Archive for October, 2010



What Stace had to say on Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
Deep Thoughts

Ha! Fooled you! I never think deep thoughts!

No, of course I do. And this one is, well, deep-ish. But it really surprised me, so here we go.

Friday night, as I mentioned, I went to talk to a book group in the area. And it was a blast; I really had a good time, everyone was nice, most of them knew & liked my work (there were a couple of teens there for school extra credit, which I wouldn’t have expected them to read my books), they asked great questions, and I admit, heh, I gave them a few extra bits of information about a few things.

Anyway, it was awesome. And at some point I got asked the inevitable did-you-always-want-to-be-a-writer question. To which my answer is always yes, and a little bit about some of the other things I wanted to do (race-car driver, actress, professional killer, that sort of thing; y’know, typical stuff), and then about how I was a stay-home mom when I finally decided to give the writing thing a try, and how much I really enjoyed being a stay-home mom. Which I did.

(Digression: I’ve never understood people who think it would be “boring” to not have a paying job outside the home. Um, really? No, of course it wasn’t. See, funnily enough, I’m actually capable of entertaining myself; I don’t need constant stimuli to keep me happy like a baby under a mobile.)

Anyway. They asked if I’d always told myself stories, which I didn’t quite get at first, until they elaborated a bit. Like in bed at night before I fell asleep, did I used to tell myself stories.

Well…doesn’t everyone?

Of course I did. I did it every night. I still do. I plan the next day’s writing, or scenes for later pop into my head, or plot issues work themselves out, or whatever. And if I’m not working I’m thinking of new stories and ideas, looking for one that really grabs me. I even remember some of the stories I told myself when I was a kid (they usually involved me being rescued by my current crush on a horse. Hey, I was eight when I came up with that one, give me a break). When my girls go to bed, and Faerie insists she’s not tired and starts pouting because it will take so long for her to fall asleep (ha, it’s usually more like ten minutes, tops), I’ve always told her to lay there and think up a story to tell herself. Because, well, that’s what people do, right?

So that’s my question. Did you, do you, do that, and tell yourself stories before you go to sleep? Or is that unusual?

Having some fun with Downside 4. I thought I had a title for it–I really loved it–but the PTB want something “more,” maybe a bit sexier and more exciting, so it’s back to the drawing board for me, sigh. This is where I start throwing my hands up in the air and saying things like, “Why don’t I just call it THERE’S FUCKING IN THIS BOOK? Is that sexy enough?”

(Note I don’t blame the PTB for this at all; I’m just being funny here. But it is a bit…sigh.)

(Also, now I want to write a book with that title. Maybe it would go with the ridiculously anachronistic historical romance I’ve always thought it would be a hoot to write, the one where characters wish cars had been invented already so they didn’t have to walk, and Regency rakes say things like, “You’re bringing me down!” Well, it’s funny to me. I’ve had to fight the constant urge to put stuff like that in the few historicals I’ve written.)

Also, last night the hubs and I went to see the theater re-release of BACK TO THE FUTURE. Awesome. It’s funny, I’ve seen the movie dozens of times since I first saw it in the theater, but I don’t remember it being that much fun, you know? You forget a lot of the little things. And it helped that the audience with us was amazing. We seriously wanted to hug them all when the movie was done; they were all into it, they were all as excited as we were, they laughed and cheered and clapped at all the right moments and they kept their mouths firmly shut the rest of the time, which as I’m sure you know, is pretty rare these days). So, AMC North Point audience, thank you!

That’s it for today. But I really am curious about the bedtime story thing; do you or not? And do you write (I know a few of you do)?

What Stace had to say on Friday, October 22nd, 2010

First, my guest blog is up at the Pens Fatales. The theme this week is “apocalypse,” so I did a little post about, well, apocalypse. And Y2K, and zombies, and of course, Haunted Week, with some extra information about the history of the Church. So go check it out!

Speaking of Haunted Week, I’m thinking of maybe doing some sort of contest for that week, but I’m not sure. I’ll be away from the 28th-30th at World Fantasy, so I don’t know if I should, or what it would be, for that matter. But I’m considering it.

Also, tonight I’m going to speak to a local reading group or something about writing. I’m quite nervous about it. It’s not like a panel at a con, where there are other people there with me, you know? It’s just me. Plus, apparently there will be some younger ones there, which means I’ll need to watch what I say. (“Mommy, we had a writer come to talk to us! She said ‘fuck’ a lot.”) So wish me luck, because I’ll definitely be wanting some.

And that’s it for today, so have a great weekend! I do have a few Big Topics I want to blog about at some point, but they may have to wait until this book is finished. We’ll see.

What Stace had to say on Thursday, October 21st, 2010
Bloggity blog blog

I had a really good blog topic. I was thinking about it last night and how I should totally talk about it because it was such a good idea. It was a writing-related topic, too.

And of course for some stupid reason I didn’t write it down, which is odd because I’ve started keeping a pen and notebook next to the bed. Um, so I can write stuff down, which makes sense, doesn’t it? Yes, it does. Too bad I didn’t think of it earlier, and so lost that Great Idea I had a few weeks ago. Luckily, I’ve had another, and Downside 4 is still chugging along. Of course, I still think it absolutely sucks, too.

Even worse is when you do have the pen and paper, and you make notes, and then you can’t remember what the hell they pertain to. A few weeks ago I woke up and found “shivers” written there. “Shivers?” What is that supposed to be? I mean, yes, I know what shivers are. I know people, even characters in books, shiver sometimes. But why would I write it down? Why would I write just that down?

At least, unless I was deliberately trying to fuck with myself. I can just see me, thinking as I scribbled in the dark, “Ha ha ha, this will fix her!” It’s definitely the sort of thing I do, because of that whole self-destructive thing.

But here’s something I do know what it means: Twitter. I was kind of surprised the other day to realize that some people consider Twitter to be the equivalent of a blog, and that Tweeting something is equivalent somehow to blogging about it or whatever.

To me Twitter is way less important, and way more casual. If you tweet something, it’s gone in a minute or so, you know? It gets shifted down to the bottom of the screen and then lost. And who really takes the time, when they log on every day, to go scrolling back through old tweets to see what they missed? Not me.

So to me, talking about something on Twitter is almost like not talking about it at all. I mean, clearly it’s talking about it, but you know what I mean. The only people who see it are generally the people who follow me and happen to be online at that particular moment.

Of course, it does make it difficult in terms of getting messages across, because people stumble into conversations and ask about them and you end up discussing something more than you intended, yes. But the point is, Twitter is ephemeral. If I put something on my blog, it’s there. It’s right at the top, and displayed right in the middle of my homepage, for a couple of days. Then it’s just one post down, so it’s on the “blog” page for a few weeks in total. And it’s still there; it’s tagged, it’s findable, and it’s reasonable that people would hunt around in the archives. They do, quite often. But I think people rarely scroll back on someone’s Twitter feed.

What do you guys think? Is Twitter less “official” or whatever than a blog?

Last, a quick note about the Downside Market. It will be back up, don’t worry, and hopefully very soon. It’ll be a little different, but with more options. So thanks to all of you who’ve asked, and just give me a little bit more time and I’ll tell you everything, okay? But I do believe Southern Promo has been shipping items, so please do let me know when yours arrive! I’m thinking of maybe doing a little contest at some point, like take a picture of yourself in your shirt and one will be picked at random. Something like that.

So there you go. I’m still hard at work on Downside 4 (and still closing in on a title; what sucks is that the original title of UNHOLY MAGIC, which was DOWNSIDE GHOSTS, which of course ended up being used as the series title, would be perfect for this book. But I can’t use it. Sucky sucky sucky).

Oh! And one more thing. Tomorrow I’ll be blogging about apocalypse at Pens Fatales. Since I already sort of blew my wad, as it were, with that little short about the start of Haunted Week a couple of weeks ago, I thought I might do a page about it from the Book of Truth or something. Thoughts? Interesting? Not? Let me know!

What Stace had to say on Monday, October 18th, 2010
My chapter is up!

I know you guys have all been eagerly waiting for my contribution to the Suvudu story-in-the-round A GLIMPSE OF DARKNESS. I know you’ve been unable to sleep or think about anything else, so desperate were you to see what kind of terrible shit I would come up with to torture Our Heroine Munira with.

Well, today you can find out! And I can promise you, it IS some terrible shit. Really. I had a LOT of fun with this one. Muahahaha! *rubs hands together evilly*

So go check out Chapter Five–my chapter–on the Suvudu blog!

And please leave a comment for me? I do so love those. It makes me feel important. And I have a headache today, so you’ll make me feel whole big bunches better if you do. Why, you could eliminate my headache all by yourselves, I imagine. You have the powah!! (Okay, that’s stupid, I know. Give me a break, I have a headache.)

Anyway. Not much else happening. I’m still hard at work on Chess 4. I often share sentences from it on Twitter–usually in the middle of the night, when I work–but I thought it would be fun to share one here. No spoilers or anything! (And believe me, that sucks, because I had a really good snippet but it contained a bit of a spoiler about a major conflict so I had to pick another one, sigh.)

The whole office was low-rent, from the threadbare rust-colored carpet to the scratched, paint-peeled metal filing cabinets with a couple of broken handles, to the desk so flimsy she was surprised it didn’t bend under the stack of papers sitting on it; it looked like something a six-year-old would put together. Whoever worked here must not be high on the totem pole at all.

So don’t forget to go read my Suvudu chapter! And leave a comment! Please?

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, October 12th, 2010
I’m Your Slave

So…I know you’ve all been following the Suvudu story-in-the-round A GLIMPSE OF DARKNESS, right? Of course you have been. How often do you get to tell writers what do do, right? And they have to listen.

Well…it’s my turn. Yes, this week, you get to vote on what you want me to write, and I have to obey.

Kelly Meding’s Chapter Four is here. (If you click the first link provided, you’ll see ALL of the chapters, so you can get all caught up on the story!) At the bottom of Kelly’s installment, you’ll see the poll. What do you want Munira to do? Fight snakes? Head for the door? Or try to make her way through the mysterious and dangerous Pier 12?

Go ahead and vote!! Make me your slave; make me write what YOU want me to write!

VOTING ENDS AT 3 PM EST ON THURSDAY.

After that…well. I’ll have, essentially, 48 hours to write my part. Then there will be about 12 hours in which to edit. And then it goes up. So this is your chance to have me working frantically for you! (Well, I do that anyway, but this time it’s according to what you want.)

So don’t forget to vote!

Also, a quick note about the Downside Market. Now that the pre-order period has ended, items are starting to be printed and will be shipping shortly. And we’re going to be revising the items a bit, eliminating a few, adding a few, according to what did or did not sell. So if you’ve been undecided about something, you only have a couple more days to order it before it possibly disappears completely. Sadly, like the glasses; huge apologies to those of you who ordered them, but the supplier dug in their feet and wanted a pre-order of 72 of them before they would print any (not Southern Promo, but the people who supply the glasses to them). Which would have cost me like $900, considering we had three different varieties of glasses. At some point we hope to get them back up on the site, but for the moment, sadly, we had to cut them. So if you ordered glasses, the money either has already been refunded to you or will be shortly.

We’re also working on getting some options in there that are even less expensive, but still high-quality. So stay tuned for those! And of course, huge thanks to those of you who already ordered!

That’s about it for today. I’m still hard, hard, hard at work on Downside 4, and it’s taken a really exciting turn that’s tons of fun to write. So yay! Of course I’m still a bit behind on it, but I’m optimistic.

Oh, and a really fun discussion was had this weekend on Jezebel, about skin care. I of course extolled the many, many benefits of baking soda as an exfoliant and skin soother (it’s all I’ve used to exfoliate for years), and, even more fun, I had some very lovely conversations with a few ladies there about natural remedies for various complaints. See, back when I was pregnant with the Faerie and had a really impossible time writing, I sought another creative outlet. So I started my own little business, reading Tarot cards and making natural skin/hair/body products. It didn’t go really far, because when the baby came I didn’t have the time to devote to it anymore, of course, and I could write again and wanted to devote myself to that, so I stopped doing it. But it certainly was fun, and it brought me some much-needed cash at the time. (Hmm, maybe I should consider getting back into it!)

So basically, I’ve still got all of this information in my head about various herbal remedies and how to make natural lotions and masks and how to make various types of bath bombs and all of that sort of thing. And I picked up lots of tips and information and advice.

So this weekend I got to pull out a lot of that, and talk about it, and it I really enjoyed myself. And I’m really looking forward to hearing how my suggestions work out for them, and I very much hope they do.

So that’s pretty much it for today.

Don’t forget to visit Suvudu and vote! Make me your slaaaave, baby. I’ll do anything you want. Heh heh heh.

What Stace had to say on Thursday, October 7th, 2010
Quickly

First, I have a little guest post up at the Paranormal Haven blog. They asked me a while ago, and of course I wrote it in my calendar and promptly forgot all about it, so I had to write it on the fly last night. Which means I’m not thrilled with how it ends, because a much better idea for the ending occurred to me this morning, but oh well. Later I may add it to the site here, and I’ll fix the ending then. It’s not a major change.

They asked me for any sort of Halloween-y post, like a memory from childhood or whatever. And I started writing that, and then thought, everybody’s going to write that (“Halloween is my favorite holiday blah blah blah.” Come on, we write fantasy. Of course Halloween is our favorite holiday) and decided to do a little short story instead.

It’s a Downside story, sort of; it’s a Halloween story, sort of. It’s actually a Haunted Week story; someone asked me a while ago if I’d ever write about Haunted Week itself so I figured why not.

As I say in the post, two points if you know who young Thaddeus is (I know you guys will all know, but random people visiting the site may not). Also, because I know there’s been some speculation and this will really fuel it, I’ll just say outright that no, Baltimore is not Triumph City. But it’s not too far away, cough cough.

Hubs and I were discussing Thanksgiving earlier. I’m getting a bit excited about it. Not because I particularly care for or about Thanksgiving, but because every Thanksgiving we watch L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, and I freaking love that movie, so I can’t wait. (We also watch JAWS, which I also freaking love. It’s a good time, in general.)

There was something else I wanted to link to for you guys or tell you about but I don’t remember now what it was, dammit. Oh! Wait, I remember. Southern Promo has a survey up about the Downside Market, and if you would all take a minute to fill it out that would be awesome.

Back into my cave…only 3500 words last night, but I’m fairly happy with them, which is nice. Please leave a comment on my Paranormal Haven story? You’ll make me feel all cheerful and warm.

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, October 6th, 2010
Scarcity

Yeah, posts may be rather scarce for the next month or so. I’m, shall we say, a little behind on Downside 4 (which is to say, I have at least sixty thousand words to write before Halloween), not to mention my upcoming chapter of A GLIMPSE OF DARKNESS (which I know you’re all reading, right? RIGHT? I hope so), and because that’s not enough, another project I’m working on and I’ve just agreed to see what I can do on a short story for the upcoming MAMMOTH BOOK OF GHOST ROMANCE. So, a bit busy.

I’m not nervous about it, but it does mean I’ll have to limit my online/blog time. I’ll still be here, just maybe not as often. And since I know you all live and die on my schedule (ha!) I figured I’d let you know.

Had a great time at FEVERCON this last weekend. My friend Shannan agreed to come along with me to help appease my crippling fear of being in a room full of strangers, which was awesome of her, and of course my editor Shauna was there to hang out with, along with Kristin from Random House marketing, and we all had a lovely evening. And I signed a lot of books and took a lot of pictures.

AND, in a tremendously exciting moment, Shannan and I learned that lawnmower racing is a sport. Seriously. They have tracks and a league and everything. We found a video of it during the signing and were highly entertained by it (sound starts immediately, be warned):

Seriously? It reminds me of those old-timey cars you can drive at amusement parks, the ones that go like five miles an hour and are on roads with metal bars down them so you can’t steer off the road. You know, the ones your parents let you drive when you were little because it was the only thing any adult in their right minds *would* allow a child to drive? Yes, the lawnmowers go much faster, but the sound is exactly the same.

Lawnmower racing. Amazing.

And…that’s really it. My head is completely full of Book 4, which still has no title but I’m slowly zeroing in on one. And objectively it’s going okay, though I of course think it totally sucks. I also think I’m going to end up writing more like 80k than 60k this month, because it’s going to go over 100k, but we’ll see (CITY OF GHOSTS, for those curious, ended up right around 120, and this one is probably about as complex although hopefully tidier).

Also. Southern Promo have added a USPS (That’s US Postal Service) shipping option to the Downside Market for you international readers, to cut shipping costs. (They did this in response to reader requests; again, guys, these people rock.) We’re in the process of adding non-babydoll ladyshirts, since I’ve had several requests. And you only have TWO DAYS LEFT on the 10% off pre-order period, so please get those orders in! PREORD10 is the discount code.

And yes, we’re working on a couple of other fun things for the holidays, which I’m excited about. And no, I won’t tell what they are.

I’ll see you all when I come up for air.

What Stace had to say on Friday, October 1st, 2010
A quick little story about the Downside Market

(BTW, I’m not sharing this story to brag or anything, I just think it’s really cool and I’m quite pleased about it.)

A few days ago I was somewhere online, can’t remember where, and had someone tell me he couldn’t figure out why I would bother or even care how much the stuff cost, because that’s not my problem. Which, whatever. I love the idea that I’m not supposed to care how much stuff I’m selling costs. Oh, really? Okay! How about if I raise the price of everything to $100? Hey, if they want it, they’ll pay it, right? Sigh.

Anyway. yesterday I got a Facebook message from a reader who’d had a slight problem with her order. She sent me the order number and asked if I had any suggestions or could do anything about it.

I forwarded the message to Matthew. Remember, Matthew is my personal representative at Southern Promo. And that’s another reason I went with them.

Not too long after that, I got another message from the reader. Before she sent me the message she’d given Southern Promo a call, since you can do that. She’d left a message, thinking no one would get back to her.

Guess what? The OWNER of the company called her back, and took care of her issue.

Would that happen at Zazzle?

Like I said, my point isn’t to brag about look how cool I am or anything or pull some kind of stereotypical overbearing mother act (“Look how much I suffer and sacrifice for you!”). It’s to let you guys know that Southern Promo really offers great service, and they really believe my readers are as important as I do.

So if you’ve maybe been on the fence about ordering…that’s something to think about.

Also, the Market has a Facebook page now, that you can “Like” if you want to. I’m not sure what “liking” actually does, but it would still be cool if you would and I would appreciate it and all that stuff. (You can also “Like” the items in the store.)

Tomorrow I’m heading downtown for Karen Marie Moning’s FEVERCON, and I’m really looking forward to it. Karen and her readers have all been amazingly good to me and really enthusiastic about the Downside books, so it’ll be great to meet them in person and hang out a bit. So if you’re going, make sure you say hello! I’ll be at the ball tomorrow night (though not in costume) and at the breakfast and signing Sunday morning. I hope I see some of you there!