• 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 trilogy that’s a romance series

Dream of Asarlai: Book Two

I know from readers comments that a lot of people are expecting to pick up Power Unbound and keep reading the story of what Asarlai is doing and what’s happening with the gadda from Maggie and Lucas’ point of view. Maybe there will be other POV characters introduced but still – this is a trilogy, so things will keep on, right?


Yes, this is a trilogy but it’s not a typical fantasy trilogy because it didn’t start life that way – originally, it was a romance series.

For those of you who don’t read romance – series are very popular. You come up with a conceit – a family, a gentleman’s club, a werewolf pack – and then you write books in that setting, but each book tells a different story and feature whichever couple will be the focus of the romance.

I was introduced to series in the 90s by Johanna Lindsey. She had two series I loved – The Ly-San-Ter series (three books, sci fi romance) and the Malory series (up to ten books now, regency romance). The books share characters and share the world, but each plot is new and each tells the story of a new couple falling in love.

That’s what Dream of Asarlai first was. The gadda was really the setting, and the books were about three romances – Maggie and Lucas, Ione and Stephen and Hampton and Charlotte.

When I added the overarching storyline, it became a trilogy – one story told over three books. However, each book is also still a stand-alone romance, with the point of view unique to that couple.

So when you pick up Power Unbound, you’re going to read about the continuation of Asarlai’s plans from Ione and Stephen’s perspectives.

Dream of Asarlai: Book One

Don’t worry, Maggie and Lucas are still there – Maggie is Ione’s best friend so we couldn’t lose her even if we wanted to (and we don’t). You even get cameos from Siobhan Shaunessy and John O’Hara. Most of the Secret Ones cast based in Sclossin are in Power Unbound, and you get to see a lot more of the guardians.

The fun part from the author’s perspective is that with new characters telling the story, you get to explore it from different angles. Ione and Stephen are far more connected with gadda society than either Maggie or Lucas were, so you get a better view of what Asarlai’s plans are achieving.

Then there’s the joy of exploring two new characters. Ione and her son Jack are the two best characters in the trilogy to write because they’re both fun and very irreverent. You never quite know what either is going to say next – I certainly don’t.

Stephen was a challenge, because initially he comes across as very dour. It took time to get to know him well enough to see the softness and thus to show it to the reader and Ione.

One thing to love about romance series is that you get to see characters after the happily-ever-after ending of their own book and hopefully people who enjoyed seeing Maggie and Lucas work things out will be happy to see that relationship growing.

If you enjoyed Secret Ones, I feel very confident you’ll love Power Unbound too – just don’t expect to read it from Maggie and Lucas’s side of things,

Read the first chapter of Power Unbound. Power Unbound will be available as a paperbook and e-book on 1 January 2011.

Nicole Murphy lives in Canberra, Australia with her husband. Tim. She is the author of Secret Ones and Power Unbound and has written many short stories as well as editing speculative fiction magazines. She is now working on the third book in the Dream of Asarlai trilogy, Rogue Gadda.