• 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 Dictionary of the Tree

Image from the Dictionary

I’ve mentioned it before a few times, but I thought it deserved its own post! Our author of the month Mary Victoria has created an online glossary for her world in the Chronicles of the Tree series. She’s up to ‘S’ so far but there are loads of great entries, with many having beautiful illuminated manuscript images. You should definitely check it out if you haven’t already.

 I have no idea if its actually true, but I remember someone telling me in high school at “eskimos have over 100 words for snow” because it its such an important part of their physical and cultural landscape. So thats part of what Mary has done, except obviously her world is centred around living in a tree the size of a continent!

  The ramification of such a specialised world-environment is to give a writer ( and reader ) complete freedom to create an entirely unique culture, which I’ve always found exciting, and Mary’s concepts of Sap, Hardwood, Fringes & Hell are fantastic.

Ever since Tolkien and Herbert ( Dune ) I’ve had a fascination with fantasy glossaries. I’ve always thought they help immerse the reader into the world of the book, by providing back stories and extra info that fleshes out the motivations of the world, and I feel their loss every time there isn’t one. (Its my only legitimate excuse to flip to the end of a book straight away!) Does everyone else love them as much as I do? Do some people not like them and prefer to come up with their own backstories, pronounciations and family trees?
The Chronicles of the Tree

9 Responses

  1. I used to spend *hours* in Tolkien’s glossaries. I loved the names, the myths, the work with language. I would get a thrill every time something in them connected with another thread in a different book… 🙂

    It definitely fits with a certain kind of fantasy story, though.

    • Oh me too, Mary! Hours on Tolkein’s notes and glossaries. I was obsessed.

      And I’ve been following your online glossary with great interest and attention. A rich and wonderful resource. Thank you, and cheers to Voyager Online for the reminder. The words just keep coming!

      🙂 Kim

  2. I love the style of the image, beautiful, and kind of ‘fairytalesque,’ did your husband do them?

  3. I love this kind of thing, especially when it’s well done, of course! They’re fun to create, too. I’ve started a kind of encyclopaedia of my own world, but I haven’t shared much of it yet. Just writing it is enough for now!
    It really helps you think, doesn’t it?

  4. I love glossaries too. I think they are something that appeals especially to fantasy authors because we know there is always so much more in our worlds that never make it into our novels. /we know what everyone eats for breakfast…

    As far as the more prosaic type goes, the kind used a lot in fantasy trilogies — thumb nails of characters, places and types of magic etc — I have done them for the books 2 & 3 of my trilogies. Why? Because I think they are a handy way to help readers remember a huge cast of characters/places/important elements in a work that is spread over 3 books.

    I once ran a poll on my blog about whether readers preferred plot summaries of the “story so far” kind, or glossaries, or info dumps in the first chapters of subsequent volumes of a trilogy — and glossaries at the back was the hands down winner.

    • Thanks for joining in the conversation, Glenda!

      That’s really interesting re the poll. I completely see why people prefer glossaries – it’s the sort of resource one can dip in and out of at one’s leisure, or ignore entirely if need be. It isn’t ‘in your face.’


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