• 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 Shadow Knows …

by Kim Falconer

I learned a lot about ‘evil’ in the summer of 1981. My eyes were opened to its purpose at a conference in Berkeley California where a Jungian analyst talked about the Shadow. She said when it comes to storytelling, ‘evil’ is the author’s best friend. It moves the story forward, forces characters to grow, allows for heroic acts and takes readers to the edge of their seats.

Tolkien says it like this . . . things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling . . . The Hobbit.

If we want to have a ‘good deal of telling’ we best know make friends with ‘evil.’

'Lilith as a Shadow figure.' H R Giger from Necronomicon 2 Edition C Zurich, 1985

Jung defines ‘evil’ as an element of our shadow—a part of our unconscious that is hidden from us. The shadow can be very confronting to experience in ourselves so we project it onto others or art/film/ literature. It evokes powerful emotional reactions like loathing and disgust because it contains the unwanted and disowned material of our psyche. Yet like the banished Lilith, getting to know the shadow is an opportunity for wholeness.

We see this process in fairytale like the ones where the miller (or farmer) has lost his fortune. Just when the story stagnates and nothing more can happen, the Shadow appears. He’s often a dwarf or cripple, hideous or distorted in some way. He steps in and offers to make a ‘deal’. He’ll help the hero if only he promises to give him what’s behind the barn, or out by the shed. The hero thinks what could be there but a rake or an old bucket? And so he agrees. Now up go the stakes because behind the barn at that moment is the miller’s son, or out by the shed is his baby daughter.

A similar shadow image is seen when Bilbo Baggins loses his way under the mountain. He doesn’t know what to do until he meets Gollum—a loathsome damaged creature. They play the riddle game (a deadly deal) and Bilbo wins but like the miller, what is given up is irreplaceable—for the miller it’s his true creative worth and in the case of Mr Bilbo Baggins, it’s his integrity.

The shadow appeals to the hero’s lack of self-worth or direction. Once the deal is struck, the story can move forward again because our hero has to figure out how to get his child back, or redeem himself (which the Hobbits never quite do as it is Gollum in the end who finally destroys the ring). As the saying goes, the shadow knows .. .

Part two will look at other personifications of ‘evil’ in storytelling. If you have a favourite villain or shadow figure you love to hate, please share it with us here.

Kim Falconer lives in Byron Bay with two gorgeous black cats. Her latest book is Strange Attractors, the third book in the Quantum Enchantment series, and it is out now in bookshops across Australia and New Zealand. As well as her author website‚ she runs an astrology forum and alternative science site‚ trains with a sword and is completing a Masters Degree. Her novel writing is done early every morning. Currently she’s working on the Quantum Encryption Series.