We’re pretty pumped because Fiona McIntosh is returning to Morgravia with her new book and the finished copies have just arrived in the office! The Scrivener’s Tale will be out in Aussie stores in November. Be sure to check out more backstory and read behind the scenes with Fiona’s blog too!
And so another big fantasy trilogy reaches its conclusion with the publication of the third volume, King’s Wrath and the Valisar series, which has occupied my life for a couple of years, is now behind me, but there was a time when I was unsure it would ever end. I was writing King’s Wrath in Tasmania earlier this year and the story just refused to close. I am a writer who works to no plan and so the tale shapes itself in a most organic style. And, as if by magic, about 20,000 words out from when it decides that the story must finish, it appears to start narrowing itself down until I find myself in the climactic scenes wondering who will survive and who will perish. This is how it has been for four series now and so I have learned to trust my instincts and let the book work its own structure out.
As a result of this approach to writing I never set out to leave a story open for more tales. I rarely have much of an idea where any series will begin, certainly no inclination of where it will end – or even where each volume will close – and when it does finally finish up its book three I’m always surprised at the journey we’ve taken to get there. So leaving an open ending is truly beyond my ability, given the curious way that I tackle the daily grind of writing. And yet it seems that if I look at all my trilogies, each lends itself to more story and a couple of them have been all but begging me to go back and add more….particularly Trinity and The Quickening perhaps? I wonder if readers would agree.
So far I have resisted and to be honest I have not been tempted but just recently I made the bold decision that I was unlikely to write another epic series that took three years to publish. It feels like a milestone in my career to finally reach this mindset but while the notion of writing three books per story will no longer be my preferred structure, I also realised I wasn’t prepared to give up fantasy. I found myself at an impasse…but only briefly. The answer was staring right at me from my bookshelf because my favourite writer – Guy Gavriel Kay – writes most of his tales as standalone volumes.
And so next year I will be writing a standalone adult fantasy and I see no reason why an epic story with all the same qualities that readers have come to expect in my tales, can’t be delivered in one thumping book. I know it’s not the norm but I like the idea of stepping off the traditional treadmill in terms of structure. And increasingly I hear from audiences and individual readers that they would be as happy to read a single book as they would a trilogy. Many have embraced the news of the standalone warmly because they genuinely welcome the idea of not having to wait three years for a story to unfold. There’s definitely room for both formats in fantasy readers’ lives, of this I’m sure.
In a single volume I realise there won’t be a lot of time or space to build a new world and in order to make it instantly accessible to the readers who have followed me this past decade I have decided to break my own rule and return to the lands of The Quickening. And as the landscape of that second series of mine is so easy to grasp, newcomers to this next story will also find it just as simple to leap into.
This tale will not pick up where I left volume three – Bridge of Souls. Instead, it will be a new story in a different era of the empire, with new characters, perhaps new magic…who knows? I suspect that freshness will make it more invigorating to read and will add a new twist on a series that had its fair share of twisty-turny pathways to its story.
I’m surprised at how excited I am to be returning to Morgravia and Briavel and while I have little more than a thin thread of a storyline idea, I know it has pleased the Voyager team worldwide and I’m delighted that this book will be released across all English speaking markets in 2012 and hopefully beyond into my foreign language markets.
Thanks to all the readers who have read my stories and I hope you will keep travelling with me, this time back into realms we know rather well.
I suppose this begs the question…a return to Pearlis to find out how Herezah and Lazar are getting on, or into Penraven and more of the Valisar legacy and its enchantments? Well, I guess I’ve learned the lesson never to say never!
So, yesterday dawned a bit too bright and early for anyone celebrating Voyager’s 15th birthday and the Ditmars, but as a famous person once said: the con must go on. And so it did. We went to lots of panels, including one on cover art: a dying form? If the images shown by GoH Shaun Tan are any indication, then no, it is not! Was lovely to see Nick Stathopoulos’s cover for Dreaming Down-Under there – and we plan to go to the Dreaming Again again panel at 2pm today.
Around lunchtime we spied a very big queue indeed – no surprises, George was doing a signing. In the end they had to organize a second signing later in the day to give fans a chance to get to the front and the grrm the chance not to get RSI.
We saw Peter V Brett and Cory Doctorow discussing online presence and fan interaction – a great insight into how the author deals with such relationships. We also caught a bevy of Voyager authors talking about the trilogy in fantasy-why is it so common now? A whose choice is it? Fiona Mcintosh ably chaired the panel between Glenda Larke, Trudi Canavan and Russell Kirkpatrick and also forced ‘dettol lollies’ on the unsuspecting audience! It was a great chat and a bit of a prelude to the upcoming Crowns and Swords panel where I suspect Glenda and Fiona will return to the subject of castles ;).
Also spent a bit of time in the Dealers Room talking to Galaxy Bookshop’s Mark Timmony and then bumped into Karen Miller, a lovely surprise!
In the evening, after a foray into Melbourne’s laneways for dinner (successful) we dropped into the Hilton Bar and spied Cory Doctorow, Kim Stanley Robinson and Jason Nahrung, among others. And we also had the pleasure of meeting Jonathan Strahan, one of the best editors around, and co-editor with Jack Dann of Legends of Australian Fantasy.
And then, finally, it was time for zzzzzzzz.
Filed under: AussieCon4, cons, Cory Doctorow, Fiona McIntosh, George R R Martin, Glenda Larke, Jonathan Strahan, Karen Miller, Kim Stanley Robinson, Peter V Brett, Russell Kirkpatrick, Voyager 15 | Tagged: Cory Doctorow, Fiona McIntosh, George R R Martin, Glenda Larke, Jason Nahrung, Jonathan Strahan, Kim Stanley Robinson, Russell Kirkpatrick, Trudi Canavan | 1 Comment »