• 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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Great reviews for Dark Griffin & Nightfall!

The Speculating on SpecFic blog has just posted up some great reviews for 2 Voyager books both new and old(ish)! Check out their review for Nightfall by Will Elliott here and if you loved reading her ongoing short story Bran the Betrayer here on the blog, check out the review for KJ Taylor’s first novel, The Dark Griffin. Thanks Shaheen!

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Getting to the moment by Will Elliott

Book One

People who ask about “where you get the idea” for a book seem to think the idea is a single moment. For me “the idea” is a phase of a book’s construction, not a single moment. I call it the “conceptualization phase” – often it’s weeks long, jotting notes, actively digging for things but also passively letting them come. Drawing sketches of characters and locations is key – even crappy drawings provide details about each character’s history and personality. Some of the ideas are “eureka!”, some are “hm I dunno, is this even gonna work? To hell with it, let’s find out…”

In the case of Pilgrims (Book One of the Pendulum trilogy), I was seeking a setting for a fantasy world; or rather a way to connect our world with a magical realm. I sweated through all manner of complicated setting ideas, looking for a plausible way into this other place (whatever it would eventually look like.) Very little came to me… but what if this other world could literally be reached through the other side of a door? It seemed so simple, and such a neat way around all the other mad-scientist psychobabble I’d come up with, it was one of those lightning strike “eureka” moments. It occurred to me: Rowling probably didn’t fret too much that platform 3 and ¾ isn’t actually possible… (or is it?)

Book Two

Those moments are the whole point of writing (believe it or not, running spellchecker isn’t exactly the highlight of the process.) Those “of course!” moments make the sweating worthwhile. You can come by more of them by posing challenges during the writing. Which means: don’t plot much, just enough to get by (even for a trilogy.) Throw in ingredients / events / characters whose purpose is not yet entirely clear. In that moment of intuition, you picked that event / character for a reason. Your logical mind is just going to have to wait a while to see what that is… with a little luck, it will wait on the edge of its seat.

Will Elliott is the author of  Pilgrims and Shadow, books one and two of the Pendulum, and is now working on World’s End, the third book in this triloy. Will’s debut novel The Pilo Family Circus won the Golden Aurealis.

We’re off to see …

Is this not the most awesome author picture ever?

 … the Wizard.

Will Elliott gets ready to sign copies of his Voyager fantasy novel, PILGRIMS.

Read the first chapter of Pilgrims here!

 Meet Will …

Thursday May 13, Angus & Robertson PO Square 12noon
Thursday May 13, Angus & Robertson Toowong 5.00pm  

Saturday May 22, Angus & Robertson North Lakes 10.00am
Saturday May 22, Angus & Robertson Morayfield 2.00pm
 

And the results are in … 2008 Aurealis Awards

What a spectacular night it was! Apologies for how late this entry is, but your awards correspondent was busy flying to and from Brisbane for much of the weekend 🙂 and then distracted by Australia Day.

The full list of winners:

best science fiction novel: K A Bedford, Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait, Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing

best science fiction short story: Simon Brown, ‘The Empire’, Dreaming Again, Harper/Voyager

best fantasy novel:Alison Goodman, The Two Pearls of Wisdom, HarperCollins

best fantasy short story: Cat Sparks, ‘Sammarynda Deep’, Paper Cities, Senses 5 Press

best horror novel: John Harwood, The Seance, Jonathan Cape (Random House Australia)

best horror short story: Kirstyn McDermott, ‘Painlessness’, Greatest Uncommon Denominator (GUD), #2

best anthology: Jonathan Strahan (editor), The Starry Rift, Viking Children’s Books

best collection: Sean Williams & Russell B Farr (editor), Magic Dirt: The Best of Sean Williams, Ticonderoga Publications

best illustated book/graphic novel: Shaun Tan, Tales From Outer Suburbia, Allen & Unwin

best young adult novel: Melina Marchetta, Finnikin of the Rock, Viking Penguin

best young adult short story: Trent Jamieson, ‘Cracks’, Shiny, #2

best children’s novel: Emily Rodda, The Wizard of Rondo, Omnibus Books

best children’s illustrated work/picture book: Richard Harland & Laura Peterson (illustrator), Escape!, Under Siege, Race to the Ruins, The Heavy Crown, The Wolf Kingdom series, Omnibus Books

Peter McNamara Convenors’ Award for Excellence: Jack Dann

I also strongly recommend reading the judge’s reports – the link to each category’s report is here, as it gives a further insight into the process.

There will be more blogging to come on the weekend, but for now, we’re extremely proud of Jack, Simon and Alison, and congratulations to all the winners, and shortlisted authors, because you really are all fantastic. Alison Goodman was also co-host of the night alongside a very amusing Simon Higgins and looked gorgeous in red. Stephanie Smith (Voyager Publisher) was there (and almost impossible to extricate from the post-Awards party so we could go to dinner! And lovely Voyager authors Karen Miller and Kim Westwood, who were both judges in the awards, also took part in the weekend.

The awards were fantastic (it was my first one) – there was a great slideshow in the background introducing each category – and the intro for the hosts was especially clever! There were also vids of the convenors talking about their experience of judging the awards and their feelings towards spec fiction in general – and I was very amused by Beau from Pulp Fiction when he was talking about how he got roped into the awards!! (Working with Ron must have that effect!)

Of course we were tremendously proud of Jack being awarded the Peter McNamara Convenor’s Award – and forced Jack to open his ribbon-wrapped box before dinner so we could admire the award (which is very snappy looking and made of concave glass – Jack promised not to break it now that he knew what it was). Melina Marchetta’s speech was particularly moving — Finnikin of the Rock is her first move into speculative fiction and she talked about the process of writing it, and what she called her ‘ten year mini-break’ from writing!

And as mentioned above, Alison Goodman looked gorgeous and -was- gorgeous, even when Simon Higgins was trying to give her ideas to make the sequel to The Two Pearls of Wisdom better, involving enterprising ideas if ever I heard them! And her acceptance speech for her award was very funny – she was lost for words.

Stephanie and I had dinner with Jack Dann, Karen Miller, Kim Westwood, Cathie Tasker (who judged the fantasy novel award) and her partnet, Alan, as well as writer Angela Slatter and her fellow Clarion South classmate, Lisa, and upcoming Voyager author, Will Elliott. We had a good time, although both Karen and I were suffering from early starts, having flown in from Sydney that morning. I got to quiz Karen on Empress of Mijak (amazing book), and there being four Aurealis judges at the table, we had a good chat about the whole process, too.

Anyway, there’s plenty more to blog on from the weekend, so keep an eye on the Voyager blog this week!

And one more thing to add – a link to Cat Sparks Flickr photo album of the night – Cat‘s short story ‘Sammarynda Deep’ won the Aurealis for the short fantasy category.