Archive for May, 2007

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What Stace had to say on Thursday, May 31st, 2007
Me and Jenna Jameson

What do we have in common? (Aside from the obvious, lol.)

We’re both, apparently, X rated.

That’s right. It looks like the second book Anna J. Evans and I cowrote together, Demon’s Triad, is going to get an X rating from Ellora’s Cave. Because we are just. That. Baaaad.

EC has several thousand titles, I believe. Less than twenty are X rated.

This is EC’s sex rating system (taken from EC’s web site and of course, copyright Ellora’s Cave):

Ellora’s Cave Publishing offers three levels of Romantica® reading entertainment: S (S-ensuous), E (E-rotic), and X (X-treme).

S-ensuous love scenes are explicit and leave nothing to the imagination.

E-rotic love scenes are explicit, leave nothing to the imagination, and are high in volume per the overall word count. E-rated titles might contain material that some readers find objectionable—in other words, almost anything goes, sexually. E-rated titles are the most graphic titles we carry in terms of both sexual language and descriptiveness in these works of literature.

X-treme titles differ from E-rated titles only in plot premise and storyline execution. Stories designated with the letter X tend to contain difficult or controversial subject matter not for the faint of heart.

Now I don’t know for sure we’ll get the X, but our lovely editor seems pretty certain.

Why? Well…to explain reveals a pretty major plot point. Let’s just say that Anna and I debated it, realized the book wouldn’t work any other way, our editor agrees, and so there are some strong moments in the book and one scene which is very, well, strong.

The book won’t be released anytime soon, unfortunately, because of scheduling. Look for it early next year, and of course I’ll keep you posted.

I’m doing Friday notes today because tomorrow I’m going to be urging you all to rush out and buy Jackie Kessler’s Hells’ Belles.

So. Looks like I will not be calling my next demon book The Demon You Know, because mean old Christine Warren has a book coming out with that title. Down with Christine! Title stealer.

(For the record, I think Christine Warren rocks. Her Fantasy Fix was the very first book I ever bought from EC, and I thought it was the most amazing book ever. I still re-read it, too.)

What else? Oh. Okay, this guy is a fucking dildo. You have TB, and your doctors advise you not to go on your honeymoon, but you go anyway. Then, you find out you have a very rare strain of TB, and are ordered into quarantine, but decide that’s just not fun enough, so you hop on a couple more flights and endanger the lives of hundreds of people so you can sneak back into the US. Then, you complain about the armed guards outside your room because you don’t think they’re necessary.

And all of that because you claim you were afraid you wouldn’t have been given treatment if you’d gone to quarantine in Rome like you were told to. What did you think, they were going to throw you in a dungeon or something? Dude, you’re an attorney and a US citizen, you can’t tell me you honestly believed you were going to be allowed to rot in some sort of thrid-world disease gulag. (Which, btw, it’s not like in Italian hospitals they’re still putting mustard plasters and dirty bandages on open wounds, you know. They do have real medicine there, you asshole.)

I think he should be charged with attempted murder. At the very least, reckless endangerment. Fuckwad.

Is that it? I guess so. Oh, and I’m blogging at livejournal now too, copying posts there.

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, May 29th, 2007
Lazy, lazy, lazy

Yep, that’s me. I have been a lazy lazybones this weekend.

Well, not entirely. Actually I’ve been fairly active, I just haven’t been blogging.

Saturday we went antiquing, which was really cool. The antique shop we went to is one of those cavernous warren-like places, with lots of little rooms and, unlike antique stores in Florida, actual antiques. Including an entire carved wall panel, about 50 feet long, with a mantel and door set into it. It was amazing. Plus several staircases. Antique fireplaces, furniture, an entire wall of stuffed dead animal heads…

It was most atmospheric, too. Lots of narrow little aisles made entirely of musty dressers and wardrobes. Lovely.

Sunday we went to Bristol. Yesterday we went grocery shopping. Nothing too exciting, but we certainly filled the time.

And now the long weekend is over, and the hubs is going back to work, and it’s just me and the girls here alone for the rest of the week (it’s Princess’s half-term break.)

And I started the Blood Will Tell sequel, Blood on the Rocks. And I’ve started outlining the Personal Demons sequel, tentatively titled The Demon You Know.

So. On to the topic.

Kis asked:
…what if some of your stuff is erotic, and some is more mainstream, but it’s all set in the same fantasy world, with the same history and cultures and races and languages and stuff? Same pseudonym? Different one? I’d be looking possibly at different publishers for the differing styles. Will this make contractual issues unnecessarily complicated as far as the options clause is concerned? Is this an issue for anyone else?

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to say to this one, so I turned to Briana St. James, editor extraordinaire, who’s been in the business for several years at Ellora’s Cave, knows everyone, and is smart and great and all of that stuff. Briana is my editor and likes my work, so that right there tells you what a genius she is.

This is what she said:
I can’t really advise, but it usually isn’t a good idea to split a series over imprints or a publisher. It will make it much harder for the readers to find it, and often times publishers would much rather have an entire series.

I’m guessing as well there would be legal issues with this, as so many contracts do have option clauses that ask for the next work with the same characters or whatever. If you have an agent the agent would help negotiate all of that, but my best advice here–which, you know, probably isn’t worth doody–is to heat up the non-erotic stuff a little bit more and just sell it as a series with varying degrees of eroticism. In a series, part of the appeal is going to be the world and the characters, so readers will forgive some variations.

You could try different pseudonyms in that same series to differentiate if the books are really that different, or give them a series title: “A Gwellian Whores Book/A Soldiers of Tarok book” might clue the readers in a bit.

At least that’s my thought. You could try emailing Evil Editor to ask, or any one of the great agent bloggers in my sidebar too (*sniff* no more Miss Snark.)

Personally, I’m worrying that readers will get sick of reading about the same two people having sex over the course of more than one book. I wonder if this is one of the reasons why LKH turned Anita Blake into such a vagina-centered waste of space. At least it’s something new to write about.

Anybody else have some thoughts on either of those topics? Kis’s question, or my worries, or both?

What Stace had to say on Thursday, May 24th, 2007
What’s in a Name…

(First, three quick things. First, my faboo cp/wp Anna J. Evans had a release yesterday, her Naught Nuptial quickie (short story) with EC. Check it out here. I loved this story when I read it, so you will too.

Second, my friend Annie, as you all know, just got a great deal with Ace books!

Third, my friend Bam made herself a sweet sale to Liquid Silver Books!

Congrats to my awesome friends.)

Okay. Now.

I’m pretty sure all of you know that “December Quinn” is not my real name. Because it’s not. I love it, I answer to it, I’m used by now to being called it. But it’s not my real name, it’s a name I created specifically for my erotic books. For a number of reasons which I’m sure I don’t need to detail, I decided that keeping my identity rather more secret while writing primarily about people having sex in a variety of positions, places, and orifices, no matter how romantic the story may ultimately be, was a good idea.

My real name has other distinct disadvantages. I’ve never particularly liked it, for one. My married last name has an unfortunate similarity to a vulgar word (all it takes is one lazy vowel sound) which again, if you’re writing erotic, you want to avoid that. Plus, and this is rather more personal, not long after moving to the UK my husband fell out with his father, for reasons too complex to go into here, and they haven’t spoken in about a year. Suffice it to say that my husband has never particularly cared for having that man’s name–he’s thought of changing it for 25 years–and we don’t want to anymore.

So we’re changing our name. And the reason this matters to you is, we’re changing it to the last name of my new “other psuedonym”” Stacia Kane.

And the other pseudonym is news to you because it is the name under which Juno Books will be publishing Personal Demons early next year as a mass market paperback!!

So although legally my name is not yet Stacia Kane, it will be.

Nothing changes here, although I may add “Stacia Kane” to the title of the blog, because when the new SK site is up and running I’ll simply direct that blog here as well. The name change is simply for branding purposes; I want people to know that when they pick up a DQ book they’re getting HEA romance with (most likely) lots of sex; when they pick up an SK book they may get a more ambiguous ending with less focus on romance and less sex (though they’ll get some sex either way, never fear. There’s what I think is a cracking hot sex scene in Personal Demons and there will be more in future books too.) Hopefully they’ll like both. I don’t think the voice is all that different, just the subject matter and focus.

So there you go.

Wheeee! I sold my urban fantasy!!!

What Stace had to say on Monday, May 21st, 2007
Nightcleaning…

(With apologies to Rebecca for the title *wink*)

Does anyone else do this?

You’re in the bathroom, getting ready for bed. You brush your teeth and wash your face, and then decide this might be a good time to trim your toenails or some equally innocuous but necessary grooming task. You do that, and while doing it you realize the showerhead is dripping.

After spending several minutes trying unsuccessfully to tighten the knob enough to stop the drip, you grab a sock from the hamper and drop it in the bottom of the tub to at least muffle the dripping sound so you can fall asleep.

Wait! Is that hair in the drain? You better get that before it creates a clog. So you grab some toilet paper to protect your fingers and reach down to grab at the hair.

But in the process of doing that, you realize there’s a lot more hair than it originally seemed. The drain is basically a plate like those old plastic things we used to turn 45 records into 33 1/3, remember those? You’d fit them in the big hole in the middle of the record. Anyway, the drain is that same sort of shape, with several big holes. And there’s some hair tangled under the hole.

So you grab a Q-Tip and start digging around, using more toilet paper to yank at the ahir as you pull it up (sorry, I didn’t actually intend for this post to be so disgusting) until finally the drain is clean.

And you’ve wasted half an hour doing something basically useless. All that work garnered you a ball of hair about the size of your own thumbnail, which is not really big (even though I do have long nails.)

Does anyone else get obsessed with dumb stuff like that right before bed? I’ve been known to venture into eyebrow plucking, teeth bleaching, and cuticle trimming as bed-delaying tactics as well.

Two pieces of news:

As the Lady Wishes, the book the wonderful Anna J. Evans and I cowrote for Ellora’s Cave’s “Torrid Tarot” series, has a release date! November 16! Which is also known as the Feast of Hecate, which is rather exciting. So I’m quite pleased by that.

And, I’m very pleased to announce that The Black Dragon will be re-released with new material by Cerridwen Press, the mainstream arm of Ellora’s Cave. I don’t have any news on a release date yet but we’re hoping to start edits soon.

And that’s basically it. Except for the tragedy that happened in London this morning. The Cutty Sark has been destroyed by a fire. This is seriously awful news, and I really hope the damage isn’t so extensive it’s unable to at least be rebuilt. (Which won’t be the same, it will be a replica, but at least it will be something.) Apparently some sections of the ship were away being repaired. I hope they were large sections. This is just horrible.

What Stace had to say on Friday, May 18th, 2007
Friday notes

So I have a real New year’s book to blog about (Hell’e Belles by Jackie Kessler) but I wanted to mention this one, because I’m rereading it, and every time I read it I love it more.

I’m a huge fan of Sharon Kay Penman anyway, but the mysteries–of which The Queen’s Man is the first–are seriously almost an obsession. And in true December fashion, it’s because the hero, Justin de Quincy, is just…he’s just so hot. I can’t even explain why he’s so, so sexy. He’s not like a super alpha or a strong, silent type, he’s not a reckless bad boy, he’s just…so hot.

In fact, he is so hot he inspired what I believe is the only gushy fangirl email I ever sent, which I admittedly thought was going to, like, Sharon Kay Penman’s PA or something but in fact was sent right to her. In which I said something about how Justin was my favorite hero ever and I am so in love with him I want to cry, or something equally dorky, thinking a fellow fan would see it. And of course I got an email back from Ms. Penman herself, which I was too embarrassed to reply to. (In my defense it was just a “Thanks so much, I’m glad you like him I do too!” kind of thing.)

Anyway. Seriously. This is a great mystery. It has some very creepy moments and quite a few incredibly sexy moments, at least if you’re like me and you fell in love with Justin almost immediately. So go read it. Buy it here.

Second thing: I blogged over at Deliciously Naughty about sexy songs. I put my two must-listen-when-writing-sex songs on there, with videos (sort of) so go check them out and give them a listen, because I’d love to hear what you think.

Shoot, I know there was another snippety thing I wanted to post. I may update later.

What Stace had to say on Thursday, May 17th, 2007
Now Hiring Rabid Fangirls

Okay.

So with the internets going all crazy everywhere and all this stuff about loyalty and all this jumping to people’s defense and blah blah blah, something has occurred to me.

Something…shocking.

I have, at this moment, NO rabid fangirls.

How is this possible?

If someone were to, say, start attacking me personally on a reader blog, I don’t think anyone would leap to my defense, creating sock puppets and littering the comments with bad spellingz and “1”s instead of exclamation points. WHERE ARE TEH FANGURLS, YO?

Am I not worthy of fangirls? Do I not deserve them? C’mon, people! Not even one! Not one person?

Look. Become my fangirl, and you can buy this t-shirt. See that? Who wouldn’t want that?

Here’s the image closer up:

You think I’m joking. I’m not.

(Yeah, okay, of course I totally am.

Mostly.)

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, May 16th, 2007
Oh so many things

Wow, I do not know where these last few days have gone. I’ve been working my little fingers to the bone, trying to finish one story and write a synopsis for another, and doing some big reworks of The Black Dragon in anticipation of taking it elsewhere. Selling a book as a reissue is always tricky; I figure if there’s a decent amount of new material and changes to the old that can only help. Plus it’s amazingly fun for me, because there were a few character issues I was dying to explore but left out of the original version. See, I actually wrote that book about five years ago now, and romance has actually changed considerably in that time. Things that might now be daring or interesting wouldn’t fly then. So it’s been lots of fun to add it back in, although I’ve felt terrible for my poor hero because of it. He was fucked-up enough to begin with, now he’s got even more issues. And if all goes well you’ll all have a chance to see just what I’ve done.

Also, the hubs and I were, as I said, away all weekend in Bristol. I met Glenn Fabry (fangirl squeee!) and he did a Constantine sketch for hubby & me (he did a Jesse Custer for our friend george, for those of you who are Preacher fans. It was so nice we wanted to keep it for ourselves.) I was touched slightly inappropriately by a semi-drunk Simon Bisley, who told me about the size of his balls (and is enormous in general, seriously. The man is like a tree.)

Am I the only one who finds that as my writing improves my speaking skills get worse? On paper I am witty and concise (in my humble opinion.) But in person, I’m Miss Chattie McMotormouth and I feel all shiny and awful. And the rain didn’t help, because my hair frizzed up all over the place. I looked like I had some terrible 80’s perm on Sunday.

I didn’t used to feel that way. I used to be very confident about my people skills. But maybe since I spend most of my day at home with a toddler, writing and watching Playhouse Disney, people just tend to make me nervous. I used to like crowds. Now they make me itchy. I used to love meeting new people and felt confident I was a charming, likeable kind of chick. Now I’m convinced they think I’m an idiot.

I’ve also spent a lot of time researching profanity, because I wanted to use “fuck” in Black Dragon but couldn’t find out for sure just how old the word is. (I’m using it, because I found convincing enough evidence that it was around then). Point is, my research took me to The Uncyclopedia’s “Fuck” entry, which is very funny. I think my favorite example of the word is under “Lust”: “I’ll fuck you with a rake.” Because nothing says lust like garden equipment. (I think you can all figure out that an entire webpage about the word fuck is NSFW, right?)

All told I had a great weekend and couple of days. Good news all over the place. Tomorrow I will make up for the relative lack of content of this post, too.

But do reassure me and tell me I’m not the only one who walks away from meeting new people–especially people one would like to impress in some way–feeling like they shouldn’t be allowed to interact with other people without medication?

****PS Check out the fantastic review Mrs. Giggles gave my new friend Rebecca James!****

What Stace had to say on Saturday, May 12th, 2007
An Important Announcement

Per my request, as of May 11th Triskelion Publishing returned all rights to The Black Dragon to me!! I am no longer associated in any way with Triskelion Publishing!

This is excellent news for me and I couldn’t be more pleased. While I certainly wish Triskelion and all of its authors the best in future, the company was not a good fit for me and I am thrilled to be able to take my book elsewhere.

Break out the champagne!! YEEEAAAAAH!!!

What Stace had to say on Friday, May 11th, 2007
Friday notes

I got a little carried away discussing favorite men’s body parts over at the Deliciously Naughty blog, so go check it out and let me know what you think while I take a cold shower.

I will be away this weekend. We’re going to the Bristol Comic Expo and so, while I’ll be able to check in in the evening, I will be basically incommunicado all day both days.

We went to see Spider-Man 3 last night. Despite the less-than-stellar reviews it’s been getting I really liked it…except one thing at the end. I won’t post a spoiler, but I will say that James Franco could do a movie where all he did was sit in front of a camera and talk about pH levels in soil and I would watch in rapt attention, because he is just so gorgeous I can’t stand it. Seriously. I will buy the movie about dirt.

Wouldn’t you?

What Stace had to say on Thursday, May 10th, 2007
The turning of the worm

It’s official. Old Project is now my huckleberry again, and New Project, for a number of reasons, has lost my interest. I still think it’s a great idea, I’m just not desperate to work on it at the moment. It’s not, you know, finished and edited the way OP is.

Plus, I had occasion to re-read OP the other day and still really like it. So there. Let’s hope I’m not the only one.

Not to mention I have so many projects on my plate right now it’s not even funny.

BUT, that’s not the point of this post. The point here is about Rex Harrison, and irritating heroines, and why they’re irritating.

I mentioned the big old vacuous bitch heroine I wrote. Did I mention the plot of that story? It’s a vampire “My Fair Lady”, but she’s Professor Higgins.

Yeah. Turns out, persnickety, rude, arrogant women aren’t nearly as sexy or interesting as Rex Harrison.

In a man, that sort of commanding presence is waaay attractive. In a lady? Not so much. (BTW, I know I’ve been using “ladies” a lot lately. I’m not sure why.)

It just made me wonder what other sorts of personality traits and behaviors are good for the gander but not for the goose.

See, it’s not just a matter of being unappealing in a woman. It’s a matter of making the hero look unappealing.

If she pushes him around and he lets her, he’s unappealing. If she’s always has the upper hand, he’s unappealing. If she keeps secrets from him and he just goes on his merry way, he’s unappealing.

Life isn’t necessarily like that, no. But in books I like my heroes to always be stronger, faster, smarter, better. The heroine has to be a good match…but he’s always a step ahead.

Must be exhausting, being a romance hero.

What other rules can you think of for heros and heroines?



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