• 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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Supanova recap with Kylie Chan

 

 Supanova is such a big part of my family’s life that I stop and have a moment of confusion when I actually have to explain it to people who’ve never heard of it. The whole week before the show, the newspaper had teaser articles about what visitors could expect there. My daughter’s main hobby is making costumes for Supanova, and she spends months agonizing about what she’s going to wear.

And for those who don’t know….

Supanova is a pop-culture expo held for one weekend each year. It travels from city to city, and next year is expanding to six Australian cities.

If you’ve seen news articles about ComiCon inAmerica, it’s our own version of that but not quite. There are three main reasons people come along:

– Stars of science fiction and fantasy movies are special guests, and you can collect autographed photos, have your picture taken with them, and hear them talk about their experiences. My daughter was hugely excited about going along and having her photo taken with Evanna Lynch – Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter movies.

Billy Boyd (Pippin from Lord of the Rings) came down to the stand when I wasn’t there, and had his photo taken with Ian Irvine. Ian rolled out a map he’d done for one of his fantasy novels, and it was nearly 2m by 1m – huge and detailed. The man’s a genius at worldbuilding.
 

Ian Irvine and Billy Boyd -two delightful gentlemen together!

– You can dress up. Anything you like, but most people choose a sci-fi/fantasy/anime/manga character – I counted ten Doctors on my first day and gave up counting the second. You can strut around looking awesome in lycra with green skin and red eyes, nobody will look twice, and there’s a competition for the best costume. The technical term for this is ‘cosplay’ (from the Japanese) and it’s one of the most fun parts for me. If you do an awesome costume people will stop you and ask for their photo with you.

Of course, if you’re a group that’s decided to cosplay every single Doctor, four companions AND K9, you’ll never be able to move because you’re constantly having your photo taken. Four, Five and Nine were somewhere around, probably stuck in a time vortex. I stood between ‘my’ Doctors, Two and Three. Damn, I’m old.

My daughter dressed up as a character from a manga called ‘Blue Exorcist’ which was a Japanese school uniform and a long purple wig with pigtails below her waist. The wig drove her completely nuts – it was unbelievably heavy! – but she enjoyed herself tremendously.

– The trading floor is a bad place. Very bad place. I protest loudly every time my daughter nears the Madman stand – last time I was there I bought a complete collection of both Astroboys – the black and white sixties version from my childhood, and the colour eighties version – in boxed sets. There’s traders of vintage comics, awesome t-shirts and bags (I got my Hellsing signing bag at Supanova), tryouts of new games, and collectible figures (my daughter got a matched set of 20cm Ezio and Leonardo figures).

They’re from the Assassin’s Creed game; Leonardo da Vinci on the right totally adores Ezio on the left. I suspect that my daughter’s planning to do something stop-motion with these fully-articulated figurines. After completing the game she went on a huge Leonardo da Vinci research phase.

Dymock’s have a stand on the trading floor, and that’s where I come in. You can come up to the stand and buy books from us Awesome Authors and have them signed on the spot, and embarrass us horribly by having your photo taken with us.

Left to Right: Rowena Cory Daniells, in front Keri Arthur, Tracy O’Hara, me (short), Marianne de Pierres (tall), Ineke, and Lynne in awesome hippy steampunk.

There’s a bunch of new fantasy and sci-fi to try out, and the staff on the stand are knowledgeable and all-around terrific people.

They can help you with every need.

I love Supanova because people can come up to me and actually have a chat about my plans for my new books, rather than having to line up at a signing and not have a chance to speak to me. There’s not often a line of people for signings, so if you’re in the mood to have a chat, I’m there all day.

We interviewed ourselves (Rowena did a fantastic job) for a youtube video for AskBrisbane; you can check out the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zssGViYHieU.

For the admission fee, it’s a grand day out and as a computer/sci-fi nerd long before I was any sort of author (and a Doctor Who fan since I first saw it in the late seventies) – well, I feel right at home. The other authors sometimes asked me what a particular costume referenced – and most of the time I got it right (sorry Totoro!). I’m very much looking forward to the inaugural Gold Coast one next April, and hoping that I can make a few other cities next year.

Special thanks to Ineke Prochazka, the staff of Dymock’s, Daniel Zachariou, Dion, Roland, Missy, and Quinny from Supanova.

The Supanova site is at http://www.supanova.com.au.

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Win the Dr Who Hornets’ Nest audiobooks!

Doctor Who fans will have been anxiously awaiting the new Hornets’ Nest audiobooks from BBC. Tom Baker reprises his role as the fourth Doctor in this series of five thrilling brand new adventures. ABC Shops has the entire series available this month at a special price.

For your chance to WIN a full series set of five CDs, including two that will be signed by Tom Baker, answer in 25 words or less: Who has been your favourite Doctor and why? Post your answer below (your email address will be hidden) and the most creative will win. Competition is now closed.

The Aust Spec Fic Blog Carnival for January 2009!

In a homage to rhyming, bad poetry and a certain sing-a-long blog
The Spec Fic Blog Carnival has been forced into verse and may leave you agog
With horror, but believe me, it hurt me more than anyone to rhyme.
Anyway, here’s the list of new things in publishing – have a good time!

*quality of starting verse may prepare you for what is to come.

Let’s start with Satima on the Specusphere, latest edition now out!
Followed by the Overlord on OneDollarOrbit – it’s a $1 Shout!
Then comes Simon Haynes interviewing Jim Hines on the Stepsister Scheme
And Simon also achieved his Hal Spacejock e-book dream.

Jennifer Fallon asked: Is epic fantasy on the wane?
Glenda Larke and Neil Gaiman wondered if a judge was insane …. (I think so)
Josh Palmatier was interviewed by Simon Haynes on The Vacant Throne
And Josh was admired by Glenda Larke and many others (they aren’t alone).

The AHWA looked back at 2008 and chose the best dark stories
While ROR (Writers on the Rise) reflected on their shared glories
And look out for Christmas Down Under – submit your story to Festive Fear
Plus Juliet Marillier discusses editing, and sheds blood, sweat and more than one tear.

Import and be damned, said the AWM of parallel importation
On the same topic, Michael Gerard Bauer talked of what is lost in translation.
Brendan Podger thinks fantasy books are getting too big for their boots
And HarperCollins picked up a new division, meaning ABC Books uproots …

Shane Jiraiya Cummings offered fiction for free on his website
Keri Arthur talked about her next release, Deadly Desire … that’s right …
And the search for 10 culture critics on literary cultures now starts,
While the David Gemmell Legend Award captures hearts.

The Aus Writers’ Guild National Screenwriters Conference takes place in Feb
Ticonderoga Online went up in a new format on the web.

That was exhausting, so, in related news, let’s get to a topic that can be really exhausting, because it’s hard work: writing.

Glenda Larke talked about how she writes her books – from the first draft to the last,
Justine Larbalestier gave away a ton of know-how (you won’t get through this fast):
characterisation, getting published, getting unstuck, generating ideas, choosing POVs, NOT writing on what you know!
The Sirens put out their first newsletter of the year
And the AHWA roll out a flash short story comp – get your writing into gear!

Simon Haynes tries to distil his writing into two pages.
Cat Sparks finds the gloom on the web sent her writing through several stages.
Tansy Rayner Roberts responded to Lilith Saintcrow on angry chicks in leather,
And also enjoyed Russell T Davies talking about our generation typing at each other.

Jennifer Fallon helped lazy writers unite,
And Kim Falconer talked of the hero’s fight

Just for fun … and let’s call this freeform because if I see another rhyme … I might become the Hulk.

Why you don’t want a LOLcat as your editor
The wonderful Jason Fischer puts out a new (and free!) story.
Would you answer this ad? Cat Sparks contemplates time travel
AussieCon 4 offers t-shirts – bring on Melbourne September 2010!

And finally …
Karen Miller discusses the new, young Dr Who
That’s Sir Terry to you: Sir Terry Pratchett is awarded a well-deserved knighthood!
We hear more from the Clarion South brigade – this time on their tutors.
Cory Doctorow tells us to watch out for surveillance on New Year’s Day (yikes)
Phil Berrie talks about the pros and cons of Authonomy
And Australian Speculative Fiction Blog Carnival Host is not made poet laureate.

Late breaking news: The Great Gender Debate 09

Alisa Krasnostein on the 25% female authorship
Tansy Rayner Roberts on why it matters
An editor’s genuine opinion – Russell B Farr of Ticonderoga
Girlie Jones looking deeper at gender
Ben Peek writes a letter
Some useful answers to questions about gender inequality

Articles on the subject:
Girls vs Boys as readers by Sherwood Smith
Girlish, moody fiction? No thanks
A Bout of Aboutness: Urban Fantasy and Sword-and-Planet

Go to the home of the Aust Spec Fic Blog Carnival – also known as A Boy Goes On a Journey, a fantastic resource for all Aust Spec Fic writers, run by Nyssa Pascoe.