• 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!

     

     

Finding Time to Write – Peter V Brett

I wrote my new Harper Voyager novel, The Painted Man, on my cellphone.

No, really. I did. My wife got me an HP Ipaq 6515 smartphone for my birthday in February 2006. It’s a little clunky compared to some of today’s smartphones, but back then, it was about as close as you could get to a tricorder. I had it on my wish list because it could run Microsoft Word, which meant I could write on the mini-keyboard, sync it to my computer, and then continue working in the same document on my desktop.

Finding time to write when you have a full time job (not to mention a life outside work) is possibly the greatest hurdle for the would-be novelist to overcome. I used to commute by subway every day from my apartment in Brooklyn, New York to my job in Times Square. On a good day, I was on the train for an hour and a half. On a bad day, anyone who is familiar with the New York City subway system knows your commute can grow exponentially. I was always looking for a way to make that time productive, but writing long-hand on the subway is impossible.

Enter the smartphone. On days when I could get a seat, I would put my iPod on to drown out the background chatter, and start thumb-writing. I set a goal of 1,000 words a day for myself, and usually I could get at least 800 of those done on the commute. More if I wrote at lunch. At night, I would go home, sync the phone to my PC, and then clean up the file, fix typos, and finish off the quota (if needed).

The phone really changed my life, because it meant I could write anywhere, at any time. In a long line at the bank? Write. Waiting at the bar for a friend? Write. In a cab, or the passenger seat of a car? Write.

I would frequently even come out of the subway, walk up the steps and down the sidewalk, all the way to my office, still typing away. It’s pure luck that I never walked into an open manhole or got knocked over by a bike messenger. I would say that a good 60% of The Painted Man was written thus. I don’t know that I could ever have done it without this tool to make my historically unproductive time so productive.

Surprisingly, even now that I am writing full time, my words written/hours spent ratio is still higher when I leave my office and write on the phone. Even with the web access most smartphones have, they provide FAR less distraction than the seductive allure of high-speed internet.

Peter V Brett is the author of The Painted Man, out this week (at last, at last). If you’ve read the book and loved it as much as we did, let us know by leaving a comment.

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