• 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!



Guest blog: Sara Douglass returns to Tencendor and tells us why

The Serpent Bride

I swore years ago I would never return to Tencendor. I wept, I wailed, I’d had enough. I even blew the blasted place up so I wouldn’t have to go back. However … ten or so years later … I just sort of got curious about the concept.

Ten years had given me enough time to get over the entire Tencendor experience. I’d been very, very tired by the end of those six books. Partly it was the books themselves, partly it was because I had written them all so very quickly, and partly it was because at that stage I was extremely ill (I wrote the final three books when I was at my sickest and, looking back on them now, it shows). All in all, I was at my lowest ebb since I’d been a teenager. Everything connected with Tencendor had been tainted.

So I walked away from it and swore I’d never return.

But these things happen. I began to think about Axis again. He’d been such a wonderful character, so heroic, so flawed, so powerful, so selfish to the point of destroying the lives of those he loved the most. I thought I had taken him as far as I possibly could in the original six books, but now … now I was beginning to wonder. What if Axis was taken out of his world and put in another? How would he react with a different set of characters? A different problem? What if, distanced from his beloved Azhure, he met another woman? How would he manage? (Of course, all those who know and love Axis know for certain that he would talk himself into another love affair just because he would think it his right.)

There was another character I’d never developed to his full potential either – Axis’ father, StarDrifter. So I began to toy about with the idea of bringing back those two characters, and into a different world, and what better world and character to meet them up with than Maximilian Persimius from Beyond the Hanging Wall? I’d never taken Maximilian as far as I wanted, as well … and before I knew it, there was Threshold beckoning too, and suddenly I found myself constructing a new series based on three of my former worlds, Tencendor, Escator and Ashdod. I’d never been very keen on doing sequels to any of these worlds individually, but doing them together – that was a challenge I could not resist. Then HarperCollins got keen, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I am having enormous fun with Axis in this series. Currently only one book is out, but book two, The Twisted Citadel, is due out shortly, and I am writing the third now, so for me the series is almost complete. In book one Axis doesn’t have as much exposure as the lead character in that book, Maximilian, but books two and three feature Axis heavily. His relationship with his father is, as always, a problem, especially as StarDrifter soon has another glorious son to occupy his affections. Axis also (how could I resist?) meets another woman. I loved Azhure in the Tencendor books, but I had no qualms about not bringing her back this time. I wanted to give Axis a fresh challenge, and what better challenge than to fall in love with a Skraeling? (Well, okay, a half Skraeling, but it is enough.) Given Axis’ history with the Skraelings (who are, of course, back in their full hateful force this time, too) this is bound to be problematic.

I’m also enjoying developing the Skraelings. I have never done much with them apart from having the silly wraiths mass about in ghastly hordes and attach themselves to the most evil lord they can find. But where did those Skraelings come from, and what is their history? In the first book you meet the Lealfast, who are half Skraeling, half Icarii. They are beautiful, magical creatures … and much of that magic appears to come from their Skraeling blood. How? What was it that the Skraelings had to bequeath them? So by book three (tentatively titled The River Angels but I am almost certain you can expect that to change), you will get the chance to really delve back into the Skraeling past … and find a few surprises.

Naturally, it is bound to upset Axis!

Now I have become carried away — which just shows how enthusiastic I am about the new series. I am truly enjoying saddling up my horse and travelling with Axis again, and I am equally as certain that once DarkGlass Mountain is done, there will be new worlds waiting for him to explore. Axis is looking for peace, but he won’t find it in the battle for Elcho Falling.

Oh, as a final note, where in the world did the name Elcho Falling come from? I had developed the idea of this enchanted citadel rising from the past … and I had to find it a name. One evening I was browsing through a British book of photography, dating from the 1930s. One photograph was of that quintessential scene, the lazy English afternoon tea party on the lawns of the country house. The caption under the photograph named the people within, and one man was identified as the Lord of Elcho. Oh, I just fell in love with the name right there and then, and ‘falling’ just ‘fell’ in beside it (I wanted something fairly sad and evocative). Thus Elcho Falling.

Sara Douglass

For a limited time only, The Serpent Bride, and the three books of the Wayfarer Redemption trilogy – with beautiful new covers – Sinner, Pilgrim and Crusader are available for just $9.99 each throughout Australia.


15 Responses

  1. I’m looking forward to reading this new challenge for Axis, although I won’t read them till they are all finished. Thank you Sara for returning to Tencendor. You rock.

  2. I’m so excited for The Twisted Citadel. I bought The Serpent Bride as soon as it hit the shelves here in Aus, so I’ve had an entire year to stew and try to prevent myself from having a nervous breakdown (the ending! How it broke my heart, I needed more!)

    Needless to say, I’m so glad you decided to bring back these characters, and I’m loving the new ones aswell (Isaiah is my newest book crush, and I can’t wait to see more of Salome). I’ll be sure to run out and buy book 2 as soon as it’s available, June 1st can’t come quick enough!

  3. I just finished the book and let me tell you when I got to the end I wanted more…. the wait will kill me…..lol… I have fallen for Isabel ( her strength is great) and Maximillian’s ultimate belief in her towards the end. Still at the same time I am enamored with Axi’s new partner… so flawed and so desirable…..


  4. Your books are awesome. I have only recently discovered them and i read The serpent Bride as the first book ever out of all the books you have written. I love it and at the end i was heart broken for Ishbel.

    I then read the second book after it came out ( half a year later) and it was just as good. After that i decided to start to read the other books that are connected to dark glass mountain books and the are really good so far. I love your books and the characters…how they come to life… ily!

  5. hey i was just wondering when the third book in the DarkGlass Mountain will be released because i am almost finished reading The Twisted Citadel and i cant wait any longer for the next book…

    oh and i am a massive fan of your work….

  6. Hi Ben, I’m afraid you still have a little bit to wait! The next instalment in the DarkGlass Mountains series isn’t due out until the last week of April 2009. But everything seems to be on track for that date, so it’s a small glimmer of hope! Sara also has a short story published in Jack Dann’s anthology ‘Dreaming Again’ if you really need a fix.

  7. I am only so glad I met Axis after you had written several of the books or I would not have been able to contain my suspense. The entire concept works absolutely beautifully.

  8. I’m so excited! I can’t wait to read the entire series!

  9. i loved both the serpent bride and the twisted citadel. i read them so fast that now i am simply waiting on the third book in the set. i can’t believe that i’ve read all of your books and can’t seem to put them down. i read the the axis trilogy and the wayfarer redemption set all twice and i love them more each time. can’t wait for the river angels. can’t wait

  10. Ok you’ve don’t again Sara I read both Serpant Bride and the Twisted Citadel back to back.. when will I eer learn not to do that with your books but to wait to buy book 3 before I even think of starting book 1 now I have to wait until april/ may 2009! to find out what happens..
    Ok I admit it I don’t get the end of book 2 so somebody explain it to me ok?

  11. Just finished the twisted citadel, god i love your books my imaginations just flourishes under your words. You are exceptional writer and i am glad my friend made me read the Axis trilogy which made me hooked on your books…Maxel is just a perfect man, with all his sadness he brings so much joy to the one person that maters, cant wait to see what developes with Isaiah and his new companion 😉

  12. Hi all,
    Can i just say, Thank you so much!! Your books are really awesome!!
    I love it so much i bought all of them with different covers.
    Can’t wait for the next one!
    I can’t believe i missed out on getting all of them signed as i was not in sydney…
    Thank you so much for your work.

  13. I loved the books in the world of Tencendor and also with Threshold and Beyond The Hanging Wall. Those books certainly drew me in, but, DarkGlass Mountain so far has drawn me in deeper. So much that I have had read them over and over (suprisingly, I picked up more clues I had previously missed!). I am very excited for the pending release of the Infinity Gate, I have not been able to look or buy any other book due to the fact that I am desperately hanging out for the third book. I made one attempt to read another novel and could not get through the first few pages as my imagination kept flowing back to the Twisted Citadel and Tower, waiting for hell to break loose. You have done well with this one, good job!!

  14. Eventually found this post searching for an earlier reference to Skraelings. Presently reading a great trilogy about the son of Erik the Red and knew I had encountered Skraelings in another life.
    Am a huge fan of Sara’s books. As are my children. We are also Australian.

    Will have to revisit when this journey is over.

  15. Have just finished The Infinity Gate and as always i am left wanting more.
    It is clearly left open for more to come.
    The battle once again for Elcho Falling between the two “heirs” will be very interesting if Sara goes down that path which i’m sure she will at some point.

    Will find it difficult to sit still in the mean time.

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