• 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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Knitting Wars – Devon Monk reveals her secret passion …

The horrors of the knitting battlefield revealed ...

The horrors of the knitting battlefield revealed ...

Every writer I know has a pastime that has nothing to do with writing. I know writers who are amateur astronomers, fiddlers, food sculptors, model train enthusiasts, and jewelers.

So what do I do for fun? I knit. Competitively. Well, not always competitively. Sometimes I just knit for fun, creating things like dice bags that look like dice, biscuit blankets, fingerless gloves, or lip balm cozies in the shape of Cthulhu.

But that’s all pretty tame compared to competitive knitting.

What is competitive knitting? It’s usually a bloody, deadly competition set up on-line between a vast and varied number of knitters. I’ve been involved in a couple different forms of competitive knitting, but let’s talk about the Sock War.

The way this competition was set up, every knitter received the same pattern on the same day. Along with the pattern, you receive your target’s information. (In this case it was shoe size and fiber allergy.) The goal was to knit the sock as fast as you could and then mail the completed pair to your target, “killing” them. Your target, once dead, mails the socks they were knitting (and their target’s information) to you. You now have a new target to kill, and probably a half-finished pair of socks to complete. So you knit on those socks as fast as you can. All the while some other knitter out there has your death on their needles. It is only a matter of time before you too, will be dead.

The last knitter alive receives wonderful prizes.

Sounds like fun? It is. It’s also oddly stressful, and makes going to the mailbox a nerve-wracking experience.

I probably don’t have to tell you that the people drawn to these types of competitions are funny, crazy, and delightful. The Sock War was an international event and attracted over a thousand knitters–men, women, old, young, pros and first time knitters. I managed to stay alive long enough to knit two and a half pairs of socks. Not too shabby since I was also on a tight deadline to finish a book. (Knitting, even competitive knitting, only happens after I get my work done.)

The thing that surprised me about the competition was how many people tried to cheat. I won’t go into details, but let me just say that knitters can play dirty.

Even though I haven’t taken any prizes from competitive knitting yet, I won’t give up. It’s just too much weird fun. So if you’re a knitter, keep your needles sharp and your fingers limber. Because who knows, one day when you find yourself on a bloody, thread-strewn battlefield, I just might be the one coming to kill you.

When not wielding a knitting needle, Devon Monk might be found wielding a pen as she writes the next series of books in the Allie Beckstrom series. In the mean time, Australians will have to be satisfied by reading Magic to the Bone, the first book in the series, which is available across Australia.

You can find the pattern for the Cthulu lipbalm holders on Devon’s livejournal.


12 Responses

  1. Devon, I love the lip balm cozies! And wow, competitive knitting sounds brutal. 😉 I used to knit and crochet when I was a teenager. I wasn’t very good, though. Still, it was fun!

    Have a great day.

    • Hey, you should totally give the ol’ needles and yarn a try again! Doesn’t matter how good we are at it, just how much fun we have, right?



  2. Hitchcock and Freud could both a field day with the photo. 🙂

  3. Natalie
    Cute -well, OK, just as long as they STAY IN the blog photo. 🙂

    Hmmm, not yet sold on using lipbalm but am happy enough for others to exercise their freedom to do so.


    • You could put something else in them. USB sticks/flash drives, maybe a tiny i-pod, or a glue stick? You know, for all those times when you really, really need a monstrous glue stick cozy? Totally got you covered there.


      • True! All good uses – lipstick, lipbalm, mascara, er … glue stick … I rather like the idea of gloves with little Cthulu fingers!

  4. “…sometimes a lipbalm cozy monster is just a lipbalm cozy monster” -how true, Devon, and I’m very pleased I am NOT Hitchcock or Freud, or even a close relative. 🙂

  5. My brother suggested I may like this blog. He was once totally right. This submit actually made my day. You can not consider just how a lot time I had spent for this info! Thank you!

  6. […] about should be shared is just awful, not only do I not want everyone to know about my passion for competitive knitting I also don’t want to know about my friend’s weird […]

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