• 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!



Harper Voyager Guidelines for Digital Submission – Accepting Manuscripts from October 1st – October 14th, 2012!

Keen to become a Harper Voyager author? Here’s your chance to join the imprint that publishes some of the biggest names in fantastic fiction—George R. R. Martin, Kim Harrison, Raymond E. Feist, Robin Hobb, Richard Kadrey, Sara Douglass, Peter V. Brett and Kylie Chan—to name but a few.

For the first time in over a decade, Harper Voyager are opening the doors to unsolicited submissions in order to seek new authors with fresh voices, strong storytelling abilities, original ideas and compelling storylines. So, if you believe your manuscript has these qualities, then we want to read it!

We’re seeking all kinds of adult and young adult speculative fiction for digital publication, but particularly epic fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, horror, dystopia and supernatural. For more idea of the type of books we love to read and publish, check out our authors and their titles at our global blog: www.harpervoyagerbooks.com

Submissions for digital originals will be open for a limited two-week period from 1st to the 14th of October, 2012.

So, follow these easy guidelines and move one step closer to making your dreams come true …

How To Submit A Manuscript To submit, go to www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com and follow the instructions to fill out the form and upload your manuscript.

Due to time constraints, we will not be able to respond to every query. If you do not receive a response after three months, unfortunately that means your story is not right for us this time.

Submissions FAQ

How long does my book need to be? We are looking for full-length manuscripts only. A full-length manuscript needs to be more than 70,000 words, and ideally we are looking for manuscripts between 80,000–120,000 words.

Can I submit a manuscript that I am still working on? No. Please only submit full-length manuscripts that are completed and polished.

What font/margin/size should I use? Your formatting choices are up to you. As long as your manuscript is double-spaced and readable, it’s acceptable. We prefer Word or RTF, and legible, sans-serif fonts.

Can I submit more than one manuscript? Yes, you can enter more than one manuscript but you will need to fill out the form at www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com for each submission separately. If your work is a trilogy or series, please only submit the first manuscript.

Can I submit someone else’s material? No. The manuscript must be your own original work.

Will you accept a manuscript even if the subgenre isn’t listed? Yes, on the submission form, choose “other” and write in your subgenre.

I’m an agent. Should I use this to submit my client’s manuscript? No, this submission form is for authors only. Agents should pitch and submit projects in the usual fashion.

Can I submit if my manuscript is under consideration with another publisher? No. Manuscripts that are being considered by other publishers are not eligible for submission.

Do you accept manuscripts that have been previously published, including self-published? Yes, we will consider work that has been previously published if the author has retained full volume rights or had full volume rights revert to them. Please provide the publication details.

I have submitted my book to Harper Voyager in the past and it has been declined. Can I resubmit? If a manuscript has previously been submitted and declined for Harper Voyager, please do not resubmit unless it has been extensively rewritten. You are welcome to submit other works, however.

Which editor should I address my submission to? There is no need to specify an editor. Your submission will be read by the global Voyager team in Australia, UK and US.

Will I be notified when my manuscript is submitted? Yes, you will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your submission. Please check your junk email filter for this automated email. If you do not receive an automatic response, please email us at voyagersubmissions@harpercollins.com with the title and date of your submission.

How long will you take to respond? Due to the volume of submissions, we will only be able to contact you if your project is the right fit. If you have not received a response in three months time, unfortunately your project wasn’t right for our current list.

Will there be any feedback? Unfortunately due to the volume of submissions we will not be able to provide individual feedback or comments on submissions.

Can I submit my manuscript after the deadline? We will be accepting submissions between 1st to the 14th of October, 2012. Unfortunately at the moment we cannot accept any late or early submissions outside of these times.

Will you publish my book into print? We are looking primarily for e-only titles. There is the possibility that submissions will be published in print as well.

Frequently Asked Questions about Harper Voyager Digital

Why is Harper Voyager embarking upon a digital publishing program? Why now? We believe the timing is perfect for Harper Voyager to publish digitally. We’ve already been publishing digital originals from our existing Harper Voyager authors, and are thrilled to expand this wider to welcome new authors and voices to Harper Voyager. The growth of eReaders and e-books have created an exciting new opportunity that allows us to begin increasing the number and diversity of our speculative fiction list. And speculative fiction readers are the most savvy early adopters so we’re keen to provide our readers with the best ebooks possible.

How is the Harper Voyager digital list different from Harper Voyager Books? Harper Voyager has a long history of publishing fantastic speculative fiction, including authors like Robin Hobb, Ray Feist, George R.R. Martin, Kim Harrison, Kylie Chan, Richard Kadrey, Fiona McIntosh, Peter Brett and Sara Douglass: our editorial staff and sales/marketing/publicity force are highly respected, and Harper Voyager authors benefit from those existing talents, platforms, and relationships.

The Voyager digital list is growing from our existing publishing program. We’re always looking for ways to grow our authors in a marketplace rife with new opportunity. We see the digital list as a fantastic opportunity to find exciting new writers and reach more readers than ever before.

Our enthusiastic editorial team acquires content for both our print and digital lists and are passionate genre fans. The Harper Voyager digital lists offer similar benefits to authors as the print list: each Harper Voyager e-book will receive a distinctive cover treatment. Authors will receive the benefit of editorial structural and copyediting advice from experienced editors. During the publication cycle, the books will receive support from Harper Voyager’s marketing and publicity professionals; and the e-books will benefit from our proven, strong relationships with all e-book channels and online retailers.

How many titles per month will you release? Currently, we are looking to acquire enough content to release a new Harper Voyager digital title each month.

Where will Harper Voyager’s digital titles be sold? Will Harper Voyager e-books be distributed globally? Every Harper Voyager digital contract will include World English language distribution, so we can deliver these e-books everywhere around the world where English-language novels are sold.

Our Harper Voyager e-books will be available at every e-retailer, and readers will be able to download them onto every portable reading device and platform sold today … and tomorrow, too.

What is the submission process? Where can I find the Submission Guidelines? All non-agented manuscripts should be submitted at www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com. Please note the detailed instructions on submission guidelines before sending your documents electronically.

You can find our submission guidelines at www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com as well.

What types of submissions is Harper Voyager interested in? Voyager is looking for authors with a fresh voice, strong storytelling abilities, original ideas and a compelling storyline. If you believe your manuscript has these qualities, then we want to see it!

We’re actively seeking speculative fiction genres, especially epic fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, horror, dystopia, supernatural and YA.

Can existing Harper Voyager authors also submit to Harper Voyager digital? Of course!

If a debut author is published under the Harper Voyager digital imprint; is there a chance to be published in print as well? Yes, there is the possibility that submissions will be published in print as well.

Will my work be copyrighted? Each title receives individual copyright, retained by the author, as is the norm for all Harper Voyager titles.

Is Harper Voyager publishing fiction only? Yes, we are only looking for speculative fiction manuscripts.

Will manuscripts be edited and copyedited before publishing? Yes. Just as with our print titles, each Harper Voyager digital project will be assigned to an individual Voyager editor, and will go through a comprehensive content and copyediting process.

Will Harper Voyager titles benefit from Voyager Publicity and Marketing? Yes. We will support our digital Harper Voyager titles with comprehensive publicity/marketing campaigns, marketing each title, using the digital landscape to strongly support this fantastic line of digital-first publications.

Is Digital Harper Voyager a Custom/Vanity Publisher? No. In acquiring for Harper Voyager digital, we carefully curate submissions and edit accepted manuscripts in the same fashion as all of our Harper Voyager titles. The digital list will benefit from Voyager’s editorial, marketing, publicity and sales platforms. And getting all these services at no cost to the author is the benefit of publishing with Harper Voyager.

Our digital original submission period is only open from 1 October through 14 October, 2012, so visit www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com and move one step closer to your Voyager dreams.

Go for the Unrealistic: Five Tips for Emerging Writers

Learning to fly by Silesti ( http://silesti.deviantart.com/ )

It’s unrealistic to bend a piece of metal and fly people over the ocean in it but fortunately the Wright brothers didn’t think so. – Will Smith

A lot of advice for emerging writers centres on ‘being realistic, like you can’t get an agent if you haven’t published, you can’t get a major publisher without an agent, writing is very hard work, only write what you know, what $$$, rejection du jour, it’s tricky for Australian authors to publish their works overseas, keep your day job  . . .  and many more. Such advice is enough to sink an emerging writer into a bout of depression! Is the advice realistic? Probably. Do you let that guide you? No!

I highly recommend these five unrealistic steps to landing the publishing deal of your dreams.

Step #1 Forget about being realistic. Stop thinking about the practical advice and the ‘cold hard facts’ and develop your craft. If you have a dream, something you are enthusiastic about, develop the skills to deliver it. All the storytelling talent in the world won’t fly if you don’t have the skills to communicate your vision. Develop them!

Step #2 Think in terms of component parts. You don’t set out to write a 500,000 word, three book series. You don’t even set out to write a single novel. You get up in the morning and you write five hundred words. You do that for a time and get some confidence and maybe after a while you find yourself writing a thousand words a day. Then two thousand. In a year, you have a solid manuscript. In ten years, you have more than you dreamed possible.

 Step #3 Say you can do it. He who says he can and he who says he can’t are both correct. Confucius. Think about that for a while.

 Step #4 Know your motivations. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ motivation for your artistry. It might be that you want to prove something to the world. You might want to feel of value. You might be obsessed with telling a story that will touch people’s hearts. Whatever your motivation is, know it. Know thyself. The awareness of what drives you is your touchstone. Use it.

 Step #5 Decide, devote, deliver. Just decide that you will do it, that you will achieve your dream. Devote your whole heart to it, and allow for compassion for others and the planet to be part of that devotion. Deliver what you promise to yourself and to others—your daily word count, your article deadline, your publisher’s request.

Bonus tip. Remind yourself to go for the unrealistic. I mean, what if we’d listened to any of this ‘realistic’ advice?

 Everything that can be invented has been invented.  Charles H. Duell, an official at the US patent office, 1899

 The singer (Mick Jagger) will have to go; the BBC won’t like him. -First Rolling Stones manager Eric Easton to his partner after watching them perform.

 I’m sorry, Mr Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language. The San Francisco Examiner, rejecting a submission by Rudyard Kipling in 1889

 You better get secretarial work or get married. -Emmeline Snively, director of the Blue Book Modelling Modelling Agency, advising would-be model Marilyn Monroe in 1944.

 With over fifteen types of foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn’t likely to carve out a big share of the market for itself. Business Week, August 2, 1968.

 There will never be a bigger plane built. – A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that holds ten people.

 If anything remains more or less unchanged, it will be the role of women. David Riesman, conservative American social scientist, 1967. (Of boy!)

Fiona McIntosh: The mathematics of speedy writing

I’ve been asked about how I write my books so fast.  That’s a tricky question to respond to because I really don’t know any other way or any other speed to write at.  I’ve realised that I do seem to roar through a manuscript fairly briskly but it’s also fair to say that I’m not one of these writers who pays much attention to anything but getting the bones of the story laid out on my first pass.  I never read what I wrote the day before and I simply never think to edit as I go along.  Everyone has their own style that comes naturally so I’ve stopped questioning myself about the fact that I don’t make notes, I don’t keep any sort of running document or exercise book to scribble information into.  I know I’ve forgotten more than I’ve remembered and that when I reassure myself I will recall something the next day, I usually don’t.  But, I’m not a planner when it comes to my writing.  Thinking the story out makes me feel imprisoned and I am more comfortable just leaping in and writing in an organic style, allowing the plot to shape itself as the characters make their often curious decisions.  I think it’s quite easy to sit back, with the luxury of forethought as much as reflection, and pass judgement on how characters behave.  But I am a firm believer that human beings are often erratic, frequently irrational and many of us are driven by emotions rather than maths.  A lot of us don’t work out to the nth degree what the repercussions of a decision might be – well, not until we’re our parents’ ages anyway.  And right now for me that’s early 80s!  Many of my key characters are young and so I like to give them leeway to make questionable decisions and they’re almost always in stressful situations and so they react instinctively rather than having too much time to work out the best course of action.  That makes the story rip along quite fast but it does lead the characters into some dangerous circumstances that could have been avoided if they’d thought it through more.  Younger characters are often selfish, slightly self centred and spontaneous.  To me this feels real.  And so in not trying to analyse the plot or the characters too much and just letting go and seeing where the story takes itself, I can get straight down to writing a lot faster than the writer who prefers to have a more structured, planned approach to the manuscript. 

And here’s how I set out:

I work out when I want this book finished.  Let’s say I have 18 weeks.  To me that’s 90 working days because I don’t count weekends.  And then I decide how big I want my manuscript to be – roughly.  I usually settle at around 150,000 words, give or take 10,000.    And then I divide that 150,000 words by 90 working days and I get my all- important equation, which I round up to 1700.  So that means I must write 1700 words per day, five days a week, between now and the deadline for me to produce a nice fat 150K word manuscript.  And then I double my daily word count to 3500, which I find achievable daily, and that means I can produce a manuscript in nine weeks, knowing I’ve got several more working weeks up my sleeve if I need to do some editing of another novel, or go on tour, or run a workshop or whatever.  As neat as I get my calculations, life gets in the way and by doubling my word production, I give myself a ‘life buffer’ for when things go pear-shaped because of family commitments or whatever decides to obstruct the flow of my beautiful equation.  I live by my daily word count (DWC). It becomes my master and I its slave.  It is how I keep discipline to my writing and sometimes I reach the DWC in two hours and other times it may take five.  But I always reach it and as soon as I do, I stop writing for the day….often mid sentence!  And that’s how I appear to write fast when really I’m just writing smart for someone who doesn’t plan, has children to take care of, a life to enjoy beyond the keyboard, travel to be done, and more than one book a year to write.

Fiona McIntosh’s next book will be coming out in September. Royal Exile is the first book in the new Valisar series. Watch this space as she’ll be blogging regularly in the lead up to September.