• 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!

     

     

Soul Influence by Kim Falconer

Oscar Wilde once said that to influence a person was to give them a piece of your own soul. He wasn’t too keen on the idea, though he was inspired by many intellectuals of his time. One in particular was the mysterious Madame Blavatsky—the Russian aristocrat who ushered in the New Age with her theosophical spiritualism. From her sprung writers such as Rudolf Steiner, Gurdjieff, Krishnamurti, W. B. Yeats, Dion Fortune, Katherine Mansfield and Aldous Huxley. All of these authors had an effect on me, Oscar Wilde none the least. His stories, ranging from the horror classic, The Picture of Dorian Gray, to the seemingly trivial fantasy, The Importance of Being Earnest, made a lasting impression.

Author Kim Falconer

Author Kim Falconer

I agree with Peter V. Brett when he says writers are like psychic sponges. We mop up the brilliance of each other’s minds, reserving the insights for a rainy day, or perhaps our next novel. Wilde thought it was something to guard against but C. G. Jung (another hero of mine) said, we don’t create in a vacuum but through our relationship to others, and let’s face it, reading someone’s words is an intimacy, a relationship, a window into their soul.

I carry a lot of those souls around with me: Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, C S Lewis, George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, Ursula Le Guin—she’s a favourite, the woman who brought feminist theory to SF /F. Ann Rice—who always describes light and colour in such sensual ways, and Anne McCaffrey, who successfully merged SF and Fantasy, not an easy task.

I’ve read all of David Eddings too. He, like Wilde, tries to avoid influence. ‘I have a sub-conscious burglar lurking in my mind, he says. If I read a good fantasy it’s likely to show up in my next book.Stephen King is the opposite. He says that reading in your genre is necessary for understanding the market, to know editorial likes and dislikes. I love Brett’s take on this—‘Like all writers, I steal my ideas. . .

The Spell of Rosette

The Spell of Rosette - out now!

Whether we call it theft, awareness or influence, there wouldn’t be a fantasy author alive who hasn’t been touched by JRR Tolkien and I doubt any of us mind sharing a piece of his soul. I was inspired by LOTR to the point where I spent my teens and early twenties writing reams of epic poetry. These works were so extensive they made Homer’s Odyssey look like Haiku. Tolkien’s academic paper, On Fairy Stories, opened my mind to notions of immersion as well, but more on that topic in another blog! I’d like to hear your most influential authors. What bits of soul do you carry around with you? Comments welcome!

Kim Falconer’s first novel The Spell of Rosette is available at all good bookshops throughout Australia! Kim lives in Byron Bay with two gorgeous black cats. As well as her author website, Quantum Enchantment‚ she runs an astrology forum and alternative science sitetrains with a sword and is completing a Masters Degree. Her novel writing is done early every morning. Currently she’s working on additional volumes in the Quantum Enchantment Series.

Read other posts by Kim Falconer

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15 Responses

  1. What a lovely post, thank you Kim. I find that it’s the books I read as a teenager that seem to hold the most soul influence on me – as if reading them during a time of change in my own life has made them more precious. ‘The Silver Metal Lover’ by Tanith Lee has to be my most loved book, it’s a beautiful coming-of-age tale, set in a world that is so different yet to similar to our own times. And in the book the main character, Jane, falls in love for the first time and it is exquisite. And in relation to what you say below, when I read that book I feel like Tanith Lee must have cut a part of herself away to be able to pour that into the book because it is so heartfelt.

    I also love the recent bestseller ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ (what a mouthful!). It’s written in letter form, (epistolary, I think it is called) and is, again, a beautiful tale and the only one the writer ever told before she died. And it is worthy of being her only story published, a book like feels like a life’s work.

  2. My influences must number in the dozens by now, starting with Enid Blyton and ending (for now) with Joe Abercrombie. Scattered within this firmament of many stars shine Elizabeth Goudge, Mary Stewart, Roger Zelazny, Ursula LeGuin (I try to bully everyone into reading The Left Hand of Darkness) Guy Gavriel Kay, George RR Martin and Neil Gaiman – and of course, current Aussie writers such as Glenda Larke, Juliet Marillier and Karen Miller. Overarching them all, of course, sits the bright moon of Tolkien, and behind him, distant galaxies stretching back through Shakespeare to Chaucer and the ancient tales of magic and mystery that inspired them all. We are heirs to a vast realm of wonder, aren’t we?

  3. Hmm .. what an interesting question to consider! Thanks for the invitation, Kim – I’m enjoying where this train of thought is taking me/us. 🙂

  4. Natalie, I am picturing Stephanie’s face when I tell her the title of my next book will have 17 syllables! ( ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’.) I’m guessing she would say, ‘I don’t think so, Kim.’

    🙂

    I love hearing about these authors that have influenced everyone.

    Satima, you put is so well. ‘distant galaxies stretching back through Shakespeare to Chaucer and the ancient tales of magic and mystery that inspired them all.’ Nice 🙂

    And Jeannette, I know you would have some very interesting souls in your pocket!

    Thank you for dropping by.

  5. Hi Kim,

    I see that your tastes are almost like mine in the favourite authors category. I ritually read JRR Tolkien every year and hope to never miss it. I had a look at your website and its great and its very good that you incorporated your astrology in your novel.

    Love the front cover of your debut novel, especially the big cat. I think Oscar Wilde put it elegantly that writers write with a piece of their soul in each of their novels, even though some would disagree with it.

    I also have read all of David and Leigh Edding’s works and its those novels that really set me on a path to write, I really hope to be published one day.

    I think reading in a genre is good but what one experiences is also part of ones story to be told; but I think Stephen King did explained it with his novel, On writing, very well. I think that is what I learnt from reading his novel.

    I think every one of us in all the world has a story to be told, and its the movie Australia that actually portrayed it very well that all peoples have a story that is a part of a soul. I know that to be true in my life and even in yours for you have shown your passion in the two things you enjoy most.

    On the ABC last night the movie, really showed what Christmas brought in the front of World War 1 and it moved the souls of four different armies whom shared a holiday together, their lives changed.

    Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the Authors who posts here and to the Captain of this blog.

  6. rc70, I love that you ritually read JRR Tolkien. Me too. And thank you for the wonderful feedback on the new website. My son and I worked some very long hours to have it up before Rosette came out. 🙂

    I agree with you that reading in the genre along with our unique experiences combine to inform our writing. We all do have a story to tell and as you say, when the cultural stories overlap, in brings people together. It unites their hearts.

    Thank you for posting. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too!

  7. Darn it, why are all the other Voyager authors hotter than me?

    Uh, I mean, nice article! I’m not actually a huge fantasy fan myself, but I’m very influenced by Martin. He was the one who gave me the notion that you can write a fantasy story *without* a big evil dude everyone has to fight. He also showed me just how great a book really can be when everyone is allowed to develop.

    In my opinion, more fantasy authors ought to be influenced by Martin. Except when it comes to the part about taking aeons to finish a book, of course.

    I’m afraid I picked up the tendancy to do horrible things to everyone from Robin Jarvis. And my own inherent evilness. 😉

    PS: Love the tattoo. I made a Bast statue out of plaster when I was in highschool. Still have it on my shelf, in fact.

  8. Hi Katie!

    Great point about Martin–you can write fantasy without a big evil dude everyone has to fight! In an interview Martin says ‘I don’t like fantasy where everybody is either a hero or a villain, black or white. I prefer to paint with shades of grey. I think it’s more true to life. We’re all of us angels and demons in the same skin. We do good things and the next day we maybe do terrible things.’

    This is brilliant insight–the shades of grey.

    I would love to see a pic or your Bast statue! She was my first tattoo 🙂 And thank you for the compliment–I have an awesome photographer . . .

    How’s the writing coming? Which book in your Griffin series are you working on now?

  9. GRRM absolutely rocks – I totally agree, Katie! He really turns it around and that’s why you find yourself falling in love with a character you may have hated before *cough* Jaime Lannister *cough*.
    rc70 – the Captain salutes you 🙂
    Happy New Year to you all!

  10. Sorry that’s me, Natalie (sometimes known as Taelian), speaking by the way.

  11. I second that! Happy New Year Everyone!

    🙂 We knew it was you, Natalie ;)….Captain gives it away every time!

  12. Happy New Year to you Kim, and to everyone!

    If you like Ursula LeGuinn, then you must read Shari Tepper. I have devoured all of her womanist fiction that I can get my hands on, and only book by her that I did not like was Beauty. Perhaps because it was too real…My favorites by her are Six Moon Dance, Singer from the Sea, and Raising the Stones. I also love (LOVE) Lois McMaster Bujold. Her Chalion books are like nothing I’ve ever read. She has a science fiction arm and a fantasy arm, and brings them together in The Sharing Knife series. And how can we forget Marion Zimmerman Bradley? Or Jacqueline Carey? I mean, there is NO ONE like Phaedre.

    I am not yet published, but I am a writer and these authors plus some previously mentioned have contributed so much to my understanding of how to tell the story that I want to tell. I think we don’t so much borrow from other writers as see the possibilities in telling our stories by using some of the techniques that they’ve used in theirs. Five cents from the unpublished

  13. Pam, I’ll take your 5 cents any time! Your words make a lot of sense and I love hearing about the authors who have contributed to your understanding of how to tell a story. Well phrased.

    Tepper is another cherished soul, and I’m smiling because Beauty was my favorite!

    Thank you for dropping in and sharing yours!

  14. What a wonderful topic, Kim! I must admit that I had forgotten how much I enjoy good fantasy/sci-fi until Rosette arrived in the mail! Thank you for the opportunity to reconnect to this genre. I’d like to add John Christopher’s “Tripod Trilogy,” which I read as a teenager and so affected me that when I found a copy of The White Mountains in a used book store 20 years ago I cried. And I bought it for my then-infant son who read the trilogy when he got older.

    As an adult I found L.L. Modesitt, Jr.’s “The Spellsong Cycle”, with it’s lead character a classical Soprano (!) and a horse named Farinelli (after one of the most famous castrati) to be quite absorbing. Also, Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Mists of Avalon was one of the first “midrash” I read that really opened my eyes to how mythology both explains a culture and shapes it’s current view.

    I am transported by the writing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Maire Arana (I wish I could crawl inside her “Cellophane”) and Isabel Allende–they all write as if they were scribbling with tongues dripping of honey and kisses, and I am a total sucker for Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Whenever I read those I am sure to suddenly see a tall, red-haired man on the street or in a store somewhere and it is all I can do to not run after him screaming, “Jamie! Jamie, It is me, Claire!”

    Part of your fan club!
    Love,
    Cate

  15. This is a wonderful list!

    L.L. Modesitt, Jr! And, Gabriel Garcia Marquez! I welcome the honey kisses, those novels where the sensuality becomes intoxicating.

    Thank you for all the support and for adding your beautiful voice–such an inspiration!

    xxx Kim 🙂

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