• 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!



Talking all that Tolkien – Richard K Morgan

For all you fans (or non-fans) of Tolkien, author Richard K Morgan has written a very interesting  (and perhaps provocative for die-hard fans) essay on The Lords of the Rings, and the parts/characters/things that, although he may not love Tolkien’s work, he did love about it. It’s started joyueous debate (LOTS of debate!) storming around the internet.

What’s very lovely about the essay is that RKM has found parts of Tolkien’s work that he really engages with, like little jewels in the er … mud, not that I think LOTR or any of Tolkien’s work is mud or related substances, and wishes that Tolkien had focused on these parts and drawn them out for what they signify. Lovely because these characters are the orcs. Not traditionally thought of as the nicest creeturs in the world – but that’s what he likes. They aren’t nice, but that makes them very human. I think more and more people identify with characters with bad intent in them, not because we’re all evil murderers at heart, but we aren’t infallible and it’s good to know we’re not the only ones. That’s why I like George R R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, because the characters are as ‘shades of grey’ as any one of us. I’d never have the guts to go on a quest beyond all I know to confront the heart of evil, I don’t think … and even if I did, I’d complain and whinge and think ‘Why me?’. But I still like to read about people who would. But I like it even better when they complain – like Eustace in The Voyager of the Dawn Treader before he became all born again.

Haven’t you ever read an author’s work and wished they had developed a character more, one that you feel you could really relate to or want to know more about? When I read Diana Wynne Jones’ ‘Dragon Reserve, Home Eight’ – a short story, I longed to read more about the characters in it, a girl whose world is suddenly invaded by horrible creatures who, through invasion, have unwittingly saved her from a death order. Of course, wanting a longer novel from a short story is a fairly common urge from readers, I believe, whereas if it’s about characters in an epic novel, it’s a bit different. What do you think? Have you experienced this?

Go and read the essay, which is posted at Random House’s Suduvu blog.

The Captain (now off for a blissful weekend and going to watch Watchmen at IMAX)

2 Responses

  1. Oooh, I’m off to read this one. I’m not a big fan of Tolkein myself… maybe I should blog about it here when it’s my turn.

    I love grey characters. In fact, I DEMAND grey characters. I’m nitpicky like that.

    Hmm, you like characters who complain, eh? You might like my protagonist, then. Horrible, awful, life-destroying things happen to him, so of course he… sinks into deep depression and inertia. You know, like everyone else would.

  2. This surely makes perfect sense to anyone…

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