• Fiona McIntosh: Voyager Author of the Month

    Fiona McIntosh was born and raised in Sussex in the UK, but also spent early childhood years in West Africa. She left a PR career in London to travel and settled in Australia in 1980. She has since roamed the world working for her own travel publishing company, which she runs with her husband. She lives in Adelaide with her husband and twin sons. Her website is at www.fionamcintosh.com.

    Her latest book, The Scrivener's Tale, is a stand-alone and takes us back to the world of Morgravia from her very first series, The Quickening:


    About The Scrivener's Tale:

    In the bookshops and cafes of present-day Paris, ex-psychologist Gabe Figaret is trying to put his shattered life back together. When another doctor, Reynard, asks him to help with a delusional female patient, Gabe is reluctant... until he meets her. At first Gabe thinks the woman, Angelina, is merely terrified of Reynard, but he quickly discovers she is not quite what she seems.

    As his relationship with Angelina deepens, Gabe's life in Paris becomes increasingly unstable. He senses a presence watching and following every move he makes, and yet he finds Angelina increasingly irresistible.

    When Angelina tells Gabe he must kill her and flee to a place she calls Morgravia, he is horrified. But then Angelina shows him that the cathedral he has dreamt about since childhood is real and exists in Morgravia.

    A special 10th Anniversary edition of her first fantasy book, Myrren's Gift, will be released in December!

     

     

Never judge a book by …

I am wondering what the year will bring as far as Fantasy is concerned. There’re a few great books waiting to be published … should I say ‘a few’, probably lots! It’s a matter of whether they’ll be found or not – I am constantly surprised at the number of excellent fantasy novels that DON’T get the recognition they deserve, while at the same time the absolute crud starts to sell in droves (am thinking rather unfairly of Dan Brown here, despite not being a fantasy novel – but you can imagine the equivalent). IS IT THE COVER?

Covers are such a subjective thing (thanks Captain Obvious). I know that when we have meetings there’s alot of discussion on either trying to make a cover look extremely ‘fantasy’ ie. half naked lady, okay maybe not so crass, but definitely the heroic figures against a fantastic scenic backdrop, usually someone holding a Sword, or an ominous Tower looming. The extreme fantasy cover is normally used when the author is selling well and fairly established in the genre.

It gets more interesting, and more edgy, when experimenting with an unknown author – can we move this person out of ‘fantasy’ and into some sort of area that borders into ‘popular’ – that is, into the realm of Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett and others who seem to have crossed the Great Divide and made fantasy less of a cellar-dwelling, D&D playing, robe-wearing genre and more of a ‘Oh my GOD you read Pratchett too?’- HOW FUNNY IS DEATH type of place.

 I find this interesting as you would think you might play it safe with what hasn’t yet been established, while trying to take the normalised stuff out into the playground to see what you might get when the already-there fans buy their fave author and the others who are not there give it a try for the sake of the cover.

Does anyone actually listen to the old adage ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’?

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2 Responses

  1. I guess it comes down to this: Why should someone who reads maybe 3-4 books a year risk a new, unknown author when there are enough books by their faves to keep them going indefinitely?

    There are more big-name everyone-else-at-work-is-reading-this-so-I’d-better-get-up-to-speed titles released in a year than one casual reader can get through, so the chances for second- (and last-) tier authors are minimal.

    How does one become that talked-about-at-work author? If publishers knew that they wouldn’t sign up anyone new 😉

  2. Fair points – all of them. I always talk about authors I love, but for some reason the authors that go around on the bandwagon don’t get their initial start from me … I think … who knows?!
    It’s a bit like when someone starts a clap – either the momentum gets going … or you end up being that one sad person clapping while people ignore you ;). Still, the buzz must start SOMEWHERE. It’s more precious than any fairy elixir! I do think though, that a cover must catch your eye for you to pick it up without any marketing encouragement – so ultimately, at least at the start of its journey, a book IS being judged by its cover.

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