• 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!



National Bookshop Day and a fantasy author’s guide to reviving the bookshop.

When he’s not writing awesome fantasy epics, our Voyager author of the Month Duncan Lay is a journalist and masthead chief at the Sunday Telegraph. Last Sunday his article entitled “The Death of the Bookshop?” and his own editorial column appeared and  it makes for a great read ( not surprisingly!) For those struggling to understand the changes in the book marketplace and the role of ebooks, Duncan’s article, and those he interviews, could help explain them.

In his accompanying column (the header of which is on the right) he suggests a few key things to keep bookshops alive, most essential of which is to simply foster in children a love of reading.

This Saturday 11th August is National Bookshop Day and many bookshops around the country are celebrating with local authors coming for signings or other special events, so put it in your calendar and be sure to head down to your local store and support them by buying a book!

To ‘e’ or Not to ‘e’ … by Kim Falconer

Those hoping for insights into recreational drug use, sorry to disappoint. The ‘e’ in the title is for ‘electronic,’ specifically the electronic delivery of books. It’s a hot topic, all across the board—publishers, authors, editors, agents, booksellers and readers are in this boat together and how it’s going to rock is anybody’s guess.

The growing popularity of eBooks is viewed in mixed light. Not everyone is jumping up and down, but I am! What a fabulous opportunity for so many reasons! First up, the eBook is instant. With the right eReader, books, magazines and blogs can be accessed in seconds, any time of the day or night. And, as our Captain said the other day, eBooks will never go out of print! (Think about that!) Also many classical titles are available to the public free of charge on websites like gutenberg.org. From Dickens to Poe to Wilde to Shelley, a literary world is at our fingertips. eReaders—the devices used to view eBooks—can store thousands of novels and textbooks, are easy to carry anywhere, light on the eyes and perfect for commutes, study and holidays. For the sight impaired, eReaders are a boon with ‘text to speak’ functionality.

A small sample of the devices available to read e-books

Another exciting aspect of electronic delivery is the Hypertext link. eBooks can have endnotes or glossary links formatted right into the text and they can also be presented with nonlinear links where readers choose the direction they want the narrative to take. In essence hypertext provides an opportunity for readers to ‘recreate’ the work as the relationship between the author, the reader, the text and the physical form of the book evolves. Another bonus is eBooks don’t require trees, and remember, the technology for eDelivery is in its infancy. It’s going to get better and better!

Yet with all these benefits, there are still unknowns. For example, which eReader is best and will it work with all formats? How will eBook sales affect the physical book market? Mark Davis, director of the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Melbourne, says E-books, if anything, should help rather than hinder sales of traditional books, as well as become a phenomenon in their own right. But what about availability? The World Wide Web is just that—worldwide, yet most publishing contracts are restricted to certain countries. Issues of illegal downloading are in question and publishers and eTailer business models (see Macmillan vs. Amazon.com) are not yet in alignment. With less than 3% of Australians buying eBooks, the eBook wave is just a ripple but if I know the internet, a tsunami could be on its way in 2010.

Are you into ‘e’? Bi-liberphilic? (love both physical and eBooks) Do you have an eReader? Which kind? Authors, are you excited about seeing your books ePublished? Editors, do you like working electronically? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

The Spell of Rosette is on Amazon Kindle with the rest of the Quantum Enchantment series soon to follow.

Kim Falconer is the author of the Quantum Enchantment trilogy, which starts with The Spell of Rosette. The other two books in the trilogy are Arrows of Time and Strange Attractors, which is out this month!