• 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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Sending the Daughters off … Kim Westwood looks back on her launch

Well, the dust has finally settled on a busy August publishing debut.

Kim Westwood’s Canberra launch of The Daughters of Moab went like a rocket, around seventy-five people turning up to Milk & Honey café-bar to celebrate. Thanks to Dymocks City Walk Bookshop, there were lots of books and lots of signing!

The Sydney launch at Gleebooks was a more intimate affair — but in very illustrious company. Linda Funnell, Fiction Publisher at HarperCollins, was master of ceremonies, while Peter Bishop (director of Varuna Writers Centre at Katoomba) and Bill Congreve (publisher and co-editor of Mirrordanse Books and the Year’s Best Australian SF & Fantasy anthology series) were fabulous launch speakers.

Here’s an excerpt from Kim’s thank you speech:

Kim Westwood, author of The Daughters of Moab

Kim Westwood, author of The Daughters of Moab

Thanks Linda, Bill, Peter!

I thought I might be too nervous to speak off the cuff, so I wrote something down. Think of it as a little story. But first I’d like to raise a glass in absentia to Stephanie Smith, who shepherded me gently through the HarperCollins door, and to all the Voyager folk for being so incredibly supportive.

I’ve been asked what my first novel has in it. Well, it’s got sex and intrigue, violence and drug references, and all of those things in a poetic envelope—which is why I’ve coined the term ‘poetic apocalyptic’ for it.
Someone the other day, seeing the cover and the shout line “Assassin, Protector, Blood Sister”, said ‘if you write that sort of thing, you have to expect a lot of people won’t want to read it’. I thought Oh no! I’ve gone and written ‘that sort of thing’.

I’ve got used to the idea now, and decided that if it incites some to antipathy, but others to the varied pleasures of recognition, then I’ll be quite happy. The only thing I hope it isn’t is beige.

I had the image that began the book for many years in my mind, a story waiting to be developed. But as I embarked on that journey, I realised it was a much longer story than I’d written before.
It grew like Topsy into a world that became totally consuming. The deeper I went, the more it was like I was living my life in two worlds, 24-hours a day. The feeling was compounded by hearing myself referring to my characters as if they were in this world: ‘That’s just what Eustace would do,” or ‘That’s a very Assumpta thing’.

The Daughters of Moab

Kim's debut novel

It’s true that you become inordinately fond of your characters, however misguided, or brief their moment—they are, after all, the myriad parts of yourself moulded from the dough of experience and imagination, each element transmogrified then mulched into a new internal landscape. Names and places get borrowed for their rhythm—the assemblage of consonants and vowels just right—or for their resonance, or both, then inhabited by new owners, charged with new meaning. This is what, for me, makes the process so intensely addictive. The world of my novel filling gradually with its own life, and all the while me following behind, writing, writing.

About four years along, the end of the writing process loomed, and it was a terrible wrench to send the Daughters off by themselves to the printer, me tearfully waving a little hanky and them promising they’d be home again soon.

Well, here they are. Home. And I have only one desire: and that is to send the maverick Daughters and all the other partly lost, partly found characters of the novel out into the world—this world—with hope and heart, and in the best of company.

Thank you for coming.

A brief excerpt from a review of The Daughters of Moab :

‘ … Westwood’s post-apocalyptic vision of a devastated Australia, affected by climate change, authoritarian racial oppression and genetic manipulation, is an impressive debut that echoes the best of George Turner.’ — Sunday Canberra Times.

Doesn’t that make you want to read it! Click here to be find out more about The Daughters of Moab.


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