• 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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Rejection and Underpants Part 1 by Kim Falconer

Ask any writer and they will tell you that rejection is part of the job. It happens all the time. If you’re unsure why, read Jennifer Fallon’s list. Note that poor writing is only one of many possibilities. A form rejection letter stating your work does not fit our editorial needs at this time may be telling the truth. It isn’t necessarily code for you suck.

Being tough is one way to handle rejection—thick skin, take it on the chin, all that. But there is another way. Instead of seeing rejection as a sign of inadequacy, consider it a sign of progress. It’s like shopping for boots—trying on as many as possible, sending back the ones that don’t fit or look right. Rejection in this case is no fault of the art. It is simply a matter of style and finding a good match.

Becoming breezy with rejection mean moving away from defence/despair and towards hope/awareness, realizing rejection leads to success. With comments, rejection slips also offer insights into how the work might be improved. (Take note of Jennifer’s point that authors submitting over and over until they make a sale are most likely revising the manuscript between submissions.) We might say perseverance and revision bring success.

It did for Stephen King. Before he sold his first novel, he’d sent several manuscripts to Doubleday. They were all rejected. He started working on yet another, a story about a high school girl with Psi but he gave up, tossing it in the bin. His wife fished it out, begging him to finish. Eventually he submitted the manuscript to Doubleday and Carrie was published the following year.

Thinking about rejection in a positive way helps writers relax, lighten up and improve their narrative. My favourite way to shift any negative thoughts about rejection is to substitute the word manuscript with one that has no ‘charge’, one that creates no reaction. The new word allows me to see the ridiculous in rejection. Substitute underpants for manuscript and you’ll get what I mean.

‘They would have made an offer, but they didn’t like my underpants.’ ‘It’s easy for published authors; they’ve already sold their underpants.’ Or even, ‘Thank you for sending your underpants. Unfortunately they do not fit our current editor’s needs.’ In the case of Ursula Le Guin it’s more like, ‘I had to wait until they invented the genre to fit my underpants.’

Reconsider what a rejection slip means—you have written a novel! Congratulations! You are one step closer to being published! Part II will continue this theme with specific examples. Meanwhile, does anyone have a rejection story to tell? Voyager authors? Please share!

Rejection and Underpants Part II

Kim Falconer‘s underpants were accepted by Voyager some time ago, and you can find her first book, The Spell of Rosette, in all good bookshops in Australia. Kim lives in Byron Bay and is currently working on the follow up to The Spell of Rosette, Arrows of Time.


11 Responses

  1. I’m going to be laughing for a little while yet.
    Peter M. Ball told me that he likes rejection letters because they make him feel productive.

  2. So glad it made you smile 🙂

    And it is productive! It means we’re out there, showing off our nickers!

  3. Kudos, Kim! This post brings relief and smiles to many of us – on all sorts of different fronts.

    And all the visioning this will create on the topic of underpants! lol Here’s to happy stories for ALL our lovely undies! 🙂


  4. Thanks Jeannette,

    So glad you dropped by! 🙂 You’re the one who taught me the ‘underpants word substitution consciousness shifter technique’ in the first place!

    Is there a shorter word for it?

    If anyone wants more gems of wisdom on shifting thoughts to make life flow their way, Jeannette’s the one….I mean, as in Neo, The One!


  5. Actually, I got it from Rebecca Fine in one of her old Science of Getting Rich newsletters. I think it originated with her, anyway. 🙂

    Seriously, though, Kim, can you feel the RELIEF this thought generates for people?! It’s a FABULOUS vibe-shifter! Which is what lets new things happen.

    Super cool!

  6. I am not going to make jokes about a woman’s underpants when she has a Twitter image that includes a bloody long sword!!

    What do you do when someone rejects you for your underpants? Change the word to manuscript?
    “He said I was nice but wouldn’t date someone who would wear manuscripts like these”

    Love your stuff though!


  7. Warwick, you are cracking me up! 🙂

    This proves how useful word substitutions can be to shift the mood–for any occasion!

    Thanks for adding your voice and humour!

  8. This is hilarious! Of course it would be worrying if someone sent a letter saying ‘Thank you for sending your underpants. We really love them and plan to use them.’ ^ ^ What a lovely way to look at a potentially tough situation – I’d like to apply this to all sorts of things in life from now on!

  9. Excellent Ariel! That’s such a good point. I use this to take the charge off of anything that I’m not ‘holding lightly’. It works fabulous for money, dating etc….


    He only likes me because he thinks I have underpants.

    Thanks for dropping by!


  10. […] a major publisher without an agent, writing is very hard work, only write what you know, what $$$, rejection du jour, it’s tricky for Australian authors to publish their works overseas, keep your day job  . . .  […]

  11. […] a major publisher without an agent, writing is very hard work, only write what you know, what $$$, rejection du jour, it’s tricky for Australian authors to publish their works overseas, keep your day job  . . .  […]

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