• 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!



The moment of inspiration: Fiona McIntosh guest blogs

Where did Royal Exile come from? That’s a very good question. I want to say I have no idea because instinctively that’s how I feel but ideas for books arrive for no reason and often with little warning, and always, always for me at an inconvenient time. By this I mean that an idea occurs to me when I’m halfway through book one of a brand new series. Could there be a more poorly timed moment for inspiration on another series? But many fantasy authors say the same so I am reassured. And on the plus side it’s motivating to have another story calling to you … it spurs you on to complete the current one.

I recall I was in Tasmania, working hard on Emissary I think, when this murky scene of a man, woman and child would not leave me alone. It had nothing to do with Percheron – in fact it looked in my mind’s eye as though it was from The Quickening. I kept banishing it but it nagged on the rim of my thoughts, constantly clarifying itself; the picture kept getting clearer and then I began to hear the voices of the characters and I could see their features and then I could feel their emotions. It was not a pleasant scene I might add. In fact I’d describe it as harrowing. No one was moving much in it; the three characters remained fairly static so I had very little to go on but as soon as I saw a bird in the background, I realised it was an omen. In the midst of a highly emotionally-charged scene in Emissary, I realised I was letting into my life the next adult fantasy I would write and I knew this because there is always at least one bird in my fantasy tales – don’t ask why, because I don’t know. And his presence in that brief vignette of no dialogue proved to me I needed to take notice of this scene.

I stopped writing Percheron and gave myself one hour to cobble together some thoughts and was surprised how quickly this scene yielded the very loose threads that I figured I could weave into a story that could span three books. I’ve already mentioned that I don’t write to plans and I hate to plot ahead so this synopsis – if you want to call it that – was just a few paragraphs of ramblings but I sent it off to my agent and he really liked it. He pitched it to the overseas publishers and they liked it too. HarperCollins in Australia gave me the thumbs up and Valisar, the series, was essentially in motion. I had to put it aside then and focus fully on Emissary, Goddess, The Whisperer for younger readers and another novel in a different genre.

But now Royal Exile is finished and edited and that is a wonderful feeling. I had no idea as I embarked upon it as to where this story was going and I had very little notion of where it had come from, but I rarely let those minor details trouble me. I put my faith in the characters and as I anticipated they revelled in the freedom to take the story wherever they wanted. Before I knew it I had a cast of thousands and a pile of sub plots to juggle.

It is a return to the familiar landscape of The Quickening. In fact I would say it’s set not that far from Morgravia. I will begin writing book 2 in October 2008 but in the meantime I do hope you enjoy Royal Exile when it’s released worldwide from September 1 this year.

Fiona McIntosh