Respected Aussie author, journo and all-round top bloke Trent Dalton has done it again, giving readers ALL the feels in his latest book Love Stories, which was based on one simple question ‘Can you please tell me a love story?’ The touching tribute of deeply personal tales runs the gamut of emotions, highlighting that in life all you really need is love.
Brisbane’s very own Trent can pinpoint exactly when he knew his spark of an idea had legs as a book. It was a moment that gave him chills and he knew it deep down in his gut.
He was sitting on the corner of Adelaide and Albert Streets in the Brisbane CBD talking to a woman named Helen Clarke. She was the first person who stopped to chat to Trent. He’d brought along a fold-up table, two chairs, a vintage typewriter and a sign that read: Sentimental writer collecting love stories.
Helen proceeded to share her real-life love story about her late husband. That moment between Trent and Helen was profound and it ended with a hug (perhaps made even more magical given our ‘socially distanced’ norms).
“That’s when I knew the book was going to work,” Trent says. “You get anyone started on the topic of love and everyone has a story. Whether you don’t have love anymore or whether you’ve got 20 versions of love – everyone’s got a story to tell.
“I’d always wanted to do something kind of like an art project, where I wanted to just study one space. Like journalistically study one space and look out on the world the same way you might look out at the sea for six hours while you go fishing. I wanted to look out at the city from one spot and just write whatever I noticed, because I love that sort of thing,” he explains.
So the forty-something writer set up his table, chairs and sign, and then the magic started to happen as strangers stopped by to chat, laugh, cry, reminisce and share a part of their life story.
Heart and soul is what his third book Love Stories is all about. The genesis came from a typewriter that was gifted to him – a late 1960s, sky blue Olivetti Studio 44 to be exact. It once belonged to his best mate’s mother, Kathleen Kelly, who sadly passed away on Christmas Day 2020 at the age of 89. Trent was presented with the gift after her funeral service…
To continue reading our interview with Trent Dalton, please visit the Everly Mag Shop where you’ll find Issue 3 (available in print or digital).
(Photo by David Kelly. Commissioned by Museum of Brisbane for SUNNIE Magazine)