• 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!



A Kiss from the Muse – Kim Falconer

Recent comments on What’s The Most Difficult Part of Being a Writer have highlighted the challenge of simply getting words down on the page. For many writers, it’s hardest part, but it wasn’t always so.

In ancient time, we had a lot more support. Forget that it was an oral tradition—no pages involved, blank or otherwise—the storytellers of the past didn’t have to struggle for content. All they had to do was show up with the right attitude and wait for the Muse. What is the ‘right attitude’? Their opening lines tell all.

Hesiod and the Muse

Hesiod and the Muse, by Gystabe Moreau, 1891

Muses of Pieria who give glory through son, says Hesiod at the start of Theogony, come hither . . . Homer does it too. Tell me, O Muse, of the man of many devices, who wandered full many ways after he had sacked the sacred citadel of Troy.
Tell me . . . Come hither . . . That’s the key. The Muse must be invited in!

The classical poets and bards did not create out of thin air. Neither did they plagiarise. They gave credit to their source, the Muse, acknowledging her sacred part in the process of imagination. It was a completely different relationship to creativity than we have now and Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love gives an engaging talk on this topic. We expect the ‘impossible’ from artists and geniuses, she says, sharing the notion that, instead of the rare person ‘being’ a genius, everyone has a muse that expresses ‘through’ them. What a wonderful idea.

A way to better understand the Muse is to look for her signature in myth and fairytale. I liken her to the mermaid—a tale made popular by Hans Christian Andersen. These stories always begin with a deep dark lake or sea—the collective unconscious—our source of creativity. The fisher dips a net into the depths and one day he, or she, catches the mermaid. Usually they fall in love. It’s an impossible arrangement, so the mermaid agrees to enter the fisher’s world, on one condition—a box can not be opened or a key must not be used or a question must not be asked. The fisher (consciousness) can bask in the creative flow as long as he respects the mystery.

While he does, life prospers. Children are born of the union—a sign of something creative coming from the experience. But, when curiosity overtakes and he questions her secrets, she vanishes, returning to the sea of the unconscious, children in tow. The fisher is left alone, sitting on the shore, staring into the depths, waiting, hoping she will return.

Creativity is an inside job, but within us is the spirit of the muse. Awakening her liberates the imagination and allows the words to flow. Part II & III (next week) offer ways to get that first kiss from the Muse, and many more. Has anyone a story to tell about their Muse? What do they look like? How do they inspire? I’d love to hear!

Kim Falconer has found her muse, having completed the edits on her second book, Arrows of Time, just recently. You can find her first book The Spell of Rosette in all good bookshops across Australia, and overseas readers can buy it online from Australian booksellers. Kim lives in Byron Bay, which seems like the perfect place to commune with your muse …