• 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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Everything I need to know, I learned at Clarion South by Laura E. Goodin

by Laura E. Goodin, Clarion South 2007

There’s always someone who agrees with you.

There’s always someone who disagrees with you.

There’s always someone who writes better than you do.

You can always write better than you do now.

Learning hurts, but not as much as not learning.

Late nights are another dimension.

A Bollywood movie makes food taste better.

You can say a lot in two minutes.

A small room can contain universes.

Sometimes you need to shed some blood for the cause.

When you’re exhausted and discouraged, sing to strangers. Loudly.

What’s Clarion South?

Read more from Clarion South graduates, and future students

And with that fab advice, it’s off into 2009 for all of us. I am sure the last line of Laura’s advice will be employed widely throughout Australia tonight, although not necessarily due to those reasons!

Have a great New Year’s Eve, whether you stay in, go out, party, watch tv, admire the fireworks, have dinner, read a great book or wake up the next morning wondering if you’ve been transported and dehydrated by aliens and whether those are your* clothes strewn all over the floor.

*And if they aren’t, whose are they?
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The Captain’s Log: 2009 titles coming from Voyager

The twelve days of time

in which you could be reading lots of books

On the twelfth day of Christmas/Yule/Insert-Your-Holiday-Choice-Here,
my true love sent to me
Twelve knights a-jousting
Eleven gods a-squabbling
Ten priests a-scheming
Nine robots computing
Eight maids a-butt kicking
Seven dragons a-flying
Six zombies a-walking
Five woodcutter’s sons (on a quest)
Four talismans
Three demons
Two emperor’s heirs,
And the one ring of power to bind them all …

Oh yes and one other thing …

The latest Captain’s Log is out!

Click on the banner above to go to the newsletter and you’ll also find a sign up link on the left. This month’s newsletter has a sneak peek of the titles coming up in 2009 – all of them very exciting indeed!

Kim Falconer: Solstice Surprise!

Kim Falconer talks about the spontaneous launch of her book, The Spell of Rosette.

Rosette was more coveted than the seasonal fruit

Rosette was more coveted than the seasonal fruit

When I was invited to a mid-summer solstice party, my thoughts were simple—which dress, and what hors devours. I certainly wasn’t preparing a speech or going over my notes on post-apocalyptic technology and magic. I did consider calling the hostess to see if any ex beaus would be present, but that was all. On the day, I made a cheese platter, wore the blue dress and forgot about the exes.

It was an eclectic group—musicians and acupuncturists, academics and artists, dentists and authors, paramedics and photographers. What tied them together, more than the grand food, music and solstice cheer, was The Spell of Rosette. It floored me. They were all talking about my book. Many had brought copies for me to sign and were passing them around. Everyone was asking questions and I was flung in front of an eager audience, most of them strangers, waiting for me to speak.

Admiring Cliff Nielsen's  cover art and Matt Stanton's design

Admiring Cliff Nielsen's cover art and Matt Stanton's design

All I could think of was Bridget Jones. Fortunately that fear was short lived and the energy and enthusiasm carried us all along, the afternoon spent meeting and talking to people individually and in small groups as they asked questions, read aloud from the pages and offered their congratulations. I found they all had one common query—worth a whole blog in itself. Everyone asked, ‘How did you get published?’

There are some powerful beliefs out there about the publishing industry, boiling down to it’s nigh impossible—but impossible is not a word I use. I’ve deleted it from my vocabulary and hence from my mindset. This line of thought evoked some interesting conversations. I also talked about the Hero’s Journey, energy, technology, magic, gender biases, occult history, environmental issues, and the premise of the Quantum Enchantment series—which can be summed up with Arthur C. Clarke’s 3rd lawAny sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

He wouldn't put it down, even when the dinner bell rang.

He wouldn't put it down, even when the dinner bell rang.

What a day! It was rewarding to talk to so many readers, especially after writing for years in isolation. I can’t imagine a more rich and beautiful launch for The Spell of Rosette. The best part was, it all happened spontaneously. Good solstice! Has that every happened to you? A total surprise event? Something out of the blue? I’d love to hear about it! Comments welcome.

The Spell of Rosette is available across Australia right now and you can contact Kim via her website Quantum Enchantment.Kim lives in Byron Bay and is at work on the sequel to The Spell of Rosette.

The Hero’s Journey: Getting Published Part II

Inititation, 2005: The first step in initiation is The Road of Trials where the hero encounters a series of tests, tasks and ordeals. Like the Fool, I walked into this blind because I thought all the hard part was behind me. Ha! After months of sending out query letters (and buying books on how to write fabulous, eye catching query letters) I received a continuous trickle of responses, all the same: Rejection. They were very polite. It wasn’t a reflection on my work (how could it be when they hadn’t read it yet?). Good luck and all the best.

Reading Rosette

The end result, Rosette is now fully formed ... and Kim will continue to blog on how she came to be.

The Meeting with the Goddess, Spring 2005: The meeting with the goddess represents the point in the adventure when the hero experiences an all-powerful, all encompassing, unconditionally loving divine intervention on their behalf. For me the goddess came in the form of a woman—a friend in film, a script supervisor who said she knew someone in publishing and would contact her on my behalf. This publisher was in Morocco and couldn’t help me herself but she said, ‘Tell her to talk to Stephanie Smith. She’s the one to get.’ I was thrilled for about thirty seconds until I realized that Voyager was one of the ‘big houses’, the ones that did not usually consider un-agented manuscript.

Second Road of Trials, Summer 2006: No problem! I had a name and a goal. I would get an agent. I sent out another flurry of query letters to every agent that represented works in the genre. This time I didn’t get many replies but the ones I did receive all read the same—Thank you for your query. We are not taking on any new clients at this time. I was starting to get very used to rejection. (If anyone wants a boost after receiving a rejection letter read the one Ursula Le Guin shares.)

Second meeting with the Goddess, Autumn 2006: The goddess often appears more than once. In my case she appeared multiple times. Good thing. I was getting a little lost as to what to do next when a friend of mine (goddess #2) said, ‘Kim, if you were trying to catch a horse, would you go about it this way?’ Huh? What was I doing wrong? She clarified, asking if I were after a wild horse would I chase it with clenched fists and waving arms. I said I would not, and she said, ‘so stop doing that.’ She pointed out that I was struggling towards my desire so fiercely that there was no way for it to happen. She told me to relax, go to the beach, goof off. Something would turn up. Enter goddess #3. As soon as I took a day off, another friend, an author and chart client, rang and in chatting she said, ‘Send me your synopsis and I’ll see if my agent has a suggestion. I sent. He did! The journey continued! Questions and comments always welcome.

Read Part I

Kim Falconer’s novel The Spell of Rosette is now available  throughout Australia.

Kim runs Quantum Enchantment‚ the official website for The Spell of Rosette and its sequels (which she is working on). She also runs Falconer’s Astrologytrains with a sword and is completing a Masters Degree.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from Voyager Online!

Sir Jim had sent his squire to fetch the prettiest star in all the world, to give to his lady at Christmas. Considering his squire's efforts this year, he should have giftwrapped it himself to check ...

Sir Jim had sent his squire to fetch the prettiest star in all the world, to give to his lady at Christmas. Considering his squire's efforts this year, he should have giftwrapped it himself to check ...

 

From all of us here at Voyager, we wish you all a safe and happy Christmas break!

And that you get the sort of stars you’re looking for in your presents (and not a weapon like Sir Jim’s poor lady)

Keep a look out for the next Captain’s Log, with sneak peeks of what’s to come in 2009 …

The Hero’s Journey: Getting Published Part I

Holding Rosette in my hands (and sharing her!)

Holding Rosette in my hands (and sharing her!)

Since The Spell of Rosette is now in print and I am holding the actual book in my hand for the first time, it seems apt to talk about how she came to be. The process of getting published is like the archetypal Hero’s Journey with all its challenges, confrontations and rewards. The course may vary for each author but it always begins the same, with the call to adventure—the call to write.

The Departure, 2001: This is the point in life were the hero knows something’s up. For me it was an itch that turned into a burning desire to write fiction. Like many heroes, I initially refused the call outright. I was too busy being a single mum, minding strays (human and feline) and upon reflection, too scared to take the risk and too attached to my reality to imagine a novelist’s life. But the itch persisted and I dabbled. This is dangerous ground for the hero because dabbling is the same as answering the call. And once you do, you evoke Supernatural Aid. My SA came in the form of Stephan King. I bought his book On Writing and read it cover to cover in three days. (amazing for a woman too busy to write fiction!) King did two things for me:1) He got me thinking like a novelist. 2) He got me writing every day. Pretty good supernatural aid!

The Crossing of the First Threshold, 2002: This is the next step—when the adventure actually begins. The first scene in The Spell of Rosette was my threshold and arose from an exercise suggested in King’s book. I started with the premise ‘what if a girl came home one day to find her family murdered.’ From a five hundred word essay the story grew and a year later I had a rough draft of a novel.

The Belly of the Whale, 2003: This is when you know you have left the old life behind and are truly committed the journey, wherever it takes you. I knew I was in the belly of the whale by 2003. Over the next few years I revised and polished, conjured Kreshkali and met Jarrod. Finally I showed pages to an author friend and she suggested (see the related blog on The Way of the Sword) that I, A) keep writing because it showed promise and , B) Learn something about sword fighting before I attempted another scene of that nature. I took up Iaido, the Samurai sword, and by 2005 my skills were advancing, sword scenes improved and I felt the book was finished. I lifted my eyes from my computer screen and asked, ‘What’s next?’

Journey continued in Part II. Questions and comments welcome.

Kim Falconer’s novel The Spell of Rosette is now available  throughout Australia.

Kim runs Quantum Enchantment‚ the official website for The Spell of Rosette and its sequels (which she is working on). She also runs Falconer’s Astrologytrains with a sword and is completing a Masters Degree.


Have Yourself a Post-Apocalyptic Christmas

Yet another fantastic post from the guys at io9.