• 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!



Retreat retreat retreat!

Phwoar! Some of the FWOR pose for a pic. They are: (back row) Cat Sparks, Kylie Seluka, Donna Maree Hanson, Matthew Farrer (front row) Russell Kirkpatrick, Nicole Murphy, Trudi Canavan - FWOR Berry 2010.

There are lots of reasons to look forward to January – holidays, time with family, cricket (although not at the moment…), sitting outside and watching the sun slowly set while sipping on a cool beverage…

For the past couple of years, one of the reasons I most look forward to January is the annual FWOR get-together (Fantasy Writers on Retreat and yes, that is pronounced Phwoar!!!!!!). For two weeks, I get to leave the majority of responsibility behind and just write.

Well, not just write. There’s also eating, and drinking, and watching terrible movies and going on day trips. But it’s all done with writers, and that’s a wonderful thing.

Unlike most occupations, writing is a solitary one, so you don’t often get the opportunity to talk shop. So whereas if you’re a teacher or a doctor or a lawyer you don’t want to talk about work outside of work, we writers grab almost every opportunity we can to discuss the craft and business of writing when we can.

The two weeks with my friends at FWOR are as close as I get to nirvana – we share household duties, so there’s entire days where I don’t have to do anything. I’m with people who think it’s perfectly normal to suddenly disappear in the middle of dinner/movie/shopping to start scribbling madly. I can turn around and ask about a character’s motivation, or an opinion on whether I should use a certain point of view or not and end up in a fascinating conversation.

Then there’s how much work I get done – on my first FWOR retreat in 2009, I wrote 60,000 words, and that was after forgetting my power cord and only have a few hours a day to write in for the first week. Last time, I finished the copy-edits of Secret Ones and then finished and polished Power Unbound (and angsted over titles for them all).

This time, I’m looking at that 60,000 word effort from two years ago and thinking that would be very handy this time around. It would enable me to finish the draft of the novel I’m currently working on and get started on the next.

This year, a total of nine writers will be taking part over the course of the two weeks. There’s the core of myself, Donna Maree Hanson, Matthew Farrer, Kylie Seluka and Russell Kirkpatrick (unfortunately Trudi Canavan won’t be joining us this year). We’ll be joined at various times by Cat Sparks, Ian McHugh, Alan Baxter and Joanne Anderton.

The internet access will be spotty (we’re staying in Oberon this year) but we’ll be blogging at http://fantasywritersonretreat.wordpress.com/ when we can, so pop on over to catch up with the wordcount race, the extreme competitiveness of the ping pong tournament and various other frivolities 🙂

When not playing competitive ping pong 😉 Nicole Murphy (as you will have read above) writes. She is the author of Secret Ones and Power Unbound and the upcoming Rogue Gadda. Nicole and her husband live in Canberra. You can catch with @nicole_r_murphy on Twitter too.

New Moon Eclipse in Capricorn

Lunar Eclipse by Robin Samiljan

New Moon Eclipse Times

New York January 4, 04:03
London January 4, 09:03
Sydney January 4, 20:03
LA  January 4, 01:03

RAM: The New Moon Eclipse is all about creating a powerful new intention for the upcoming year and your ‘eclipse’ is happening in your 10th house of career and public image. If you ever thought you could vision your dream-come-true occupation, now is the time. You could fly to the moon with this energy. Get up and go for it!

AUROCHS: New doors are opening up for you and the vista is more expansive than first imagined. There are opportunities beckoning for brighter future, higher income, better health and more travel/expansion. It all begins with a decision, made at the core of your being –  only pursue that which makes you smile. Nothing else. If it lights you up, it will take you to the stars!

TWINS: There is a joint project with shared $$$ – a grant, funding, loan or enterprise – that you have been toying with. Toy no more! Make your statement out loud and make it clear. Work out what it is you want to accomplish with your funding (because funding you will get!) When two creative people put their heads together, the possibilities are infinite.

COBRA: The committed relationship arena is so heavily triggered by this eclipse you best prepare for radical change – wonderfully better connections (business partners, agents, family, lovers, spouse) a complete 180 from someone (individual or company) who’s been giving you a hard time and/or a divine new potential soul mate!

LION: Start yourself off on a new health and fitness routine on this eclipse! If you think that sounds ho hum, think again. While working out you will meet the love of your life, or the best connection you ever thought possible. You’ll not only benefit from the new routine on a physical level, it’s going to give your creative and love life something to shout about!

CERES: Creative inspiration up the yang! You’re bursting with insights and mega drive and with that high energy you’ll launch a project that has success written all over it. You may work with children, someone younger or it may feel like a parent-child relationship. The main thing is, this will take you places you never dreamed possible. Nothing is holding you back!

BALENCIA: The power of this eclipse is twofold. First, it’s going to align you in a much healthier way with family and those you live with or feel the strongest ties to. Second, your physical home could change – remodel, relocate, or even someone moving in, or out. If you’re in the market, the deal lands in your lap. Focus on what you really want, inside and out!

SCORPION: Important messages, letters, fax, email or documents are coming your way. They are symbols of something greater (as in a certificate or diploma). What’s going on under the surfaces is your ability to express through the written and spoken word. It’s on the up and up! Take this powerful blast of enthusiasm and express yourself to the world. We’re waiting!

ARCHER: $$$ opportunities result directly from connection or insights you have at this time. Expect gold at the end of the rainbow! The gist of it is, you connect with your core values, the essential aspects of yourself that give you a sense of authenticity when you express them. Something you’d rather not do without. The new awareness brings abundance!

SEA-GOAT: No matter when you were born, this eclipse is a power house for Capricorns. It will illuminate your first sector of Self, offering a new perspective on your creative expression, relationships, career and home. The cornerstones of living are all getting a blast of energy and it’s up to you to be ready to make significant changes where you see fit! You decide!

WATER-BEARER: This is a poetic New Moon, full of compassion, empathy, creativity and psychic connection. You will not be thinking of yourself alone as you plan out your New Year. Notions of how to build a better future for others as well will be stirring your imagination. The act of giving has never empowered you so much. Expand your vision now.

FISHES: Projects that were meant to fly solo are looking much better against the backdrop of like-minded others. This is not a time to go it alone. Reaching out to those who can match your focus, integrity and ingenuity will assure you of creative success. Share your vision and state your intentions. This New Moon is a ‘go for what you want’ boost in the behind. Feel it?

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.