• 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: Making War Not Peace

Conflict, as any writer worth their salt will tell you — regardless if you’re writing a romance or an action thriller— is the key to an engaging story.

Wars are conflicts on a grand scale but they must happen for a reason. If there is no logical reason for your war, then your whole world starts to look shaky.

So… let’s look some of the reasons people go to war. Megalomaniacal wizards wanting to dominate the world are convenient archetypes in an ageless ‘good versus evil’ story. Jealous or jilted princesses and ambitious sibling princes vying for a slice of the kingdom also work. But in reality, two more commonplace and far more powerful motivators are:

Resources. (Oil…Iraq…?) Combatants are usually more willing to fight (to acquire or protect) resources necessary to their survival than because some king/prince/wizard is greedy/evil/jilted. Resources can be land, energy (eg oil), trade access (eg harbours), fresh water (eg civil war over the Murray/Darling anyone?), food, building materials, technology, etc. Ideology. Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate and Physicist once said “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people do evil things, that takes religion.” Think about this. For the same reason people will spend lifetimes building monumental structures to gods, they will also go to war to protect their beliefs or increase the number of believers.
There is a fabulous line in the musical Pippin, where Charlemagne tells his son he is “devoted to bringing Christianity to the whole world, even if he has to kill every non-believer to do it.”

So, here are some points to remember when designing conflicts:

Wars, battles, and fights are not the same as one another.
If your entire country believes in a religious ideology promoting pacifism, your people are not going to fight to protect anything. (Think about that for a moment)
Weapons (defensive and offensive) do not evolve in isolation; rather, in evolutionary response to the enemy’s technological capabilities. High tech will not always defeat low tech.
Ensure your hand-to-hand combat scenes make anatomical sense. This is especially true of sword-fights.
Research your weaponry and tactics! If you design new weapons, make certain they make sense.


Jennifer Fallon’s latest book is called The Palace of Impossible Dreams. Visit her website for more information at www.jenniferfallon.com


One Response

  1. I really love Fallon Friday’s, and it’s one of those moments when you tune into like a avid fan of some show.

    But I wonder what you can come up with next, maybe “Peace not war”. LOL

    Seriously, I really love the reading of this Friday sections every week and hope many more come because it’s great information for upcoming authors or writers.

    Great food for thought for me as a writer.


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