Archive for September, 2009

What Stace had to say on Monday, September 28th, 2009
Some stuff that’s happening

First, not only did Charlaine Harris give me such a great blurb for UNHOLY GHOSTS, she talked it up on her blog the other day:

“I was fortunate enough to get an ARC of Stacia Kane’s forthcoming Unholy Ghosts after I met her at DragonCon. Unfortunately, this novel won’t be out until May. You should put it on your calendars NOW. The world-building is unexpected and complex, the characters are alive, and the protagonist Chess is a treasure. I have a very hard time reading a book with an alcoholic or drug-addicted hero, and in fact I almost closed the book after the first chapter. I’m so glad I didn’t. The characters are complex and indelible, the plot is fascinating, and I can hardly wait for another book, months before this one will be out.”

Second, I got word this morning that Karen Marie Moning, awesome NYT Bestseller that she is, also read and loved all three books in the Dowside series, and said:

“Expect the unexpected. Kane delivers dark, sexy urban fantasy at its finest. I couldn’t put it down!”

Which is totally cool. And was a great way to start my day.

Which is the other thing I want to talk about.
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What Stace had to say on Thursday, September 24th, 2009
Good Stuff and Random Thoughts

First, two really good things:

1. It seems the lovely Ms. Charlaine Harris’s love for Terrible doesn’t just stop there. yesterday morning my editor’s fantastic assistant Jessie emailed me this:

“Stacia Kane’s UNHOLY GHOSTS is one of the most interesting books I’ve read in months. Vivid characters and superior world-building combine with a wonderful sense of pace to create a gripping book. I was enthralled.” –Charlaine Harris

Woot! So I’m pretty excited.

2. I’m pretty sure everyone on the entire internet has already heard about this, because we’re all so happy for her, but did you see that Kaz Mahoney sold two YA novels to Flux? I got to read a bit of THE IRON WITCH (nyah nyah! I have the ms and you don’t!) and it is AWESOME. As is Kaz herself. So I couldn’t be more thrilled for her.

Now some random thoughts, including why we’ve been talking about self-publishing lately:
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What Stace had to say on Monday, September 21st, 2009
If self-publishing is the future, it’s bleak indeed

First, a couple of quick things:

1. “The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2” has been released, containing stories by myself, Jeanne Stein, Jaye Wells, Caitlin Kittredge, Tiffany Trent, and Ann Aguirre. My story, titled “Trust Me,” is–I think–kind of a fun little yarn about Jack the Ripper, and is officially the Last Erotic Romance story I wrote (for now). So while I did tone it down a bit for the antho, expect lots of sexxoring.

Shorts are difficult for me, in general; I have a hard time keeping myself from expanding and expanding and introducing subplots. But this was a story that really didn’t leave a lot of room for a novel, and the idea had appealed to me for some time (as with all mystery buffs and goulish people, I am fascinated by the Ripper), so when I had the opportunity to submit it for the antho I jumped at it. So rush on out and get it; my story is probably the weakest of the bunch, given the other names involved, but I think it’s kind of a sweet little tale nonetheless.

2. Kari Stewart, my agent-mate and author of A DEVIL IN THE DETAILS, coming next summer from Roc, has written a great little series on writing series novels on her blog. You have to scroll down a few entires, but it’s well worth it.

3. Charlaine Harris did an interview at Voice America’s “Mystery Matters” show on Friday, and guess who she mentioned as one of her favorite secondary characters ever, right around the fifty-four minute mark? Terrible, my big bad greaser from UNHOLY GHOSTS. Check it out!

Now. To the point of the post. (Yes, I seem to be on a bit of a self-publishing kick. I promise I have not forgotten the Critique series. I’m just busy as heck these days and going through some other things I won’t bore you with.)
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What Stace had to say on Monday, September 14th, 2009
Self-publishing is not like punk rock*

*except when it is. Which isn’t often.

Lemme ‘splain.

More and more lately I’ve been hearing this argument, or discussion, or comment. Self-publishing is just like punk rock! Because anyone can do it. Because self-published authors are taking the bull by the horns and doing it themselves! Fuck the Publishing Man! Rock on!

And it’s something I’ve wanted to write about for some time, but it was this Genreville blog post in PW that finally inspired me to do so.

Yes, there are a few similarities, or rather, there is one way in which they are alike. But for the most part they are vastly different, and this is what irritates me and makes me want to pull out my hair sometimes. Because the differences are vast and wide.

Before I start, let me give you a quick run-down of my credentials to even discuss this topic. I was heavily involved in the punk scene for, oh, ten years or so. With an ex-boyfriend of mine, who was in a band, I ran a tiny punk record label; we sold records for a dollar each. I helped book shows; I had bands stay at my house; I slept on floors; I did a little touring; I watched recording sessions; I sang one line in a song that ended up on a Lookout! records compilation; I went to drunken all-night parties; I never paid to get into shows because I always knew somebody in the band; I traveled across country with the ex (he wasn’t my ex at the time) and his band to attend a three-day punk festival in northern California; I can play a few Ramones and Sex Pistols songs on the guitar; I started my own band with a couple of other girls, and we were getting ready to try booking a show when our drummer quit; and a whole bunch of other stuff I’ve forgotten. This was one of my favorite things about writing the Downside books, was being able to draw on those experiences and namecheck my favorite bands.

I say this just because I want to make it clear that I do in fact know what I’m talking about; it’s not to brag or say “Look how cool I am” or anything of that nature (I readily admit I am not cool. Perhaps I was at one point in my life, but now I sit around all day writing and pouring juice for my daughters).

The only self-publishing I can honestly and truly say is punk rock are zines. Zines are–at least they used to be–fully punk self-publishing. Handwritten pages (although now that we have computers it’s very possible they’re typeset or laid out using Pagemaker or whatever), usually full of personal essays, record reviews, jokes, show reviews, that sort of thing, photocopied and stapled together at Kinko’s or in your basement or whatever. Are you getting a sense here of what punk rock zines are about? Could it be, hmm, that they are about punk rock? (I haven’t seen a zine in a while, save some of my old copies of big ones like COMETBUS or SCAM. So forgive me if some of my zine info is a little out of date.)

The rest? Not so much.
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What Stace had to say on Thursday, September 10th, 2009
The way the cookie crumbles

First, I have some extremely exciting news, for me at least. My agent informed me a couple of weeks back that we’ve sold audio rights to the first three Downside books (Unholy Ghosts, Unholy Magic, and City of Ghosts) to Blackstone Audiobooks! They produce unabridged audiobooks in a variety of genres, and my mom was all excited because she has a bunch of their books–they also handle the Elizabeth Peters novels, among thousands of others, and I am squeeing all over the place at the idea that my books will actually be available in this format. I cannot WAIT to hear them. And yes, I giggle a little at the thought of hearing all the fuckwords and Downspeech, because I’m immature that way. But still, this is a huge deal for me and I’m totally excited.

Also, I have video of my reading of Chapter Two of UNHOLY GHOSTS at Dragon*Con; I’m trying to edit it down at the moment so you guys don’t have to sit through four minutes of me skimming the chapter and chitchatting before I get down to reading, and trying to separate the Q&A after into manageable chunks. Also, I’ll be getting videos of some of my panels soon, and will be working to edit those down as well. It will all be posted on the site as soon as possible.

So. The internet, particularly the romance community, is all a-flutter today with the news that Quartet Press has closed, without having released a single book. Reactions online have ranged from tearful to tackily, disgustingly, classlessly gleeful–although considering the source on that one I wouldn’t have expected anything else.
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What Stace had to say on Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
Dragoncon ends on a semi-sour note

So, I’m sad Dragoncon has ended. Not just because it was exciting and cool and I met some amazing people, but because the end of the show means Mark, Tiffany, and Synde will be leaving. I hardly got to hang with Richelle or Nicole at all, and they’re already gone.

So in my depression, I thought it might be fun to do a little shopping yesterday. I hadn’t had a chance to head down to the dealer rooms at all–I barely left the Hyatt, where all the dark fantasy stuff was taking place–and since I had no panels, and neither did my pals, I figured it would be a good time.

The dealer rooms were still busy and they’d marked down a lot of stuff; the better not to have to drive it all home, right? And a lot of it was pretty cool stuff, too. I was, being me, particularly interested in the corset sellers, since I love corsets and am always looking for new ones. I have four already and wore one on Sunday, so…a new corset from Dragoncon would have been pretty cool.

I didn’t see any I particularly liked in the first couple of booths–they were beautiful but nothing caught my eye–and when we got to the last and biggest booth, which was “Corsets by Casta Diva,” I was determined to find something I wanted.

I started skimming through the tags looking for 24s. I’d been at it only a minute or two when one of the women who worked there asked me if she could help me find something. We then proceeded to have this conversation:

Me: I’m just looking for 24s. Are they all grouped together, or–

Her: I don’t think you’re a 24.

Me (frowning): All my other corsets are 24s.

Now at this point, I feel as though I’m not only being told I’m fatter than I think I am, but that I am too stupid to know what size I wear or that I’m lying about my size. Not to mention it’s the last day of a con. I’m a little bloated. I haven’t slept more than a few hours since Wednesday night.

Her: Have you been measured?

Me: Not in–

Her: I need to measure you.

I didn’t feel the need to be measured, as I was measured when I moved from 26 to 24 by a very sweet lady at Fairy GothMother in London (where my other corsets came from). But her tone brooked no argument. She clearly expected me to obey or she would throw my fat ass out of the store. So I sigh and hold up my arms so she can measure me, thinking all the while that I don’t understand the need for this and I’m quite irritated by the whole thing. I don’t appreciate being told I don’t know what size I am. I don’t appreciate at all the implication that I’m lying about my size. And frankly, what the hell business is it of hers what size I buy?

So she measures me.

Her: That’s what I thought. You’re really a 25.

Me: …

Her (doubtfully): I guess if you insist on a 24, you can have one.

Me: Thank you.

And that’s when I turned and left. Oh, and informed my friends loudly that I didn’t need anyone else to be bitchy to me. Like that bitchy woman.

Which she was. What the fuck, man? I’m standing there telling you what size I am, and that all my other corsets are that size. But you still feel the need to measure me? And then to tell me that I’m wrong but you guess if I insist, you’ll condescend to give me the size I normally wear? I didn’t ask for your fucking help to begin with. I certainly didn’t ask you to measure me. I’ve been wearing corsets for several years now; trust me, I know how to wear them and what fucking size I am.

So there you go. “Corsets by Casta Diva” could have gotten some of my money, if they’d paid me the respect of assuming that as a regular corset-wearer I know what the fuck I’m doing, and hadn’t gone out of their way to Prove Me Wrong over an inch which is frankly due to con bloat, ladycycles (isn’t that a lovely little euphemism?), and drinking almost an entire bottle of Grey Goose–the big bottles–in three days.

It just ended things on a bit of a sour note. I was already sad that it was ending, and everyone was leaving. I didn’t need to be insulted and informed I was actually much fatter than I thought I was on top of it.

I’ll be back later to post a picture or two and to rant about something else, which had nothing really to do with me but which upset me quite a bit nonetheless.