• 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!

     

     

US readers – win a copy of The Last Stormlord

There’s a fabulous interview with Glenda Larke, who was interviewed by Maria V Snyder, author of Poison Study – which is a great and romantic read.

Glenda has given Maria four copies of the US edition of The Last Stormlord, and Maria is kindly giving away three of them. Read the interview to find out how to be in the running for a copy!

Read the interview here

And don’t forget, Stormlord Rising, book two of the Watergivers trilogy,  is out next week!!

Chapter three of Stormlord Rising

In a dry land, water is gold ...

In a dry land, water is gold ...

Read Chapter One
Read Chapter Two

Chapter Three
Scarpen Quarter
Scarcleft City
Scarcleft Hall, Level 2

Lord Taquar Sardonyx looked up from his desk, frowning. It was late, it was cold, and he had been about to go to bed. In fact, he’d been wondering whether to ask his steward to fetch him a woman. That pretty new servant girl, for example. Eighteen, wistfully innocent and adoring — she would do. And yet … he glanced at the painting he had mounted on the wall. Terelle’s painting. A waterpainting once, until the earthquake had separated the paint from the water. Now it lacked a little of the life it must have once had, but still the figure leaped at him out of the paint.

Taquar, Highlord of Scarcleft, driving a pede.

She had captured everything he liked to think he possessed: the aura of power, the ruthlessness, the strength, the commanding stature, and of course the sensuality. But more than that, she had painted something of herself into the work: her fear of him, her fear of her attraction to him. Every time he looked at it, he cursed the earthquake that had enabled her to escape. Watergiver, what a lover she would have made! All she’d needed was the awakening, and he could have stirred her senses so easily. Stupidly, he had thought her not ready. And now, whenever he took another woman to bed, he thought of what he had missed, and cursed again. Innocence and the promise of initiating a maiden’s sexual awakening — it intrigued him every time, and rarely disappointed. A victim either learned to match his passion or shivered in fear. Either way, he enjoyed the result.

He’d sent people out looking for her, of course, once he realised she had escaped. Unfortunately it had been a day before they had cleared away enough of the rubble along the passage to her room to see that she was not dead or trapped, but missing. Even then, he’d assumed she was still in the city. Now, five days later and thanks to his seneschal’s investigations, he knew better. Continue reading

Chapter two of Stormlord Rising

Don’t forget, if you’re in Brisbane tomorrow you can meet Glenda and other Voyager authors at Pulp Fiction Bookshop!

In a dry land, water is gold ...

In a dry land, water is gold ...

Read Chapter One (posted last week)

Chapter Two
Scarpen Quarter
Breccia City
Breccia Hall, Level 2

Ravard handed Ryka over to a Reduner bladesman guarding the double doors of Breccia Hall’s public reception room. The man pushed her roughly inside and closed the doors behind her.
Though the area was large, it was crowded. And noisy with crying. Her heart sank as she looked around and absorbed the significance of what she was seeing. Women. No men. Women, yet no small children. Every head turned her way to see who had entered, eyes fearful. And she was standing in a patch of half-dried blood on the floor.
Waterless hells.
There was a gasp from a group sitting on the floor, and a figure came flying to grab her in a tight embrace, sobbing, gasping, shuddering, pouring out her woe. Beryll, but not her pretty, carefree tease of a little sister. Not any more. Continue reading

2010: the year of amazing sequels

Here’s a list of some of the glorious sequels we’re expecting in 2010:

The Risen Queen by Duncan Lay – out now!
Sequel to: The Wounded Guardian (The Dragon Sword Histories)

Earth to Hell by Kylie Chan – out now!
First book in the Journey to Wudang trilogy, following the Dark Heavens trilogy

At the Gates of Darkness by Raymond E Feist – out now!
Sequel to: Rides a Dread Legion (Demonwar Saga)

February

Griffin’s Flight by K J Taylor
Sequel to: The Dark Griffin (The Fallen Moon trilogy)

Strange Attractors by Kim Falconer
Completing the Quantum Enchantment trilogy and following Arrows of Time 

Wizard Squared by K E Mills
Last book of the Rogue Agent trilogy, following Witches Incorporated

March

Stormlord Rising by Glenda Larke
Sequel to The Last Stormlord (Watergivers trilogy)

Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb
Sequel to The Dragon Keeper (The Rain Wild Chronicles)

The Desert Spear by Peter V Brett
Sequel to The Painted Man (The Demon Cycle)

April

Shalador’s Lady by Anne Bishop
The follow up to The Shadow Queen

May

The Infinity Gate by Sara Douglass
Completing the Darkglass Mountain trilogy and following Twisted Citadel

June

The Reluctant Mage by Karen Miller
Sequel to The Prodigal Mage (Fisherman’s Children series)

We’ll have a list of our upcoming debut novels this year coming soon, in the mean time, we hope you’ve got plenty to look forward to!

Aurealis Awards finalists!

Congratulations to all the finalists for the Aurealis Awards 2009! And special congrats to our wonderful Voyager authors – especially in the ‘best fantasy novel’ where Voyager seems to have hit home! The winners will be announced on Jan 23 at the Awards ceremony in Brisbane. Continue reading

Writers: do we really starve in a garret?

Whoever commands a stormlord, commands the water of a nation ...

Pictured above: a 'get out of garret' card

I’m none too sure what a garret is, but it sounds small, cramped and unpleasant. And, of course, only frequented by starving artistic folk of some kind, striving to sell the product of their genius.

However, as soon as you mention authors and income, someone mentions you-know-who and those books about a boarding school. I hope you all know that 100% of writers don’t make half what she did, and 99.99% probably don’t make 1% of her take-home pay! (OK, so I don’t really know, but that sounds about right.)

So how do we make enough money to upgrade from garret to hovel?

Well, one way is to sell the rights to our books more than once. Sneaky, eh? We sell Australian versions, American versions, and British versions. Or we sell them to be translated into another language, anything from Hebrew to Japanese. The really great thing about selling for translation is that it often happens just when the sales are tapering off on the English versions. You agent suddenly pops up and out of the blue says, oh, by the way, I’ve had a French (or Czech or Spanish) offer for that book of yours we sold back in 2003…

That has just happened to me, twice in the last two months. My Isles of Glory trilogy, which was published by Harper Voyager Australia 2003-4, and later in Russian and French, has just been accepted for German translation by Blanvalet (Random House). And the Mirage Makers, first published in English 2006-7, is going to be translated into French for Pygmalion (Flammarion).

Do we usually get as much advance for a translation as we did on the original sale? No. For a start some non-English markets may be considerably smaller. Secondly, an author usually ends up paying two agents, not just one. And thirdly, the publisher has to pay the translator as well as the author and the usual production expenses, so there is less money to go around.

So how to upgrade from hovel to mansion, then?

Keep writing. Even before the last book is published, we have already handed the next in for copy edit, and begun to work on the one after that. I reckon by the time I’m a hundred and fifty, I’ll be buying a castle in France.

And that is why in a few more days you should be able to buy a brand new book by me – not as yet published anywhere but in Australia: The Last Stormlord, available in September, first book in the Watergivers trilogy. Read it and let me know what you think!

You can follow me on Twitter @glendalarke;
read my blog at http://glendalarke.blogspot.com ;
join my facebook.com/group page at Glenda Larke;
or watch for updates at my webpage: http://glendalarke.com

Check out all Glenda’s books at www.harpercollins.com.au

Where did the Stormlord come from? by Glenda Larke

Whoever commands a stormlord, commands the water of a nation ...

Whoever commands a stormlord, commands the water of a nation ...

Where do you get your ideas?

The often asked question is actually a sensible one, although it usually results in eye-rolling from an author because of its frequency, plus the impossibility of giving a coherent answer. For a start, one idea makes a short story, not a novel. A book takes lots of ideas.

For me, the short but always honest answer is – all over the place.

For the long answer, here’s where I got the ideas for my up and coming Watergivers trilogy.

I guess it started when I was kid. We drank rainwater funnelled by guttering from the house roof into a galvanised iron tank. And one long, hot, dry Australian summer in the 1950s, a rat drowned and decomposed in the watertank – and we had to throw the precious water away. Until the next rain, stll a month or two away, we carted water from neighbours – who also went short because they shared. There’s idea number one: water is precious. I hardly remember a time when I didn’t know that.

As an adult I went to live in a country where the tropical rainfall is frequent and torrential, yet I often didn’t have water in my taps because we lived on a hill. I’d see people washing their cars at the bottom of the hill, wasting water, while I didn’t have enough water to cook my dinner. There’s idea number two: water distribution is uneven and unfair.

Then I spent five weeks camping inside a rainforest, studying the birdlife for an environmental impact assessement – knowing all the while that the area and the miracle of its biodiversity was doomed to disappear under dam waters to supply Kuala Lumpur with more tap water – so I could cook my dinner. That’s idea number three: having adequate water means sacrificing something. In The Last Stormlord, it is not the biodiversity or the land; the sacrifice is far more personal.

Next idea came I was flying 30,000’ over Iran on a beautifully clear day, and I looked down and saw lines of holes – they must have been miles long – feeding into villages. What were they? Why were they there? Back on the ground again, I did some research. Two thousand year old water tunnels still being used? Really? That was fascinating, and idea number four.

Then one December, I visited a town in the Saharan desert in Algeria. And there were houses built in the dry water courses, with strange slits in their garden walls. Why? And what happened to those houses when it rained? That December day they had their first rain for the year… Idea number five was born.

Back to Australia, and another plane, another scene: lines of parallel red sand dunes sliding past below for vast distances – and not a road or a house or a town in sight. And when the dunes finally dropped out of sight behind us, huge salt pans took their place, fed by dry washes – without a drop of water in sight. Yep, idea number six popped into my head. Moving sand dunes and vast salt plains…

And then an article in a newspaper about a scientist doing research on sand dunes that sang. Ohmigod, how could I resist writing about that. Number seven.

And finally an Indian man doing beautiful paintings with paint powder on the surface of water. Pure magic. Wow. Number eight.

Ancient water tunnels, moving red dunes, singing sands, salt pans, settlements in dry water courses, waterpaintings, precious water…I had my world. All I needed was the people to inhabit it.

That was easy – who could have the power in such a world? The man – or woman – who controlled the water, of course. And what better way to control water than with magic? The story of the stormlord, a waterpainter and two rainlords was born…

In Australia, you will be able to buy it about one month from now.

Glenda Larke is the author of the Isles of Glory trilogy, the Mirage Makers trilogy and now the upcoming Watergivers trilogy, which starts with The Last Stormlord, coming in September 2009, and which will be freely available to read online (for two weeks) very soon. Visit Glenda’s website.