Archive for February, 2012

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
Squee! Squee!

First, I got to do the most awesome thing this weekend, on Sunday. See, it was the first-ever London Super Comic-con, and hubs and I decided we wanted to go. Then we saw that Mr. Stan Lee was going to be there, and we could get books signed by him and get a picture taken.

Now, let me just say I am not one to pay for autographs or for pictures, in general. It’s just not my thing. Sure, of course I’ll buy the book I’m getting signed, but in general? Nah. However. This is STAN LEE. STAN THE MAN. The guy who invented pretty much every character in the Marvel comics stable. You bet your ass I wanted to meet him. And I especially wanted the girls to meet him, because how awesome is it to say you met Stan Lee when you were ten?

Because we were paying for the autographs, hubs and I decided to forego them for ourselves and just get them for the babies. So both Princess and Faerie got to hand their books to Stan and say “Thank you, Mr. Lee,” and they got to say who their favorite characters were, and it was pretty awesome. And then, we got to do the picture. Here it is (under the cut): Read the rest of this entry »

What Stace had to say on Friday, February 24th, 2012
Q&A Group!

So I have a few things to rant about; I’ll probably do that Monday or Tuesday, if I do it at all. For now I just want to mention that I went ahead and started an Author Q&A group on Goodreads. I figured I’d open it now to give people time to find it, and we’d start the discussion on March 20, but people have already been joining and posting (which I didn’t expect at all!) so…well, I don’t really know what to do; I’ve gone ahead and answered a few questions but figure I won’t really jump in with both feet yet, because there’s some preliminary-type reader-only discussion taking place there, too, and I don’t want to interfere (but neither do I want to just ignore everyone).

I am reading, though! And I may take a few of the questions and add them to my FAQ page at some point. So please do join up if you want to hang out with some cool readers, and discuss some of my books with me, and feel free to start discussions/ask whatever questions you want, about anything.

So I hope to see you over there!

What Stace had to say on Monday, February 20th, 2012
Countdown Starting!

We have FIVE WEEKS until the release of SACRIFICIAL MAGIC in the US, can you believe it? It’s almost here!

And of course I’m starting the freak-out that will inevitably lead to me spending release day huddled up on the couch puking and crying and whatever else, terrified I’ll have let everyone down. But I’m trying to be optimistic.

Its helping that so far the advance readers seem to be enjoying the book very much. And I link to that page because, if you are a Goodreads member in the US, you can enter a drawing to win your very own copy!

Also lovely are the great reviews so far for HOME, the Heroes & Heartbreakers short. It is a *romance* story; I think it’s probably about as romantic and cheerful as a Downside story can be, really, and I’m thrilled and amazed by how enthusiastic everyone has been/is being about it. Remember, though, it’s only going to be available for a couple more days; after that it will be pulled, and will be “officially” released for sale in April (I believe it’s April), so read it now!

And of course, I’ll be posting some bits and pieces from SACRIFICIAL MAGIC here soon; the first chapter, and the songlist, and probably another excerpt or two (in fact, there’s one at the end of this post!). Deleted scenes etc. will go up one month after release.

I’m looking for someone to perhaps help design a few new t-shirts for the Downside Market (our desktop with the image program is in storage at the moment, so I can’t do them myself just now, which sucks). I can’t really pay money but I *can* promise a free t-shirt, so please let me know if you’re interested.

Additionally, for my artist pals out there…Suvudu is doing an art contest for the Supernatural Cage Match 2012! Details here. As I mention below, Chess will be “competing” in this, and I’d loooove to see not only your vision of her but see one of my readers get exposure like that; a lot of people read Suvudu and especially the Cage Match, and I’d be thrilled to see one or more of you get to participate. (Of course, you don’t just have to draw/create an image of Chess; there are sixty-four characters in the Match!)

AND…I’m thinking contest(s), and I have a couple of GREAT prize ideas, including one I’m really excited about that I can’t discuss quite yet but will be able to soon. But think merchandise you can wear that isn’t clothes. Hee.

So far I’m thinking I’ll run entries the way I did for the Name-a-Character contest I did for the release of CITY OF GHOSTS: you get two entries for pre-ordering the book, two for blogging about the books/series, one for tweeting about it (using, I’m thinking, #sacrificialmagic as a hashtag).

I didn’t do entries for reviewing on Goodreads/LibraryThing/Shelfari/Amazon/B&N for the last books and I’m still not sure how I feel regarding that, so I’m considering it and am open to your thoughts. See, the thing is, I’m very conscious of how it looks to ask for or encourage reviews on those sites and it bothers me personally to do so; I feel it’s unethical. But I also feel like anyone who spreads the word about the books and/or takes the time to write a review deserves some sort of entry for it and I hate to ignore people who don’t have blogs or Twitter or even accounts at various reader sites; if the only place you participate as a reader is Amazon, how is it right or okay for me to tell you that you don’t get to enter, you know? But at the same time, it *is* rewarding reviews on Amazon/B&N and I just think that’s kind of icky, so… Perhaps I’ll just leave it at Goodreads/LT/Shelfari and skip Amazon/B&N, which feels much better to me, because those sites aren’t actual stores where people go to buy books. (There will be a separate contest for the Downside Army, too, so members can enter both.) (Also, did you know you can “Like” books on Amazon? I just realized it, how long has that been going on?)

Speaking of Goodreads, I’m considering doing one of those Author Q&A groups, where you can ask questions and stuff for a set period of time; I was thinking of maybe March 26th–April 17th, which is about a month. Would anyone be interested in that? I’ll be doing a lot of interviews etc. elsewhere, as well; I’m already booked on several sites for the week before and week of release (and if you’re interested in having me as a guest on your site/blog, please do get in touch soon, because my calender is filling), so there will be other chances, but the Goodreads Q&A seems like fun and we can have a special section for spoilers that will ensure no one else is, well, spoiled by the questions/discussion.


Chess will be “competing” in Suvudu’s big huge Supernatural Cage Match, which will take place throughout March. I know who she’s battling and can’t tell yet, but a big part of the Cage Match is reader participation, and we’re encouraged to urge our readers to go and vote. So look out for that; I’m really excited about this and very hopeful that Chess can advance to the next round!

I’ll be posting my Big Release event schedule soon; a lot of blogs are doing some really cool giveaways you won’t want to miss! And of course I’m trying to think of some more fun stuff to do as well. It’s just crazy that we’re so close!

A little excerpt:

She wasn’t going to run away. From what, a ghost? Some asshole who decided it would be fun to have a little tea party with a ghost? No fucking way.
She pulled her knife out of her pocket and snapped it open, used her left hand to grab a handful of asafetida and graveyard dirt. Let them fucking come. She was ready.
What she wasn’t ready for was the quick, fast whoosh of something flying through the air, or the heavy sharp pain in the back of her skull. The dirt and her knife flew from her hands; the floor flew up to greet her. Painfully.
She barely had a chance to realize what had happened before everything went dark.

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
A Valentine’s Day gift at!

It’s up!

My little Downside romance short story, HOME, has been published on the website, free to registered members. Go here to read it and comment on it!

HOME is, as I said above, a romance story; this is the one I originally wrote for the MAMMOTH BOOK OF GHOST ROMANCE but pulled over the whole “gay stories aren’t romance” thing. So it’s definitely romance; it’s about love and relationships and all of that, and I think it’s rather a sweet little tale (though not too sweet; this is Chess we’re talking about here). SPOILERY (highlight to read): And for those of you who’ve wanted a chance to see Chess and Terrible just being happy together, here it is.

The story will be up free for one week, after which it’ll be pulled and released for sale in April (I believe). So please do go register now and read it, or you’ll have to wait a few more months!

A little excerpt:

“Love is not the most powerful magic. But it feels like it is.”
—Truth for Teens, a Guidebook for the Young Adult, by Elder Carroll

Chapter 1

Most—no, all—of her cases started the same way: A homeowner or building resident called the Church to report a haunting. The Church assigned a Debunker to the case to investigate the haunting and hopefully disprove it, to make sure the person in question wasn’t just faking in order to get a nice fat settlement in exchange for the Church’s failure to protect them from the dead.

After all, just because the population was smaller thanks to Haunted Week twenty-four years before, when the ghosts had risen and killed every living person they could, and just because the Church of Real Truth was in charge now, didn’t mean people didn’t still need money. They did. Just like Chess. She needed money for food, for rent, for the electric bill and the cell phone bill and all of those other things. And of course for drugs: the things that made her life worthwhile.

So Chess worked, and she worked hard, and she’d handled a lot of cases and gotten a lot of bonuses for disproving a lot of hauntings. But she’d never had a case before where a neighbor called the Church to report the ghost and the homeowners insisted there wasn’t one.

I really hope you all enjoy it!

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
The SFX Weekender!

Oh, man, what a fun con, seriously. I had a great time. It didn’t start out that way, but it certainly ended up that way.

Why did it not start that way? Because of a train derailment. I was supposed to travel from London Euston to Chester, and from there catch a train to Prestatyn, where the con was being held. Yeah. Nothing was going out of Euston on Friday, so instead of my happy little three-and-a-half-hour or so trip I ended up spending seven and a half hours either standing in crowded train aisles or perched on the edge of a seat (my suitcase took up most of it). Or just standing around in the freezing cold; the train out of Derby I was told to take was so full some of us had to wait an hour for the next one.

But I finally arrived, and after some confusion found where I was supposed to check in (which I did, along with the female Holley from Red Dwarf, who was so nice. Then I went back to get my key–they had to cut me a new one–who did I find standing there but the male Holley, who was also very friendly and nice and we had a lovely little chat. So I met both Holleys in my first half hour there, which was pretty cool).

I don’t know what it is about me and cons, but I always seem to end up rooming with these gorgeous curvy brunette sex goddesses. First, of course, there is my wonderful friend Caitlin Kittredge, with whom I room because we plan it that way. But Caitlin wasn’t at this one (and I missed her!) and SFX was handling my accomodation, so they had me rooming with Maria Dahvana Headley, who–guess what?–is a gorgeous curvy brunette sex goddess. Seriously, the woman could stop traffic. See how stunning she looks on her website? Doesn’t even come close.

Anyway. The con was held at a Pontins, which for those unaware is a “holiday camp.” It looks like a gulag with exclamation points. But our “chalet”–actually just a pretty standard little one-bedroom apartment in a block of them–was clean, which was more than I expected, and the electric radiators worked fairly well, although there wasn’t one in the bathroom. And the bathroom door wouldn’t stay closed. And the smoke alarms beeped randomly and irritatingly, at least until Maria, um, fixed them.

We did not have a mirror in the whole place.

I ended up staying in the room Friday night–I didn’t know anyone there–and doing some work. Or, well, I was supposed to be working but I ended up watching The Untouchables. Oh, and standing up every fifteen minutes or so to lean over the radiator and warm up.

Saturday was the Big Day. Of course, I totally forgot about the shiny red jeans I bought specifically for that con, so they languished in my suitcase, dammit. And it was COLD. So very, very cold. It also rained. And the “chalet” was so very far away from the main building.

My first panel was “What is Urban Fantasy?” And dude. Most cons I go to have maybe a hundred, hundred and fifty people at each panel. This one (and the later one)? In a huge room. A huge full room. I saw someone estimate the capacity at a thousand, but I think it was probably closer to half of that; then again, I wouldn’t know, because the room was dark and we had lights aimed right at us so I couldn’t see the audience (that’s important later; I couldn’t see beyond the front row).

So “What is Urban Fantasy?” was me, Paul Cornell, Ben Aaronovitch, Benedict Jacka, and Sam Stone. And it was awesome. A really interesting, in-depth look at the genre, and not one person suggested it was just chicks in leather fucking vampires. We talked about the nature of monsters and the darkness inside all of us and whether UF is sort of like horror where the protagonist lives (I LOVED that definition, as you can probably guess). Just such a cool panel, and so much fun to be a part of. I felt a little weird being the only American there, but it didn’t seem to matter at all. (There’s a picture of that panel on the Orbit blog.)

Next I signed books at the Forbidden Planet booth (Forbidden Planet is a huge UK SFF bookstore chain) with Maria. We had a great time, and she fixed my lipstick. Somewhere there should be a picture of us together but I don’t know where or if it’s up yet. Unfortunately–or fortunately, I’m not sure which–FP ran out of our books in the first 15 minutes or so. I’m hoping that’s a good sign but for all I know they only had five copies of each, so who knows. And what matters is that it was fun; Maria and I had some laughs, we got to meet some great readers, and it was just cool all around.

Then we had the “Ready Steady Flash!” panel. Okay. This was basically, the moderator–Lee from Angry Robot Books, what a cool guy–gave us a topic and we had five minutes to write a flash story about it. I have never written flash fiction before, but figured hey, why not? And it meant I got to be at a table with Juliet E. McKenna, Paul Cornell (again, and let me tell you he is awesome), and Tony Lee. One of these things (read: me) is not like the others…

(My flash pieces and the rest of the con under the cut) Read the rest of this entry »