• 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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Fallon Friday: Dispelling some myths about getting published – Part 1

The “good rejection” theory.

I had a rejection notice once that had a hand written note from the editor attached to the standard rejection slip. It said, “Hang in there, you have what it takes.”

That is the definition of a good rejection. Many writers mistake politeness or tact for encouragement. To cover her company legally, my agent always includes a suggestion that the work be sent elsewhere. There’s often the hope it the author will do just that and not send it back.

“Good rejections” are rare and are usually openly encouraging. The editor/agent won’t beat about the bush. Sometimes, they’ll even phone you and say, “Hey, with a bit more work we can do something with this”.

“Think about having your work assessed by a professional”, “the story needs to be more clearly defined before we could consider it”, “we’re not accepting manuscripts on this topic at this time”… and so on, ad nauseam, are all euphemisms for “this is crap and I’m too polite to tell you so”.

Publishers are looking for something that someone other than you and your mother want to read. Accept this and move on. We all go through the crap stage. Some of us are lucky enough to identify it and move on, while others cling to the hope that they’re almost there and waste years polishing up something that should have been consigned to the deep years before.

My first published book was the 4th book complete I wrote. Probably the 40th I started to write. The others were crap. I’ve actually burned them so my kids can’t find them after I die and try to have them published.

My novel, my soapbox…

Please, if you want to lecture people, go on the lecture circuit. Otherwise, learn to walk in someone else’s shoes. If you want push the idea of free love, legal drugs and everyone wearing pink, write a book where good things happen as a consequence of this, as part of an intriguing plot that will capture the reader. Done well, they’re not even aware that at the end of the book they’re thinking, “hmmm… free love, legal drugs and pink stuff, sounds pretty cool…”

One character addressing another while outlining your personal manifesto is, well, boring. If you don’t believe me, read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. She has an 40 page speech (yes, I did say 40) about the philosophy of Objectivism. I dare you read it all without wanting to commit acts of violence upon her, even if you’re a believer.

Tune in next week for Part two. And click here to visit Jennifer’s website.


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