• 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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One choice decides … everything

Pass initiation. Do not fail…

 

ONE CHOICE DECIDES YOUR FRIENDS, DEFINES YOUR BELIEFS AND DETERMINES YOUR LOYALTIES … FOREVER.

In sixteen-year-old Beatrice’s world, society is divided into five factions – Abnegation (the selfless), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent) – each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue, in the attempt to form a “perfect society.” At the age of sixteen, teens must choose the faction to which they will devote their lives.

Everyone’s talking about this book and it hasn’t even hit the shelves yet! This is the opportunity for you to win one of the advance reading copies which are in hot demand – we only have one left!  To win, tell us which faction you think you would choose, and why.

Remember that for all a faction’s good points, there are bad. Being selfless is one thing, always having to say yes is another. Honesty seems like the right thing, until you insult someone with your true thoughts. Bravery is to be commended, unless it is misinterpreted and becomes foolhardy posturing. Peace only goes so far … standing back to do nothing will not keep the peace. And intelligence and knowledge can be used for evil as well as good.

Competition now closed. Congratulations to Zena Shapter, who won the copy of Divergent. If you didn’t win, don’t worry, finished copies of Divergent will be out on 1 May 2011.

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Gaelean Stars for the Full Moon

Full Moon :

New York January 19, 04:22
London January 19, 21:22
Sydney January 20, 08:22
LA  January 19, 13:22

RAM: A feeling of exploration and adventure wells up as you expand beyond the everyday boundaries of ho hum. Creativity heightens and with it the desire for beauty. Beauty is all around us amidst strife and turmoil to be seen by those who look not to those who wish. Byron Pulsifer

AUROCHS: This full moon is about letting go of cherished beliefs that actually don’t serve you any longer. Root them out and move on! If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. Jim Rohn

TWINS: What is it you are so excited about sharing with others that it has you jumping up and down like a child about to eat ice cream? That, and nothing less, is the level of enthusiasm you’re after. The essence of teaching is to make learning contagious, to have one idea spark another. Marva Collins

COBRA: This full moon is about finding inner peace no matter what is going on ‘out there’. Meditation, dance, long walks in nature, forgiveness and self value all contribute. Do whatever it takes to find compassion. Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding. Ralph Waldo Emerson

LION: This is a time to count your personal blessing that come in the form of the ‘others’. These people in your life, everyone of them, is an angel here to participate in your fulfillment. Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. Marcel Proust

CERES: This is a thoughtful full moon, one that may best be appreciated in silence. Take yourself a little ways apart and commune with the inner paths to your soul. There lies gold. Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

BALENCIA: The full moon has you wishing upon a star. Be it for a new career, fabulous home or dream come true relationship, it’s yours. Already in the bank. Standing on the next corner with your name up in neon lights. Don’t think for a seconds your wish is too grand to come true. If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney

SCORPION: No matter what confronts you in the emotions of this full moon, it is not a time to back down. Stand your ground and keep strength in your spine. Your vision deserves a full delivery. Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world right in the eye. Helen Keller

ARCHER: The urge to be more than what you are right now in this red hot moment can be fulfilled immediately. Dance. Just do it. To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking. Agnes De Mille

SEA-GOAT: There is a tendency to take things for granted and in doing so miss the very essence of life’s gifts. Open to the wonder of now. Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory. Betty Smith

WATER-BEARER: This full moon puts a spotlight on the core of your personal relationships. What is it you want to create? If you can’t answer in an instant, you’re running on default. Do you know what that is? Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgment of others. Wayne Dyer

FISHES: Let go of the past. Do it now. Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it. Groucho Marx

The Gaela Stars are brought to you by Kim Falconer, author of the Quantum Enchantment and Quantum Encryption trilogies, set in the worlds of Gaela and Earth. The first book in the Quantam Encryption, Path of the Stray, is out now. Kim lives in Byron Bay in Australia and also runs the website Falcon Astrology.

Kick-ass wallpaper

HarperVoyager in the US is directing readers to some butt-kicking wallpaper on Kim Harrison’s website. Check it out!

Another teaser trailer for A Game of Thrones

Revealing … the iron throne!

*squirms with excitement/anticipation/can’t-wait-itis

Robin Hobb: disconnecting from one thing to connect to another

Robin Hobb, who has a new collection coming out in April, has updated her blog on what happens when she disconnects from the Interwebs. Writers, take heed! Here’s the beginning of her post:

Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t posted much since the middle of December. And if we are email correspondents, you may have not received replies to friendly notes and greetings you sent me over the holidays.

My deadline for my book was December 31, 2010. I was extremely confident and determined to be on time. I worked consistently on the book every day, and I should have been on time.

Well, I wasn’t. I turned the manuscript over to my agent yesterday, 13 days late. That is NOT a nice thing to do to publishers and editors. I am abashed.

But, prior to all that, in mid-December I realized that the only possible way to make my deadline was to eliminate distractions and write. Family Christmas, of course, does not fall on the distraction list, but random web activities do. So, for the most part, I disconnected from the Internet and wrote. And wrote and wrote.

Alleluia! What a wonderful experience! Suddenly my output increased. Scenes had more coherency, dialogue flowed as if people were actually talking to one another. I really felt like I was in that world, with those characters. That is what happens when I can write in 4 to 6 hour blocks of time, with no little ‘pings’ coming up on my screen. I’d removed myself to a place where my laptop could not reach the outside world at all, and even though I was writing on a cramped laptop keyboard, the words just kept coming. It took me back to the Megan Lindholm days when writing was something I did in the dark hours of the night, all alone in a very chilly little office with only the stereo softly playing in the background. I was mostly broke in a rundown old house in a very rural area. So I started hanging out with a couple of imaginary fellows. When I remember those days, it actually feels as if Fitz were standing over my shoulder commenting on every keystroke, and the Fool was perched up on top of the ancient Maytag washing machine mocking our efforts. (Oh. Not every writer has her office in the laundry room? Well, I did.) When I recall those days, I feel like I am looking at an old fashioned Christmas card. I would get up from my desk and pad quietly into the kitchen to brew a cup of tea in the dark. Then I would go back to where the desk lamp and the computer screen were the only illumination. There is a sentimental glow that surrounds that old beat-up army surplus desk, the Kaypro computer and the black cat sleeping beside it.

Read the rest of this post on Robin’s website. [and wouldn’t you love to have the Fool perched somewhere in your house – we would – not to mention Fitz standing behind us … ]

Robin’s new collection, The Inheritance, will be released in Australia and New Zealand in April this year.

Bingtown heiresses rub shoulders in this wonderful collection with vampires and alien musicians, tramps and feral cats.

In The Homecoming, Lady Carillion Carrock and a number of other Jamaillian nobles are sailing to the Cursed Shores. Their journey is not by choice: for plotting against the Satrap, their wealth has been confiscated and they have been exiled. Until now, Carillion has done nothing but lead a life of privilege. She believes they are bound for wondrous cities, cities where ancient kings and queens dusted their skin with gold and wore jewels above their eyes. But when she is marooned by the ship’s unscrupulous captain, she will soon discover the grim reality of what survival in the Rain Wilds entails.

The Silver Lady is a would-be writer, ekeing out a dull existence by working in a Sears store. The one day a man comes in: fortyish, pleasant-looking. Nothing out of the ordinary. Except he says his name is Merlin, and he’s about to change her life.

Rosemary got involved with the wrong man. Pell is lazy, good for nothing, a bully. Her best friend Hilia knew it and so did her tom cat, Marmalade. But love is blind: Rosemary had Pell’s baby, renovated the cottage his grandfather left in his will, turned its land to good use; and then he left her for another woman. Now he’s back, and something must be done …

 And that’s just a snippet of what to look forward to …

Those camels just don’t stop undying

An un-undead camel

The lovely people over at Terra Incognita have new podcasts for your ears …
It’s their TISF 026 Christmas Special featuring ‘In From The Snow’ written and read by Lee Battersby and
‘Undead Camels Ate Their Flesh’ written and read by Jason Fischer (audio published 15 December 2010).
Both stories are from the excellent (if we say so ourselves) 2008 anthology Dreaming Again, edited by the also excellent and lovely Jack Dann.
And while we haven’t heard Jason’s reading voice, we have heard his singing voice, detailing a certain song that ends with ‘doo dah’ and starts with ‘Undead camels ate their flesh’ … so there is no doubt this will be good listening.  For those of you with weaker knees, you may want to curl up next to someone strong while listening to the powerful but unnerving ‘In From The Snow’. Happy listening and thanks to Keith Stevenson at TISF.

Getting to the moment by Will Elliott

Book One

People who ask about “where you get the idea” for a book seem to think the idea is a single moment. For me “the idea” is a phase of a book’s construction, not a single moment. I call it the “conceptualization phase” – often it’s weeks long, jotting notes, actively digging for things but also passively letting them come. Drawing sketches of characters and locations is key – even crappy drawings provide details about each character’s history and personality. Some of the ideas are “eureka!”, some are “hm I dunno, is this even gonna work? To hell with it, let’s find out…”

In the case of Pilgrims (Book One of the Pendulum trilogy), I was seeking a setting for a fantasy world; or rather a way to connect our world with a magical realm. I sweated through all manner of complicated setting ideas, looking for a plausible way into this other place (whatever it would eventually look like.) Very little came to me… but what if this other world could literally be reached through the other side of a door? It seemed so simple, and such a neat way around all the other mad-scientist psychobabble I’d come up with, it was one of those lightning strike “eureka” moments. It occurred to me: Rowling probably didn’t fret too much that platform 3 and ¾ isn’t actually possible… (or is it?)

Book Two

Those moments are the whole point of writing (believe it or not, running spellchecker isn’t exactly the highlight of the process.) Those “of course!” moments make the sweating worthwhile. You can come by more of them by posing challenges during the writing. Which means: don’t plot much, just enough to get by (even for a trilogy.) Throw in ingredients / events / characters whose purpose is not yet entirely clear. In that moment of intuition, you picked that event / character for a reason. Your logical mind is just going to have to wait a while to see what that is… with a little luck, it will wait on the edge of its seat.

Will Elliott is the author of  Pilgrims and Shadow, books one and two of the Pendulum, and is now working on World’s End, the third book in this triloy. Will’s debut novel The Pilo Family Circus won the Golden Aurealis.