes of Sicily's Mount Etna, and surrounded by the echoes of his island's mythical past, Emilio's withdrawal from the world leads him toward a life of introspection and self-examination. Yet these higher ideals are interrupted by the arrival of the villainous Rocco Fuentes and by Emilio's tormented passion for a girl beyond his reach.
'Emilio's determination to live on his own terms turns him into what he most despises - a criminal and kidnapper - and compels him to seek a new start half a world away. But will he be able to escape the shadows of the past? And will Australia ever be more to him than a place of suffering and regret?'
Can you imagine what it must be like to take the souls of others? Marcello Mansini has been dead for more than two months, his body lost in the icy depths of Lac Leman. But when Aaron and Rebecca stumble across his gravestone, their hearts full of human despair, Mansini slips into their lives like the ancient viper he is. Soon, very soon, he will summon them both into the freezing darkness of the lake ... but only when their fear and horror have reached sickening heights.'