• 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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Finally, a book where vampires are meant to be killed!

They don't exist. But they save your life every day.

 After a long stint of the fluffy, love-struck kind, it appears vampires are once again designed to be feared. The stakes have been raised by Department 19, the debut novel from UK author Will Hill, who delivers a fantastic story with cracking pace, intelligent characters and an impressive array of monster-killing weaponry. And more importantly, sees a return to a traditional portrait of the vampire — blood-sucking monsters — that need to be slayed with the previously mentioned arsenal.

Founded in 1891 after Abraham Van Helsing and co. dusted Dracula, Department 19 came into existence for one very important reason — to protect us from the monsters that roamed the world. Now it stands, as it always has, as a top secret UK government agency run by the descendents of Van Helsing’s original party.

So when Jamie Carpenter’s mother is kidnapped by strange creatures, he is recruited into the organisation of black-clad soldiers that don’t officially exist. An organisation, it appears, he’s been destined to join. He is trained, he is tested and then given everything he needs to go rescue his mother and stake the legion of vampires that want him dead.

Department 19 is a non-stop, pulse pounding adventure, exposing the organisation’s greatest secrets, the diabolical betrayals and the fact that the world is full of monsters.

 For your chance to win a signed copy of Department 19, check out http://www.department19exists.com/ and email us at promotions@harpercollins.com.au to let us know in 25 words or less what your favourite piece of the arsenal is and why.

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Del Toro & Colbert on The Fall, monsters and keeping fear alive

 

Director, writer and seriously cool guy Guillermo Del Toro dropped by The Colbert Report to discuss his new book The Fall.

Following on from his heart stopping The Strain, written with Chuck Hogan, The Fall is another trip through the vast imagination of the man that created Pan’s Labyrinth. Here be vampires, but not the sparkly kind.

Guillermo reckons he  knows more about monsters than he does his family and gives some advice to Colbert on designing monsters and using fear ahead of Colbert’s upcoming March to Keep Fear Alive.

If you haven’t already read The Strain click here to start reading the book that io9 called a ‘breakneck thrill ride … the antidote to fey vampires’.

Watch the video. Read the book. Keep Fear Alive.

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.

Zombies and Book Promotion—There is a Difference! by Kim Falconer

Vampires are definitely sexier ...

Vampires are definitely sexier ...

I had the pleasure visiting two great panels yesterday: Is the Vampire the new Zombie? and Book Promotions: What works and what should be buried in a bucket, under the ocean, of a distant planet, in another universe?
Vampires VS Zombies was a riveting message board style chat of V and Z literature, film and facts. Transcripts, and space to contribute ongoing comments, are hosted on A Writer Goes on a Journey. The panel included Gary Kemble, journalist for the ABC and Rob Hood, author of many dark tales and editor of the Daikaiju.

Much discussion covered different notions of zombies and vampires—what kinds of hunger they have and what sorts of evil they portray. Nyssa’s article on Emotions and Zombies (and AI, Dryads and Clones) was a good starting point and source of reference. More than a few of us thought having a psychologist on board would have been smart—it was scary at times and some people had to lie down, or close their eyes. You can’t talk about these creatures without it ‘bringing up stuff.’ Have a read through and feel free to add to the discussion with comments and queries!

Identity crisis ...

Identity crisis ...

Gary Kemble was also on the panel for Book Promotions: What works and what should be buried in a bucket, under the ocean, of a distant planet, in another universe? Joining him was Hal Spacejock’s daddy, Simon Haynes (Pete S Allen, owner of Creative Guy Publishing sent apologies. He couldn’t make it.

It was decided straight up that the worst strategy for an author was to beg people to buy their book. From then on, ideas were popping like pop corn. Simon offered a singular test for the success of a promotional idea—is it fun? I love that! If it’s not fun for the author, not an idea they can get enthused about, it’s probably not going to fly. We need to do things that make us smile. That’s the vibe that sells books! Simon offered series of promo articles including Promote Your Book Online—all on topic and helpful. Elizabeth E. Wein shared her online book launch too!

All the panels hosted by A Boy Goes on a Journey can still be read and commented on. It seems the author chats might be up too. Meanwhile, I’m getting back into the rooms! See you all there!

Kim Falconer is the author of The Spell of Rosette, which was published in January this year. She runs Falcon Astrology as well as a website for the Quantum Enchantment series. She has been participating in Flycon all weekend, including via Twitter.