• 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!



Voyager Book Club: Chat with Jennifer Fallon tonight

Yes, the most secret of secret societies, so secret that we can’t even – oh, sorry, I’ve already announced it in the subject line. Yes, that constant of constants, every month or ten, is happening again.

The Voyager Book Club will reconvene tonight, in the usual place *wink* – that being the chat room hosted over at the Australian Spec Fic Site for Writers, A Boy Goes On a Journey.

Here be the link to the room: A Boy Goes on a Journey Flash Chat Room

Here be the time:  NB. Due to a slight mixing up of the times – we’re meeting at (half an hour later): 6:30pm AUSTRALIAN CENTRAL STANDARD TIME (Alice time) 8pm AUSTRALIAN EASTERN Daylight Saving Time (Sydney time) 7pm Queensland Time

Check your local time differency thingy please! If you’re early we can all still chat 🙂

Here be the fab author speaking: Jennifer Fallon

Here be the subject: The Chaos Crystal and the Tide Lords quartet in general, as well as general chat

Here be the reason you should go: You get to chat to Jennifer Fallon, you get to hang out with like-minded spec fic fans, we have already had excellent sessions with Karen Miller and Russell Kirkpatrick.

Here be the end of this post.

The November edition of the Captain’s Log is out!

Click the banner above to go to the latest issue which includes a brief piece from Jennifer Fallon on finishing the Tide Lords series, a chance to win the entire Tide Lords series, a review of The Chaos Crystal, news on Little Brother and more!

Fallon Friday: Five things myths about being an author

1. All authors drink to excess. Not true. We owe Hemingway for this fallacious belief, I suspect. There is a small minority out there who, I’m sure, give this writing technique a good run for its money, but it doesn’t really work that well. Writers tend to be hard-working, self-motivated little bunnies who work hard for their money, and mostly when they’re sober. Really.

2. Authors have the final say on their covers. You’re lucky if they even consult you. I often see my overseas covers for the first time on Amazon. I have a book from Russia with a pole dancer on the cover (Glenda Larke has the same pole dancer on the cover of one of her books). Others have a fortune-teller, a chick in a leather bikini and a unicorn in books that have neither fortune-tellers, chicks in leather bikinis nor unicorns in them. Don’t get me started on the matter of palm trees…

3. Editors will re-write an author’s work if they want changes. Nope. They have far too much of their own work to do. They’ll send it back with their suggestions and make the author do the hard work. And most of the time, they’re right, too. Curses.

4. All authors are rich. Rich in ideas? Absolutely. Rich in language? Of course. Rich in the folding stuff? Depends very much on your definition of rich. And how much you drink. And in my case, how much time you spend on eBay. And if you manage to sell the movie rights.

Which brings me to myth number 5 …

5. All authors who sell movie rights are rich. If only. You don’t get rich off the movie rights unless someone actually makesthe movie. I remember reading somewhere once that Wilbur Smith had optioned the movie rights on every book he’d written and they’d only ever made two of them into movies. The rest just sent him a small cheque each year to keep the option open with a note saying “some day…”

Read The Chaos Crystal before anyone else gets the chance …

You Know You Want Me

That’s right, Voyager is giving away 5 copies of The Chaos Crystal, book four in the Tide Lords quartet.

You’ll have to login to the website and go to the competition page to enter. The competition ends at midday next Friday, so you’ll have to be quick! You do have to be an Australian resident to enter.

Keep an eye out for the next edition of The Captain’s Log where you’ll have the chance to win the entire set of the Tide Lords quartet … and of course for tomorrow’s Fallon Friday post from Jennifer.

Fallon Friday: Jennifer Fallon talks about redundant modifiers

Getting rid of all those useless, unnecessary and pointless, redundant modifiers.

If you’ve ever wondered what the difference between “tight writing” and “wordiness” is (besides the criminal overuse of adverbs), it’s often the use of redundant modifiers.

Tight writing doesn’t waste words. It certainly doesn’t throw all caution to the wind and chuck in extra description where none is needed, just to make up the word count.

Redundant modifiers are words you absolutely, positively think are driving home your point, when in fact they are driving your readers to distraction. They are words or phrases that mean the same thing and deceive you into believing you’re writing descriptively, when in fact you are just filling up your narrative with useless words.

A few examples of redundant modifiers:

  • basic fundamentals
  • consensus of opinion
  • hesitate for a moment
  • actual facts
  • past memories
  • really glad
  • honest truth
  • end result
  • terrible tragedy
  • free gift
  • separate out
  • personal beliefs
  • final outcome
  • start over again
  • symmetrical in form
  • future plans
  • narrow down
  • seldom or ever
  • each and every
  • full and complete
  • first and foremost
  • various and sundry
  • true and accurate
  • questions and problems
  • any and all
  • completely finish
  • future goals
  • each individual
  • anticipate in advance
  • past history
  • ultimate outcome
  • continue on
  • revolve around
  • split apart
  • large in size
  • heavy weight
  • bright in colour
  • period of time
  • short in stature
  • shiny in appearance
  • various differences
  • accurate in alignment
The Chaos Crystal


Now… go back and find out how many of these you are guilty of in your writing and get rid of them.
Be strong. You can do this.

Jennifer Fallon’s next book, The Chaos Crystal, comes out in December. Click on the book image to read an excerpt from the prologue and first chapter – but be warned – it contains spoilers if you haven’t read the other three books. Pick up The Immortal Prince to start the quartet.

Fallon Friday: Jennifer guest-blogs on formatting a manuscript for submission

I am currently putting the final touches on The Chaos Crystal, getting it ready to send into HarperCollins tomorrow and to Tor (my US Publishers). This set me to thinking about a question I get asked at every single workshop I run, (and I’m often emailed the same question) regarding the correct way to format a MS for submission.


Nothing gives you away faster as a rank amateur than a poorly presented manuscript. Here then, are some tips and hints that might help:


All MS’s should be:

  • on white paper in A4 (in Australia and rest of the world. Letter size in the US, ’cause they like to be different)
  • It should include a cover sheet with your name and contact details. If you have an agent, then it should have your agent’s name and contact details.
  • All MS’s should be in Times New Roman or Courier New 12 point font
  • They MUST be double-spaced, with at least a 3 cm margin all the way around
  • The work should include a header or footer with the page number, the author’s name and the title of the work on every page.(Try to imagine someone knocking three MSs off their desk and then trying to re-compile them if they don’t know which MS is which…)
  • Do not bind the MS, or justify it. You don’t need to show how good it will look as a book. The publisher or agent will know that – these people do this for a living.
  • Check your spelling and grammar! If you’re not confident, get the MS read by someone (the older the better – and by that I mean someone who is old enough to remember when being taught English in school meant grammar lessons, not creative writing), who has a good grasp of grammar.
  • As far as possible, the MS should be error (and typo) free.
  • Unless you’re submitting an illustrated book, get rid of the artwork and the lovely font you’ve used for the chapter headings. These are decisions made by the editor and the art department (if you’re lucky – in consultation with you). They distract from the story, which is all an editor is interested in.
  • And finally, do not put “Copyright © U.R.A. Lusar 1988” on every single page or on the cover page. You are protected in Australia by common law copyright and in my experience, professional editors and agents find it quite offensive to suggest that you think they don’t know you own the work, or would attempt to steal it. Besides, do you really want them to know you’ve been flogging this story unsuccessfully for 20 years.




Jennifer Fallon