Archive for January, 2010

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
New Demon Possessed sneak peek!

Seeing as how we are now less than a month(!!) away from the release of DEMON POSSESSED (2/23), I’ve been hunting through the ms for the last few days looking for a new sneak-peeky excerpt to post. Difficult, as always, since we want to avoid spoilers.

Today’s excerpt comes from Chapter Two, and it seemed to me like a nice little view into Megan’s life as the story begins.

I hope you enjoy it!

Note: This is from the pre-copyedited manuscript. The final printed version may vary slightly.)
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What Stace had to say on Thursday, January 21st, 2010
It’s Red Thursday!

Hey all!

Today is the official release date of Undead Much?, the second novel in my great friend Stacey Jay‘s Megan Berry, Zombie Settler series.

I LOVE this series; it is so much fun, and scary, and awesome. Here’s the blurb:

Q: How many guys does it take to make your boyfriend wild with jealousy?
A: Only one, if he’s UNDEAD.

Megan Berry had a perfectly average new-sundress-and-boy-obsessed life–until her power to settle the Undead returned. Oh, and then her best friend tried to kill her–and ruin homecoming–with a bunch of black magically raised zombies. At least she got a spot on the pom squad and a smokin’ boyfriend (Ethan). But now Megan is in deep fertilizer all over again.

Why? Well, let’s see…

· Feral new super-strong zombies? Check.
· Cheerleader vs. pom squad turf war threatening half time as they know it? Check.
· An Undead psychic hottie (Cliff) who’s predicting a zombie apocalypse–and doing his best to tempt Megan away from Ethan? Yum. I mean, Check.
· Earth-shattering secrets that could land Megan in Settler prison for life? Um, IT WASN’T ME!!!

Everyone thinks Megan’s at fault for the new uber-zombie uprising. Looks like she’ll need the help of both Cliff and Ethan if she’s going to prove her innocence before it’s too late…

Stacey’s made this fun little commercial/teaser video, too, so check it out:

What Stace had to say on Friday, January 15th, 2010
What do you guys think?

First, let me just say that when I asked on Monday about keeping to my schedule, this was what I meant. I’d fallen into a bit of a trap with the blog, where I’d come up with a good idea for a post but hold on to it because it wasn’t a “blog day,” and by the time Monday/Thursday rolled around I would have either forgotten it or it felt outdated; the immediacy simply wasn’t there anymore. So I probably won’t be on a set schedule anymore but am still planing to blog minimum 2x a week, unless something happens or I’m buried in work (in which case I will let you know).

One of my new projects is really starting to come together in my head, too, at least to some degree. I’m considering starting to post metrics for it, simply because I did enjoy posting them back when I was writing UNHOLY GHOSTS.

Anyway. I got an interesting email the other night, and it sparked some interesting thoughts/discussions, so I thought I would share it with you and see what you think.

I’m not going to quote the email directly here, but it was from a lady who owns a small online jewelry store. She asked if I would be willing to accept a piece of her jewelry–for free–in exchange for blogging about it; positive or negative, it didn’t matter. Just mention the store.

I checked out the site, and some of the stuff was really nice. Stuff I would actually wear. I have very specific tastes in jewelry–ask anyone who’s ever tried to buy me any–so it’s not always easy for me to find things that appeal. I don’t wear gold, ever. I don’t like anything heart-shaped or with hearts on it. Not too sparkly. Not a fan of colored stones unless they’re onyx or black pearls (I do love black pearls). I like chunky things. I like dull silver better than shiny. And of course it just has to feel and look “right.” I’m not saying my tastes are so, so, so unique, just that as with everything else they are specific. But yeah, I liked some of the stuff on the site.

Here’s the thing, though. My initial response was, of course, suspicion. The email wasn’t particularly personal; no mention of how she’d been reading my blog for a while or had read any of my work or anything like that. The first thing I did was click Show Details so I could see if this was a mass email. It didn’t appear to be, but of course it could have been BCCd to a thousand people for all I know. I hopped on Twitter to see if anyone else had received a similar email. No. I checked out the site (obviously).

My other initial response, of course, was that while I guess it was a bit flattering, I couldn’t do it. Of course not. I’m not a reviewer. My blog doesn’t exist to inform consumers and it’s not one of those blogs that runs solely on the strength of my fascinating personality, like some famous blogs (I don’t really read any of those, but I know there are a few bloggers who are basically just famous for blogging). I’m a writer, not a shill.

It felt like it would be unethical for me to do this. And I still feel like it would be the wrong thing to do.

But here’s the thing. Right on the heels of that came, “But why?”

Why is it unethical? Why is it wrong for me to get something free in exchange for my honest opinion on it? That’s what review sites do; hell, as I mentioned the other day I know Del Rey has sent out some ARCs for UNHOLY GHOSTS and I’ve already gotten a look at two of the reviews written from those ARCs (both very positive, thank goodness!)

I mean, I talk about things here. I’ve talked about Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, and shoes, and clothes, and make-up items, and movies and of course books. I’ve recommended things and recommended you stay away from things.

So why is this different?

Actors or singers or TV personalities or whatever get free stuff all the time, in return for endorsement. Not that I’m equating myself with them in any way, I’m just saying. Heck, doctors get free samples of things in hope they’ll recommend them to their patients. I’m sure, in fact, that there are thousands of other situations where people, everyday people, get offered free things in hopes they’ll recommend those things to others; kind of like a free sample of a new fabric softener you’d get in the mail.

For that matter, I put brand name items in my books. I drink Coke, so my characters drink Coke; I wouldn’t turn down free Coke if, say, the Coca-Cola company read my books and wanted to say thanks or whatever. (I also have a character who drives a superbadass ’69 Chevelle, the uberfast 427. So, um, Chevy, if you happen to be reading this…) But seriously, I do use products and those products sometimes appear in my work, and of course I don’t do it for compensation or anything–it’s versimilitude, or to avoid awkwardness, or whatever–I wouldn’t grumble if the people at Coca-Cola decided to thank me for that, either monetarily or in free products or anything like that. I’m not looking for it, of course, and it’s not why I include the mentions, I’m just saying that while that too might feel a little weird it wouldn’t freak me out.

But this… I don’t know. Am I crazy for thinking this feels different, is different? Am I crazy for thinking I’m not going to do it? Is this some weird ethical hang-up nobody has but me?

What do you guys think?

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
It’s YOUR damn story

I could have sworn that I’ve blogged about this before, but I just did a search and nothing turned up, so I guess I haven’t. Or maybe I’m searching wrong. Anyway. (No, I did sort of discuss this before, in this 2007 post, but not with the same focus, so I don’t feel as though I’m repeating myself.)

Here’s the thing. Writing involves making up stories. Perhaps you’re a plotter, one of those bizarre creatures who knows exactly what’s going to happen in the story before you open a shiny new Document and follows your path as tidily as a ballerina with months of rehearsal. (In which case I seriously envy you, despite my snottiness. It’s fond, admiring snottiness, I promise.)

Or maybe you’re a pantser like me, and start with a character or two and a premise, and toss them into the document and see what happens. Maybe like me you have a few vague ideas of where the story will go; I tend to have some sort of idea of what the climactic battle will be like, and maybe a scene or two sort of lurking in the back of my mind waiting to be used.

But either way, you need to make up the story. It’s down to YOU; it’s your responsibility. Quite frankly, a fiction writer who cannot make up a story is not a fiction writer. If writing fiction is what you want to do, you need to learn and absorb the skill of Making Shit Up. Period.

Which is why it drives me insane when I see writers–or those who want to be or claim to be writers–asking people what they should do with their story. Should the hero and heroine get together now? Should the villain do this or that? How old should the characters be? Should the villain die at the end? Should the father be the bad guy?

Then there are the secondary questions, what I refer to as the “unfamiliar” questions. I call them that because the questioner is seemingly unfamiliar with either the genre in which they are writing, or with books in general. (They could also be called the “Is it okay” questions, since they tend to start that way. These are questions like, “Is it okay if the hero cusses? Is it okay if the heroine isn’t a virgin? Is it okay if the heroine kills the bad guy? Is it okay if the hero gets drunk? Is it okay if the hero has a kid?” etc. etc.

I’d say the latter annoy me more, but honestly, they both annoy me equally.

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  • What Stace had to say on Monday, January 11th, 2010
    Where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing

    Wow, it’s been a while, huh?

    Sorry. I was, in the words of Bill Murray in Caddyshack, unavoidably detained.

    Christmas shopping. Christmas cooking. Having family here for Christmas–my brother, sister-in-law, and two nieces came for a visit. Good Christmas, in all. I got some cool books and a nice big Le Creuset pot to add to my collection (I am obsessed with Le Creuset, if you’re unaware of that).

    Also, moving. In a nutshell, our landlord wanted us to buy the house, whereas as time went on we started thinking we did not in fact want to buy the house. But he really wants to sell the house, so we have moved out of the house. So now we’re in an apartment my mom owns, basically. Much cheaper, much smaller, but fine, and frankly we’re happy to be done with the house. The only problem is, we had no one to help us move, really, so spent from New year’s Day until the 5th hauling bags and boxes of stuff around. It was tiring and made me achy, and I’m glad to be done with it.

    Also Faerie got her hair cut, which is adorable, but was weird for me as it was her first haircut ever. All that baby hair, gone! It went from butt-length to shoulder-length. The good news is I think the ponytail is just about long enough to donate to Locks of Love, and even better than that is that Princess now wants her hair cut as well, and her ponytail will definitely be long enough to donate. And her hair is very thick. So I’m pleased about that.

    And yes it has been very cold here, and we had a little snow.

    But enough with the domestic blah blah blahs. (Unless you want to tell me about your holidays, in which case please do!) Let’s talk about fun stuff!

    First, I’m debating whether or not to keep the blog on a Monday/Thursday schedule, or if I should just blog when the mood strikes me. Thoughts? (And yes, I know, I haven’t exactly been regular of late, but I’m trying to get back into the swing of things.)

    Second, ARCs for UNHOLY GHOSTS went out last month, and I’m already seeing some feedback online. I’ve got a couple of reviews, which sadly I can’t share yet but am very excited about, but here’s some Goodreads updates from one fabulous, charming, and delightful reviewer, if you’d like to take a look.

    Third, got my Guest status approval from Dragon*Con for 2010 a week or so ago, so as of now I plan to be there with bells on. (Probably not literally, no. I’m not really a bell kind of a girl. But I’ll be there anyway!)

    And I’m working. I have three open projects at the moment and am shuffling my way through them, which is fun. Also have had thoughts on a number of writing-related topics we’ll be covering here on the blog.

    Which brings me to an apology. It’s an apology for something you guys didn’t know about, but an apology just the same. I’d intended to use the days before Xmas to convert the Strumpet series to PDF and expand it as a gift to all of you; unfortunately because of the family and everything else, I didn’t have the time. I barely had time to open the computer at all, in fact. So it didn’t get done. I do still really want to do it, and am still working on it in drips and drabs. So do look for it soonish, and if you’re one of those who has asked me about it or who got use out of it, and have any comments on it or anything you feel you’d like to see expanded or gone deeper into (heh heh), please let me know, either by commenting here or by emailing.

    I’m also considering, once that’s done, uploading it onto Lulu so y’all can get print copies if you so desire. Does anyone have any experience with that? Because given how bad I am at that sort of thing, I have a feeling I’ll need help when the time comes.

    And I guess that’s about it for the moment. I certainly hope you all had wonderful holidays, and that you’re all keeping warm!!