Archive for June, 2010

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What Stace had to say on Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
Guest Blogger: Bernita Harris!

Oooh, this is so exciting!

I know a few of you already know Bernita Harris, from around the wide wide internet, but if you don’t, here’s a little introduction.

Back when I first started blogging as December–well, actually, I found Miss Snark, and wanted to comment there, so needed to set up a Blogger blog, and that’s what I set it up as–I noticed this particular commenter there, this very smart and gentle and funny lady named Bernita. And then she started showing up on my blog, which was a surprise–a lovely one, of course, but a surprise nonetheless. (The fact that other people started showing up on my blog as well surprised me every time.) So of course I started reading her blog, and it was delightful and smart. This went on for a couple of years. Bernita was there to cheer my every success, and the success of everyone else in her wide circle of friends; people are simply drawn to Bernita.

Occasionally Bernita would post snippets from the book she was working on, a fun paranormal about a character named Lillie St. Claire. And I always thought they were great; snappy and fun, well-written, interesting…and I was right. bernita finally submitted the book to Carina Press, and they of course snapped it up, and now you can buy DARK AND DISORDERLY, a delightful book by a truly delightful lady. I urge you to do so.

So without further ado, here’s Bernita’s post (with occasional comment from me in brackets, just for laughs).

No Sex? What Do You Mean, No Sex?

Stacia, you blessed girl, thank you for having me here today.

A recent poll at Dear Author indicated that 30% or so of readers skim sex scenes. I don’t understand that. Once the basic plot has been established, I’ve been known to skim until I get to the sex scenes! I dearly want to know how the writer has used intimacy to explore and develop the relationship. I have nothing against sex scenes. Dear me, no. [Oh, sure, you say that. But I still feel betrayed–SK]

But. There is no explicit sex in Dark and Disorderly. I admit it. Erotic fail! Oh, there is body-to-body contact and nothing chaste about it either—like this:

“You warned me you were a danger, Leannan, and I think this is what you meant,” he said, and fitted his wicked mouth to my open one. His wicked tongue. Instant lust. I wanted to wrap my legs around him, lock my ankles and pull him tighter. Public place with people passing by be damned, indeed.

I despised myself for that impulse. I despised him for my impulse.

So I bit him.

And it’s not that Johnny doesn’t try to get lucky, more than once:

“Nathan didn’t like to kiss,” I mumbled. “He didn’t like face to face…” Why had I said that?

“Selfish, stupid bastard,” said Johnny, pressing my fist against his chest, moving my hand in slow circles against the sleek fabric of his sweater, then sliding my fingers slowly lower toward his belt. “I like it very much. I like to watch a woman’s face when I make love to her. Lillie, let me take you home.”

As you can see, I took Stacia’s “How To Be A Sex Writing Strumpet” course–and failed. (There’s something puzzling and contradictory about getting an “F” for that, though.) [I hardly think that’s failure–SK]

However, Lillie has some quaint, old-fashioned attitudes and though she is strongly attracted to the big, ugly lunk of a psi-crime detective; in the scene above she’s known Johnny Thresher barely a week. A very confusing, busy, dangerous week at that, with a zombie bursting through the front door, a grave-robbing and a riot and so on. She suspects Johnny might be just looking for a casual lay; but at the same time she has the feeling he’s not the sort who thinks with his balls. And there is the additional problem of her husband rather recently and indecently dead and who doesn’t want to stay that way. A husband who, while not destroying her libido, obviously, fractured her sense of worth as a woman. Lillie is cautious because she had been impulsive before; she’d been taken in by smooth flattery once.

Even though sex and death, sex and danger, are irreversibly entwined in our psyches, hot ’n torrid, pick the horizontal/vertical surface of your choice, did not seem to fit with the characters or the plot at this time. Dark and Disorderly does not contain explicit sex. Violence, now, and ghosts and bodies and murder, that’s a different case altogether… [Sigh. I guess violence and ghosts and bodies and murder and grave-robbing work as substitutes.–SK]

Dark and Disorderly: The Adventures of Lillie St. Claire, a paranormal suspense by Bernita Harris, is available from Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most places where ebooks are sold. The first chapter is a free download here. You can find me at An Innocent A-Blog, and I’m on Facebook, somewhere.

What Stace had to say on Thursday, June 24th, 2010
The sky is falling?

Yesterday on Twitter–I guess for the last couple of days–there’s been a discussion going on regarding agents, and how they’re paid, and how that affects their work. And then it morphed or branched off into a discussion about advances and whether or not writers would accept a no-advance model, and the end result seems to be another one of those discussions where everyone sits around like mummers at a Victorian funeral and tells us The Publishing Sky Is Falling, and it’s The End Of Publishing As We Know It, etc. etc. etc.

And you know, I understand that to an extent. It’s scary. The economy is scary. Hell, everything is scary right now; our ocean is filling with oil and all anybody with the power to do something seems interested in doing is pointing fingers and sitting around talking and whatever. There have been earthquakes and tornados and volcanos and shit all over the world. Am I terrified that the world is ending? Honestly? Kinda, yeah. But then, I’m a bit of a pessimist when it comes to this sort of thing; I’m the only person I know who is terrified of outer space and doesn’t even like seeing pictures of it because it reminds me that the earth is this one small rock floating in nothingness and something could go wrong at any second and we could start plummeting, but there’s nothing to land on so we would just keep plummeting through the darkness forever. That’s not a pleasant thought.

It probably won’t happen, either. But I wonder if I start insisting often enough that it will, and get a bunch of people to also start talking about it and how the earth’s field of gravity is thinning, people will start to believe it.

Because it seems to me that everyone is talking about the demise of publishing, but there’s actually no real evidence that it’s dying. Everyone is claiming that ebooks will be the death of publishing, but I honestly don’t understand that at all; how is providing books in another format for people who like that format killing publishing? (Aside from the issue of piracy, which don’t even get me started on.) Aren’t we hearing about people buying more books now that they’re started reading ebooks?

I know a lot of it is just to get website hits, or because people have a specific axe to grind. And you know, none of us are without bias. I certainly don’t want to see publishing die, because it’s how I make my living. I don’t want to see us all switch to self-publishing, for reasons I’ve stated many times before but will recap quickly:

1. Ease of finding something worth reading (low when trying to go through thousands & thousands of self-published books with no quality control or vetting process)

2. Ease of publishing (sure, right now you can go to Lulu and set up a book for free; it’s what Jim Macdonald did for me with the Strumpet book. But do you really think if publishing fails, and self-publishing becomes the norm, those companies won’t start charging, or charging more?)

To be perfectly honest, my feeling is and has always been that if publishing “dies,” and everyone is self-publishing, you’ll soon have people offering to vet books for other people. You’ll have someone who realizes they can make some money by taking the best books out there and printing them for a cut of the money, and setting up some sort of nationwide distribution, and…lookie there, you’ve just reinvented a publishing house.

When people want a book to read, they want a book to read. They do not want to spend hours hunting around for something readable. (Don’t believe it will take hours, or be difficult? Here’s a site where people can post shirt stories for free, called Bibliofaction. It’s a nice site; it’s a fun idea. And I don’t link to it to pick on or put down any of the stories posted there; I link to it to show you how much there is on just that one site, and what a variety of quality there is too.)

Now I’m veering off into my big self-publishing rant again, and I’ve already covered that, so I don’t want to do it again. What I do want to say is that yes, times are a bit hard right now. Yes, I’m seeing good writers whose series don’t get to go on because sales that would have been good enough three years ago aren’t anymore, or if they do get contracted for more books their advances are lower. It’s awful and it’s sad.

But for every series that doesn’t do so well, there are series that are big hits and make tons of money. I’m tired of seeing that ignored. I’m tired of seeing specious statistics bandied about all the time, like the “95% of published books don’t sell more than 500 copies,” which sounds terrifying until you realize that the people who came up with that statistic were including every single book published, including self-published books, technical manuals, employee guidebooks, specialist textbooks, souvenir books, and whatever else. The idea that most NY published books sell less than 500 copies is simply incorrect.

This study by The Association of American Publishers estimates the publishing industry sold $23.9 BILLION worth of books in 2009. Yes, that’s down almost two percent from 2008 (although apparently in the last seven years overall it’s grown), but when you consider how the economy took a swim in Lake Shitty in early-mid 2008 especially, that’s really not that bad, is it? How much have other industries lost? If we can use this CNN article as any indicator, auto industry sales/profits dropped about 30%. Freddie Mac says home prices fell almost five percent in 2009 (it was a much bigger percentage in ’08).

Yes, it’s a scary time right now. Yes, we’re all watching it and keeping an eye on what’s happening. Yes, advances aren’t as high as they once were–at least so I understand. But we’re still getting deals. We’re still getting advances. Every day.

But that doesn’t mean we all need to start desperately casting around for some other way to earn a living, or start pontificating on how publishing is “broken” and it’s the end for it. It’s not. As long as people want to read books, there will be publishing. Quite frankly, for all the “publishing is dying” talk I hear online, it seems to be pretty limited to online; the average person–the average reader–has no idea this discussion is happening, and they care even less. And why should they? The only thing readers should–or should be expected to–care about is that they get books they want to read when they want to read them and in the format in which they want them, at an affordable price. (Readers are of course welcome to care more about it if they want, but it’s certainly not a requirement, is my point. I don’t want to bore my readers with talk about how my life will end if they don’t buy my books and I’ll end up selling matches on the street and how expensive everything is–like they don’t know that–and how I really need their help or whatever. As I’ve said here before, entertaining readers is my job. Yes, I want and expect to be paid for it, but beyond that they have zero obligation to me, and I certainly don’t expect them to give a shit about my financial situation. Remember how I’d rather not have people buy my books because I nagged them into it? Yeah. I’d rather they not buy them because I guilted them into it, either. I’m fucking lucky I get to write books for a living, and I try not to forget that and act like it’s some kind of burden.)

Anyway.

Whether the agent commission goes up to 20%, as the lovely Victoria Strauss suggests in this post (which also links back to me, making a nifty linky circuit), or whether more agents branch out into different areas of the business, or whatever…I think reports of publishing’s death are greatly exaggerated, and to be perfectly frank I’m tired of hearing about it. I don’t know if that’s me being sensible or being ostrich-like, but I’m tired of constantly feeling like the sword of Damocles dangles over all of our heads. I’m tired of feeling like there are crowds of people rubbing their hands together gleefully and waiting for publishing to fail, for whatever reason; I don’t understand it, as I don’t see why anyone would want to have to wade through slush for hours, but people can certainly do what they like.

I refuse to feel that way anymore. I refuse to listen to alarmists and bone-pickers. Will I keep in mind that things are tough all over? Absolutely. Will I remember how tight money is? Again, absolutely.

And I will use that knowledge to inspire me to write more and better books, to challenge myself more, to not take sales for granted but to remember that I need to push myself to be great, to be outstanding, to put everything I have into my work. I’ll use that knowledge to inspire me to write bigger stories, bigger worlds, bigger characters; to remember that “good enough” isn’t good enough. And so even if I don’t achieve that greatness and never get to be outstanding I at least wasn’t lazy. At least I tried. At least I didn’t forget that what it ultimately comes down to are readers, and what they want, and that my job is to try to give it to them, to impress and entertain them and make them think and feel.

So everyone else can sit around in the doom-and-gloom corner and decide the end is coming and there’s nothing we can do about it. I’ll be over here writing more books.

Because that’s what I do.

What Stace had to say on Friday, June 18th, 2010
UNHOLY MAGIC sneak peek

Since I was asked–mostly nicely–on Twitter this evening, I’m posting a new sneak peek for the weekend, along with the playlist for UNHOLY MAGIC.

Playlist is here. The songs are:

The Clash GARAGELAND
Johnny Cash FULSOM PRISON BLUES
The Pixies WAVE OF MUTILATION*
The Avengers WE ARE THE ONE
Motorhead ACE OF SPADES
Nine Pound Hammer DRUNK, TIRED, AND MEAN
The Replacements RAISED IN THE CITY
The Queers URSULA FINALLY HAS TITS

(* This was originally “Johnny Hit and Run Paulene,” by X. But because of the scene and setting, my editor was worried people might confused X-the-awesome-band with X-the-stupid-hippie-drug [I hadn’t listed a title for it, just X], and made me change it. So I’m going to use that later, hopefully.)

What Stace had to say on Friday, June 18th, 2010
Oh, what a morning

It’s 1:50 pm (yes, I know that isn’t morning. So what?). I’ve been ready to go back to bed since ten.

Lousy sleep–it’s too damn hot to sleep–and lousy dreams. Then, as I’m wandering the internet this morning I find an article about the upcoming Toy Story 3 movie, which reminded me of Toy Story 2, which I hate and can’t watch.

“But, Stace,” you say, “how can you possibly hate such a sweet little kid’s movie?”

I’ll tell you why. Because it’s awful and sad and tragic. Sure, it’s fun for the first hour or so. Look at the toys, aren’t they funny, Barbie is an idiot slut, la la la. Then we meet Joan Cusack’s character, and then we hear her tale, and they sing that song about how life was beautiful when that fickle girl loved her, and we see that fickle girl abandon her by the side of the road and go off with some boy, because all women will eventually abandon everything for a man, and by that time I’m sobbing and on the beginning of a depressive shame spiral that will only end in a lot of vodka.

I can’t possibly be the only one who feels like this, can I? Who sees that and starts remembering all of my toys, the stuffed animals and horse statues and Weeble-Wobbles and stuff, now lying broken and abandoned in a ditch somewhere, alone and scared, at the mercy of the elements, sobbing and spending their entire eternal toy lives wondering what they did that was so wrong, and why I forsook them so coldly? And wishing desperately I would just appear and hold them one more time?

Seriously. I have enough shit on my conscience. I don’t need that, too.

After reading that article I literally cried for ten minutes. Why don’t you just play a recording of Helen Reddy’s “Candle on the Water,” to complete the childhood misery deluge? (See, I have this theory about “Candle on the Water.” I believe that while we as children thought it was a sweet song, and maybe kids today still do, you cannot play that song to any adult over the age of, oh, thirty, and expect them not to dissolve into tears. Seriously. We should look into this as a weapon. Whoever owns the Helen Reddy records owns the world.)

Did I mention the hideous, oppressive heat, and how it makes me half-convinced that the earth is just about to burst into flames? And saps every bit of energy out of me, and makes me slow-witted and sad? I hate the damn sun. I hate the damn heat. It makes me ill (literally; I’ve always been really sensitive to heat).

And then, something was crawling–well, I say crawling, but what it was in fact doing was racing–up my arm, and across my lapdesk. I–acting purely on my killer animal instincts–killed the thing with a spiral notebook. And guess what? It was a spider. It’s bad luck to kill a spider. Like I need more of that these days, right?

Sigh. So this day is not shaping up to be a great day, but let’s hope it improves. And it actually has a bit, because I popped over to Twitter to drown my sorrows and found a new review of UNHOLY GHOSTS, which, coupled with the one I got in my email this morning, makes me feel much cheerier.

From All Things Urban Fantasy, 4 out of 5 bats:

Any series that is described as “a cross between Ghostbusters and Escape From New York” is going to get my attention, big time. Of course that also means said series is going to have a lot to live up to. And in one of the wonderfully rare cases, UNHOLY GHOSTS does exactly that. It’s cool and twisted, just the way I like my urban fantasy.

From Book Chick City:

I’m so excited about this book – I LOVED it! I haven’t read an Urban Fantasy this good in quite a while…The writing is perfectly paced, I didn’t get bored once and everything slots together at the right time. The plot is just brilliant and had me engrossed until the very last page – I didn’t want to put this book down!

So let’s hope my slightly cheerier feeling lasts.

How about you? Looking forward to a good weekend, or a dull one? Does the heat make you feel oppressed and trapped beneath the weight of all the world’s misery too? Do you like Toy Story 2, and does “Candle on the Water” make you cry?

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
Odds and Ends

Have you all entered the Ginormous “preorder SHADES OF GRAY” contest yet? Go do that!

Also, the other day I had a really cool (I think) idea, and since I know there are several booksellers who read this blog I’m going to go ahead and mention it here. There are all sorts of dating services and things like that all over the internet, right? And bars with Ladies Nights and organizations that do Singles Nights. Well, why not do a Singles Night in a bookstore?

Think about it. In looking for someone to date or whatever, don’t you want to make sure it’s someone who reads? I can’t imagine being with someone who doesn’t read. Not to mention, if you have someone who regularly buys books and hangs out in bookstores…perhaps it’s wrong of me but I can’t help thinking readers are a superior class of person.

And it doesn’t just have to be some sort of hook-up thing. Why not do a book club for singles? Think about moving to a new city, say, where you don’t know anybody. One of the first things you do is find the nearest bookstore, right? What if that bookstore had some sort of club or group for single people to make friends? Friends who read.

It may not be the greatest idea, sure. It’s probably not going to change the world or anything. But I think it would be fun; I’d like to see bookstores bring in more customers, and become, I don’t know, bigger parts of the community and peoples’ lives. So I think all of you should think about this, and suggest it to your bookstore, and see what they think.

Also. I know I mentioned the other day that I was considering entering this year’s Blogathon? (The site is still set for 2009, but they’ll be updating it and opening to registrations soon.) Anyway, what you do is update your blog every half hour for 24 hours straight. And the reason why you do this is to raise money for charity. I’m planning on blogging for RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network.

And I’m really hoping some of you will help me, either by signing up to blog yourselves, or by sponsoring me with donations. You can donate a lump sum or an hourly sum (like, a dollar for every hour I manage to stay awake).

I’ll post more detail after registration is opened. But please consider it. Also, if the Blogathon people give me permission, I just *might* be inclined to do a couple of short stories for the ‘thon–Megan and Greyson’s wedding, perhaps, or a short Downside story–if I get enough interest. Either way I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, and I really hope some of you will want to participate too.

Now, on to new reviews! From Sara’s Urban Fantasy blog:

Chess was a very unique individual. I’ve never before read about a main character that was also addicted to drugs, and it was a very fresh idea for the urban fantasy genre. In a genre full of kick ass bounty hunters and assassins and law enforcement officers, it was a breath of fresh air to read about a less than perfect, flawed character that read almost like an anti-hero.

From Buckeye Girl:

I think that this book should have come with a do-not-read-before-going-to-bed-or -you-will-be-up-all-night disclaimer. I didn’t want to put [it] down once it got going. There were so many twists and turns! There just aren’t any boundaries in this book…this book is utterly compelling.

Oh! I almost forgot a really important thing! I’ve begun the rather long and slow process of going back through all of my old blog entries and tagging them. (See, I used to blog on Blogger–until just last year, in fact, when this site opened–and while all of my old entries were imported, none of them were tagged.) It’s made a bit more complicated by the fact that I’m trying to keep the tags consistent with my Livejournal tags, so need to have the post up in more than one window.

Anyway. I’ve gotten a bit of it done so far. I’m creating a new Category–For Writers–to put all of my writing/publishing type posts under, so you can look in that category as well as just clicking the tags. Also, you’ll notice quite a few new tags over there, which I used on lj but not over here.

So I’m hoping to have that finished at some point, maybe by the end of the summer. There are some good posts back there, stuff I really enjoyed writing and am still proud of, so I’m glad they’ll be easier to find.

What Stace had to say on Monday, June 14th, 2010
Ask an editor

Hey gang! Just a quick post today.

At some point in the next month or so I’m planning on doing some posts about editors and editing. A bit like my Summer Series but, since I let you all down so grievously with last year’s series, I hesitate to call it that. But it is going to be several posts about that one subject, and I have a few things planned that I think are going to be pretty cool.

One (or three, actually) of those things are interviews with my Del Rey editor, her assistant (who is now an associate editor herself!), and my publicist. (I know the publicist doesn’t really have anything to do with editing, but I thought it would be neat to hear from her anyway.)

So! What would you like to ask these fine ladies? I’m going to pick five or six questions for each of them.

NOTE: Let’s keep our questions confined to things like the actual editing process, what condition editors expect submitted mss to be in (typos, grammar, etc.), and how a book goes from ms to book and things like that, okay? Let’s please not run through the same-old-same-old questions like “What are you looking for?” and “What kinds of submissions are you tired of seeing?” or “Where is the genre heading?” Do you know what I mean? The focus of the series is on editing and the process of editing and what editors do ASIDE from acquiring books, so if you could keep your questions in that area, that would be great. Thanks!

What Stace had to say on Friday, June 11th, 2010
Around the web

But before we get to why and how and all of that, a few links!

Today I’m doing a guest blog post at The Witchy Chicks and talking about the magic system in the Downside books and what inspired it. Which is actually a subject I haven’t covered anywhere else, so if you’re at all interested in that, head on over there!

And, we have some new reviews. First is this embarrassingly glowing review from Barnes & Noble’s Paul Goat Allen, on the B&N Explorations blog. Paul’s been a professional book reviewer and heavily involved in genre fiction–especially sf/f–for over twenty years, so he really knows what he’s talking about when it comes to UF. Which is why this made me all blushy and shy:

This is an ambitious novel, a novel that shuns the formulaic pitfalls and conventionality of other bestselling paranormal fantasy sagas. This is Stacia Kane at the top of her game—it is a writer evolved, a storyteller matured, an imagination fully unleashed upon the world…Dark, stylish, and wildly original…

Then there’s this one from the Fiction Vixen, which contains one of my absolute favorite lines:

I think most people will say they like it when an author takes risks, goes for something different and writes outside the box. After reading Unholy Ghosts, I have to wonder if Stacia Kane is aware there is a box. Really, Unholy Ghosts pushes the limits in what we’re seeing in Urban Fantasy today…[it’s] one of the best Urban Fantasy stories I’ve read this year. It’s rich with details, the suspense is heart stopping at times, and the world building is fabulously unique. Don’t let my rant about the drug use deter you from reading this book, you would be missing out if you did… Stacia Kane has taken some risks with smashing results.

Also, my friends Caitlin Kittredge and Jackie Kessler have a new book coming out very soon, and they’re having a huge super-special pre-order contest for it! Go check it out, and pre-order SHADES OF GREY today!

I’ll be back Monday or Tuesday–since I don’t usually blog on Mondays anymore–with my superspiffy idea that I had that I think would be bunches of fun for readers and am really hoping someone tries. Plus whatever other stuff I can think of to talk about. And as always, if there’s something you want to know, or want me to blog about, let me know, either in comments or through email!

Oops! There was one more thing I wanted to mention. I’m considering entering a the Blogathon at the end of July; it would entail blogging every half hour for 24 hours to raise money for charity (in my case I’d be blogging for RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, which is the US’s biggest anti-sexual assault organizations.

Anyway, you collect sponsors to raise money, so I’m wondering, would anyone be interested in sponsoring me if I do it? I’m waiting to hear back from them as to whether I’d be able to blog here or not; you’re not supposed to use Blogathon to promote yourself in any way, and because my blog is connected to my website which is of course designed to promote my work, I’m just waiting for the okay from them. I know it’s probably okay but I don’t want to assume, you know? So if you’d be interested let me know.

Have a great weekend!

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, June 8th, 2010
For those wondering

John Scalzi is traveling, or rather, is about to stop traveling. So he emailed me this morning to see if it was okay to delay my Big Idea post by a day. So look for that tomorrow!

Also, an interesting comment came in the other day on my Boy Books and Girl Books? post. The commenter pointed out that perhaps one reason why men eschew urban fantasy is because the covers seem to portray women who don’t need men, who even actively put down men.

The commenter also mention how James Bond covers, for example, show Bond in active poses with women in them, and posited that if UF covers showed women in active poses with men around them they might appeal more to men.

Which I think is an interesting comment, certainly. I still think it’s sad; it still makes me angry that books marketed toward women or with female MCs are automatically dismissed by men. And I still find it kind of hard to understand; as I said in that post, it can’t be that men don’t like to read books with women in them. It can’t be that men dislike sex. And I have a hard time believing that men just plain don’t like to read about love stories; not only do I know men who read romance–and I think that’s awesome–most men I know do genuinely want to find love, or are married or in committed relationships and are very happy. So I wonder if the commenter is right. Does the way UF is marketed automatically drive men away? Does it almost present a sort of no-men-allowed kind of look?

It’s a real shame, if so. Men already miss out on some great stories in genre romance, simply because they don’t think to pick one up and give it a try. It would be sad to see them missing out on great stories in other genres as well.

My point here isn’t to say men and their opinions are the most important. It’s just that I do get tired of seeing UF dismissed and put down, often by people who’ve never tried it, or who tried one and decided they’re all exactly like that one, when in fact there’s a lot of variety in the genre (and in genre romance, as well). I do think it’s shameful that “girl books” is a put-down. As I said in my previous post, so what if it’s about women, or marketed toward women? So what if it has a love story in it, or sex? Why does that mean it’s okay to insult it? It isn’t, and it shouldn’t be.

A woman who refuses to read books marketed mainly toward men, or see films marketed mainly toward men, or consume media aimed mainly toward men, is going to have a hard time finding books to read (outside of those genres) or films to see, or media to consume. (It actually reminds me of the “News for Women” segment that a news station in Miami used to run, and how it infuriated me, not only by implying that regular news wasn’t something for women, but that women were only interested in diets and cooking, and that men had no interest in such things at all.) I remember reading an article somewhere once about why women’s magazines are as successful as they are, and part of it was because those magazines are some of the few media outlets aimed at and coming from a woman’s viewpoint.

I’m not sure our viewpoints are so different, really. I think we’re all individuals. And I’m tired of stereotypes. I’m tired of women’s writing being dismissed as “just a chick book,” as if that automatically makes it inferior. If you don’t like a genre, that’s fine, but to say you dislike it because it’s a gender thing is just kind of lazy and offensive. I’m tired of books aimed at women, like romance or like many UFs, being dismissed.

And you know, I think men in general are better than that. Don’t you? Give it a try, men! Read something different, for fun. See how you like it, and what you learn from it. Decide for yourself what you think. Try a couple of them. Get some recommendations from people. You might find you enjoy it a lot more than you thought you would, and you might realize that just because something is marketed toward women, or has a romance story in it or sex or whatever, doesn’t actually mean it isn’t worthwhile and good.

Because it doesn’t.

What Stace had to say on Monday, June 7th, 2010
Quickie

First, my pals Mario Acevedo and Jeanne Stein have mystery author Juliet Blackwell over at their Biting Edge blog. It’s a nifty interview about witchcraft and stuff, which of course I love, so head over and check it out!

Second, tomorrow I’ll be doing a Big Idea post at John Scalzi’s Whatever blog, so please do stop by and check it out.

Also, Marian Perera over at Flights of Fantasy–an absolutely fantastic blog from a fantastic lady–has a lovely review and giveaway for UNHOLY GHOSTS going on at the moment. You have until midnight tomorrow night to enter, so if you don’t yet have a copy of UNHOLY GHOSTS, go enter!

And that’s it for today, really. Unless you can think of something you want to discuss, of course.

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
Lookie! Stuff!

Lots of links and info today, so let’s get to the important stuff first.

UNHOLY MAGIC’s first three chapters are now up in PDF form, ready for you to download (and the first chapter has been added to the book’s page here on the site). You can visit the book’s page for that or click here to download the chapters: UNHOLY MAGIC excerpt (1401)

Tomorrow, June 3, I’ll be doing an interview and guest chat at All Things Urban Fantasy, and Del Rey is kicking in a copy of UNHOLY GHOSTS as a giveaway. I may add a little something to that myself, too. So be sure to come by and say hello!

Also, not too long ago I met this total freak* named Brigwyn on Twitter, who insisted** that I let him interview me for his “Brigwyn’s Corner” podcast show. I agreed (mostly because I feared for my life!***) and the result is now available to listen to here at Brigwyn’s Corner. (Note: the contest is now over.)

There’s another interview with me up at Falcata Times, which is a UK fantasy blog/magazine. Because we know you just can’t get enough me.

* really funny, awesome guy
** asked politely
*** because he’s totally cool, and we had so much fun chatting that we stayed on the phone for three more hours after the interview was done

Also, this has nothing to do with me, but you should go look at it anyway (oh, that sounded wrong, didn’t it? Well, I don’t care if you look at the me-related stuff, but you should look at this, because it’s good). I think most of us here know Michele Lee, who is also a writer and reviewer, and has been hanging out here since the beginning. Michele is a great person, and she’s written a great blog post on What They Don’t Tell You About Writing that is about the best summary of it I’ve ever seen. So I really recommend you take a look at it, and leave a comment and all of that stuff.

And speaking of writers and reviewers and all that, time to play some review roundup!
Read the rest of this entry »



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