• 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!



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Kicking ass and dating Dark Lords: Kylie Chan guest blogs

Click here to browse inside the pages of White Tiger!Kylie Chan answered a few questions for us – which give fans an insight into how she came up with the Dark Heavens trilogy (White Tiger, Red Phoenix, Blue Dragon). If you haven’t yet read the series, click on the image of White Tiger to the left to browse inside the pages of the book!

Where did you get the idea for writing the Dark Heavens trilogy?

I’d lived for twenty years with my Chinese husband, ten in Australia and then another ten in Hong Kong. The culture had completely soaked into me – I would do and say things terribly Chinese (aiyaa!) without even thinking. We originally went to Hong Kong just for a year, that stretched into a three-year contract, and then eventually he took a permanent, and extremely well-paying, position there.

After ten years of Hong Kong, he was making a lot of noise about never returning to Australia. He enjoyed the lifestyle, this was his home. He went golfing across the border in China every Friday afternoon directly after work, and came home Sunday afternoon. I was thoroughly sick of Hong Kong – the crowds, the noise, the pollution, and mostly the fact that when we went to the Mall on a Sunday there was such a crush of people that it was impossible to actually buy anything – a fun family day out turned into a stampede and a massive headache. I’d had enough.

I came back to Australia by myself, with the two kids. To breathe fresh air, and see the blue sky again! Complete bliss. My husband still supported us, and I found myself with quite a bit of time on my hands, concentrating on running these two over-booked children to and from various sporting and intellectual activities.

Finally, I had easy access to my beloved fantasy novels – in English! – and to my delight discovered that there was a bright and flourishing fantasy powerhouse here in Queensland. I bought a lot of Ikea bookshelves and proceeded to quickly fill them. I’m a fast reader, and it didn’t take me long to run out of things to read.

At that time, the news was full of J K Rowling, the Writer That Made It Good. I thought about what she’d done to be successful, and decided it was that she’d made a story that was different from anyone else’s. Well, I knew an awful lot about Chinese culture, so why couldn’t I write a story that’s different as well – but in a different direction?

Then I thought about what my sister Fiona, in her cubicle in a government office, would like to read. She’d love some romance, a serious dose of ass-kicking, some intriguing fantasy elements, and of course some delicious angst, a Love That Can Never Be. Sexual tension and a strong female lead – so she can imagine herself in the position of this love-torn ass-kicker – would just make it better.

Just for fun I decided to add the love triangle of the strong hero, and the woman and man who both love him – and are also best friends. I was hoping for some jealousy between the two but they turned out to be BFF’s (Best Friends Forever!) and Leo was so noble about it I wanted to slap him.

It started with the mental image of the strong Chinese man in black, clipping his sword to the wall next to the front door of his Hong Kong apartment. I looked for a god who fitted that description, so I started doing a massive amount of research into the Chinese deities. I discovered Xuan Wu, the Dark Lord, whose colour is black and is the God of Martial Arts. Who is also a combination of a turtle and a snake. How weird was this? I delved deeper into his history and mythology, finding out more and more intriguing things about this very unusual god. And the story took off from there.

Kylie Chan

Read about Kylie’s next book, Small Shen!

We’ll have Kylie’s answers to more questions – on martial arts, and upcoming books – tomorrow!

Too far away? Go and visit Kylie’s website to read about her books, or visit Voyager Online for news on other great fantasy authors.