• 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!



Karen Miller: Judging a book by its cover!

One of the most exciting things about having my books coming out in other editions is seeing the different covers that have been dreamed up by the various art and design departments. Don’t get me wrong — the folk at Voyager put out some truly gorgeous covers, using really wonderful artists and combining their talents with folk given the exacting task of designing the entire package. It’s just — there’s something alchemical about the cover design process and the alchemy changes from edition to edition.

I live with my stories in my head. I’m not an artist. I paint with words, not oils or watercolours. Even so, I have a kind of vague notion of how things look. Then to see a true artist’s rendering of my imaginary worlds and their characters — that’s truly mind-blowing. What’s even more intriguing is the shifts in tone and style from market to market. For reasons I don’t quite understand — even though I’ve been in the book trade myself — different cultures respond to different kinds of cover design and artwork. And that can lead to some quite startling interpretations of the text! So can the in-house differences between publishers. Add the author to the mix, who often has quite distinct ideas as to how the characters and the world should be depicted, and sometimes the journey to a finished cover can get a bit exciting.

I’m very lucky in that my opinion is usually sought when it comes to cover design. And while I’m never shy about expressing that opinion, I’ve learned that often the author needs to shut up and let the professional cover designers do their job. Looking at the covers shown here, I’ll think you’d agree I’ve got very little to moan about.

So let’s hear it for the art and design departments of the world’s publishers. They’re the unsung heroes of the book trade, believe me!

Karen Miller is the author of the Kingmaker/Kingbreaker duology, the Riven Kingdom trilogy and the upcoming Fisherman’s Children series, the first book of which is The Prodigal Mage. Visit Karen’s LiveJournal to see the Australian cover of The Prodigal Mage.

And further good news! Kingmaker/Kingbreaker is also published or to be published in Hungary (Ulpius-Ház), Russia (AST Publishers), Poland (Arrakis), France (Fleuve Noir imprint of Univers Poche). Innocent Mage has been sold into Denmark (Forlaget Tellerup) and due to the length once translated is to be published in THREE volumes (just book one!). The Godspeaker trilogy has been or will be published in the UK (Orbit), France (Fleuve Noir), Germany (Panhaligon), Poland (Arrakis) and The Netherlands (Luitingh-Sijthoff).

Karen Miller on the Godspeaker trilogy, being K E Mills and more …

Jeff at the Fantasy Book News & Review blog has posted an interview with Karen Miller in which she answers questions about:

The Godspeaker trilogy
The Kingmaker/Kingbreaker duology
Her ability to write two (or more!) books a year
Her alternate self … K E Mills

All will be revealed … click here

And the results are in … 2008 Aurealis Awards

What a spectacular night it was! Apologies for how late this entry is, but your awards correspondent was busy flying to and from Brisbane for much of the weekend 🙂 and then distracted by Australia Day.

The full list of winners:

best science fiction novel: K A Bedford, Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait, Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing

best science fiction short story: Simon Brown, ‘The Empire’, Dreaming Again, Harper/Voyager

best fantasy novel:Alison Goodman, The Two Pearls of Wisdom, HarperCollins

best fantasy short story: Cat Sparks, ‘Sammarynda Deep’, Paper Cities, Senses 5 Press

best horror novel: John Harwood, The Seance, Jonathan Cape (Random House Australia)

best horror short story: Kirstyn McDermott, ‘Painlessness’, Greatest Uncommon Denominator (GUD), #2

best anthology: Jonathan Strahan (editor), The Starry Rift, Viking Children’s Books

best collection: Sean Williams & Russell B Farr (editor), Magic Dirt: The Best of Sean Williams, Ticonderoga Publications

best illustated book/graphic novel: Shaun Tan, Tales From Outer Suburbia, Allen & Unwin

best young adult novel: Melina Marchetta, Finnikin of the Rock, Viking Penguin

best young adult short story: Trent Jamieson, ‘Cracks’, Shiny, #2

best children’s novel: Emily Rodda, The Wizard of Rondo, Omnibus Books

best children’s illustrated work/picture book: Richard Harland & Laura Peterson (illustrator), Escape!, Under Siege, Race to the Ruins, The Heavy Crown, The Wolf Kingdom series, Omnibus Books

Peter McNamara Convenors’ Award for Excellence: Jack Dann

I also strongly recommend reading the judge’s reports – the link to each category’s report is here, as it gives a further insight into the process.

There will be more blogging to come on the weekend, but for now, we’re extremely proud of Jack, Simon and Alison, and congratulations to all the winners, and shortlisted authors, because you really are all fantastic. Alison Goodman was also co-host of the night alongside a very amusing Simon Higgins and looked gorgeous in red. Stephanie Smith (Voyager Publisher) was there (and almost impossible to extricate from the post-Awards party so we could go to dinner! And lovely Voyager authors Karen Miller and Kim Westwood, who were both judges in the awards, also took part in the weekend.

The awards were fantastic (it was my first one) – there was a great slideshow in the background introducing each category – and the intro for the hosts was especially clever! There were also vids of the convenors talking about their experience of judging the awards and their feelings towards spec fiction in general – and I was very amused by Beau from Pulp Fiction when he was talking about how he got roped into the awards!! (Working with Ron must have that effect!)

Of course we were tremendously proud of Jack being awarded the Peter McNamara Convenor’s Award – and forced Jack to open his ribbon-wrapped box before dinner so we could admire the award (which is very snappy looking and made of concave glass – Jack promised not to break it now that he knew what it was). Melina Marchetta’s speech was particularly moving — Finnikin of the Rock is her first move into speculative fiction and she talked about the process of writing it, and what she called her ‘ten year mini-break’ from writing!

And as mentioned above, Alison Goodman looked gorgeous and -was- gorgeous, even when Simon Higgins was trying to give her ideas to make the sequel to The Two Pearls of Wisdom better, involving enterprising ideas if ever I heard them! And her acceptance speech for her award was very funny – she was lost for words.

Stephanie and I had dinner with Jack Dann, Karen Miller, Kim Westwood, Cathie Tasker (who judged the fantasy novel award) and her partnet, Alan, as well as writer Angela Slatter and her fellow Clarion South classmate, Lisa, and upcoming Voyager author, Will Elliott. We had a good time, although both Karen and I were suffering from early starts, having flown in from Sydney that morning. I got to quiz Karen on Empress of Mijak (amazing book), and there being four Aurealis judges at the table, we had a good chat about the whole process, too.

Anyway, there’s plenty more to blog on from the weekend, so keep an eye on the Voyager blog this week!

And one more thing to add – a link to Cat Sparks Flickr photo album of the night – Cat‘s short story ‘Sammarynda Deep’ won the Aurealis for the short fantasy category.

If Empress of Mijak was a film …

Empress of MijakAt the My Book, The Movie blog, Karen Miller speaks on the subject that everyone loves to discuss … if my book was a movie

Starring Karl Lumbly (from Battlestar Galactica), Taye Diggs, Denzel Washington and more, coming to a movie screen near you, this summer (we wish!):

Empress of Mijak as a movie

Karen Miller on the Tiptree Honour List

A note from Voyager Publisher, Stephanie Smith:

The James Triptree Jr Awards have been announced in the US and Empress of Mijak and The Riven Kingdom by Karen Miller (picture below) are both on the Honours List. Full listing can be found on the following site: http://www.sfawardswatch.com

Karen MillerThe Tiptree is a specialised science fiction and fantasy award named in honour of Alice Sheldon who wrote under the name of James Tiptree Jr.

Congratulations to Karen Miller for her achievement!

Stephanie Smith

For those of you wanting more books for Karen Miller … look out for The Accidental Sorcerer by her alter ego, K E Mills.