• 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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World Without Walls – Byron Bay Writers’ Festival 2010

The beautiful setting of the Byron Bay festival

Quillian the were-fey - a detail from Aaron Briggs' illustration on Path of the Stray

I had no idea what I’d signed up for when saying yes to the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival. Being the only SF/F author among all the literary and media giants required some quick thinking. I got very good at defining Speculative Fiction on the spot, and explaining that my books were not actually written for children. All in all, it was a blast!

My workshop on immersion sold out. It went fabulously. You can see the visual aids to get an idea of content. I also put together a high school presentation. Three hundred young students and me on stage, mic in one hand, notes in the other—a real challenge when the wind blew my hair in streamers across my face. Once I started talking though, it all rolled out. We discussed writing speculative fiction, the genre that asks what if. I signed books after, as well as binders and back packs. Great fun!

Kim and the Quantum Enchantment trilogy

My panel with Kathy Lette, Laura Bloom and Krissy Kneen was hilarious. While the others were talking about their first orgasms and the importance of thorough research prior to any sex (scenes), I pointed out the value of sex as a tool for world building. It can reveal deeper levels of character and even more fundamentally, portray the social paradigm. I used the title of the panel, Bodice Rippers, as an example of how sexual references tell us something about gender biases in the culture. I signed lots of books after that one.

The panel on The Magical and Fantastical was my favourite. Chaired by Angela Meyer, I shared the stage with Maria Van Daalen, an academic and the only Mambo Asogwe Voodoo High Priestess in Europe. I won over some new readers that day, though at the signing, a woman waited in line for quite some time to tell me she couldn’t get into fantasy, but her husband loved it. I waited for her to hand me the book to sign (for her husband) but it turned out she didn’t like him much either and wasn’t getting one . . . On Sunday I did a panel on Keeping the Faith with the incredibly successful Matthew Reilly and brilliant Larissa Behrendt, chaired by the incoming festival director, Candida Baker. There was a great discussion at the end on eBooks, thanks to audience questions from Jodi Cleghorn.

Murray's book on Reg Mombassa

The festival theme this year was World Without Walls, but I renamed it World Sans Social Filters after the biography panel Significant others: writing the life of an icon. Turns out Gretel Pinniger, aka Madam Lash, hates her biographer, Sam Everingham, and wants to do bad things to him. They were separated on stage by the calm and charismatic HarperCollins author, Murray Waldren and his icon subject, Reg Mombassa. The eye of the storm. To his credit, Everingham didn’t retaliate against the barrage of accusations from Pinniger. He was sweating bullets but managed to respond gracefully, all considered. The Chair, Jill Eddington, deserves a metal, at the very least.

My biggest thrill besides introducing so many readers to the genre was meeting the people from HarperCollinsAus. What a fabulous team, and boy do they know how to host a dinner party! Looking forward to seeing everyone at AussieCon4!

Kim Falconer lives in Byron Bay with two black cats. She runs an astrology forum and alternative science site‚ trains with a sword and is working on the second book in the Quantum Encryption trilogy, the follow up to Quantum Enchantment, both of which are set in the world of Gaela, as well as on Earth. The first book in the new series is called Path of the Stray and is out now! Kim is going to be the guest of honour at tonight’s Fang Books Chat. Join us at 8pm over at Fang’s website.


4 Responses

  1. Oh my goodness, Kim. I am scraping my jaw off the ground right about now. Sweating bullets indeed – who wouldn’t? No one told me being on a panel could be so… well, exciting. 😉

    Sounds like you had a blast. Maybe we’ll hear more about your experiences on the chat tonight!

    • Yes, I’ll be happy to reveal all. Between Kathy Lette and Krissy Kneen (literally between them) there was a LOT of revelation re sex, intimacy vs porn vs changing ‘guidelines’ in mainstream and literary fiction. Phew.

      Sam Everingham, regardless of ‘what happened’ impressed me with his ability to respond without defense or rancor. I mean, if someone is slinging poison arrows, justified or not, the impulse is to duck, shield and fight back. He stayed calm though, a shaky calm, and said his truth. I think this is a case for two very different versions of the truth!

      • Kim I’m totally with you on the Everingham/Pinniger issue. I’m not sure what exactly lies between the two versions but I have a sneaky feeling it might be the publisher and poor sam’s become the fall guy in it.

        It was a pleasure to bring epublishing up. I love BBWF. I believe it is THE premier writers festival and smack bang in the middle of what has always been an alternative Mecca, should be discussing where publishing and books are going, where and how we can push the boundaries.

        And I thought you did a awesome job among the big names and big egos to bring a new slant on intimacy and sex. I know sexuality is a link pin in one idea I have and never considered it a tool for world exploration or building. Something more interesting than the means of commerce and exchange.

        Last but not least it was a thrill to meet and chat with you in person after a long time of exchanging tweets. And to introduce some of my tribe. Now to begin devouring your books.

      • Thank’s Jodi. It was a pleasure to meet you (and tribe)and to feel your support. Great questions and great synchronicity.

        I’ve already had a quick word with the incoming director of the BBWF. She’s open to new ideas, as you say – exploring epublishing — and also bringing in more Aussie spec fic writers, more workshops etc. I would love to see a panel of editors and hear from that side of the process.

        As far as I’m concerned, we all (writers, editors, proofreaders, publishers, agents, publiscists, educators, readers) succeed together!


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