• 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!

     

     

Argh! Zombies!

There has been so much talk lately of the colour grey but, let’s be honest, it’s such a boring colour. Comparatively, red is fantastic. It’s bright, attention-grabbing and … bloody.

Which brings me to zombies.  They are covered in the stuff.

Zombies have made a resurgence of late as the face of horror, largely due to the success of The Walking Dead television series and they are the opposite of those sparkly vampires that the tweens love but we have had enough of.  I think that we can all rest assured that zombies will maintain their monster status quo and contain to be the relentless horde that will keep leading the revolt against their emotionally unstable undead cousins. Vampires have gotten soft and cuddly, zombies instill fear and panic. In this time where erotica sells, the undead must rise against it.

Why? Because zombies will never play the romantic lead. Their love of brains doesn’t translate to a love of intellectual conversation and nights in playing scrabble. And their desire to eat you sounds sexy but it’s not going to be a pleasant experience. Although they might give you cause to scream ‘Oh God!’ and leave you panting for breath – it’s not the happy sort of exclamation and its more of a marathon run where you flee for your life than a marathon bonk session that’s going to affect your lung capacity.

In the literary world, Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies took the world by storm in 2009 and only recently (23/8/12) the BBC News have asked  (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-19359570) if literary mash-ups are the next big thing (clearly it took them a while to jump on to the zombie bandwagon — better late than never). A recently published literary mash-up is Corrupted Classics, a compilation of short stories by some emerging writers which will appeal to zombie fiends, corrupting tales from your childhood with a zombie-esque edge like you wouldn’t believe.

Corrupted Classics
is a digital anthology of short stories based on scenes from literary classics that have been twisted into harsh zombie apocalyptic worlds. Now some of history’s best-loved characters face a fate even more cataclysmic than academic obscurity … These are the classics like you have never seen them before, alive and well in the realm of the undead. Alice in Wonderland (becomes Alice in Zombieland) and Peter Pan (becomes Never Neverland) are just two of the twisted tales that are feeding the zombie zeitgeist. Corrupted Classics has some great re-imaginings that would work as full-length novels, even if they are only published as e-books. The world needs more tales of zombies, and the 10 million Walking Dead fans would agree.

One of the best things about zombies are the zombie fans. They totally get it. They are absorbed into the notion of the undead stumbling along the streets, turning the moment they get a whiff of fresh meat, I don’t know many zombie aficionados who don’t have a plan for when the zombie apocalypse begins. In the US, Halloween allows fans to embrace it, with The Walking Dead being a huge influence last year and people happily adorned dangling bits of fake flesh to their face and covered themselves in red corn syrup. In Australia, you have the annual Brisbane Zombie Walk (www.brisbanezombiewalk.com) that not only lets you stagger around the streets but also aptly raises funds for The Brain Foundation of Australia. This year it will be held this Sunday, 21st October and a gold coin donation will get you walking the streets amongst the sea of undead covered in as much gore as you’re comfortable with.

If you haven’t already, check out the Corrupted Classics Facebook page (www.facebook.com/corruptedclassics) and join the horde.

Also, if you REALLY want to survive the inevitable coming zombie apocalypse, there’s loads of resources online-One of our fans sent this link in!

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.