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A guide to… Fiona McIntosh

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Get to know the stories (and the stories behind the stories) of one of Australia’s most beloved authors.

You might know Fiona McIntosh as the author of romantic period adventures, featuring lush landscapes and exotic settings around the world. Or perhaps it’s her DCI Jack Hawksworth detective thrillers that drew you in. Either way, McIntosh’s suspenseful, fast-paced storytelling style is more than likely going to keep you coming back.

Born and raised on the English South Coast, Fiona spent her early childhood in West Africa, and these experiences fuelled her dream to continue travelling to far-flung places. At twenty years old, she moved to Australia, where she founded and ran her own marketing and PR consultancy before joining her husband to publish an award-winning travel magazine.

Then, in 2000, McIntosh’s life changed forever after attending a week-long fiction masterclass with The Power of One author Bryce Courtenay. It was a bold move, but she took a chance: switching careers to become a novelist. She wrote her first book, Betrayal – the first in her Trinity series – in five weeks, and it was published in 2001 as part of a three-book deal. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Out now

The Champagne War

A heart-stopping adventure about the true power of love and hope to light the way during war. Audiobook narrated by: Katy Sobey

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A life dedicated to the written word

Initially focusing on fantasy novels, McIntosh has also written novels for children, two DCI Jack Hawksworth detective thrillers, and a suite of sweeping historical dramas set in breathtaking settings around the world. In 2012 Courtenay asked McIntosh to join him for his final masterclass in Canberra, during which he handed over the baton and urged her to continue guiding and motivating new writers. She now runs her own highly respected fiction-writing masterclasses, and released her handbook for aspiring novelists, How To Write Your Blockbuster, in 2015.

Beyond novel writing, McIntosh pens travel columns and helps with motivational courses in rural South Australia. Hopefully sooner rather than later, she’ll return to roaming the world researching and drawing inspiration for her novels, and escorting passionate readers on international itineraries tailored to allow them to walk in the footsteps of her characters. We know… half her luck, right? Except in McIntosh’s case, luck has very little to do with it.

Browse on to discover five facts McIntosh uncovered while researching her 2020 book The Champagne War. And click the links to find insights into the events, locations, even garments, that inspire the books of this most beloved of Australian authors.

Featured titles

How to Write Your Blockbuster

In this practical and lively handbook McIntosh guides you through the stages of writing a novel, from establishing good working habits all the way through to submitting your draft to a suitable publisher.

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Bye Bye Baby

Introducing DCI Jack Hawksworth, Scotland Yard's brightest talent, in this cracking crime novel from the bestselling author of The Tea Gardens.

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The Pearl Thief

The thrilling new blockbuster by the bestselling author of The Tea Gardens.

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Related features

Article
A Champagne sojourn

Fiona McIntosh shares five surprising facts she learned while researching The Champagne War.

Book clubs
The Champagne War book club notes

Sweep your book club off to the sun-kissed vineyards of rural France.

Q&A
Fiona McIntosh Q&A

The bestselling author of The Tea Gardens discusses her penchant for the crime and thriller genre. 

Article
Growing up in Ghana

Fiona McIntosh on her colourful childhood in Africa and how this influenced The Diamond Hunter. 

Article
Capturing the flavour

Fiona McIntosh’s enviable research trip behind her book The Chocolate Tin.

Video
Interview with Fiona McIntosh author of The Diamond Hunter

‘It won’t matter how many diamonds you find if you lose the love of your child.’ The Diamond Hunter is the new historical blockbuster from the bestselling author of The Pearl Thief, Fiona McIntosh.

Video
The Pearl Thief by Fiona McIntosh

The thrilling new blockbuster by the bestselling author of THE TEA GARDENS.

Article
Researching The Pearl Thief

Fiona McIntosh on the jewels and journeys that sparked the idea for her latest novel.

Article
Researching The Tea Gardens

Fiona McIntosh on studying 1930’s Britain and India in pursuit of the perfect setting for her latest novel.

Recipe
Hot chocolate sauce

Try this indulgent recipe from The Chocolate Tin author Fiona McIntosh.

Read an extract

Extract
The Champagne War

As the new year of 1910 moved closer to its second month, the world marvelled that there had been so few deaths in Paris when the River Seine rose more than eight metres and flooded the city.

Extract
The Diamond Hunter

The air sagged beneath the burden of the day’s heat and the African sun felt as pitiless as her mother’s gaze upon meeting the man Louisa had chosen to marry.

Extract
The Tea Gardens

I didn’t dare look at the palm of my hand for fear of seeing the bruising arc pattern of fingernails from the clenching of my fist moments earlier.

Extract
The Chocolate Tin

York – 1915 The argument had been tame, polite even, but there was no doubt in her mind that if she didn’t make a decision, it would be made for her.