Simon Fenech with Neil Bramwell
Author name: Simon Fenech with Neil Bramwell
Book title: Breaking Good
Launch date: 4 August 2020
What would make a champion kickboxer and loving father turn to ice? A brutally honest and powerful memoir that is straight from the plot of Breaking Bad.
Simon Fenech, a successful sportsman and committed family man, tried crystal meth for the first time after a traumatic work accident. He was instantly hooked. Soon, he was dealing to support a $1000-a-day addiction.
What followed was a story straight from the plot of Breaking Bad … Simon was shot by underworld hitmen. He came within an inch of losing his life after a horrific knife attack. He was hunted by drug lords and specialist police units – at the same time – and reached the very depths of misery and despair.
But Simon’s story didn’t end there. He managed to transform his life in a way that will inspire anyone who’s either personally felt the devastating effects of ice or seen their loved one’s battle with addiction.
Breaking Good is a raw, brutally honest and harrowing story of survival. It is also proof that even the most appalling fall from grace can lead to redemption.
Ice use and crime are inevitable bedfellows. But no matter the severity of the association with crime and the depths of misery and despair caused by ice, for the user and all around them, hope should never be abandoned.
Let's talk about it
Tell us something about yourself that not many people know.
I am an Asia-Pacific kickboxing champion.
Why did you choose these themes in your book and were you aware of them from the outset?
Yes, the purpose of the book was the provide inspiration and hope for others who have faced similar challenges of addiction and life after prison.
How difficult was it for you to write this book? Did you face any obstacles?
It was confronting to delve deeply into periods of my life that I had buried away. But in some ways the process of facing those demons was healing, too.
Do you always write in this genre or do you like to break out of the box?
This is my first book. I hope it won’t be the last!
What are your writing habits or idiosyncrasies?
My co-author Neil Bramwell would be better placed to answer this. We had an amazing rapport which was a big factor in the finished product. It felt as though he had been with me every step of the way, and he challenged me to view my experiences in different lights.
What would you do differently next time?
Nothing. I’m really happy with the book.
With hindsight, what would you say to yourself as a fledgling writer?
Prepare yourself mentally to re-acquaint yourself with the person you left behind.
Simon Fenech’s transformation, from a drug addict buried deep in Australia’s criminal underworld to an inspirational figure intent on changing the lives of others, is remarkable. He is the operations manager at social enterprise ‘fruit2work’ and was a finalist in the Social Enterprise Champion of the Year award in 2019. Simon lives with his family in Sunbury, Victoria.