Behind every issue of GOQ is our search for contributors. Sometimes they come to us, sometimes we search them out, and sometimes we’ve been directed towards them by mutual friends who thought they ‘might be a good fit’.
This was the case when, in the lead up to Great Ocean Quarterly‘s launch, we were alerted to the work of Favel Parrett, author of the acclaimed Past the Shallows, her first novel.
That she lives in coastal Torquay, down the road and around the corner from GOQ‘s Creative Director Mick Sowry came as a happy coincidence, and Mick wasted no time in contacting Favel for a coffee and a chat. This began a happy alliance, and friendship, that has seen her contribute work to our Launch edition, and in the wonderful Tarbrush Hickey in the Frozen South from Volume 1.2, a prose poem narrative that fell out of the sharing of images over another coffee in a local cafe.
They’d just arrived in Jock’s in-box, these fifty year old transparencies found by Phil Hickey, of his long lost Dad’s adventures in the Antarctic, a Dad who died far too young not long after his return in the early sixties. There was a poignancy in just the thought, but a layer was added as Favel cast her eyes over this first set of images we received.
‘It’s the Thala Dan!’ gasped Favel as she spied the red hulled bulk of the freighter looming over the bearded man with an unlikely nickname standing on sea ice just near the bow.
It turned out Favel’s new book was set around the very family of Danish freighters that Maurice ‘Tarbrush’ Hickey had voyaged to the deep south aboard, all those years ago. On top of that Favel had just been to Antarctica as part of a trip to research her as yet untitled second novel. She knew the nooks and crannies of almost every slide we had.
Leaping at the chance to write the captions to the shots, Favel added another, poetic layer to these memories. They became alive again. You’ll have to read them to see what we mean.
That we chose Favel to be our first featured writer is no coincidence. This month, her second novel, When the Night Comes, is released. We hope it is as successful as her first, and we know who we want back gracing the pages of Great Ocean Quarterly.
If she can find the time.