• 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!



Clarion South: What comes first, the successful writer or the workshop? Part Two

Continuing on from yesterday’s post, six more Clarionites answer the question: Why do you think Clarion has produced so many successful writers? Or, are successful writers attracted to Clarion?

Deborah Kalin: I think “serious” writers are attracted to Clarion — and by serious, I mean writers who are not dabbling. They’re interested in rigour and improvement, and they’ve already developed a degree of dedication and perseverance — which are the qualities of success (or the qualities a writer has any control over, anyway). You don’t have to go to Clarion to succeed, and going to Clarion isn’t a guarantee of success.

Bren Macdibble: If you’re a good writer in a speculative genre, I doubt you could find a better workshop to improve your writing, but I think it attracts good writers too, and six weeks is a hell of an investment. You probably wouldn’t go if you weren’t very serious.

Helen Venn: I don’t think many people would want to go to Clarions unless they want to succeed. It’s a lot of money and the pressure is intense.

Jess Irwin: There’s no easy answer to that, but there are several contributing factors: the quality of the tutors, the structure of the critique room, the intensity of six hard weeks with 16+ fellow writers, to name just a few.

Steve Turner: I think its a combination of the two: Clarion hopefuls are vetted by a panel of writing industry professionals in the first place so it all starts with a talented group. The act of applying for Clarion is probably an act by most who are ready to take that next step up in their writing, and actually taking part in the workshop then gives an impetus to those writers just needing that extra bit of encouragement, gives that professional polish and a critical eye applied to each writer’s own work, combined with the incredible interaction of all the other talented writers and awesome tutors that Clarion attracts – pretty inspiring stuff for a struggling writer!

Michael Greenhut: It works both ways.Some of us knew what we were doing on the way in, while others went from rags-to-riches, but all of us improved to some degree.

Christopher Green: My gut reaction is that, of all the people with ability in the world, and all the people with passion, the ones who have both tend to gravitate toward Clarion. It isn’t necessarily easy to put the outside world on hold for six weeks, nor is it a simple application process to get through. Thus, quite a few writers with both talent and passion come out of Clarion.

The Clarion South Writers Workshop is the most intensive professional development program for speculative fiction writers in the southern hemisphere. Previous tutors at the Workshops include Sean Williams, Kelly Link, Jack Dann, Gardner Dozois, Margo Lanagan and Marianne de Pierres. Past and future students of the program have agreed to answer a few questions on the Voyager blog which will hopefully give writers out there plenty of information on what Clarion is all about.

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