Archive for March, 2011

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What Stace had to say on Thursday, March 31st, 2011
Elder Griffin is Gay

(There is a point to my saying this, I swear.)

I’m pretty sure most of you know that already, actually, although I did see a bit of confusion over the summer when the subject of a possible youthful dalliance/crush of his came up in UNHOLY MAGIC (and for the record, for those curious: yes, there was some canoodling, although it was more curiosity/ego-feeding/careless fun for the other party). I thought that was fairly obvious, but didn’t see any reason to press the point or have him running around monologuing about being gay; the man is gay, and Chess obviously knows he’s gay, and nobody cares that he’s gay, so why would he do a speech about his gayness? Especially in that world, where being gay isn’t remotely an issue to anyone and gay marriage is totally legal.

(I can’t resist throwing in another worldbuilding note there: for certain people, like Church employees, simple cohabitation is not permitted [gay or straight]. You’re either married or you live alone, period.)

(Oh, and those of you who read THE BRAVE TALE OF MADDIE CARVER may have noticed a slight reference to his sexuality there, too, when Maddie thinks about how his family abandoned him because of it.)

Anyway. So Elder Griffin is gay. And his part in the next books is a bit bigger, and (minor spoiler) he does have an active love life and that becomes part of the next books as well, and it’s something that makes me happy. Because it’s important to me to add that to my books. It’s important to have some diversity. It’s important because the real world is diverse, and it’s important because who knows might see it and maybe think about it, or maybe feel better about it. Elder Griffin is first and foremost a good man, a smart one and a kind one and a loving one; one who adds great value to Chess’s life. His being gay is part of him but it’s also incidental. He is more than GAY. He is (at least I hope he is) a full, living, breathing, thinking, feeling, human being of worth who happens to be gay.

All of this is my way of explaining why yesterday I emailed Trisha Telep to pull my short story HOME from the MAMMOTH BOOK OF GHOST ROMANCE anthology.

You can read the background on this here and here.

HOME is a Downside story; I think I’ve mentioned it before? It is, I think, the closest thing to a “happy” Downside story as can exist–at least one from Chess’s POV–and for that reason it was fun to write (again, plus kinky hippies, which was a hoot).

It also involves–revolves around, to no small extent–bisexuality/homosexuality, in an important and positive way.

HOME is not dead. I’m considering some other options at the moment, because I absolutely want to make sure those of you waiting for the next Downside book get to read the story in the interim. And in fact there are a few potential Downside stories in the works for you guys in addition to the one appearing in HOME IMPROVEMENT: UNDEAD EDITION, which will be released August 2nd. So you’ll get to read it, I’m just not sure how, where, or when (but my plan is sooner rather than later).

Because I feel that to not speak up here, to not pull the story, takes something away from Elder Griffin, and from every other gay character I’ve ever written (Carter in the Demons books, too, as another example). In fact it takes something away from every character I’ve written, because it makes them all less human. It treats them like characters and not people; it treats them as unimportant, as lip service. They’re not that. They matter to me. And hopefully they matter to readers. And maybe they even matter to someone who sees themselves in them–in any of my characters, no matter what traits or differences or faults or personality quirks or whatever else they may have that some people feel it’s okay to judge or condemn–and realizes it’s okay to be exactly who and what they are.

Because it is.

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
Fingernail Tuesday

(I had a typo in the title so it said “Fingernail Ruesday.” Which would have been quite fitting for last week, huh?)

So this week’s polish experiment is a bit odd. Well, it’s not really an experiment, but…anyway. Whatever.

After finally getting last week’s icky yellow off my nails, I decided to go with the color I’d originally planned for last week, because it’s pretty:

Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in “Jade Jump.”

I actually have this polish on my toenails at the moment, too.

It’s a nice color. And I love the new brushes Sally H is using; they’re wider and flatter, with a slight curve at the end, which makes it so, so much easier to paint neatly. I was talking to my lovely friend Fae Sutherland about this on Twitter a few weeks ago, in that “How the hell did nobody invent that brush before this?” kind of way, because seriously, it’s genius.

But for some reason I had a rough time applying it on Sunday night. It was…goopy. The polish itself, I mean. It didn’t want to go on very smoothly.

It was fine when I did my toes with it two weeks or so ago, so I’m really unsure as to why I’d suddenly have an issue. Maybe because of the humidity or something, although that doesn’t actually make any sense either. It’s not an old polish; Jade Jump is a new color, and I bought the bottle maybe a month ago, so it’s not like I grabbed a bottle that had been sitting in the back of a rack for three years. But still it was gloopy and not very smooth. The first time I’ve ever had a problem like that with polish.

It turned out okay:

And I still really do like the color. I certainly like it better than last week’s yellowy vomit-looking crap. And I still love the SH polishes. But…yeah, something went wonky with this one.

Years ago I remember my mom reading something that said nail polish wouldn’t go gloppy if you stored them in the fridge. Personally I always found fridge-stored polishes to be already gloppy from the cold, so thought it was kind of silly to deliberately glop them up in hopes that they’d stay only partially gloppy for longer. But then I’ve never had one do that on me before.

Apparently you can add a little polish remover and shake it up well to de-goop polishes; anyone ever tried that?

Next week I want to try doing some kind of cool effect or something again. Maybe the newsprint nails someone sent me in a Twitter link, or the black french manicure? Something interesting.

Ideas welcome, both on that and on the sticky gummy nail polish.

What Stace had to say on Monday, March 28th, 2011
Pens! and stuff

A week or two ago now I was looking for white pens, so I could write on black paper. Pens with white ink, that is. A reader named Missy Ann recommended Jetpens to me, and I of course fell in love, and ordered several pens (the best part is, their prices are extremely reasonable). So for the past few days I’ve been using the Pilot Preppy and the Kuretake Zig, with blood red ink. And I started a Wish List, not so people could buy me things (please don’t) but to keep track. So if you’re an obsessive pen freak like me we can compare. We’ve had lots of pen discussion on Twitter the last few weeks.

As you can see, I am very into ink. I have a beautiful blue glass artisan pen, which I bought a few years ago and could not for the life of my figure out how to fill. I bought it at B&N, and bless the B&N booksellers, they’re wonderful, but they didn’t know how to do it either. I ended up finding the phone number for the manufacturer and calling them up. The woman on the phone was a bit perplexed, and originally told me they were just the makers and I’d have to talk to the retailers about returns etc. (she was nice about it, she wasn’t being a bitch or anything) but once I explained my problem–and we both sort of laughed–she told me that there are little holes at the top of the bulb part. You have to dip the pen into the ink so the little holes are covered, and the ink will pour into those holes, so you’ll have a little reservoir with which to write. So there you go. I don’t remember if I actually tried it or not; sadly the only things I really write by hand are notes etc. for work (I write on the living room couch, and it has leather arms; the one on my right is covered with Post-it notes).

But I still totally love pens, and paper, and really any sort of office supply or stationery or whatever.

And. I’ve just written a lovely little sex scene into the fifth Downside book, which makes me very happy. I’m behind on my word count at the moment, because the last week or so hasn’t been very good in general, but I’m hoping to make it up.

I’m also working on a little erotic romance story–well, more like erotica with romance, really–that I’m not sure what I’m going to do with. It’s very dark. Like, really really dark. I’m not sure how much people want something like that from me but I’m having a bit of fun with it anyway.

And of course we still have the New Project, a Megan novella, and another little Downside project that I’m not talking about but have high hopes for.

What Stace had to say on Thursday, March 24th, 2011
Playing With Guns

We went shooting today!

There’s a Sharpshooters shooting range maybe fifteen minutes up the road from us; I’ve never actually even noticed the place before, but there it is. And I didn’t know we were going there today; the hubs set it all up as a surprise for me. It’s been years since I’ve shot a gun–and the last time was with rifles at cans in a field–so I was pretty excited about this.

It was just as much fun as I remembered it being.

The gun range is kind of a weird place to be. Not in a scary way, but in one of those “These people are all so friendly and nice but they could drop you in a heartbeat” kind of way. Like the lane attendants who were really friendly and helpful but who had loaded guns in holsters on their waists, I guess in case somebody decided the power was just too much for them and they were going to open fire on people. It’s kind of dimly lit in there, too, and since you have those super earmuffs on everything is very subdued. It took me a few minutes to stop jumping when people fired, just because I still hadn’t acclimated.

It was kind of like stepping into another world, a little. A world where the wording of the Second Amendment is printed on the walls around the room, and people take “personal defense” very, very seriously. I don’t say that to make fun or anything, at all. It’s just that like with any other specialist kind of place, the sudden focus on one particular item or issue or whatever can be a bit jarring. But seriously, a nicer bunch of people you’d never want to meet; everyone was friendly, everyone was excited to see us and help us and everyone sincerely hoped we had fun and that we’d come back, which I totally want to do. They even have a Ladies Night, which you can bet I’m going to attend as soon as I can.

First we rented a Glock; the Glock 19, to be exact. Which was fun, but…eh. I wasn’t crazy about the Glock, to be honest. The grip was texturized even up the back, which meant it irritated the skin between my thumb and forefinger, you know that web of skin there? Firing the Glock made it reddish and kind of itchy, and I didn’t like that.

Aside from that, though, the Glock was fun. We bought 50 rounds and went through them in about twenty minutes, taking turns (we’d load 5 rounds into the clip, fire them, then hand off). What’s cool about that place is that in addition to the “classic” targets, you can also choose a burly prowler or several zombies at which to shoot.

We chose Zombie Steve. Read the rest of this entry »

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011
Fingernail Tuesday

Oh, dear. This week’s Fingernail Tuesday is not good, I’m afraid.

Well, first of all. It kinda broke my heart to remove last week’s pretty opal-y sparkly polish. They were just so gorgeous! Really, even sparklier and prettier in person.

But, I made a Commitment. And when you make a Commitment, it’s a Commitment, and you don’t break a Commitment because then it’s not a Commitment. Right?

The polish itself echoed my reluctance. I have never had such a hard time getting polish off my nails. Literally. I scrubbed at them with a remover-soaked cotton ball forever. It took half an hour just to get my left thumb clean. I finally resorted to sticking my fingers into the remover bottle and soaking them in it for a minute or so, and then going at them with the wet cotton ball. And it still took ages. I think it was almost two hours before I finally had all the polish removed. Of course that might have been partly because I’d done three or four coats of the sparkle polish, and about that many of topcoat after.

Anyway. So it started out kind of rough.

I didn’t know what color to do next; I think I’m going to start running a poll. Maybe on the Tuesday posts, or on Friday? Anyway. I’d planned to do this really pretty matte pale-jade green, but instead, on a whim, grabbed this one:

I bought it at Sally’s, in the clearance tower. Again, on a whim. The color kind of intrigued me; is it yellow? Is it green? It looked like a really 50’s-type color, very Rat-Pack-in-Vegas, if you know what I mean. Which is very cool. Plus I don’t have any yellow polishes. Actually, I have very few light polishes, and the ones I do have are pearly-type or white.

So I decided to give it a try.

It goes on beautifully, really smooth, and not too clear. I hate those polishes that are so watery and need like a dozen coats to make a solid color, don’t you?

So the polish itself is really nice. And I’ve done some cooking, done some dishes, showered, all that, and no chips.

But the color…I just don’t like it. Nope. It’s actually prettier in the pictures than in person. It looks like more of a pale pure yellow below, but in person it has a sort of burnished greenish tinge to it that just doesn’t appeal to me much.

If I liked the color, it would be gorgeous. It’s very shiny. But I just don’t like it.

So I’m debating trying to add a glitter polish over it to make it look a little nicer. I don’t want to remove the polish–it’s only Tuesday–but I’m really not crazy about it.

If I do put another topcoat on, I’ll update this post.

Got any stories of the polish you regretted buying?

What Stace had to say on Monday, March 21st, 2011
Keep your tongue where it belongs!

I was updating my FAQ a little while ago and wanted to link to the Polish editions of the Demons books on Amber Publishing’s website. And guess what I found? The Downside books are available in a boxed set over there! How cool is that? (Google translate tells me the wording at the top is “STACII KANE in a Box.” Which makes me think of the end of the movie SEVEN. Eek.)

Anyway, I was excited to see it, so there you go. Also, it occurs to me that I haven’t really updated the FAQ in a while, so if you have any questions you want in there, please ask them! (I did remember to add “How do you pronounce “Cesaria?” because I do get asked that fairly often.)

So. I saw something yesterday that reminded me of this; I’d ranted about it a bit on Twitter one night but not in a post here. You know what I really dislike? I really dislike kissing scenes in books where at any point one character “runs his/her tongue” over the other person’s lips. Eeeew. I don’t want my mouth licked, thank you. It tickles, and it feels slobbery.

I asked about this on Twitter and one of my pals there said he’d once dated a girl who really, really liked it. I think she’s an anomaly, since I’ve never known anyone else who did. And yet, this happens all the time in books. Why? It’s such a weird thing to do! Especially before that very first kiss, at least I think so. The lip-licking makes me think of a snake. Or a dog. It doesn’t make me think of sexy times.

There are plenty of places on the human body where tongues are welcome (that’s what she said, yeah, ha ha). But having the outside of my mouth licked just feels like the guy has bad aim, or like he’s trying to figure out if I’m something edible or a rock, or maybe like he’s seen way too many movies and thus will probably try to pull all those slick moves that look erotic but aren’t at all, and thus will bore me to death before anything actually happens.

I don’t want tongues inside my ears, either. In fact, I don’t want anything inside my ears. Not even air gently blown.

So…who is it out there who likes this, and keeps sticking it in books? It’s kind of like how someone got the idea that it felt good to have the cervix banged into, and for a while there were tons of books where men were banging into cervixes and that was driving the women wild. Um, actually, that hurts every woman I know. (But I confess, even I wrote it; I can’t remember what book it was in, but I did write it. Mainly because it seemed like it was in every book so I started wondering if maybe it was just me who found it painful, and everyone else loved it. It wasn’t until I had the guts to ask around that I discovered no, it hurts pretty much all women. I don’t remember if it stayed to publication or not.)

Anything you see in books and don’t “get?” How do you feel about the lip-licking thing? Got any questions you’d like put in my FAQ?

To-do update:

Finish Downside 5 (just over 50k now)
more words on New Project
possible exciting new Downside thing I can’t discuss yet
erotic novella (not yet started)
Demons novella (not yet started)

What Stace had to say on Friday, March 18th, 2011
Gettin’ My Sexy German On

My Sexy German is named Gunter. Ha! No. I do not have a sexy German. What I do have, though, is a box full of copies of GEISTERFLUT, and this book is awesome. Seriously, check out how fucking cool this is:
Read the rest of this entry »

What Stace had to say on Thursday, March 17th, 2011
Fun With Fingernails


Oh, first. Some League members and I have gone in together on an auction to raise money for the people of Japan; specifically for the Red Cross. We’re doing an auction on Ebay of one proposal critique; that’s a synopsis and first however-many-pages; the limit is 6000 words between the two. Since we have so many members we’ve split up into two teams. I am TEAM FANG, which is of course the far superior team, comprising of ME, Mario Acevedo, Dakota Cassidy, JF Lewis, Nicole Peeler, KA Stewart, and Anton Strout.

Team Claw isn’t really worth your time or money, so never mind those losers.

SO. You should totally bid, if you’re one of those writer-type people, because every one of us will read your stuff and comment/crit it. That’s a buttload of feedback, y’all, including critique from ME, and all the proceeds go to tsunami/earthquake relief, and that’s one worthy-ass cause.

Here’s the link again: GO TEAM FANG!!

(Big props to my wonderful friend Richelle Mead, who came up with the idea, and Carolyn Crane, who set it all up, even though she is team Claw and so not at all worth your time, and who is my little Salieri.

Seriously, guys, as of my writing this Team Claw is ahead. We cannot let them win. Go bid.

A few weeks ago I bought some new nails polish, ad the response I got on Twitter was so enthusiastic I decided to blog about it. With pictures, no less! *nods knowingly*

I started growing my nails–I stopped biting them, rather–when I was seventeen. Before that I’d been an inveterate biter; I bit until my fingers bled. I’m also still very often a cuticle biter, which I wouldn’t mind stopping because the cuticles don’t flatter the nails, but whatever.
Read the rest of this entry »

What Stace had to say on Monday, March 14th, 2011
Rules of the Blog 2

It’s been over a year since I did the first Rules of the Blog post, so I figured this was as good a time as any to do another one.

My blog is not a political place. I know I have some very conservative readers, and they are welcome here. I know I have some very liberal readers, and they are welcome here. Anyone and everyone is welcome here.

I blogged about why I don’t blog about politics a few years back, and had some guy somewhere link to my post with one of those “This is what’s wrong with the world” kind of things, because according to him, “those of us who have brains have a responsibility to educate others.” The arrogance of that still astounds me. I would never presume that I’m so much smarter than my readers; why in the world would I? Most of my blog readers are readers of my books, so hello insult. Sorry, but I don’t write books for stupid people, so why would I assume my blog readers are stupid? (That doesn’t mean you’re stupid if you didn’t like my book[s], just that I don’t write them with some kind of lowest common denominator in mind.)

With anything on a blog, you’ll have people who stumble across it, love it, and decide to run out and buy my books, or there’ll be people who stumble across it, hate it, and decide never ever to buy one of my books. That’s just the way it goes. But to me, politics are different. There’s more of a chance for anger and hurt feelings. And as I said so long ago, I do not want the buying of my books to become a political act.

Basically, we don’t discuss politics here just because I want everyone to feel valued and welcome here. Because everyone is. Read the rest of this entry »

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, March 8th, 2011
The Last One

Say my love is easy had,
Say I’m bitten raw with pride,
Say I am too often sad –
Still behold me at your side.

Say I’m neither brave nor young,
Say I woo and coddle care,
Say the devil touched my tounge –
Still you have my heart to wear.

But say my verses do not scan,
And I’ll get me another man!

–Dorothy Parker

Authors shouldn’t respond to reviews. That’s fine. Most of us don’t. We understand that reviews are for readers, not for writers. I don’t even like the “they can be helpful/constructive” because no, they really aren’t constructive, and they don’t help me, and more to the point, they don’t have to be. There is absolutely no reason in the world why a reader should have to remember a writer’s “feelings” when writing a review. There is absolutely no reason in the world why a reader shouldn’t say whatever they like about a book. It’s totally allowed.

But more to the point…who allows it? Nobody. There have been writers out there who’ve been shitty about “amateur” reviewers, and gone around huffing and puffing that they shouldn’t be listened to, or that no one should be allowed to write negative reviews ever, or whatever other self-entitled silliness. Funnily enough, last time I checked that didn’t actually stop anyone from blogging their opinion of a book, or from reading that blogged opinion and giving it whatever consequence the reader chose. Last time I checked, no gang of writers in a black windowless van started making the rounds of reviewers’ homes, grabbing them off the street and releasing them, naked, in a public park several miles away after telling them they won’t be writing any more reviews if they know what’s good for them, dig?

Last time I checked, a reader did not need a writer’s permission to read whatever they liked, and to say about it whatever they liked. So why the idea has come about that writers can or somehow are trying to “censor” readers, I don’t know. Where the idea came that the opinion of writers on that subject matters worth a fidder’s damn, I don’t know either.

Readers can say whatever they want.

Writers cannot.

I accept that. As I’ve said before, I knew that getting into this. I knew there were a lot of subjects I could no longer be myself on. Frankly, it’s a privilege to be in that position, and I’m grateful for it. Of course, I foolishly believed that standing up for readers every time the situation arose would mean people would remember that later; I foolishly believed that going out of my way for people, that being a good person, would mean something, but that’s neither here nor there.

The point is, I totally understand, accept, and whole-heartedly approve of the idea of writers staying away from reader reviews, and keeping their mouths shut regarding opinions of them. Fine. Just as I don’t have any overwhelming need to review books on my blog, nor do I have an overwhelming need to blog about readers and their reviews. I mention them, yes, because as I’ve said before, when a reader shows appreciation for my work I like to repay that; they work hard on their reviews. I want to give them credit for that work and let them know how much I value it, and them. Some of them–most of them–are damn good writers, and it makes me proud to have such smart and awesome people recommend my work. I won’t stop doing that, either, because my readers are important to me.

But the only real thing I’ve ever said on the subject is that readers can say whatever they want. Then I said readers who review and wish to become writers–who review as part of their aspiring writer persona–might want to be aware that they could find some writers who aren’t really eager to do them favors if they’d been negatively reviewed in the past. Funnily enough, last time I checked a favor was just that: a favor, something people are under zero obligation to do for someone else, and can turn down for any arbitrary reason. “I don’t feel like getting my lazy ass off the couch” is an acceptable excuse to refuse a favor, frankly, so I’m not sure how this is different. Favors aren’t obligations.

And for a long time things have been pretty smooth. But now? Now I’m finding that not only is it not okay for me to respond to reviews publicly, not only is it not okay to respond to them privately, but I’m not even allowed to have feelings about them.

Sure enough, the “My books aren’t me and they’re totally separate from me and I’m so professional and detached that I don’t care what people say” crowd leaps in to prove how much more professional they are than those of us who admit negative reviews can be hurtful or sad or disappointing, as if they’re far better than us pussybaby freaks with an emotional attachment to our work. That their work isn’t them, and they are totally detached from it, as if it was something they spat into the sink, because they’re True Professionals.

Sorry, but no.

I fully accept that not everyone is going to love my books or even like them. I know that. I can take it. I knew going into this business that there would be people who don’t like it. I’m happy to stand back and not engage. I don’t let them have their say–it’s not up to me–but I’m glad they have it. More power to them. I have never once tried to quiet another person or keep them from expressing their opinion.

What I will not stand for is the idea that not only can I not reply, not only can I not reply privately, but it’s not even okay for me to feel something about a review. Even feeling privately hurt or upset or down is now wrong and unprofessional. And fuck that.

My books are not my babies. I have babies. I have books. They’re different. But you bet your ass my books are part of me. Every word on every page came from me. Every word on every page matters to me.

Now it’s not supposed to.

Or at least, it’s not supposed to if I write genre fiction. I’ve found a few articles/discussions about literary fiction writers who made the Mistake; funnily enough, no one writing those articles or commenting on them implied that it was wrong of the writer to even feel bad about the review. It was understood that their work was important to them, that they would care about the response it gets, that they would have opinions on those responses. No other literary fiction authors jumped in to say how ridiculous they were for wanting people to like their books, or for feeling kinda bad when they didn’t. It would never occur to most people that those writers aren’t supposed to be personally invested in their work. (For that matter, it would never occur to most people that anyone isn’t supposed to be personally invested in their work. I worked at a Dairy Queen once in high school; I made the best damn Strawberry Shortcakes and Peanutbuster Parfaits you ever saw. My Dairy Queen curl was always perfect. Why? Because I cared. Because I liked the satisfaction of knowing I’d put something of myself into my work, to give someone else the best possible experience.)

And I ask you to show me someone whose boss told them their work wasn’t good enough, wasn’t acceptable, who didn’t feel the slightest twinge of sadness or pain because of that. It’s expected that people will be a bit hurt. It’s expected that they react professionally; no screaming “Shut up, asshole!” It’s expected that they not take it hugely personally and freak out, or be inconsolable for months, or tell that person they’re obviously morons, but it’s expected that it might be a bit hurtful.

But it seems that over the last few years, and of course especially the last couple of weeks, there’s this attitude–sometimes spoken, sometimes implied–of “It’s not like your work is important. You only write genre fiction, you know. It’s not important, what you do. You only churn out a product. So shut up about your feelings.”

You know what? I think that’s utter bullshit. I think if you can detach from your books that completely, maybe you’re not really putting enough of yourself into that book.

My books are not a churned-out product. My books are not a fucking TPS report that’ll go in the shredder as soon as the boss gets a glance at the numbers. My books are not a paint-by-numbers picture of a unicorn that anyone can put together.

My books are mine. My books are me. I’m in there. I’m in every word and every page and every character. Megan? Me. Chess? Especially me. My past. My outlook. My dreams. My thoughts on the world and people in general. My books are what they are because I make them that way. They come from my conscious mind; they come from my subconscious. They speak to parts of me I’m familiar with and parts I don’t know exist.

In other words, my books are me stripped bare. My heart and soul is on every page of every book. They are part of me.

Why? Because I think I owe it to you. Because you as a reader want something, and I want to give it to you. You want a book that will make you think and feel; that is what I want to give you. And how the fuck can I expect to make you feel, really feel, if I’m not feeling when I write it? How can I expect you to have an emotional reaction to my work when for me it’s just another fucking day at the office, whatever, toss out some words and who cares what they are because as soon as the book is finished I’ll emotionally disavow it anyway?

My books are not written according to some formula. My books are not thrown together with a “That’s good enough for the likes of them” sort of casualness, for me to dust off my hands when they’re done. My blood, my sweat, my tears, my pain, my joy, my thoughts, my feelings, go into every goddamn page. My books matter to me. They are important to me.

Yes, my books are genre fiction. So what? Does that mean they can’t be meaningful? Does that mean I have to shrug them off when they’re done, like they’re just some widget I built on an assembly line? Does that mean I’m not trying to say something big with them, that they don’t have a theme that’s important to me, that they aren’t a plea for change or a light being shone on something negative or anything else?

Some writers think we all should be able to completely detach from the book and not care if people like it at all, have it not effect them emotionally in any way. Well, just as they obviously think something is wrong with me and I’m unprofessional for caring if people like my work, I frankly think their work can’t be that damn good or meaningful if they’re so easily able to wash their hands of it and not care about how people take it. When I pour my heart into something I don’t just walk away when it’s done. When I really connect to something and it really matters to me, I don’t just shrug it off when it’s finished and forget it ever mattered. And I think it’s bullshit that I should be expected to. Fuck that.

Yes, it’s just genre fiction. Yes, of course there will always be people who don’t connect with certain books or characters. We all know that; it’s a given, and it’s fine. But don’t you dare tell me that because I just write genre fiction I’m not allowed to care about my books, and the only professional way to write genre fiction is to view it as some sort of toenail clipping, something that came from me but to which I have no attachment whatsoever.

My work matters to me. My work is part of me. I put everything I have and everything I can into my work.

Quite frankly, if I don’t feel deeply when I’m writing it, if I don’t dig deep and push myself and expose everything I can…how the hell can I expect readers to feel something when they read it?

They deserve everything I can give them. And I deserve to not be ridiculed for caring about my work in the privacy of my own home. Because I will never stop caring about my work, and I will never stop trying to make it the best it can be.

An endnote. This will be my last post on writing/writerly topics. I’m tired of it and I’m done. It’s not worth it to me. Yes, I know the people who read and enjoy my books are smart enough to know what I’m actually saying and not what some alarmist claims I’m saying. Yes, I know those who read this and haven’t read my work but know what I’m actually saying are just the sorts of people who probably will like my work. But giving time and energy and feelings to shit like this takes away from what I should be giving time and energy and especially feelings to, and that is my books. (This isn’t just related to stuff on the blog; you AW members may have a good idea of some other things that have contributed to it.) So I’m making some changes here on the blog, and that’s one of them. I will probably be blogging more often, but shorter posts, and I will no longer be commenting on things happening in the online writing world. I don’t want to be part of it anymore; I haven’t wanted to for a long time, actually. I’m happy to let other people have their opinions on things and rarely feel the need to challenge them; the same courtesy is not usually extended to me, and the way to avoid it is simply to stop posting opinionated things, and that’s what I’m doing.

I will always be open for suggestions on topics, and I will always be happy to answer questions here on the blog; I’d like to do that regularly, actually, so I encourage you all to ask away.

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