• 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!



The 2009 Canberra Conflux Experience by Tracey O’Hara

I have been eagerly awaiting Conflux to come around again. They‘re always such fun. Friday morning I arrived nice and early to registered. The lovely Karen Herkes was on site and already overseeing the final preparations for the convention. Her delightful welcome put me in a very cheery mood and ready to tackle a workshop “Taxation for Writers and Artists”. Not the most exciting event on of the day – but a necessary one for the clueless like me.

Unfortunately the guy giving the workshop never showed, leaving me to doubt if I would want him taking care of my finances. However, all was not lost. A bunch of us who’d turned up decided to share the scant knowledge among ourselves. One of those present was someone I’d been keen to catch up with, newly contracted Voyager author Nicole Murphy. It was great to see her in person and congratulate her on her new 3 book deal. Also present was Specusphere reviewer and talented writer Felicity Dowker, Allen & Unwin fantasy author Karen (K.S.) Nikakis and the lovely wife of Christian Tamblyn. We all had a very pleasant time chatting about things to do with the business of writing.

Because of a rare day off and the fact I hadn’t organised myself to sign up for any of the other fabulous workshops, I went home to do some writing on book 3 of my Dark Brethren series. Later I picked up the awesome Urban Fantasy author and friend Keri Arthur from the airport. We then went to dinner with the Canberra writing group and had a great time catching up with people.

Saturday started bright and early for someone who’s a night owl like me. I usually sleep in on the weekend to catch up on a few Zs lost through the working week. But at 10.00am I was on a panel about Vampires with Keri and the lovely Jane Virgo. What a fabulous time we had. The audience participation was tremendous, heaps of questions, heaps of laughs and a good time had by all. I just hope I didn’t sound as totally clueless as I felt.

The good thing about Conflux is you get to catch up with people you’ve met before and meet new people too. This year I was a special guest for Canberra Showcase Panel, made up of several of our local authors. Boy those guys were impressive. Maxine McArthur, Jack Heath, Simon Petrie, Gillian Polack and I were kept in line by the deft chair, Richard Harland. Jack Heath was hilarious; telling us that he went into writing because he worked out at a very young age he was extremely adept at lying. His story about a playground stunt gone wrong had the audience cracking up. Afterwards I met Harper Voyager editor Stephanie Smith who introduced me to Duncan Lay. There was quite a showing of Harper authors at Conflux.

That night was the annual historical banquet organised by historian, Gillian Polack. As usual (well as usual as far as I know given this was only my second year) the food was excellent. It was an 1880 Louisiana style bbq with girls in fabulous dresses and pirates abound. There were plenty of “ahrrrs” and “avasts” and the night included a plot to corrupt the entire room to the way of the pirate. By finding the treasure map we were inducted into the pirate way with the receiving of a gold coin (chocolate inside) or a gold ring. By the end of the night there was a fair portion of us who had crossed over to piracy.

Sunday was not so early for me. Even though I didn’t have anything to drink the night before I woke with a headache that I just couldn’t shake. I also forgot Daylight savings time, so missed the “Romance in SF” panel, which included my good friend, Erica Hayes. Our fearless organiser, Karen Herkes, asked me if I would sit on the “Where to From here” panel which ended up being a lovely round circle discussion on what happens after the first book. Of course the obvious answer was write the next one. I got to hear K.J. Taylor talk on her impressive achievements thus far – including having signed her first contract at 18. My goodness — that girl is talented.

I went to listen in on a couple of panels with the impressive special guest, editor for Baen Books, Jim Minz. I found him a little intimidating to say the least, because his knowledge and experience in the New York publishing world.

Unfortunately that was it from me for this years Conflux. I didn’t get to do nearly as much as or see as many as I wanted to. But I finished off my day saying by goodbye to the lovely Stephanie Smith and a receiving friendly hug and “a take care kiddo” from the legendary Jack Dann. What a way to end a fantastic weekend. Now have to wait until 2011 for the next one. Next year is AussieCon4. Woo Hoo!

Intense, sexy, bold ... a superb debut - Nalini Singh

Intense, sexy, bold ... a superb debut - Nalini Singh


Tracey O’Hara is the author of Night’s Cold Kiss,  a Dark Brethren novel, available now in Australia and New Zealand … and guaranteed to keep you up at night! Tracey lives in Canberra, Australia.

Flying like a bird of great speed: Flycon update

Click here for the full Flycon timetable

Flycon is going marvellously well, and the con’s creators and maintainers should be very proud of themselves, it’s absolutely fantastic, especially in the midst of credit crunches and global financial crises to be able to chat with so many different authors from all over the world – our own local wonderful authors and plenty of the overseas authors. I got to chat with Jennifer Fallon, Devon Monk and Kim Falconer all in one day, not to mention Sherwood Smith! And plenty of other lovely luminaries in the speculative fiction world – including co-organiser Dr Gillian Polack. I must say, much of the talking does seem to disintegrate into the discussion of food, mmm, which might be accounted to the odd meal times when you are running between chats :). Gillian caught the author chat with Stephen Hunt and said it was full of techno-speak and a bit of computer games back and forth – sounded very fun!

Thus far I have learned that Jennifer Fallon has always lived in the Flycon spirit, never feeling bounded by location – she lives in Alice Springs in the middle of Australia (click her name for a link to her blog – which has links to her other Flycon appearances). I am woeful that I missed Karen Miller early this morning but Kim Falconer said it was a fantastic chat, and I have no doubt, Karen is always great to talk to. Karen also took part in the discussion on the crossover from writing fan fiction to writing and publishing professionally. Devon Monk in the afternoon was a great deal of fun, especially as we got quite into the knitting discussion before going into crockpots and one-pot cooking and stew (see what I mean). And of course we discussed the Allie Beckstrom series! Kim Falconer was in there – I managed not to notice she was Kim for about 45 minutes, despite her handle being ‘Falcon’ … what can I say? And tonight’s author chat with Kim, just finished now, was wonderful – we discussed all manner of things, including the law of attraction, the upcoming books of the Quantum Enchantment series, the usefulness of cats as models 🙂 and more!

More great discussions: Dr Gilian Pollack and Pati Nagle on the rise of Jane Austen’s popularity – I loved Austen and really enjoyed reading through the discussion

Book Promotions – what works and what should be consigned to a small locked titanium box and shot off into the sun
(they phrased it differently) – this is a great one for any author to read – the best ways to promote your book and name without antagonising and includes insights from Simon Haynes, author of the Hal Spacejock series.

And there’s more to come tonight and tomorrow: Gary Kemble’s interview with Sara Douglass, AND a chat with Sara at 8am Sydney time, Jack Dann (1pm) and Tony Shillitoe (8pm), Jennifer Fallon and Tony Shillitoe taking part in a panel entitled: Writers, how would you topple all the governments of the world, and achieve global domination? What would you do then? (3pm) and Devon Monk is taking part in an ‘ask the professionals’ panel. Jennifer’s also taking part in this panel: Writing in someone else’s world; letting another author play in your own creation. (11am) and Is it easier to be nastier to characters of your own gender? Who is writing compelling characters within their own gender and across the divide? What about gender-different characters, and whose are convincing? (8pm)

I’m exhausted just looking at this list – so you can imagine how the organisers are feeling! Stew for all! Time to get those bedrolls out – and snooze.

Click here for the full Flycon timetable