• 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!

     

     

The 2009 Canberra Conflux Experience by Tracey O’Hara

I have been eagerly awaiting Conflux to come around again. They‘re always such fun. Friday morning I arrived nice and early to registered. The lovely Karen Herkes was on site and already overseeing the final preparations for the convention. Her delightful welcome put me in a very cheery mood and ready to tackle a workshop “Taxation for Writers and Artists”. Not the most exciting event on of the day – but a necessary one for the clueless like me.

Unfortunately the guy giving the workshop never showed, leaving me to doubt if I would want him taking care of my finances. However, all was not lost. A bunch of us who’d turned up decided to share the scant knowledge among ourselves. One of those present was someone I’d been keen to catch up with, newly contracted Voyager author Nicole Murphy. It was great to see her in person and congratulate her on her new 3 book deal. Also present was Specusphere reviewer and talented writer Felicity Dowker, Allen & Unwin fantasy author Karen (K.S.) Nikakis and the lovely wife of Christian Tamblyn. We all had a very pleasant time chatting about things to do with the business of writing.

Because of a rare day off and the fact I hadn’t organised myself to sign up for any of the other fabulous workshops, I went home to do some writing on book 3 of my Dark Brethren series. Later I picked up the awesome Urban Fantasy author and friend Keri Arthur from the airport. We then went to dinner with the Canberra writing group and had a great time catching up with people.

Saturday started bright and early for someone who’s a night owl like me. I usually sleep in on the weekend to catch up on a few Zs lost through the working week. But at 10.00am I was on a panel about Vampires with Keri and the lovely Jane Virgo. What a fabulous time we had. The audience participation was tremendous, heaps of questions, heaps of laughs and a good time had by all. I just hope I didn’t sound as totally clueless as I felt.

The good thing about Conflux is you get to catch up with people you’ve met before and meet new people too. This year I was a special guest for Canberra Showcase Panel, made up of several of our local authors. Boy those guys were impressive. Maxine McArthur, Jack Heath, Simon Petrie, Gillian Polack and I were kept in line by the deft chair, Richard Harland. Jack Heath was hilarious; telling us that he went into writing because he worked out at a very young age he was extremely adept at lying. His story about a playground stunt gone wrong had the audience cracking up. Afterwards I met Harper Voyager editor Stephanie Smith who introduced me to Duncan Lay. There was quite a showing of Harper authors at Conflux.

That night was the annual historical banquet organised by historian, Gillian Polack. As usual (well as usual as far as I know given this was only my second year) the food was excellent. It was an 1880 Louisiana style bbq with girls in fabulous dresses and pirates abound. There were plenty of “ahrrrs” and “avasts” and the night included a plot to corrupt the entire room to the way of the pirate. By finding the treasure map we were inducted into the pirate way with the receiving of a gold coin (chocolate inside) or a gold ring. By the end of the night there was a fair portion of us who had crossed over to piracy.

Sunday was not so early for me. Even though I didn’t have anything to drink the night before I woke with a headache that I just couldn’t shake. I also forgot Daylight savings time, so missed the “Romance in SF” panel, which included my good friend, Erica Hayes. Our fearless organiser, Karen Herkes, asked me if I would sit on the “Where to From here” panel which ended up being a lovely round circle discussion on what happens after the first book. Of course the obvious answer was write the next one. I got to hear K.J. Taylor talk on her impressive achievements thus far – including having signed her first contract at 18. My goodness — that girl is talented.

I went to listen in on a couple of panels with the impressive special guest, editor for Baen Books, Jim Minz. I found him a little intimidating to say the least, because his knowledge and experience in the New York publishing world.

Unfortunately that was it from me for this years Conflux. I didn’t get to do nearly as much as or see as many as I wanted to. But I finished off my day saying by goodbye to the lovely Stephanie Smith and a receiving friendly hug and “a take care kiddo” from the legendary Jack Dann. What a way to end a fantastic weekend. Now have to wait until 2011 for the next one. Next year is AussieCon4. Woo Hoo!

Intense, sexy, bold ... a superb debut - Nalini Singh

Intense, sexy, bold ... a superb debut - Nalini Singh

 

Tracey O’Hara is the author of Night’s Cold Kiss,  a Dark Brethren novel, available now in Australia and New Zealand … and guaranteed to keep you up at night! Tracey lives in Canberra, Australia.

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12 Responses

  1. Hi Tracey 🙂
    Thank you very much for the great post. And thanks for taking the time to put in all those terrific links.
    It sounds like a wonderful time was had by all.
    Thanks again for sharing,
    Love & Best Wishes,
    RKCharron
    xoxo

  2. Sounds like it was a great conference, Tracey! Good friends and great food. Can’t beat that mix!

  3. It was great to meet you too, Tracey! Before I went to Conflux I made a promise to myself that I would try and catch up with everyone I’d met on the Voyager blog. When I finally stumbled across the mysterious Vertigo on the last day, I could go home satisfied!

    I’ve posted my pictures at the Eyrie – I wish now I’d taken one of you, but half the time I was so busy talking to people or resting after too much talking that I forgot to haul the camera out as often as I could have. Ah well, I’m glad you had fun too. I’ll be at Worldcon next year, and Conflux 7 the year after that – with luck I’ll see you at one, or both. 🙂

    • Katie – it was really great to meet you. I ahve seen your books in the store – right next to mine and had heard about you before too. As to the photos – thank goodness. I hate having photos. At the moment I am planning to be at both AussieCon4 and Conflux 7. And you never know – might see you around town.

  4. Hi Tracey,
    Thanks for the entertainig write-up, and know just what you mean about Jack Heath. That guy really has the gift of the gab for panel sessisons. 🙂

    I confess my own ‘panel notes to be written up’ for another specfic site are still in original heiroglyph form, so great to see some other attendees already getting the record set out.

    Excellent Con experience for me too.
    Cheers, Tim/Farnwyn

    • Wasn’t Jack Heath and absolute cack. Both him and Katie made me feel so old considering thier outstanding achievements.I had fun on all the panels I particpated in and went too. The thing I like about conflux is it is intimate and friendly. High five for having panel notes to by the way.

    • Re: Jack – I know! The dude missed his calling – he should’ve been a standup comedian. He’s still a musician, though, unlike me (we met years ago when we were in an orchestra together; he played double bass, I played violin. I’ve since let my music go, but I have some recollection of him telling me he’s in a band now. He’s a mean piano player too despite never having had any lessons. Man of many talents, is Jack).

  5. The young star, Jack H: you weren’t the only one starting to feel ‘old’, Tracey. 🙂 When I wasn’t either laughing or trying to legibly record some freely-given and very valuable wisdom about writing for teens and YAs, I was thinking -“hey, I meant to be doing this writer’s life myself, by now!”. :~

    Oh well, we can but set our sights on Con7 and WorldCon as new targets for having new work in print…and then feel youthful about managing that. 🙂

  6. Hi Tracey – Vampires was a fun panel. I had a great time with you and Keri sando did the audience. You sounded very clued in to me!

  7. Ooh, I knew I wanted to go!! Grrr – it will just have to live in the ‘coulda woulda shoulda’ storage facility now threatening to take over my brain.

    Reading your fab write-up makes me extra glad I’m all signed up for World Con. Woohoo!

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