• 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 Vampire Goes on a Journey: Kim Falconer blogs

One of the most riveting Flycon panels, hosted by A Writer Goes on a Journey with Ross Hamilton moderating, was The Evolution of the Vampire. Stephanie Gildart, Pati Nagle and Jeri Smith-Ready discussed the hypnotic quality of vampires and how they have changed over time. From Bram Stoker to Anne Rice and Stephenie Meyers, vampires in literature were compared and contrasted.

Keifer Sutherland is one of the Lost Boys 1986

Keifer Sutherland is one of the Lost Boys 1986

Pati Nagle began with, ‘Handsome film vampires have had a lot to do with it (the changing images) Frank Langella and Christopher Lee. There have also been numerous more sympathetic vampires in fiction. One of my favorites is Joshua in George R. R. Martin’s ‘Fevre Dream’.

We talked about the 1922 making of ‘Nosferatu’ and its reinvention in The Shadow of a Vampire—Willem Dafoe being the only ‘living dead’ ever to be nominated for an academy award. From ‘terrifying’ to ‘sparkly,’ the meaning and purpose of the vampire archetype became clearer.

Willem Defoe plays the character from 1922’s Nosferatu

Willem Defoe plays the character from 1922’s Nosferatu

The erotic nature of vampires was pondered in depth. We could have talked much longer on this! Jeri Smith-Ready said ‘I think vampires, at least since Dracula, have often been connected to sex. He came out of the Victorian era, during which no one talked about sex (but everyone did it, of course). He seduced innocent women–against their will, naturally (wink) and turned them into creatures of very strong wants and needs. Repression has a way of twisting things.’

Kate Beckinsale portrays a gender evolution from female victim to a powerful ‘Death Dealer’ 2006

Kate Beckinsale portrays a gender evolution from female victim to a powerful ‘Death Dealer’ 2006

Writing Vampire antagonists also held the floor. Stephanie Gildart pointed out, ‘The most “evil” beings, to me as a reader, are the ones who could have chosen otherwise and yet still embrace the darkness in them. Humans have a choice. Giving vampires more complexity, making them more human, simultaneously gives them the opportunity of being even more evil.’

For me, the evolution of the vampire is not simply a trend in literature and film. These new images aren’t responsible for the sifting views, rather they are a reflection of them. As our perception of Self changes, our monsters change. The vampire, once powerful beyond our control, is now a creature we can dialog with—be intimate with. Originally, the vampire had no soul—‘In this chest beats no heart,’ Bram Stoker’s Dracula says, but now that’s changing. We are learning compassion for the beast within, and they sometimes love us back. In this way, the evolution of the vampire reflects the evolution of human consciousness.

What do you think? How have vampires changed for you as readers and writers? I’d love to hear from our Voyager authors who traffic in this fascinating mythology!

Kim Falconer is the author of The Spell of Rosette (Quantum Enchantment Book 1), which was published in January by HarperVoyager. Kim lives in Byron Bay and runs the website Falcon’s Astrology as well as a website dedicated to the Quantum Enchantment series.