I am thrilled today to be interviewing Favel Parrett, author of ‘Past The Shallows’ which will be published in May 2011 by Hachette. In 2008, Favel won a place on the Hachette/Queensland Writers Centre’s Manuscript development programme (I have blogged about my own experience of this here), and then she subsequently won an Australian Society of Authors mentorship. ‘Past The Shallows’ is already receving fantastic reviews and Favel has kindly given up some of her time to answer a few questions…
Where did the idea for ‘Past The Shallows’ come from?
The south coast of Tasmania had a huge influence on me when I was young. It is isolated and wild – a place I will never forget. The story grew out of my memories and feeling for that place.
Where did Harry and Miles come from? I wish I knew. It feels like they were some kind of wonderful gift. I fell in love with them and they will be in my heart always.
Your manuscript won you a place on the Hachette/QWC Manuscript Development Programme and an Australian Society of Authors mentorship. Do you think that ‘Past The Shallows’ would have made it to publication without these opportunities?
I would love to think yes, but it would have be so much harder without these opportunities. The Hachette /QWC Development Programme gave me the confidence to keep going and believe in my writing. It also gave me a very supportive contact at Hachette Australia (Vanessa Radnidge). The ASA mentorship allowed me to work with the wonderful editor Julia Stiles. She has an incredible talent for seeing the big picture. By moving a few scenes around, she gave me a concrete outline to follow.
It is so incredibly hard to get published, but it is possible!
What has been the most enjoyable part of the publication process? Has anything surprised you?
Seeing the beautiful cover of my book for the first time is a moment I will never forget. Reading the first reviews and being so surprised that people liked my book – that they found something moving in the words. That has been lovely.
Do you have any tips for emerging writers?
Keep going. Keep writing. Be the hardest working writer you know. See yourself as a professional. Say ‘I AM A WRITER’ – because you ARE a writer, published or not.
What does the future hold for you as a writer?
I am back at the beginning. I am writing a new novel, finding a new voice. I am at the start, with all the unknowns and all the unanswered questions. I am problem solving.
That is all we can do as writers. Turn up and do the work. I will continue to do that for as long as I can.
You can find more information about Favel and ‘Past the Shallows’ at her website (www.favelparrett.com)
Thanks for your time Favel, and I look forward to reading ‘Past The Shallows’!