• 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!



The three most frustrating words for any Fantasy Reader – to be continued…

Nazgul!Just picture this – you are loving what you are reading and haven’t been able to put it down and so, despite the 7am meeting in the morning you are still reading at 2am to get to the end of the story but you are starting to get that sense of dread (similar to the approach of a Nazgul) because there don’t seem to be many pages left in the book and the story doesn’t seem to be winding down – and then you see those horror words:


I have long considered this to be one of the most frustrating things about modern fantasy – the increasingly rare published stand-alone book. I was on my soapbox preaching this to some friends on the weekend when (I think as they were tired of hearing about for this for the 1 billionth time and were seriously starting to consider if I was caught in some sort of time paradox doomed to repeat the same problem every time I had an alcoholic beverage) they pointed out to me the flaws in my arguments which I thought were worth sharing:

  1. Its not just modern fantasy

The Grandfather of them all – Lord of the Rings – is a trilogy (plus the extra books like the Hobbit in the same world) and as we know in the commercial world that we live in – as soon as something makes money the word sequel get’s bandied about – in the movie business we can take the example of Transformers 1, 2 & 3 (and I believe 4 is going in production now) so the concept of a standalone hasn’t existed in movies, film or tv for quite some time (if ever)

      2.  You like revisiting the same world.

 It’s true – I really do. I loved Kylie Chan’s books and the vivid world she has created and each new book is a new opportunity to immerse myself in the incredible worlds she creates. I have been reading Robert Jordan & George R Martin’s respective Wheel of Time & A Song of Ice and Fire series for over 10 years now – and I’m still waiting in line to be first when a new book comes out.

       3.   If you don’t like it – why don’t you wait till the whole series comes out before you start reading.

That’s fair – and sometimes I do – having said that if I followed that rule then I would never have read either Martin or Jordan yet and that is a horror not worth contemplating.  

 So in summary I don’t think there is any great insight except that I have to stop bemoaning the loss of the standalone book (which may have never existed as a fantasy genre except as a fiction in my head) as I do really want to read series – I just hate the wait between books and can’t wait for the next one!

by guest blogger and sometime HR manager Jonathan Connolly

3 Responses

  1. Oh my yes! If I nod any more emphatically my head will fall off!
    (and don’t get me started on those publishers than change the bloody cover half way through the series grrrr).
    I love my fantasy, and the whole thought of having a story tied up in just a single volume always throws me if I think about it too hard (although, Fiest has done it, but he’s the only one I can think of off the top of my head! lol)

  2. It’s an interesting dilemma, the series vs. the standalone. I think it all depends on the story. Sometimes the scope of the tale is too big for one book. LOTR was a single ms, if I have my history correct, but the publisher thought a 2000 page book would be unmanageable. Probably a good call. I think David Eddings had this problem as well. The first ms he submitted was something like 1200 pages!

    Some stories can be told in a single volume though, like Tanith Lee’s The Silver Metal Lover, (don’t get me started on the much later published Metalic Love. @Timorene, are you listening?) and her White as Snow, or Heroine of the World. Traci Harding’s Ghostwriting is a standalone, as are quite a few Anne McCaffrey books. Even when set in the world of Pern, part of her dragon rider series, there are titles that are complete tales: Moreta: Dragon Lady of Pern comes to mind, and Nerilka’s Story.

    I do love a good series too though and sometimes I wait to read them all in one bang. It was grand the way the first three of Stacia Kane’s ‘Downsider series’ came out one per month for three months. I’d like to see more of that!

    Great topic Jonathan. Thanks for bringing it up!


  3. Hahah, so true! I’m notorious for my cliffhanger endings. If you can be notorious after three books, anyway. But if you’ve ever wondered whether some authors do it just to screw with you… it’s probably true. I know I get some evil satisfaction when people complain, but it’s not just because I’m awful – it’s also because I like knowing they’re anticipating the next installment. It’s a good way to get excited about an upcoming book if you ask me!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: