• 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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Voyager at the 2012 Norma K Hemming Awards

5 Voyager authors have been shortlisted in the 2012 Norma K Hemming Award!  The Devil’s Diadem by the late great Sara Douglass, Hindsight by A A Bell,  Eona by Alison Goodman,  Road to the Soul  by Kim Falconer & The Shattered City by Tansy Rayner Roberts. The Norma K Hemming Award recognises excellence in the exploration of race, gender, sexuality, class and disability in Australian speculative fiction. Congratulations guys!

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The David Gemmell RAVENHEART Award Poll is open!

The David Gemmell RAVENHEART Award Poll is open!  Head here  and be sure to vote for one of the beautiful HarperCollins Australia covers by Gregory Bridges, Aaron Briggs & Frank Victoria:

From top left, World's End by Gregory Bridges, Journey by Night by Aaron Briggs, Road to the Soul by Aaron Briggs, Samiha's Song by Frank Victoria & Oracle's Fire by Frank Victoria

Bring a Friend Giveaway

The Quantum series so far …

Win two Kim Falconer books of your choice, one for you and one for a friend!

With the second book in her latest trilogy, bestselling author Kim Falconer delivers another searing and imaginative journey of intimacy and adventure, magic and technology. Road to the Soul returns to the hidden world of Gaela, an agrarian based magical world where all things — animal, tree, stone, river and storm — are considered equal. Grounded in heavy research in magic and ancient astrology, her novels are fast making her a leading name in local fantasy.

This is the opportunity for you to win a book for yourself and introduce a friend to the world of speculative fiction! To win, tell us in the comments which of Kim’s books you would like for yourself and which for your friend, and why.

Please comment before 5pm on Tuesday 15 March (aka the Ides of March!).

You can choose from the Quantum Enchantment

 



 And the Quantum Encryption …

Creating New Souls by Kim Falconer

Quillian the Were-fey over Timbali Temple, Southern Continent by Aaron Briggs

Quillian the Were-fey over Timbali Temple, Southern Continent by Aaron Briggs

The inspiration for Road to the Soul came like a match strike, lit by my publisher Stephanie Smith in the spring of 2008. I wasn’t looking for ideas at the time or even thinking about new characters. Far from it!

Stephanie and I were going over the ‘proof reader queries’ for The Spell of Rosette, a gruelling process of discussing the copyedit questions. My first novel was nearly ready to print, save for these scribbles and marks still waiting in the margins. We got to page 131, a moment in the story where Rosette stops to collect herself. She sits under a jade statue of a Were-fey, a winged serpent-like creature leaping out of an ‘angry’ sea.

Quillian protecting Tryn from a rogue Lupin, Northern Continent by Aaron Briggs

Quillian protecting Tryn from a rogue Lupin, Northern Continent by Aaron Briggs

Steph asked, ‘Kim, why is the sea angry?’

I said, ‘Because it surrounds the Southern Continent which is  . . .  in trouble.’

‘Really?’ Steph was interested. ‘What kind of trouble?’

‘Big,’ I said to HarperCollins Voyager’s Associate Publisher. ‘Big, big trouble.’

‘I see . . . Will it appear in future books?’ she wanted to know.

Pause . . .

‘Yes.’ I said. ‘It will.’

And that was it. The story of the lost Southern Continent and a magical Were-fey named Quillian had begun.

Archaeopterx the ‘first bird’—a dino with feathers.

Archaeopterx the ‘first bird’—a dino with feathers.

In the end, the Were-fey statue at Treeon Temple wasn’t depicted in a roiling sea, but the story had gotten a foothold and there was no stopping it. The deeper answer to the question—‘Why is the sea angry?’—has turned into the Road to the Soul and one jade Were-fey has come to life in full Technicolor.

Were-fey are amazing creatures and like most of my ideas, they began with a grain of truth. I wanted to portray a sentient, non-human being with a sharp mind, agile body and Shakespearian wit. This Were-fey had to be adept in four elements–land, sea, air, and time. He had to be special, the last of his kind.

The beautiful Bird of Paradise by Tim Laman

The beautiful Bird of Paradise by Tim Laman

My first reference for creating him was Archaeopterx, the Greek name for ‘ancient wing.’ This first ‘bird’ was a sharp toothed, claw-winged, feathered dinosaur that lived in the late Jurassic period, 150 million years ago. I mixed in the Bird of Paradise for a brilliant plumage and the Loon for underwater grace and fishy appetite. Thus was born Quillian, a perpetually hungry, telepathic, highly vocal risk taker, bonded to the young apprentice Tryn and the pivot on which Road to the Soul turns.

I had a very clear picture of Quillian in my mind but it wasn’t until my cover artist, Aaron Briggs, interpreted the depictions that I trusted readers would see him vividly as well. I hope they continue to engage with this character as book two in Quantum Encryption unfolds its epic journey.

Loons and cormorants dive down to 45 metres!

Loons and cormorants dive down to 45 metres!

Speculative fiction is full of ‘made-up’ creatures and environments from Tanith Lee’s Silver, Glenda Larke’s myriapedes, Karen Miller’s Vampire Butterflies and Mary Victoria’s World Tree. What are some of your favourite beings? What makes them so believable? I would love to hear more about it.

Win the Kim Falconer book of your choice!

To celebrate the release of Road to the Soul Kim Falconer is giving away a Quantum Enchantment or Quantum Encryption book of your choice! All you have to do is click on the map below and plot your location (a user name is fine) by selecting ADD. That will automatically put you into the hat for the March 1, 2011 draw! The winner will be announced here and on Kim’s News page.

Kim's reader map
Click here to enter your location

Keep an eye out next month for the ‘bring a friend’ giveaway—introduce a friend to the worlds of Earth and Gaela and you’re both in it to win a book each!

Road to the Soul is now out!

How to Stay Inspired by Kim Falconer

Write while the heat is in you. — Henry David Thoreau

‘Starcatcher’ by Duy Huynh

Passion translates through the pages and the advice to writers is: get it down while it’s hot. But deadlines don’t go away just because the celebratory summer has arrived with school holidays, lapping waves and picnics in the park.  Writers must write, rain, snow, sleet or perfect beach days. How to stay enthused and keep the drone of the computer from turning into a lullaby? Here are my favourite tips to inspire the flow.

Tip #1Show up: Writing is like a date; you have to show up if anything is going to happen. Get to your desk every day, turn the computer on and say now it begins! Sooner or later the Muse will be there, but you have to make the first move.

Tip #2 Set an intention: Make a statement of your intended outcome for the day. Say it aloud. You might also write it down on a post-it and stick it to your monitor. Two thousand words today, flowing like a river, or ten pages edited, clean and easy. Setting an intention gets your goal clear in your head. Adding a ‘feel good’ to the statement lifts the spirit.

Tip #3 Write what you love: This is KEY. If you aren’t enjoying the work, it will show. This isn’t something you can fake or get by with half-heartedly. Write what lights you up. If your current assignment doesn’t, find a way to change your mind about it. Throw caution to the wind. Fall head over heels in love!

Tip #4 Look after yourself: When others are on holidays, splashing in the pool and kicking the ball around, the blank screen can seem like a punishment. When this happens, amp up the self-nurturing! Good food, power nap, exercise and socialise. Deadlines to not equate with prison sentences. You’ll get more done if you schedule in daily fun time.

Tip #5 Evoke the muse: In ancient times, nothing was scribed, no story told, without first calling on the Muses. Tell me, O Muse . . .Homer begins, and we know where that got him. Stephen King suggests that when writers feel blocked it’s not because the Muse has abandoned them: I think what happens is that the writers themselves sow the edges of their clearing with poison bait to keep their muses away, often without knowing they are doing it. Love your Muse and she will love you back! More on evocations

Tip #6 Ghost write: If  the keys aren’t clicking, open a new word .doc and write a few paras in another voice. Choose some author with a different style. Ask yourself how Dostoyevsky, Oscar Wilde or even Homer Simpson would write. After a few hundred words, take a break. Have a cuppa. When you come back to your work, your fingers will fly!

Tip # 7 De-clutter your desk: Clear out all the old cups and wrappers, organise your notes, clean the draws and vacuum under your chair. This Feng Shui tip really lights a fire in the belly. You can clean up your virtual desktop too, and tighten your backups and files. The outer environment reflects the inner. Take a look around and see if anything is askew. It will boost you Qi big time.

Any other ideas? I’d love to hear how you all stay inspired!

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. Catch Kim at Galaxy Bookshop (Kent St, Sydney) next Saturday 4 December at 12:30pm, along with Traci Harding.

Sneak Peek: Road to the Soul by Kim Falconer

Are you getting edgy because you’re not at AussieCon? Don’t worry, we’ve got some reading to calm you down :-). If you ARE at AussieCon, don’t miss the following panel with Voyager star Fiona McIntosh.

Getting edgy: The disreputable protagonist in modern fantasy
While fantasy used to centre around noble and good-hearted heroes, a growing sub-genre of recent years has
celebrated a less savoury breed of protagonist. Knights and wizards-in-training are giving way to thieves, assassins, mercenaries and cutthroats. What is the appeal of this form of anti-hero, and what are its origins? How does changing the protagonist alter the kind of story you are able to tell?
Ellen Kushner, Trudi Canavan, Fiona McIntosh
Monday 1300 Room 204

Not at the panel? Here’s a sneak peek from Kim Falconer’s Road to the Soul, the following up to Path of the Stray. Kim would have been on today’s panel but unfortunately had to return home as she has a bad flu.

Jarrod discovered the source of the haunting call the moment he entered the woods. It wasn’t wind whistling through a hollow canyon or skimming across the mountain lake. It wasn’t the swaying trees or a murder of crows shooting like black arrows into the sky. It was a beautiful young witch with honey red hair. The call came from her.

He watched her walk through the heart of the woods unafraid. Never had Jarrod seen such a contrast — her hair red against the trees. Opposites on the spectrum, it made the tone of the woods seem even more vivid. Hunter green! He’d heard about it in Corsanon. Bards wove it into their songs, those who had travelled here and seen it first-hand, and what they said was true — the hunter green of Vesper would catch you, seduce you, and it did. And so did the young witch.

Read on