• 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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Feeling the Passion- Byron Bay Writers’ Festival 2011

Fiona McIntosh

Fiona McIntosh

Voyager authors Fiona McIntosh, Traci Harding and Kim Falconer lit up the fifteenth annual Bryon Bay Writers’ Festival with explanations of quantum physics, the relationship between myths and fantasy, authors and editors, animal totems and how best to portray ‘the sounds of screams from the dungeon.’ They certainly kept some of the literary minded on their toes with spontaneously insights and new perspectives.

 Ideas about writing and the how-to of publishing were bantered about and questions like what is speculative fiction exactly . . . and how do you go about world building . . . were answered in depth. One panellist nearly fell out of her chair when the Voyager authors started talking about their daily word counts (three thousand words a day an upwards) and their rigorous publishing schedule (between one and three books a year). It’s quite a contrast to some of the other writers and made for a lot of spirited debate.

kim_traci

Kim Falconer & Traci Harding

 Sessions from the Nuts and Bolts of writing workshop, the how-to of online presence to Bad Boys: Writing Dark Heroes to Die For gave emerging writers plenty to think about over the six consecutive days of events. Thursday the 4th was the secondary school day- think crowded tents, attentive audiences and wildly varying questions. One young girl asking Traci Harding for advice on when to start a new paragraph and her answer had the teachers taking notes.

 The main panels and events were held over the weekend, August 5th  – 7th  under a warm sunny sky and big high top tents. As always, it was a festival not only for the mind but for the senses as the theme of passion infused every topic. Byron Bay is one of the favoured festivals of the region not only for the beautiful seaside venue but for the moments captured that can never be repeated with their conversations unscripted and panels uniquely composed. Congratulations to the new director, Candida Baker on a marvellous achievement!

kim_traci_fiona 

 

 

 

 

Kim Falconer, Traci Harding and Fiona McIntosh

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Kim Falconer: Falling for Bad Boys

 

Sex six things that give dark hero appeal

I had a boy friend years ago who loved C&W music. Corny, I know, but the lyrics can ring true. Take Waylon Jenningsladies love outlaws. Whenever I meet a dark hero on the screen or page, the chorus comes to mind:

Cause ladies love outlaws
Like babies love stray dogs
Ladies touch babies like a banker touches gold
Outlaws touch ladies somewhere deep down in their soul

We do love our bad boys! Bella Swan falls for a dead man. Beauty falls for a Beast. Sookie Stackhouse gets with the hottest vampire on screen; Milton’s daughters are enchanted by their Angel of Ruin. Speculative fiction has produced an abundance of dark heroes and as I begin writing a new series, I find myself asking, what’s so mesmerizing about bad boys? Here are my top six reasons to date them.

Image of Eric Northman from True Blood

Alexander Skarsgard playing Eric Northman in HBO’s adaptation of Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries, True Blood.

#1 Dark heroes are hot. This is not just a visual quality but an energetic one and it can transcend the traditional notions of beauty. The dark hero has something. You feel it right away and whether it is eye blazing good looks like Damon Salvatore or the Joker’s sexy ugly, he sets your night on fire.

#2 Dark heroes are erotic. They’ve been touched by Eros, the god of love. Harriet Eisman describes it like this: Eros brings beauty, meaning and divinity into our lives. It comes to us through a very particular epiphany, a passionate inspiration . . . We long to follow it always. But this is not the whole story. For Eros also brings us obsessions, cruelty, abandonment, and betrayal. It may come through anguish . . .

#3 Dark heroes are Mysterious. Their past is sketchy, or tragic. They carry a burden that has become their secret mission. This makes them unpredictable. Not formulaic. They can do the unexpected. They can get away with murder.  

#4 Dark heroes speak their minds. They have the best dialog ever because they don’t care what others think. It means their voice can be sharp, edgy and liberated. Their conversations flow in ways the moralistically constrained characters cannot.

#5 Dark heroes are amoral. They break rules and usually feel good about it. If they perform a selfless act, it’s not because it was the ‘right thing’ to do but because they were moved by their hearts. This is incredibly beguiling.

#6 Dark heroes are powerful. That’s alluring in itself but they are also comfortable with such power.  Writers and directors can put them in more danger and under more duress. The risk factor skyrockets because they are so hard to kill!

Johnny Depp (pic from Sleepy Hollow)

Johnny Depp (pictured here in Sleepy Hollow) will play the 175-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins, in the Tim Burton film based on 1960’s TV soap, Dark Shadows.

Hot, dangerous, dark and mysterious, there can be no doubt. The erotic nature of the outlaw touches us somewhere deep down in our souls. How about you? Who are your favourite dark heroes? I’d love to hear about them!

Kim Falconer is the author of the Quantum Enchantment and Quantum Encryption trilogies. The latest in the Quantum Encryption series is Road to the Soul and Kim is currently working on the page proofs of the third book in the series, Journey by Night!  Visit Kim’s website and find out more about Kim and her books!