• 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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Why Fantasy-Science Fiction rocks my world

The following post appeared on Helen Lowe’s blog in celebration of the release of The Heir of Night. Author Mary Victoria has given permission to cross post it here and will also cross post it to her livejournal.

Stories are full of magic. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. A story can masquerade as reality. It can do a splendid job at impersonating the ordinary, the grindingly mundane. But that is simply the spell it weaves. We are all willing dupes, seeing in black letters on a white page a troupe of living, breathing characters and scenes of joy or infamy. There is no tale that is not an act of invocation. ‘I am Truth, I am Reality,’ says the illusion: believe at your peril. You are entering a web of consensual deceit, catching a ball the author throws at you, participating in a game of shared imagination.

As you can probably tell, I’m of the tedious ‘every author writes Fantasy’ persuasion. Don’t worry, I won’t go all deconstructionist in this blog post. I’ll simply say that genre distinctions do not speak to me. At best they are a pitching and marketing device, a way of providing readers with the stories they like, or at least pretending to provide the story they like before moving on to interesting alternatives. So, why do I write in that storytelling shorthand that makes a reader think, ‘Ah, Fantasy’? Why in particular that code which throws up the warning sign, ‘Epic Fantasy: dragons be here’?

The short, and partially correct answer in my case was that I had a story which cried out to be written as speculative fiction. A coming of age tale set in a giant tree the size of a mountain range had to be either Fantasy or Science Fiction. I suppose it could have taken place in the ‘real world’, as the ravings of a lunatic. But that would have necessitated a clumsy narrative framing device; I was more interested in what happened inside the picture. So I chose Fantasy, or rather Science Fiction disguised as Fantasy, or rather Science Fantasy –

Whoops. Have I given away too much? You’re not supposed to know that yet, not in the first book. But there it is, in a nutshell. The beauty of Fantasy is its flexibility. It is a genre that can morph into anything, that can be anything, from Truth to Dream to Philosophy to Poetry. For a slippery fish such as myself, the possibilities are intoxicating. Fantasy is the ultimate nod to creativity. Anything goes so long as one is able to pull it off. So long as the spell is cast adroitly enough.

I doubt if I will always write Epic Fantasy. I doubt that I am even now, strictly speaking and with an eye to very narrow definitions, writing Epic Fantasy. But I will always be to some degree a writer of speculative fiction, because I love the freedom that form gives. From the subtlest forays of ‘magical realism’ and alternate history to all-out space opera and epic, dragon-ridden sagas, it’s all for me. I love that breadth of choice. And should I break down one day and write a tale of everyday life and love set in a corner of the so-called real world, rest assured that I would still be cheating. Quietly.

There would be a creeping sense of possibility, a whiff of magic in the pages, that gave the game away.

Mary Victoria is the author of Tymon’s Flight, Chronicles of the Tree Book One. She is working on the second book, Samiha’s Song, which will be released in February 2011.


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