What Stace had to say on Monday, December 6th, 2010
News! News! News!

Look, here I am! It’s been a few weeks, sorry. But I have some news, so I feel good about that.

I’ve finished the first draft of Downside 4; finished it at 5:30 this morning in fact, and it came in at 130,419 words. That’s a lot. Again, to give some perspective, the final version of CITY OF GHOSTS was just over 110k, and that was with epigrams included in the word count (I don’t do those until the end). So this is a lot longer. It won’t end up this long, I don’t think; there’s a lot of editing to be done. But yeah, it’s long.

Am I happy with it? I’m very happy with some of it. I’m not as happy with some of it. That’s what edits are for. What always matters the most to me is the writing itself, and I’m generally pleased with that, so I feel confident the rest can be fixed.

And then I get to start the fifth one! Which I’m really excited about. The fourth book brings some big changes, and it’s going to be a blast seeing how they shake out in the fifth book, not to mention the story I have planned which is something I’ve wanted to write for a long time. So yay!

I also have some other news. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about this, questions I haven’t been able to answer because of a contractual obligation and some other stuff like that. But I did want to let everyone know that as of a few days ago the Downside Market is no longer being handled by Southern Promo. They’re a great company and they didn’t do anything wrong, it just became obvious that the way they do things and the way I do things were not truly compatible. I’m currently working on getting a new store set up on Spreadshirt–which had the lowest prices I could find of the CafePress/Zazzle-type place, and I’ve ordered stuff from them in the past and found the quality quite good. I’m hoping that will be up and running in the next few days, and it’ll have lots more variety and options than the old store. I’m excited about that, and I hope you all like it.

And we’re all deep into the shopping thing here. Deep deep deep indeed. Especially since we’ve been broke the last few months; an unexpected check arrived on Friday, which means we now will have a good holiday. And my Faerie, who turns six on Wednesday, will have a great birthday. Which actually reminds me of something irritating.

See, the hubs is a comics guy. We both like them, we’re both into all that stuff, blah blah blah. But it’s something both of our girls have been raised with (remember, Princess was Supergirl for Halloween last year, and Iron Girl this year). They have a whole collection of action figures; they can name every member of the Justice League, when they get to pick something to watch on TV it’s very often Batman or Spiderman cartoons. They don’t play with Barbies half as often as they play with their Justice League figures, or their Marvel Superhero Squad figures (and I think you guys saw their artwork on the Marvel Comics blog a few months back). Princess is, in fact, determined that she’s going to draw for Marvel when she’s a grown-up, and we encourage her in that.

So when we asked Faerie what she wanted for her birthday, her answer was this Batcave playset thingie. We checked with her a few times, was she sure; yes she was. So we went looking for it.

All of this is a roundabout way of saying that, much like it annoys me when Father’s Day approaches and stores begin offering special deals and shipping and stuff for neckties and golf equipment, but if your husband/father/brother/whatever likes something else you get diddly–and probably get your stuff delayed so the golf guys can have a happy day–I’m getting emails from different places with selections of “Gifts for Boys,” which are action figures and playsets and games and video stuff, and “Toys for Girls,” which are Barbie heads whose hair you can “style,” (which we all know works once and then the hair becomes hopelessly snarled and the face stained), and baby dolls. I find this so irritating, I really do.

It’s not a big deal, I know. Nothing prevents me from looking at the “boys” email and picking stuff for my girls. Nothing prevents someone with a boy from getting him a baby doll if it’s what he wants. But this ties into a larger issue about women and superheroes, women and comics, women and “boy things.”

The hubs sent me this article last week, which is unfortunately down for the moment (should be up any second) but it’s excellent. It’s about how when Underoos were first sold it was assumed that girls wanted them as much as boys, and that girls wanted specifically superhero Underoos, Wonder Woman and Supergirl and all of that. But over time those were phased out, and that happened at around the time comics etc. started leaving women behind, too.

People say “Girls don’t read comics.” But do they not read comics because they have no interest, or do they not read comics because some of them can be, frankly, openly misogynistic? Many of them, in fact? I don’t necessarily buy into the idea that since they’re all about men, there’s nothing to interest women, as if we’re stupid and can only enjoy something that relates to us specifically and/or our own specific viewpoint(s). But when it’s not just a case of not putting women in starring roles, but of making them cardboard characters or villains, or even being openly contemptuous…I have to wonder. It’s not so much that the books themselves are sexist as that the industry makes very little effort to reach out to women, and I think that’s a real shame.

I was one of those Wonder Woman Underoos girls. I bet there are a lot of us. And I think it’s a shame that even now, even when we’re older and presumably have some kind of voice, I’m still getting emails that classify superhero toys as “Boy things” and Barbie heads as “Girl things.”

I’m not saying boys and girls don’t automatically like different things; I know a lot of the time they do. certainly my girls both seemed to be born pink-obsessed, even though I never bought them pink things, really, and never encouraged that. But there’s something to be said for exposing them to other things and letting them decide, too. That they often have members of the JLA asking each other out on dates is irrelevant, because they just as often have them beating up villains. There’s room for both, isn’t there?

12 comments to “News! News! News!”

  1. Nat (Wicked Lil Pixie)
    · December 6th, 2010 at 4:14 pm · Link

    Congrats on finishing woman! *rocks back & forth* Hows about a birthday release in October? Muahah

    I’ll never forget Faeries birthday, same day as my better halfs πŸ˜‰ And I grew up loving comics, used to have a ton of horror comics as a kid..sadly grew out of that when I grew boobs & saw guys as something other than a PITA.

    I hated pink until my late 20’s because that was all us girls had as kids prior to the 90’s everything was pinks in various shades.

    But I totally agree, why are things geared to boys/girls..why not just KIDS.

  2. Eilis Flynn
    · December 6th, 2010 at 4:24 pm · Link

    There’s room for both, most definitely! I read the article a few days ago, and agreed with it. When I was a kid, I dressed up my Barbies as members of the Legion of the Super-Heroes. Soon enough, though, I got bored with the sewing little-uniforms aspect.

    I have a feeling I’ll be getting the Wonder Woman Snugly this Christmas.

  3. Leah
    · December 6th, 2010 at 6:12 pm · Link

    So excited about the 4th book! As to the marketing to certain genders for specific toys I have four words: Gender Roles in society. Sucks, but what can you do? The bat cave thinger has purple in it, btw. Soooo a girl color. unless that’s my screen? Anyways..LOVE purple. πŸ˜€

  4. Marquetta
    · December 6th, 2010 at 7:18 pm · Link

    Woo hoo!!! Congrats!

    Hoping for an early spring/summer release. πŸ˜†

  5. Karen
    · December 6th, 2010 at 7:45 pm · Link

    Yay! Can’t wait for book 4!
    I have all the original X-men comics, a lot of others too. And I have tons of Star Wars stuff. I was very into “boy” stuff – I think to make up for the fact that my mom dressed us all in dresses & patent leather shoes until we were old enough to buy our own clothes. I didn’t a pair of pants until I was 7th grade & bought jeans with babysitting money.

    I bought a sweatshirt & tee shirt from downside market. My son thought the pink sweatshirt was a riot – everything I own is black. But I like it. And I’ve had people ask what the quote means which gives me the opportunity to promote Chess. :)

  6. kitlina
    · December 7th, 2010 at 7:00 am · Link

    yey yey yey D4 is done, I am so happy that you’ve finished it.
    I’ve always played with “boy toys” :)) cars, action figures, everything. I hate pink :) never bought something pink for myself in my life, my mother did though and she ended up wearing it :))))) And the fact is I don’t hate it because of the color itself but because it categorizes women and that’s what I hate, the whole thing “Blue is for boys, pink is for girls!” I’m very stubborn like that :)

  7. Stephanie D.
    · December 7th, 2010 at 9:53 am · Link

    Congrats on finishing the first draft! Must be a bit of a weight taken off for you! As far as the gender toys go, I did not follow the norm and neither do either of my kids! I played with action figures and trucks and baseball cards while my brothers played with the Barbies! My daughter’s fav color was Blue until she was 10 and she played with footballs and racecar tracks along with her tea sets! My son has 2 babies that he loves and plays with as well as his trucks. We do not believe in gender specific toys or clothing in our house!

  8. BernardL
    · December 7th, 2010 at 11:15 am · Link

    Congratulations on finishing the first draft. As far as I’m concerned the longer the better. :)

    Comics have always been a passion with me and the best storylines are the ones with romance in them. The most popular alternate universe ones have matings between unlikely couples like Wonder Woman and Superman or Wonder Woman and Batman.

  9. Ash
    · December 7th, 2010 at 10:21 pm · Link

    Happy Birthday Faerie!

    So excited that the 4th is coming soon I’ve been hanging out for it since The 3rd one came out!

    I hope this new company does shipping a little cheaper, I’m dying to buy your stuff but shipping to Australia is quite pricey :( Not to winge or anything of course!

    Also random question for you Stacia .. or anyone, where can I buy your books like Black dragon or demon triad? I only just realised you had a different alias and would love to see what those books are like?

    • Marie
      · December 10th, 2010 at 1:44 pm · Link

      I found the Demon books (can’t remember if it was all three, or just the first two) at The Book Depository.

      Book Depository

    • Stace
      · December 11th, 2010 at 1:44 am · Link

      Hi Ash! I hope the shipping is cheaper too. πŸ˜€

      As far as BLACK DRAGON and DEMON’S TRIAD go…those were written under my erotic romance/romance pen name, December Quinn, and were published by, respectively, Cerridwen Press (now renamed BLUSH,) and Ellora’s Cave. I published several books with EC.

      DEMON’S TRIAD is available in ebook and print (a few of my EC books are available in print) at the link below, or on Amazon:


      I want to make clear, though, that DT–which I co-wrote with my crit partner Anna J. Evans–received an X rating from EC when it was published; at the time (under their old rating system) it was one of only like twenty X-rated titles in their entire HUGE catalog. It is DARK, and it has some possibly disturbing events in it, in addition to the m/m and f/f stuff and the basic menage stuff. It feels funny warning a reader of the Downside books that it’s a dark book, lol, and it honestly hits around the same level of “dark,” I think, but just do be aware.

      BLACK DRAGON was my “old school” medieval; the voice is a bit different, the story is a bit different…it was my attempt to write something more like the romances I remembered from when I was in my early teens; written in a certain kind of style and voice, kind of dramatic/melodramatic, kind of amusing, kind of fun and quick. So it’s not really similar to any of my current work. It was actually only the second book I ever wrote (although it has of course been extensively edited/rewritten since then!) and is still kind of special to me, I admit.

      Anyway, that one is still ebook only, and you can get it here:


      They are several years old, though, so be kind when you read them, lol. I’m still proud of them, of course, but my writing has definitely improved since then. :) And of course feel free to let me know what you think of them, if you do read them!

      • Ash
        · December 15th, 2010 at 6:06 pm · Link

        Great I will let you know .. how exciting
        Thanks to both of you!


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