• 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!

     

     

Devon Monk: Working Writers Work

Devon's first book

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With Magic to the Bone (book #1) on its way to being published, I turned to finishing Magic in the Blood (book #2, available June 09). As soon as I finished Magic in the Blood, I immediately started working on Magic in the Shadows (book #3).

Everything was going along swimmingly. I was right on schedule and feeling fine. Then it happened. I got a rewrite request for Magic in the Blood. My editor really liked it, but thought the book covered too much ground in too small of a space. She asked me to cut one plot line (and over half the book) and focus instead on the other main plot line.

Now, I love rewrites. I’ve done plenty in my short fiction career, and am happy to roll up my sleeves and do what it takes to make a story shine.

But this rewrite would take a lot of work. I’d have to drop 70,000 words out of Magic in the Blood and re-plot the entire book.

Worse, if I agreed to change Magic in the Blood, I would have to trash can the 30,000 words I had written on Magic in the Shadows.

Saying yes meant I’d lose roughly 100,000 words. That’s an entire novel’s worth of scenes, characters, and conversations, down the drain. That’s an entire novel’s worth of words that would never see the light of day.

And the kicker? It wasn’t just my schedule driving this process. The books were on deadline. In order for book #2 to go through the hands of my editor, copy editor, cover artist, proof reader, printer, sales force, (and more) and still ship to the bookstores on time, it needed to be back to my editor in seven weeks.

100,000 words in seven weeks.

Did I do it? Yes, I did.

But why? I’m the writer, right? The characters, story, and world are my creation. Why didn’t I tell my editor that I liked Magic in the Blood the way it was (which I did) and that she was flat wrong?

Because she wasn’t wrong. Yes, I’m the writer, but she had great insight as an editor, and more importantly, as a reader. She asked questions that I felt, if answered, would make the books even stronger. And I don’t mind doing a little extra work if it will make the story shine.


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Devon Monk has been a columnist for an outdoors magazine, coordinated writer retreats and worked for a child psychologist and criminal lawyer.
She is married with two sons and a dog named Mojo. They live in Oregon where she knits, remodels her house-that-was-a-barn and hosts family celebrations when she is not writing. The first book in the Allie Beckstrom series, Magic to the Bone,  is out now, with the sequel Magic in the Blood due out in June 09 in Australia.

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4 Responses

  1. My eyes are bugging out of my head! You did that in 7 weeks? You are my queen!

    I too find the editorial suggestions and queries, when addressed, make the narrative stronger. Editors are allies of the work. I’m just tuning into how you felt after that 70,000 word cut conversation, with clock ticking.

    There are romantic notions about being a novelist, and they’re true but that moment wasn’t one of them!

    Thank you for sharing this!

    🙂 Kim

    • Yeah…it’s not exactly my preferred working conditions, lol! You’re right about romantic notions. Sometimes being a novelist is great fun. Sometimes…not so much.

      Still, it taught me a lot. Like I really hope I don’t have to do that again any time soon.

      🙂 !!

  2. Wow! That’s an amazing thing you did, but I agree. Editor suggestions/rewrites are awesome. It’s hard work, but definitely worth it. 🙂

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