• 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!



Perseverance Pays Off – A.A. Bell on the making of Diamond Eyes

After 10 years in development, my first fantasy crime thriller, Diamond Eyes, finally takes flight! YAY!

Initial inspiration struck me early in 1999, due to a slight vision condition which can’t be corrected fully by surgery or lenses. However, an earlier decade working in the spooky halls of a century-old mental-health sanctuary in Queensland, also provided plenty of  “juiciness” for the surreal settings.

 Although I can’t focus back through time to witness dark deeds, like my heroine, Mira Chambers, I did manage to see through a scam by a disreputable businessmen who tried to rip me off on my birthday. The title came later that year, enroute to an eye specialist when my young son asked how eyes really worked, and I used my diamond ring as an example of a crystallised lens.

 So what took so long to develop it? Diamond Eyes was 10 years in the making, due mainly to the extensive research and unusual stylistic elements involved, including a 3-year MA(Research) scholarship in advanced editing strategies (e.g. text world theory, ironic ascension and covert/overt narratology), using Diamond Eyes as the development project. Along the way, I also won Highly Commended in the 2008 FAW Jim Hamilton Awards for a shorter draft as an unpublished manuscript. However, I also spent much of my time honing my story craft skills across multiple genres by publishing over 120 spin-offs and other stories under various pen-names (many also award winners) in the genres of crime, romance, fantasy, science fiction, psychological thrillers, military action/adventures, comedy and even poetry and metaphoric songwriting – strong elements from all of which were fundamental to production of this series; Diamond Eyes (2010), Hindsight (2011) and Leopard Dreaming (2012).

 Of the mini-spin-offs, my very first award winner was Budgie Soup, a mini crime thriller which won the Penguin Award in Melbourne’s Scarlett Stiletto Awards, (1999, and since published by 5 different genre magazines/journals worldwide). However, my most-internationally translated spin-off so far is a mini comedy-crime thriller Killer Smile, (2009), which is featured as the lead story in the anthology How do I love Thee, edited by famous Australian romance author Valarie Parv. Both minis feature characters that leap straight out of the pages of the main thriller Diamond Eyes. (After a bad experience with a manuscript assessment service early on, these minis became a fun and profitable way to explore the back-stories of my minor characters. In effect, editors paid me to give me their feedback!)

 As a regional writer, I only managed to stay on top of so many publication opportunities by maintaining memberships with various state writers centres. It also helped to develop key contacts in the industry by flying to various literature festivals and conventions around the country. That’s how I managed to hook up with my fabulous editors at Voyager, even though I haven’t yet hooked up with an agent. Actually, I haven’t hooked up with my editors in person yet either, but after sitting in on a session, I knew I had what they wanted, which gave me the right perspective to approach later in writing.

Oh, and that despicable businessman? He’s fictionalised for the series and dies horribly. (No spoiler there! Haha!)

2 Responses

  1. […] her latest book, something she’s been working on for 10 years. (I know that feeling). Here’s her blog post about it. Her book is called Diamond […]

  2. Hi Anita
    good to catch up with you. Links through Paul Vander Loos. Diamond Eyes looks good. Hope your eye is right again- I also have eye problems- to London last year re eye and other problems- sent to specialist in Sydney- been down twice now- again in July. Mary in Mackay – remember the Townsville Writers’ workshop up at Paluma a few years ago

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