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The List by Michael BrissendenI started writing because …

I love words, I love story, I love reading and I’m curious.   I’ve been writing professionally as a journalist now for more than 30 years but I have always wanted to write fiction.  I grew up surrounded by books and writers.  Both of my parents were writers.  My father was a poet and a novelist and passionate about literature.  Writing has always been a part of my world.


Could The List become ‘tomorrow’s headline’?

I certainly hope not but yes unfortunately it could.  The List is fiction but the threat of terrorism is real and the broader themes discussed in the book are current.  How we deal with that threat and how it impacts on our lives, laws politics and communities is an important discussion.  Without getting bogged down in anything too didactic I hope, as well as a page turning and thrilling read, the List provides some context around those issues for the reader.  


Describe The List in three words …

Confronting. Provocative. Compassionate.


When I’m not writing I …

Work at the ABC.  I have been a journalist with the ABC since the 1980s as a political reporter, defence correspondent and a foreign correspondent.  I’ve worked for Radio and TV news and Current affairs in Canberra, Sydney, Moscow, Brussels, and Washington.  I’m currently working as a reporter for the 4Corners programme.  In my spare time I like to play double Bass, to cook good food, drink good wine and spend time with my family and friends.


The book that changed my life was …

There have been so many books that have had an impact on my life.  One of them was certainly the book about Australian combat cameraman Neil Davis - One Crowded Hour written by Tim Bowden.  This was published at the same time as I started in journalism.  It confirmed for me that I was on the right track and that my ambition to be a foreign correspondent was definitely worth pursuing.  Davis was dedicated to his craft, always curious, empathetic and brave.  For a long time after reading this I wanted to be a correspondent in South East Asia.  As it turned out my interests and 'events' eventually led me to other parts of the world.  My wars were different and I never had to be as brave as he was.

  • The List - Michael Brissenden

    From the brutal battlegrounds of Afghanistan, to the western Sydney suburbs and the halls of power in Canberra, THE LIST is a page-turning thriller where justice, revenge and the war on terror collide.

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