• 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!



How Shauna Connell came to open the story of Power Unbound

Dream of Asarlai: Book Two

‘There’s something wrong with the beginning,’ said the Queen of Voyager aka publisher Stephanie Smith to me of Power Unbound. ‘It’s missing the lovely emotion and connectedness of Secret Ones.’

My heart sank. I’d already done one round of edits on Power Unbound, which was proving to be a difficult book – surely everything was fine now.

We discussed it and the word that came up several times was harsh. It’s true – the first action in Power Unbound is a pretty horrible one. However, it was an important action for the rest of the story and couldn’t just be dumped.

I had read just prior to this of Scott Westerfeld writing a story from two entirely different points of view. I believe Scott did this because he couldn’t find the original version, but when he did it ended up guiding him to a very interesting story.

The opening scene had been written from Asarlai’s point of view, as happened in Secret Ones, but there were two other participants in the scene. Perhaps, I thought, one of their voices would be the right way to tell the story?

So I sat down and wrote the entire scene twice more – first from Brian’s side, then from Shauna’s. Of the two, Shauna had the softer view. She worships Asarlai – would do anything for her.

It turned out to be a brilliant idea, because in the writing of it I realised that I could tweak a couple of things later in the book. So as a result, Shauna plays a vital role in Asarlai’s quest to keep her identity secret from the guardians as long as possible.

However, I learnt a lot about Asarlai and Brian in writing the other two versions of the scene and I don’t regret it. It was interesting to see how easily Asarlai could separate herself from the terrible acts she’s planning – I hadn’t realised she was quite so cold. And Brian turned out to be much less confident than I first thought, and stupider :).

I’ve put the other two versions of the opening scene up on the website, so after you’ve read Shauna’s story in the book, take a look at the other two ways it could have been shown.

But that, in a nutshell, is how Shauna came to be the only other person apart from Asarlai or the hero and heroine of each book to have their own point of view scene in the Dream of Asarlai trilogy.

Power Unbound is now on sale in bookstores and as an e-book via A&R, Borders, Kobo, Amazon and Apple. Looking for a late Christmas present? Look no further :). Nicole Murphy is now working on the third book in the series, Rogue Gadda, due to be published in July 2011.