Fiona McIntosh

ABC First Tuesday Book Club

The much beloved First Tuesday Book Club on the ABC will be doing a Jennifer Byrne Presents Fantasy Special mid year.

I was delighted to be asked to appear on the popular program together with other fantasy authors Jennifer Rowe, whom many of you will know as Emily Rodda. Matthew Reilly, and Lev Grossmann from the US are my fellow panellists.

Fantasy is such a huge genre, as many of you who love it already know. But for the less initiated, it is far from the stereotype of what too many still believe fantasy is i.e. goblins and dragons. And I would urge mainstream readers to sample some quality fantasy and discover not only the breadth of its stories but how filled with adventure, emotion, brilliant characters and superb storytelling it is. There are so many genres beneath the one umbrella so if as a mainstream reader you love a more romantic tale then there are plenty of fantasy books for you. And of course if you love action or horror, historical or just straight heroic adventure – a good bookseller can point you to the sort of author who can deliver exactly what you might love. Try it, you may be pleasantly surprised.

A glimpse into mine: Trinity…a quest-like tale about a young man determined to find out the truth about his birth. The most fantastical of all of my stories. The Quickening…the series that put me on the fantasy map. An army general is unwittingly the recipient of a gift when he shows mercy to a woman accused of being a witch during a brutal trial. The gift – or is it a curse? – will dramatically change the course of his life. Percheron….borrowing heavily from the Ottoman era in Constantinople; this story focuses on a girl, bought as a slave and the man who sells her into the royal harem. Romantic, unpredictable and tense as gods and mortals interact. Valisar…my favourite. A flourishing set of kingdoms is overrun by invaders, with the Valisar crown the prize. The struggles of the dynasty to claim back its crown. Powerful, romantic, dramatic with blurred lines between good and evil.

My top three recommendations….try Robin Hobb, Guy Gavriel Kay, George R R Martin for superb fantasy storytelling.

As to the Jennifer Byrne Presents Fantasy – I think perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of this particular presentation is that most of us on the show are diverse writers. Matt for instance writes action adventures, while I’m writing historical fiction and crime alongside epic fantasy adventures and travel. Jennifer might be the household name as the writer of Deltora Quest that got a lot of our children reading fantasy but she has plenty of strings to be her bow from crime to newspaper articles. Lev Grossman is a journalist and book critic with Time Magazine who has written his first fantasy novel.

It’s going to be a fun and lively look at how fantasy in our stories has evolved and where perhaps it might be going, what influences it and us as its writers. How myth and legend intertwine and from where we draw inspiration.

Hope you’ll tune into the ABC’s First Tuesday Book club currently scheduled for July 12.



Leave a comment

  1. Amirzand01 February 17, 2011

    Great show and well done for your involvement – will mark this in my electronic calendar :))


  2. Shell February 18, 2011

    Fabulous Fiona! I have it penciled in, in my diary!


  3. Aynze February 19, 2011

    Look forward to it – must look into how to be in the studio audience!


  4. nigelle-ann February 21, 2011

    will do, and Matthew Riley hmm LOL should be a great show.


  5. beverley March 21, 2011

    after reading all of fiona’s books I cannot settle to reading , nothing compares to fiona’s work , just great reading I am in mourning until her next release , keep up the fabulous work.a fan for life .


    • fiona April 8, 2011

      Thanks Beverley….love fans for life! x


  6. Sean the Blogonaut April 21, 2011

    Have noted the date down in my diary. Love the specials that First Tuesday book club does.


  7. Pauline May 3, 2011

    I’ll be chasing tickets too.


  8. Maddy May 11, 2011

    Yay! Cant wait for the show Fi,
    love Maddy x


  9. Michael July 12, 2011

    I saw this episode tonight and very much enjoyed it. Really worth the wait.


    • fiona July 12, 2011

      Thanks so much, Michael. It was an interesting discussion on the day and I think it came across very well last night. Hopefully it will prompt a lot of people who haven’t dipped their toe into the fantasy genre previously to wade gently into the pool of fabulous tales awaiting them!


  10. bear market November 7, 2011

    I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Great work!


    • fiona November 7, 2011

      Hi there
      Thanks for your kind comment – it’s so lovely to receive this sort of feedback as when designing a site you just have to go with gut feel. Yes, I did use a small agency to put it together but I also took some time to have a very firm idea of how I wanted it to look and I believe in generating fresh pages regularly. I will certainly overhaul the site in a year’s time and give it a new feel. In the meantime, thanks, glad you like. Visit often!


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