• 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!



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Harper Voyager Guidelines for Digital Submission – Accepting Manuscripts from October 1st – October 14th, 2012!

Keen to become a Harper Voyager author? Here’s your chance to join the imprint that publishes some of the biggest names in fantastic fiction—George R. R. Martin, Kim Harrison, Raymond E. Feist, Robin Hobb, Richard Kadrey, Sara Douglass, Peter V. Brett and Kylie Chan—to name but a few.

For the first time in over a decade, Harper Voyager are opening the doors to unsolicited submissions in order to seek new authors with fresh voices, strong storytelling abilities, original ideas and compelling storylines. So, if you believe your manuscript has these qualities, then we want to read it!

We’re seeking all kinds of adult and young adult speculative fiction for digital publication, but particularly epic fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, horror, dystopia and supernatural. For more idea of the type of books we love to read and publish, check out our authors and their titles at our global blog: www.harpervoyagerbooks.com

Submissions for digital originals will be open for a limited two-week period from 1st to the 14th of October, 2012.

So, follow these easy guidelines and move one step closer to making your dreams come true …

How To Submit A Manuscript To submit, go to www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com and follow the instructions to fill out the form and upload your manuscript.

Due to time constraints, we will not be able to respond to every query. If you do not receive a response after three months, unfortunately that means your story is not right for us this time.

Submissions FAQ

How long does my book need to be? We are looking for full-length manuscripts only. A full-length manuscript needs to be more than 70,000 words, and ideally we are looking for manuscripts between 80,000–120,000 words.

Can I submit a manuscript that I am still working on? No. Please only submit full-length manuscripts that are completed and polished.

What font/margin/size should I use? Your formatting choices are up to you. As long as your manuscript is double-spaced and readable, it’s acceptable. We prefer Word or RTF, and legible, sans-serif fonts.

Can I submit more than one manuscript? Yes, you can enter more than one manuscript but you will need to fill out the form at www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com for each submission separately. If your work is a trilogy or series, please only submit the first manuscript.

Can I submit someone else’s material? No. The manuscript must be your own original work.

Will you accept a manuscript even if the subgenre isn’t listed? Yes, on the submission form, choose “other” and write in your subgenre.

I’m an agent. Should I use this to submit my client’s manuscript? No, this submission form is for authors only. Agents should pitch and submit projects in the usual fashion.

Can I submit if my manuscript is under consideration with another publisher? No. Manuscripts that are being considered by other publishers are not eligible for submission.

Do you accept manuscripts that have been previously published, including self-published? Yes, we will consider work that has been previously published if the author has retained full volume rights or had full volume rights revert to them. Please provide the publication details.

I have submitted my book to Harper Voyager in the past and it has been declined. Can I resubmit? If a manuscript has previously been submitted and declined for Harper Voyager, please do not resubmit unless it has been extensively rewritten. You are welcome to submit other works, however.

Which editor should I address my submission to? There is no need to specify an editor. Your submission will be read by the global Voyager team in Australia, UK and US.

Will I be notified when my manuscript is submitted? Yes, you will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your submission. Please check your junk email filter for this automated email. If you do not receive an automatic response, please email us at voyagersubmissions@harpercollins.com with the title and date of your submission.

How long will you take to respond? Due to the volume of submissions, we will only be able to contact you if your project is the right fit. If you have not received a response in three months time, unfortunately your project wasn’t right for our current list.

Will there be any feedback? Unfortunately due to the volume of submissions we will not be able to provide individual feedback or comments on submissions.

Can I submit my manuscript after the deadline? We will be accepting submissions between 1st to the 14th of October, 2012. Unfortunately at the moment we cannot accept any late or early submissions outside of these times.

Will you publish my book into print? We are looking primarily for e-only titles. There is the possibility that submissions will be published in print as well.

Frequently Asked Questions about Harper Voyager Digital

Why is Harper Voyager embarking upon a digital publishing program? Why now? We believe the timing is perfect for Harper Voyager to publish digitally. We’ve already been publishing digital originals from our existing Harper Voyager authors, and are thrilled to expand this wider to welcome new authors and voices to Harper Voyager. The growth of eReaders and e-books have created an exciting new opportunity that allows us to begin increasing the number and diversity of our speculative fiction list. And speculative fiction readers are the most savvy early adopters so we’re keen to provide our readers with the best ebooks possible.

How is the Harper Voyager digital list different from Harper Voyager Books? Harper Voyager has a long history of publishing fantastic speculative fiction, including authors like Robin Hobb, Ray Feist, George R.R. Martin, Kim Harrison, Kylie Chan, Richard Kadrey, Fiona McIntosh, Peter Brett and Sara Douglass: our editorial staff and sales/marketing/publicity force are highly respected, and Harper Voyager authors benefit from those existing talents, platforms, and relationships.

The Voyager digital list is growing from our existing publishing program. We’re always looking for ways to grow our authors in a marketplace rife with new opportunity. We see the digital list as a fantastic opportunity to find exciting new writers and reach more readers than ever before.

Our enthusiastic editorial team acquires content for both our print and digital lists and are passionate genre fans. The Harper Voyager digital lists offer similar benefits to authors as the print list: each Harper Voyager e-book will receive a distinctive cover treatment. Authors will receive the benefit of editorial structural and copyediting advice from experienced editors. During the publication cycle, the books will receive support from Harper Voyager’s marketing and publicity professionals; and the e-books will benefit from our proven, strong relationships with all e-book channels and online retailers.

How many titles per month will you release? Currently, we are looking to acquire enough content to release a new Harper Voyager digital title each month.

Where will Harper Voyager’s digital titles be sold? Will Harper Voyager e-books be distributed globally? Every Harper Voyager digital contract will include World English language distribution, so we can deliver these e-books everywhere around the world where English-language novels are sold.

Our Harper Voyager e-books will be available at every e-retailer, and readers will be able to download them onto every portable reading device and platform sold today … and tomorrow, too.

What is the submission process? Where can I find the Submission Guidelines? All non-agented manuscripts should be submitted at www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com. Please note the detailed instructions on submission guidelines before sending your documents electronically.

You can find our submission guidelines at www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com as well.

What types of submissions is Harper Voyager interested in? Voyager is looking for authors with a fresh voice, strong storytelling abilities, original ideas and a compelling storyline. If you believe your manuscript has these qualities, then we want to see it!

We’re actively seeking speculative fiction genres, especially epic fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, horror, dystopia, supernatural and YA.

Can existing Harper Voyager authors also submit to Harper Voyager digital? Of course!

If a debut author is published under the Harper Voyager digital imprint; is there a chance to be published in print as well? Yes, there is the possibility that submissions will be published in print as well.

Will my work be copyrighted? Each title receives individual copyright, retained by the author, as is the norm for all Harper Voyager titles.

Is Harper Voyager publishing fiction only? Yes, we are only looking for speculative fiction manuscripts.

Will manuscripts be edited and copyedited before publishing? Yes. Just as with our print titles, each Harper Voyager digital project will be assigned to an individual Voyager editor, and will go through a comprehensive content and copyediting process.

Will Harper Voyager titles benefit from Voyager Publicity and Marketing? Yes. We will support our digital Harper Voyager titles with comprehensive publicity/marketing campaigns, marketing each title, using the digital landscape to strongly support this fantastic line of digital-first publications.

Is Digital Harper Voyager a Custom/Vanity Publisher? No. In acquiring for Harper Voyager digital, we carefully curate submissions and edit accepted manuscripts in the same fashion as all of our Harper Voyager titles. The digital list will benefit from Voyager’s editorial, marketing, publicity and sales platforms. And getting all these services at no cost to the author is the benefit of publishing with Harper Voyager.

Our digital original submission period is only open from 1 October through 14 October, 2012, so visit www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com and move one step closer to your Voyager dreams.


George R.R. Martin interview with Jane Johnson – Part One

GRRM in conversation with UK publisher Jane Johnson At the Bloomsbury Theatre in London this Tuesday night, 500 George R.R. Martin fans had the opportunity to listen to the man himself in conversation with his UK editor (and Voyager Publishing Director, and successful author in her own right) Jane Johnson.  Here’s the first part of the conversation transcript!

Jane: I’ve heard you say that historical fiction and fantasy are “sisters under the skin”. Can you tell me more about what you mean by that?

George: Historical books are a little grittier, which is one of the things I wanted to do when combining the two; to take that sort of gritty realism you find in a historical novel and combine it with the imagination and wonder of Fantasy.

I have thought about writing historical fiction myself, when I interviewed Bernard Cornwell for Harper a few months ago we talked about this.  For me the frustration in writing real historical fiction is that if you know history you know how it comes out. You can write about the actual Wars of the Roses and you know what’s going to happen to those princes in the tower and you know what’s going to happen at the battle of Bosworth Field. With my books I like to keep them a little off balance. Ultimately you don’t know what’s going to happen to the kids in my books or who’s going to live or die or end up with their head on a spike.

But the reading experience can be quite similar. Jane has been reading the Accursed Kings series by the great Maurice Druon – a wonderful series of historical novels.  One of the great things for me when I read them was that I didn’t know a lot of the history. You know, French people may know all of this but for me it wasn’t something that was covered on our history courses, nor presumably, in history courses here. I didn’t know who these people were, even only the most abstract terms, or how this was going to come out. That was a very similar reading experience to a fantasy novel.

Jane: They read incredibly fresh. We’ve just bought the world rights to publish them because they’ve been out of print since the sixties, I think it’s going to be great fun to make them available to people. They read as if they were written yesterday, they’re really sharp and funny, as well.

The brothers Goncourt said: “History is a novel that has been lived…” I think that’s a really good quote but I feel also that with A Game of Thrones, you feel that every character in your books has a life that goes on behind the scenes: they’re not just walking out on stage and playing out what you want them to play out. You do see them as real people. How much of that elaboration do you have in your head before you set out writing your characters?

George: I’m not actually deluded enough to think that they are real people. I know that I’m making them up. It seems obvious but I’ve met some writers over the years that have peculiar views on the subject and seem to think they’re receiving emanations from other dimensions or something. I don’t buy into that but certainly when I’m writing these characters and living with them they achieve enormous reality to me.

You know, many years ago I wrote a short story, a novelette actually, that won the Nebula award called “Portraits of His Children”. It is about a writer and his relationship with his characters. Its sort of a cliché that characters are a writer’s children but there’s a great amount of truth to it. At least for a writer like myself; the characters I have created over the years are a part of me, are a part of my life. They are not me, but they are created by me and are a part of me. The analogy with the children has a certain apt-ness to it.

Jane: Well you’re a cruel father

George: I take after the Romans; they had the whole “paterfamilias” thing going on there. If you were a disappointing son “I’m sorry son you’re disappointing me would you please commit suicide”…“Yes dad I’d be happy to”. We’ve lost some of these traditions over the years.

Stay tuned for the rest of the interview!

How to Save a Planet


Journey By Night

 Journey by Night – A fast-paced story of fantasy and occult adventure, astrology and martial arts…
Comment to win!

Kreshkali and Nell have only one task – to save the planet. Of course, I am not making it easy for them. With the September 1st launch of Journey by Night the theme of saving the planet certainly comes to the forefront.

Both Quantum E. series focus on magic, intimacy, shape-shifting, witchcraft and martial arts with all the action playing against the backdrop of two worlds – Gaela, a magical hegemony where energy is derived from thought, and a future Earth where environmental disaster, geo-engineering, totalitarian governments and tectonic plate shifts have taken things to a horrific extreme. Journey by Night concludes a six book saga begun with The Spell of Rosette, wrapping up every thread. (If you can think of anything I left out, email me!)

I’m not going to say how it ends for Earth or Gaela, but I can assert that ten years of research into worst case scenarios has brought me to some terrible, as well as enlightening, conclusions. It has been quite a journey into the current state of our environment and where we can find ways to reverse the global threats hanging over us. Some ideas are embedded in my books but I’ll give you my short list here.

Steps to Saving the Planet

1) Awareness –Ritual magic, witchcraft, deliberate creation, prayer, chanting, evoking, shamanism … these are all words that describe a state of being—a state of awareness. We get what we are and the witch, shaman, devotee or the ‘regular Joe’ can practice deliberately the art of awareness. This is the #1 key to making a difference in the world. It’s called know thyself.

2) Intention – Setting an intention is the next step. You might start with saying I am making a difference. I am going to accomplish  . . . I am discovering . . . I am grateful for . . .  Just start by saying, ‘I am . . .’ and follow with your heart.

3) Meditation – We do not emphasis the stillness and listening aspect of being in our culture but the benefits for the entire planet are well documented. Over 500 studies have been completed on the physiological, psychological, and sociological effects of TM meditation, making it perhaps the most intensively studied technique in the field of human development. Who’s tried it?

4) Contribution – From an evolutionary biologist’s point of view, human beings are hardwired to connect to 150 others. That’s right, 150 people/beings that we know intimately and care for and relate to. Given this, it’s easy to see why so many people feel like something’s missing. (It accounts for why we LOVE the characters in books, celebrities and public figures. They become ‘our people’.) By making a contribution of energy, time, intention, support, we extend our connections to others while participating in the evolution of our planet.

Which of these four steps do you like the most? Post a comment and be in the hat to win a Kim Falconer book of your choice. Most interesting comment wins! We’ll choose a winner by the end of the week ( 26th Aug ).

Quantum Encryption Series

Kim Falconer’s latest book, Journey by Night is out September 1st.  It is #3 in the Quantum Encryption Series. As well as her author website, she runs an astrology and law of attraction forum, trains with a sword and is completing a Masters degree. Her novel writing is done early every morning. Currently she’s working on a whole new series.

Bad Boys!

Writing Dark Heroes to Die For

Ian Somerhalder

Ian Somerhalder playing Damon Salvatore in the CW series based on L.J. Smith series, The Vampire Diaries

Writing dark heroes takes a special touch, one that I’ve explored over the years in my research on the evolution of the vampire in film and literature, true life experiences, and in my latest Quantum Encryption Series.

 The workshop will kick off the Byron Bay Writer’s Festival!  August 1 at 9:30 am. Who’s coming? I would love to hear your thoughts, expectations and questions! All notes (and images) will be online straight after the workshop. Check my updates for the link.  I am dividing the workshop into two sections:

Part 1) Understanding dark heroes and making them real: Definitions and examples. Heroes, anti-heroes, villains and the erotic. Nature vs. nurture: motivation, goals, beliefs, fears, love and wish fulfilment. What makes a dark hero tick, and what it is about them we fall for?

 What is the dark hero’s journey and their fatal flaw. We will explore the psychology, astrology and behaviour of the archetypal dark hero in relationship to the ‘true hero’ and ‘villain’, what they do to drive the story, setting and participation with the reader. There will be plenty of visual aids, I promise.
Part 2) Creating a dark hero from scratch. We will be doing exercises to bring dark heroes to life through character building, dialog, relationship to other characters, POV, risk, danger, growth arcs and transformation — bringing dark heroes to light or letting them down hard, when it works and when it doesn’t. Be ready to write on the spot. You’ll walk away with pages of notes, character study and a full outline for your next dark hero short story or novel. Light, fun and insightful!

Join me, Kim Falconer, at the BBWF this August.

 Kim Falconer lives in Byron Bay and writes science fantasy novels about real people in extraordinary situation. Journey by Night is the next book in her Quantum Encryption Series. As well as her author website, she runs an astrology and law of attraction forum, trains with a sword and is completing a Masters degree. Her novel writing is done early every morning. Currently she’s working on a whole new series.

And so the story ends…


Finishing a trilogy is a strange experience. It takes years to write, years more to edit and get published and you live with these characters, this story, this world constantly on your mind.

Then, it’s over. Sometimes, you don’t leave the world or the characters wholly behind because the next work will also be there, but sometimes that is really the end. You don’t have any other stories to tell there. You’ve got all these bright shiny ideas that have been clamouring at you from the corner for AGES, hoping that you’ll pick them and start creating.

And yet, for the readers, the experience is far from over. I said my first goodbyes to the Dream of Asarlai story in August last year, and did my final bit of editing in February. It’s been months since I’ve given any of them any thought.

And yet for you readers, this is all still a future sensation. You’re still coming to the point of saying farewell. You’re still excited about what could happen, curious about how it’s all going to end.

And somehow, I’ve got to find the headspace to remember what that feeling was like for me as I was writing it, so I can empathise and celebrate with you.

It’s a very good thing that we authors are well practiced in living with a divided brain or this might just do us in.

So, what can I say to you all about the conclusion to Dream of Asarlai (without spoilers, of course).

The hero of Rogue Gadda is Hampton Rourke, aka the Sabhamir. Hampton’s become a bit of a favourite with a lot of people over the course of the series. He’s a great character to work with – he’s very charming and genuinely likes people, so his interactions with others flow smoothly. Yet Hampton is also a man struggling with his place in the world, riddled with doubts that he dare not let anyone else see.

His foil in this book is Charlotte Haraldson. Charlotte is a member of the long lost race of gadda who split from the bardria centuries earlier. For a lot of quite good reasons, Charlotte has come to hate gadda, power and everything it stands for.

So OF COURSE her perfect match is going to be the most powerful gadda alive.

As for Asarlai – there’s still a few twists left in her tale, but her dream of exposing the gadda to humanity and elevating them to ruling the planet is still very much on course.

Unless Hampton can stop her.

I’ve had a blast writing the Dream of Asarlai trilogy, and I hope you all have a blast reading it.


How to Write What You -Don’t- Know

Monster Dragon from How to Train Your Dragon

The adage write what you know works well for how-to manuals, cookbooks, auto repair guides or medical text. With such topics, writers need a certain level of expertise. When it comes to speculative fiction, however, it’s another story. No one on Earth can know what a were-beast, off world portal or post apocalyptic witch is really like until the author creates it from the blank page. Sometimes that process can be a challenge so I’ve put together four quick tips for writing what you don’t know.

Tip #1: Research. If you have a world that is primarily desert, you don’t have to live in the Sahara to write it convincingly (just ask Glenda Larke!). You do have to ‘know’ what it is like to have three millimetres of rain a year and dust storms so blinding you can get lost between your camel and your tent. In other words, research the ecology of desert life. You can’t have bright green grass and furry platypuses, unless you explain a turf that goes eleven and a half months without water and a river mammal that swims in sand.

Tip #2: Savvy proofreaders. Research can take the place of direct experience, especially in world building, but there are exceptions. Horses are one. If you don’t know horses, you can learn about them, but if they are going to do more than graze in the paddock, you’ll need a proof-reader with horse sense to check your work. Readers who are also riders will spot ineptitude a mile away. Jolt! If it’s going to be a feature in your novel, get an expert to proof and/or offer technical advice.

Tip #3: Hands on. If you’re going to give some art, animal, dance, ritual, music or machine a big role in your script, immerse in it, hands on! As a bonus, your life will become richer for the experience. In my first two series, I researched quantum computing, physics theory, geo-engineering, bio-engineering and were-animal mythologies. I joined a local dojo and learned to wield a sword. Already on board were things like felines, horses, witchcraft, magic, astrology, gender studies and astral travel. I wove together the elements that were second nature to me with the ones I studied and learned. Anything else, like falconry, was proofread by an expert in the field.

Tip #4: Start with a grain of truth. No matter how wild and farfetched your story becomes, that grain of truth is what you build on and what will give your prose more weight. In my most recent series, Quantum Encryption, a main character takes my love of the Gray Wolf, an endangered species, and comes up with a solution to their looming extinction. I also look at possible results from geo-engineering projects that might do more harm than good. It’s all about the speculation, but begin with something real.

Any other tips? Favourite fantasy worlds or beings? I’d love to hear about them. Comments always welcome.

Kim Falconer is the author of the Quantum Enchantment and Quantum Encryption trilogies, set in the worlds of Gaela and Earth and exploring all manner of ideas, people and places. The latest in the series is Road to the Soul, which will be published 1 March. Visit Kim’s website and find out more about Kim and her books!

Hard Heroes: Part I

Samurai Champloo ‘Sunset Warriors’ by Starxade

Recently Tarran Jones ask how do you manage to make your characters harder without being too hard? I immediately thought of three things—truth, goals and flaws.

Truth: If you want a character to be edgy, capable, ingenious, impervious AND believable, you have to start with a grain of truth and that means knowing their history. A good question for the writer to ask is how did they become thus?  A strong or hard-edged character gets that way because of something—a combination of things usually—both in and out of their control. The reader needs to able to at least speculate on what that ‘something’ was. They need to know the why.

In my Quantum Enchantment series, Kreshkali is tough as titanium.  She’s completely engaged in her cause but seems for a long time to be disconnected when it comes to love, particularly when that love is in the shape of a young man named Teg. The reader knows why she has such thick skinshe’s been whoring for water since she was fifteen and it’s taken the shine off her romantic notions. Kreshkali’s history makes her actions believable, and that is the place to begin.

Sometimes the ‘hardness’ of a character is developmental. It plays out before the reader’s eyes. This is the case with KJ Taylor’s Arren. (he) doesn’t actually start out as a particularly strong character. He’s immature – a characteristic he never really loses – deeply insecure, and a bit too proud for his own good. But he is brave and resilient, enough to survive things that would have destroyed a lesser man. He becomes hardened by what happens to him. He survives, but loses his heart. I think that’s the real tragedy of his story, and it’s what always kept me fascinated by him.

Whether it’s back story or current events, the why of a character becomes their truth and that gives them soul.  Tracey O’Hara’s  Antoinette has a lot of edge—physical skill, strategic intelligence and street smarts, yet most of her life has been in the single minded pursuit of the enemy . . . she’s had little time to actually form relationships, making her rather emotionally naive and vulnerable . . . We think of single-minded focus as an attribute until we see what Antoinette had to sacrificed to achieve it. It’s almost as if her goals are the driving force that moves her, and the story, forward.

Goals: The character’s goals are the next ingredient in writing ultra strong personalities. Kreshkali’s trying to save Earth from a totalitarian regime and keep the magical lands of Gaela from becoming contaminated in the process. Antoinette is out for justice. Arren’s just trying to survive in a world that’s done him wrong. When Nicole Murphy wrote Maggie, she had this character’s goals firmly in mind.

I wanted to show a woman who was prepared to make her own choices and wear the consequences  … Maggie has little concern about what others think  . . .  she also doesn’t have a lot of respect for authority  …  she’ll do things just to ‘stick it to the man’, so to speak, rather than because it’s the right thing to do. Giving characters a history and making their goals clear shows the reader the why. No exposition is necessary because it’s implicit in everything they say or do.

Special thanks to K J Taylor, Tracey O’Hara and Nicole Murphy for their input and contributions to this topic.

What part does a character’s history and goals play for you as readers, writers and editors? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Part II explores the complexity of strengths, weaknesses and flaws with thoughts from Traci Harding, Stacia Kane, Kylie Chan, Mary Victoria, Duncan Lay and Satima Flavell.

Kim Falconer is the author of the Quantum Enchantment and Quantum Encryption trilogies, set in the worlds of Gaela and Earth. The first book in the Quantam Encryption, Path of the Stray, is out now and the sequel, Road to the Soul, will be out in March 2011. Kim is also an astrologer and runs Falcon Astrology. She is based in Byron Bay in Northern NSW, Australia