• 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!



Farewell Stephanie Smith

It is with much sadness that we have to tell you our wonderful Voyager Associate Publisher Stephanie Smith is resigning. During her 20 years working at HarperCollins, Steph has been instrumental in growing the Voyager imprint into the leading Australian speculative fiction list, publishing such bestselling authors as Sara Douglass, Fiona McIntosh, Kylie Chan, Traci Harding and Jennifer Fallon. She has also played a vital role in establishing the Global Voyager list, and has been closely involved in the success of key brand authors such as George RR Martin, Raymond E Feist and Peter V Brett.

Her brilliant editorial skills, respect and support for her authors and understanding of the speculative fiction genre have stood Steph apart from her publishing peers around the world. She has worked outside her brief many times, including nurturing developing writers via the Varuna Program.

Steph’s “tree change” will take her to Tasmania where she will be closer to her family. She has been a dream to work with and we will miss her very much.

We are thrilled, therefore, that Deonie Fiford will be taking over when Steph leaves us at the end of the week. Deonie has over 15 years publishing experience, having worked both in-house and freelance as an editor for Hachette (where she helped to establish the Orbit list), Simon and Schuster and HarperCollins. She is very well respected in the speculative fiction community and has been on the judging panel of the Aurealis Awards.

Upon hearing of Deonie’s appointment, Steph had this to say: “Great choice! Deonie loves sff and has good connections in the genre community already. She has the talent and people skills to take Voyager’s premier position into the future.”

Farewell Stephanie! You are truly the Voyager Queen and we wouldn’t be where we are without you.

World Without Walls – Byron Bay Writers’ Festival 2010

The beautiful setting of the Byron Bay festival

Quillian the were-fey - a detail from Aaron Briggs' illustration on Path of the Stray

I had no idea what I’d signed up for when saying yes to the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival. Being the only SF/F author among all the literary and media giants required some quick thinking. I got very good at defining Speculative Fiction on the spot, and explaining that my books were not actually written for children. All in all, it was a blast!

My workshop on immersion sold out. It went fabulously. You can see the visual aids to get an idea of content. I also put together a high school presentation. Three hundred young students and me on stage, mic in one hand, notes in the other—a real challenge when the wind blew my hair in streamers across my face. Once I started talking though, it all rolled out. We discussed writing speculative fiction, the genre that asks what if. I signed books after, as well as binders and back packs. Great fun!

Kim and the Quantum Enchantment trilogy

My panel with Kathy Lette, Laura Bloom and Krissy Kneen was hilarious. While the others were talking about their first orgasms and the importance of thorough research prior to any sex (scenes), I pointed out the value of sex as a tool for world building. It can reveal deeper levels of character and even more fundamentally, portray the social paradigm. I used the title of the panel, Bodice Rippers, as an example of how sexual references tell us something about gender biases in the culture. I signed lots of books after that one.

The panel on The Magical and Fantastical was my favourite. Chaired by Angela Meyer, I shared the stage with Maria Van Daalen, an academic and the only Mambo Asogwe Voodoo High Priestess in Europe. I won over some new readers that day, though at the signing, a woman waited in line for quite some time to tell me she couldn’t get into fantasy, but her husband loved it. I waited for her to hand me the book to sign (for her husband) but it turned out she didn’t like him much either and wasn’t getting one . . . On Sunday I did a panel on Keeping the Faith with the incredibly successful Matthew Reilly and brilliant Larissa Behrendt, chaired by the incoming festival director, Candida Baker. There was a great discussion at the end on eBooks, thanks to audience questions from Jodi Cleghorn.

Murray's book on Reg Mombassa

The festival theme this year was World Without Walls, but I renamed it World Sans Social Filters after the biography panel Significant others: writing the life of an icon. Turns out Gretel Pinniger, aka Madam Lash, hates her biographer, Sam Everingham, and wants to do bad things to him. They were separated on stage by the calm and charismatic HarperCollins author, Murray Waldren and his icon subject, Reg Mombassa. The eye of the storm. To his credit, Everingham didn’t retaliate against the barrage of accusations from Pinniger. He was sweating bullets but managed to respond gracefully, all considered. The Chair, Jill Eddington, deserves a metal, at the very least.

My biggest thrill besides introducing so many readers to the genre was meeting the people from HarperCollinsAus. What a fabulous team, and boy do they know how to host a dinner party! Looking forward to seeing everyone at AussieCon4!

Kim Falconer lives in Byron Bay with two black cats. She runs an astrology forum and alternative science site‚ trains with a sword and is working on the second book in the Quantum Encryption trilogy, the follow up to Quantum Enchantment, both of which are set in the world of Gaela, as well as on Earth. The first book in the new series is called Path of the Stray and is out now! Kim is going to be the guest of honour at tonight’s Fang Books Chat. Join us at 8pm over at Fang’s website.