Re-Visiting Flotsam’s Photographic History

When I first pitched the Flotsam series to Edge of Propinquity, long before it was ever transmuted into a novella trilogy, part of the appeal of doing twelve stories about the Gold Coast was getting the chance to work with my sister. You see, Edge of Propinquity accompanied all shot-stories with photographs, and at the time my sister was developing her chops as a semi-professional photographer, so I figured getting to work together to document bits of the Gold Coast would be kinda fun.

In the end, it probably ended up being more stress than fun, and a lot of that’s on my head as the guy who was late getting the stories together. This occasionally meant I’d simply work from images Sally already had in inventory, or we’d put together a more general image rather than putting together something specifically reflective of the story. Occasionally, we’d get really lucky: there was a family holiday at the start of the year where a storm rolled in that looked like the end of the world in progress, which was pretty much a no-brainer when it came to an image we wanted to use.



Photography by Sally Ball


Photograph by Sally Ball


Photograph by Sally Ball

I’ve been going through the photographs for the Flotsam series this week, revisiting them as I start putting together the plan for Crusade (aka Flotsam Novella 3). There’s a couple of instances where my sister has made some moderately weird requests work, like “can you photograph an octopus tentacle” and “can you make me feel like I’m trapped in a hotel room?”, a couple of shots from my favourite places on the Gold Coast (I’m amazed, two novellas in, that the Currumbin Alley hasn’t yet made an appearance in the series), and some pretty neat hotel shots (hotels are…prominent…on the Coast).


Photograph by Sally Ball

Part of me is tempted to go write a whole new series of stories with these images, now that Flotsam has gone off in another direction. Something less dark than Flotsam, but still kinda strange and magical. Magic realist postcards from one of the weirdest cities on earth, rather than demons and Gothic assassins.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how my to-do list keeps expanding, even when I do my best to keep from adding in new projects.

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