• 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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Close Encounters of the Best Kind: Maria Quinn bumps into an unsuspecting reader

The Gene Thieves

The Gene Thieves

So here I am walking to the post office smiling to myself, not paying too much attention because I’m revisiting the lively debate that cropped up at the crowded launch party for The Gene Thieves. Who should play Dancer in the movie, Hugh Jackman or Simon Baker? Seemed that every one of the hundred or so guests wanted to put in a bid, even though only six people in the room could possible have read the book, as it was just hitting the shelves! Okay, Simon Baker is already a blue-eyed blonde, but there’s always bleach and coloured contacts. Mind you, I knew I was breaking one of the golden protocols of a good screenplay, when I specified Dancer’s hair, eyes and tallness (never restrict the casting possibilities, a dark-haired star might walk away from the script!) but hey, I was writing the novel. Now I’m tackling the screenplay. So, as I said, I wasn’t really watching where I was going.

But then, neither was the man who walked into me.

That’s because he had his head in a book…my book!

As I walked past the station entrance he walked out, turned right and we bumped shoulders. The astonished look I gave him was mistaken for annoyance and he stopped, slammed the book closed and apologised.

“Sorry, silly of me, reading a book while I’m walking. I was reading it on the train and just had to finish the chapter.”

“Must be a good book.” I smiled ingratiatingly, resisting the impulse to fling my arms around him and land a great big kiss on a rather nice face.


He turned, anxious to get away from this chance encounter with a talkative stranger.

“That’s me.” I prodded the cover of the novel he’d now tucked under his arm.

“I beg your pardon?”

“The author, Maria Quinn, that’s me.”

He pulled the book out and scrutinized the cover, then looked up at me.

“You’re kidding, right?”

“Look inside, there’s a picture.” Now the picture is in black and white and I tend to be pretty much in colour, remnants of red hair and big, bright earrings. Not the world’s best likeness but good enough for a police line up; at least he obviously thought so.

“ That’s amazing, I love this book!”

We stood, blocking the footpath, while passing pedestrians muttered threats. He scrounged around inside his suit coat and pulled out a slightly chewed looking biro.

“Will you sign it for me?

… ‘To Sam, truth is stranger than fiction, even science fiction …’ (name changed to protect the innocent reader).

Maria Quinn is the author of The Gene Thieves, available in all good book shops now … and being read by all sorts of strangers on the street!

Read a review of The Gene Thieves in Synergy Magazine


14 Responses

  1. Maria! I love that story!

    What a wonderful moment of synchronicity for both of you 🙂

    🙂 Kim

    Ps I’d vote for Hugh. . .

    • I’d vote for Hugh too (for anything really). And I loved this story (so much I asked Maria to write it up for the blog) – it reminded me actually of what you said Kim, in one of the chats at Flycon, about being on the phone to a friend who could see someone reading your book – so lovely!

    • Hi Kim,
      With your reader on the train and my reader on the train, perhaps we should set up bookstalls on railways stations? (Like the good old days!)

  2. Yes, lovely stranger-than-fiction moment, Maria. I hope that nice man tells all his friends and they all buy the book!

    And yes, bring on Hugh…

    • Hi girls,
      I knew it had to be Hugh. Angela? Absolutely Toni Collette, she plays on-the-edge-then-over-the-precipice to perfection. Paul Bennett, the old surfing mentor, written for Jack Thompson, who else!(Well Briana Brown if he’ll go to fat).Jack Lee, hmm all suggestions welcome. Fiona? Well if I can’t have Kate will I settle for Nicole? Aaron? Marc Piron? Marina & Molly? Put your thinking caps on and help me cast this movie.(Handy of course, if you read The Gene Thieves first.) Last of all, there’s Piggy. Perhaps I’ll get the one I really want by pointing out ‘misfit’ part usually end up Academy Award winners.
      But will they let me write the screenplay!?

  3. When I think of blue eyed blondes I’d like to see cast more often I have to go for Josh Holloway aka Sawyer in Lost.
    Also that it such a lovely story of a fan encounter. I’m sure he has been saying to all his friends “You will never believe what happened to me today, but it’s TRUE!”

  4. The story: what a moment!
    Reminded me of the great line about “reality impacting on art” in movie version of ‘Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter’, delivered by Pedro (played with a great sense of fun by Peter Falk), the guest soapie writer at a dodgy radio station, to law student/wannabe writer Mario (Keanu Reeves in pre-A List days). Sure enough, Pedro keeps using what he overhears in town to create scandalously addictive soapie scripts.

    Casting: Jack T. might not be so delighted about why he was a vote ahead of Brian. 🙂


    • Hi Tim,
      I find it hard to believe I don’t know that movie, sounds just like my kind of fun. I’m a great fan of Peter Falk, the ORIGINAL ‘The In-Laws’, with Falk and Alan Arkin, is one of the funniest films ever made. I also think Keanu Reeves is underrated as an actor, just because he is such delicious eye candy. (Now there’s a thought for Jack Lee. It wouldn’t take much to adapt those exotic looks of his to the character.) I’m now intending to search out ‘Aunt Julia & the Scriptwriter.Thanks for the tip.
      PS Don’t tell Jack Thompson about the comment, if you happen to run into him,because the part is definitely his!

  5. Hi Maria,

    The Aunt Julia movie, which came out in very early 90s (I can remember being an undergrad at Univ. Adelaide at the time, so ’91 or ’92 -but didn’t actually see it until a while later, on video), and is MUCH lighter in mood than the original novel by Mario Vargas Llosa. The novel is set in Llosa’s home city of Lima, and the movie is in 50s New Orleans: garden parties, giant cars, steamy afternoons and loaded one-liners. 🙂 Barbara Hershey does a great job as the super-sassy & dishy Aunt Julia.

    For my part, I haven’t seen the Falk/Arkin movie but now really want to, esp. after seeing Arkin in ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ and ‘Get Smart’.

    Nearly-negligible chance I’ll be chatting with Jack Thompson any time soon -even if he makes another pilgrimage to AWM – so the comment is pretty safe. 🙂


  6. Hi again Tim,
    I lived in Canada, where Arkin is worshipped, and was lucky enough to see him in several stage productions, when we were both much younger!

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