• 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 Megalomania of Writers … A Voyager blog entry by Karen Miller

When you’re a writer, you get to play god … and I’m here to tell you, it’s incredibly satisfying. You set the rules,  you create the world and the characters, and then you get to move them around on the chessboard you’ve made up and nobody can tell you you’re wrong! What’s not to love, eh?

Directing plays is a bit the same, really … so is it any wonder that when I’m not slaving over a hot keyboard I’m slaving away in my local theatre, bossing hapless actors about the stage, telling them how to walk and talk and dress and smile?

In every writer there lurks a little … or a lot … of the megalomaniac.

The biggest difference between writing and directing is that when you’re directing, you’re interpreting someone else’s words.  You’re filtering their creation through your own experiences, your own creative computer,  seeing things that maybe the playwright didn’t know were there … or putting your own unique spin on the text so that they might not actually recognise what you’ve done with their precious masterpiece!

Which might explain why people like Joss Whedon now say they won’t write movies unless they also get to direct them …

But the big intersect between writing and directing is the fact that in both cases, you’re dealing with story. As a writer, you really are a director of your own interior movie which you attempt to capture in words on a page. That’s why there’s so often a disappointing gap between the story that’s in a writer’s head, and the one that ends up as the book. The imagination is infinitely elastic, whereas words on a page are so … intransigently two-dimensional.

Still, that’s the ongoing excitement about writing – seeing how closely you can narrow the gap between the story in your head and the one that ends up between the book’s covers.

At some point, whether you’re the writer reading back over your own story, or you’re the director bringing someone else’s story to life, you end up doing the same thing: deconstructing the words to uncover their ultimate meaning – analysing characters to find out who they really are, how they really tick, what makes them the people they appear to be … and the truth that lies beneath the masks we all wear.

Writers and directors live their lives submerged in story. We eat it, breathe it, sleep it and quite often find that it’s more real to us than the real world beyond the confines of the stage, or the page. And I find that in helping to bring other writers’ stories to life on the stage, I help to sharpen my own eyes when it comes time to look back at the books I’m writing. Somehow working with other people’s words helps me to clarify my own. Every writer whose play I’ve directed has taught me something important about character, about dialogue, about narrative construction, about story momentum …

As a writer I’m still learning. As a director I’m still learning too. And while I’m learning, I have to tell you, I’m having an awful lot of fun. It’s actually quite therapeutic, you know, letting the Inner Megalomaniac out to play …

 Karen Miller