Archive for August, 2013



What Stace had to say on Thursday, August 8th, 2013
Updates! Details!

We’re UP at B&N! Again, Nook readers, I am so sorry for the delay!

Anyway. New reviews!

Heroes & Heartbreakers:

You get more of the story on how [Terrible] came to be who he is, and there is not one false note as can sometimes happen when authors dive into the pasts of beloved characters. All in all, this is a can’t-miss for Kane fans, and for everyone who has always wondered how Terrible became terrific.

Paperback Wonderland (someone emailed me this; check out the hilarious .gif at the end!):

Well, it’s about half past 5 a.m. and I just finished reading this, that should tell you something… Like all Downside Ghosts books – and do not be fooled by this being called a novella, it was practically the same length as a regular book (yay!) – this was incredibly addictive (ironic, really).

Now. On to the contest! Entries are strong enough that I wanted to add another winner, and then I thought, well, why not add more ways to enter, too? So I am! So there will be more than one winner, and you have lots of ways to enter, and hopefully it’s all fun.

Again, it’s a Character-Name contest, like the one I did for the release of CITY OF GHOSTS. Only this time, I already have a good idea how I’ll use your name(s) and I don’t think you’ll be too unhappy about it. (In other words, what you’re thinking? Yes.) This will be for the next Terrible-POV story, the one that will cover the events of UNHOLY MAGIC and CITY OF GHOSTS.

Don’t forget, all winners will also get a free ebook copy of that next novella. AND a free copy of the next Downside book, period.

So how do you enter?

Well. Buy the book, of course; that gets you two entries. Forward your digital receipt to DownsideArmy AT gmail, or C&P the relevant parts of it (basically, I just need proof of purchase, not your address or–of course–any payment info or anything like that).

I mentioned on Tuesday evening that I was expanding the contest to include the purchase of ANY Downside book. So if you’re not caught up on the series, this is the time to do it! Remember, the US editions of the first three ebooks are at special low prices. Also, in addition to the two entries you get for a purchase of ANY Downside book, you also get two entries if you recommend them to a friend and your friend buys one–you’ll get two, and your friend gets two. Per book. (And yes, it counts if you buy the books for them as gifts.) If you’re buying paperback copies at a physical store, scan or take a picture of the receipt and email that along. If you buy the book at the recommendation of a friend, please let me know who the friend is!

Tweet about the book, using the reader-created #terriblefever hashtag or #wrongwaysdown. I’ll be following both of those and checking them periodically, so there’s no need to email me links. (I’m counting entries retroactively from Monday, btw.)

Talk about the book! Talk about it on Facebook, on your blog, on your website or a book website or wherever you want! If you want to review it on any blog or website, that counts. If you just want to mention it, that counts. Any mention or discussion of it will count; just send me the link (again, at the DownsideArmy email). (Note: I know you guys would never do this but I want to clarify: SPAM DOESN’T COUNT. Please don’t spam people or groups or forums or whatever. If I get any entries that look like spam I’m going to disqualify them, and the people who submit them.)

If you’re sending me a receipt or link and you have also tweeted, please do let me know who you are on Twitter/Facebook/whatever other site, so I can keep all your entries together. I’d hate for you not to get credit for all of your entries.

…and that’s it! The contest will run from today (8/6) until midnight EDT on 8/15; in other words, until 11:59 PM on the 14th 8/22; 11:59 PM on the 21st. I’m adding an extra WEEK because of the delay in release. And because it’s fun.

Also, IMPORTANT: By entering this contest you are agreeing to let me use your name (or whatever other name you may choose) in the book without compensation. You are agreeing not to hold me liable if you don’t like the way you’re portrayed; I promise to do my best not to make you seem like a horrible person, but I can’t guarantee you won’t be a junkie or a prostitute or whatever. I make no guarantee as to the duration or detail of “your” scene, or that you will get a lot of or any dialogue. All I promise is that your scene will feature Terrible.

Seriously. Don’t enter if you don’t agree to this. As I mentioned above, you’ll get a free pre-release copy of the book in question, but I won’t be sending you the mss for your approval or consulting with you on it or anything. Be aware. I want you to be pleased, but I’m making no guarantee.

Thanks so much, guys! It’s been really cool to see how enthusiastic and excited everyone’s been, and the great response the book is getting!

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
Eek! It’s out there!

(NOTE: Systems are still updating and things are still happening. I will be updating this post throughout the day as more links are available.)

CONTEST UPDATES BELOW.

So…here we are! Eek! WRONG WAYS DOWN is officially out there!

Amazon US

Amazon UK

The Createspace print version isn’t up yet, and it’s not up yet at B&N. But I promise it is being worked on and the delay shouldn’t take too much longer; I don’t know when they update their systems etc. so can’t say exactly when it’ll happen, but it will happen. I’m sorry for the delay, please keep checking back!

We have a couple of new reviews, too!

From the lovely, smart ladies at StellarFour:

…Kane takes her well-loved, laconic hired gun, Terrible, and deftly reveals a complex and nuanced antihero, exposing his innermost thoughts and feelings as he solves the mystery of who’s targeting the women who work for his boss. And, if you didn’t have big warm fuzzies for the enforcer before, you will now.

Some lovin’ from the Book Nympho:

Reading this novella has me craving a re-read of the series. … Wrong Ways Down is a MUST read for Downside fans, dig!

Goldilox and the Three Weres loves it:

This is another gritty, spectacular, emotional book in the Downside Ghosts series that will more than whet the whistle of readers waiting for the next full-length installment.

Aaaand…yes, there’s a contest! Updated!

I’ve discussed this a little before; it’s a Character-Name contest, like the one I did for the release of CITY OF GHOSTS. Only this time, I already have a good idea how I’ll use your name and I don’t think you’ll be too unhappy about it. (In other words, what you’re thinking? Yes.) This will be for the next Terrible-POV story, the one that will cover the events of UNHOLY MAGIC and CITY OF GHOSTS.

So how do you enter?

Well. Buy the book, of course; that gets you two entries. Forward your digital receipt to DownsideArmy AT gmail, or C&P the relevant parts of it (basically, I just need proof of purchase, not your address or–of course–any payment info or anything like that).

Tweet about the book, using the reader-created #terriblefever hashtag or #wrongwaysdown. I’ll be following both of those and checking them periodically, so there’s no need to email me links. (I’m counting entries retroactively from Monday, btw.)

Talk about the book! Talk about it on Facebook, on your blog, on your website or a book website or wherever you want! If you want to review it, that counts. If you just want to mention it, that counts. Any mention or discussion of it will count; just send me the link (again, at the DownsideArmy email). (Note: I know you guys would never do this but I want to clarify: SPAM DOESN’T COUNT. Please don’t spam people or groups or forums or whatever. If I get any entries that look like spam I’m going to disqualify them, and the people who submit them.)

If you’re sending me a receipt or link and you have also tweeted, please do let me know who you are on Twitter/Facebook/whatever other site, so I can keep all your entries together. I’d hate for you not to get credit for all of your entries.

NOTE: I’m expanding this. I know there are some people out there who haven’t read any of the books. So for the next week, any purchase of ANY Downside book gets you an entry! If you’ve been waiting, now’s the time, guys. The ebook editions of the first three books are promotionally priced in the US, too.

…and that’s it! The contest will run from today (8/6) until midnight EDT on 8/15; in other words, until 11:59 PM on the 14th. That’s eight days–I’m adding an extra day because of the delay in release on some sites. And because it’s fun. Isn’t it? I think contests like this are fun, anyway, I don’t know what you people like doing. :mrgreen:

Also, IMPORTANT: By entering this contest you are agreeing to let me use your name (or whatever other name you may choose) in the book without compensation. You are agreeing not to hold me liable if you don’t like the way you’re portrayed; I promise to do my best not to make you seem like a horrible person, but I can’t guarantee you won’t be a junkie or a prostitute or whatever. I make no guarantee as to the duration or detail of “your” scene, or that you will get a lot of or any dialogue. All I promise is that your scene will feature Terrible.

Seriously. Don’t enter if you don’t agree to this. I WILL send you a free pre-release copy of the book in question but I won’t be sending you the mss for your approval or consulting with you on it or anything. Be aware. Like I said, I want you to be pleased, but I’m making no guarantee.

Onward! We have more to cover here. A couple more questions from yesterday, for example.

Escape Artist asked:

What I’d like to know is, will we ever find out what Lex’s true feelings for Chess are? Whether she really was just a warm body to him or whether she was more?

He seemed genuinely hurt when she broke up with him. That was a tough scene for me because I was equally thrilled for Terrible and sad for Lex.

It’s certainly planned, yes.

Leah S. asked:

Were there any particular songs or bands that you listened to with this book? Was it more difficult writing from Terrible’s POV?

Actually, I’ve been on a big Velvet Underground kick for a while now, which doesn’t really “fit” because VU is a Chess band rather than a Terrible band. But then I figured, they’d probably remind him of her and he might start listening to them for that reason. So it fits that way. Right? Especially “There She Goes Again,” which is pretty perfect for her.

It was more difficult, yeah, at least in some ways. It was difficult finding the balance between enough Downspeak to make it authentically Terrible’s voice, but enough proper English to make it readable. And I won’t say it was difficult, necessarily, but it was trickier or more nerve-wracking writing from his POV and making sure he sounded and seemed authentically male. Luckily I know several men who were willing to read with an eye specifically toward that.

Honestly? The most difficult thing, I think, was allowing him so many words. You guys know he tends not to talk a lot, and that he’s not always comfortable with talking; he feels that words aren’t his strong suit and he doesn’t use them very well. You and I know he has a much larger vocabulary than he’s actually comfortable using in speech, but it was interesting to actually get to use it and show that. It was interesting to actually just let him go, so to speak, and see what he came up with in his head. But it was very strange, too.

What was really surprising, rather than difficult, was how much he actually sounded like Chess. Of course I know how similar they are in terms of viewpoint and thought process, but I’m used to knowing what he’s thinking and showing it through her eyes rather than actually articulating what he’s thinking through his. And I was able to have a little fun with that a few times by basically aping things she’s said before, but in his phrasing. But really, I was quite surprised by how much he sounded like her and how many of the thoughts he had were things she could have thought without it even seeming out of place. And it was a lot of fun, too.

One or two other quick things: I’m not the only person with a release today! My lovely friends Lauren Dane, Jim Hines, and Kat Richardson both have books out, so go get them, too!

Lauren Dane’s UNCONDITIONAL

Jim’s CODEX BORN

Kat’s POSSESSION

And, which I should have mentioned before, my friend Mario Acevedo has a new one out! GOOD MONEY GONE, written with Richard Kilborn.

STILL undecided about buying WRONG WAYS DOWN? How about another little excerpt?

“People buy this shit?” he asked, scanning the list of products. “Spells to make kids obey? Spells to make worries better?”

“Pretty sleazy, huh?” Her smile, the way her dark red lips curved, made him feel like he was in on some secret with her. Like they were the smart ones. “Those places will sell anything.”

“It ain’t work, aye?”

“Nope.” She lifted her right arm and curled it behind her head, curled her fingers, to gather up her hair and pull it off her neck. Her head tilted to the right as she did it, so her throat was a long pale line rising from the collar of the blue shirt she wore over a black long-sleeve t-shirt. He knew he shouldn’t stare, he should look away fast before she noticed. But he couldn’t help it. It was so…she weren’t even aware of it, how pretty the movement was, how graceful it was, how it made his breath stop.

What Stace had to say on Monday, August 5th, 2013
Questions Answered (and bundles of nerves)

Eep!

Tomorrow WRONG WAYS DOWN will be hitting cybershelves everywhere–at least I hope it will; it’s supposed to and everything is all set for it to, but I am always convinced something is going to go horribly, horribly wrong, and release dates freak me the hell out, so… I’m in panic mode, basically, waiting for the Big Problem Shoe to drop right onto my head.

But on to other things! You guys asked me some great questions the other day, and I’m going to answer them. And post another excerpt, too.

First, though, a couple of reviews have come in! (A reminder, btw, since it’s been a while: all links open in a new window.)

From Vampire Book Club, FIVE stars!

If you thought you had it bad for Terrible before reading Wrong Ways Down, the new Downside novella set between Unholy Ghosts and Unholy Magic, prepare to swoon on a whole new level. … Terrible is truly one of the most complex and dichotomous antiheroes I’ve ever come across. His novella adds a new layer and richness to this fantastic series.

FIVE STARS from Addicted2Heroines!

Terrible has been one of my favorite male characters in urban fantasy for years, and this book only bolsters his credibility as a leading man. If you thought you understood Terrible, you will find that you are mistaken. Kane takes an already beloved character and adds layers to his persona, allowing the reader to understand him on a more personal level. … Stacia’s Downspeech is perfect in this book. It brings such a texture and even a clarity to the characters. And the writing is beautiful. Kane is able to weave a multi-layered story with serious continuity and a twisty plot.

FIVE BASKETS from Little Read Riding Hood!

This story takes place between Unholy Ghosts and Unholy Magic, and it is all in Terrible’s POV. I felt like a cat in a field of catnip, and wanted to just roll around in his mind and make myself comfortable and just stay there.

So, let’s do some questions!

Melissa asked:

Do you have any plans to go into Chess’s background? Who her parents were and why they may have left her? Or a snippet of a current Church employees POV – do they think The City is terrifying, too, but can’t admit it? Are they really “good” or was Haunted Week caused by them so they could come to power? Having The City already there seems like too good of luck.

I don’t have plans to do so, no. We won’t “find” Chess’s parents. I do have a vague sort of story in my head about the circumstances surrounding her birth, which I’m going to explain a bit more in a guest post over at Addicted2Heroines. But her parentage won’t be part of the story.

Most of the Church employees honestly think the City is a lovely place, although they all view it with a healthy dose of awe/respect. I actually think that’s the big reason why they don’t think it’s horrible; much like Chess’s reluctance to go underground because it’s disrespectful, most employees think that to see the City as a “bad” place would be disrespectful. And they like the idea of knowing where they’ll be when they die, and being able to communicate with their friends etc. So they tend to chalk up any discomfort they feel to respect or a reluctance to die (which makes them think their discomfort is wrong, because they shouldn’t be afraid/reluctant to die).

I don’t think the Church as an official body caused HW, but that doesn’t mean some members didn’t inadvertently cause it.

And the City…that WAS there already, because of the location of Triumph City. The City was a government installation; some of it was bunkers and tunnels built for government officials: fallout shelters and the like. The Church expanded it, but it was already there.

Some inspiration etc.:

Hidden Tunnels Under Washington DC

White House Tunnel System

Dupont Underground’s Secret Tunnel (Note: many of the tunnels Slobag uses are old Metro maintenance tunnels or sewer tunnels)

Underground Cities United States (scroll down to DC)

Mount Weather

The Greenbriar

(Now, granted, Mt. Weather and the Greenbriar aren’t located exactly where the Church is. But I figure, in my world there are other projects we don’t necessarily know about.)

Lyssa asked:

I’ve never read a UF book with an unattractive looking hero. Was there a reason behind making Terrible genuinely ugly?

I think only a talented writer can manage to make their ugly hero swoony and attractive through their personality. I get so sick of all the super hot UF heroes who are only sexy because of their looks and not their attitude. Terrible is refreshing.

That was basically it, Lyssa; I am of course a fan of gorgeous men, but I wanted to see if I could create a hero that wasn’t obviously The Hero the second he appeared. It was a big writing challenge, basically, in that I wanted to see if I could create a character readers would find sexy based on personality alone, or largely on personality. (That’s not to say I agree with you about my level of talent, just that it was my goal.)

Plus, one of the major themes of the series is the idea that everyone deserves some kind of love and happiness, that everyone has value, that there’s more under the surface than you might think, that what people DO is what matters more than how they look.

As I’ve said before, I was certainly hoping people would still love Terrible despite his not being outright handsome, but I never expected the response he actually got! I’m so grateful for it.

Allison asked:

I wonder if you plan on expanding on Elder Griffin’s story as it relates to Chess or just in general?

Yes and no. We will learn more about Elder Griffin, and of course there’s a bit of a reference to his home life and past in the free BRAVE TALE OF MADDIE CARVER short, but I hadn’t planned to do a whole story from his POV.

Of course, if it’s something you guys want, let me know!

That’s it for today–I don’t want this to get too long–but I am not done answering questions, so if yours isn’t here, it will be!

And an excerpt for you:

Terrible saw the woman before she moved. Easy. He sidestepped, swinging his arm—the arm holding Wayne—to the right as he did, putting Wayne’s scrawny shoulder in the way of the woman’s blow. The crack the bat made when it hit Wayne’s bone—might even have broke it, from the sound, and from Wayne’s shriek—seemed to echo in the almost-empty room. Coursen it was almost empty. Wayne had sold anything he could.

Damn it. He hated having to do this with dames. He dropped Wayne and grabbed her by the back of the neck, pushing down so first her knees, then her forehead hit the floor. Both she and Wayne were screaming. Fucking annoying.

He knelt between them, keeping his hold on the back of her neck and doing the same to Wayne, leaning forward so his weight pushed both their faces into the dirty floor. “What money you got?”

“Got no,” Wayne said. Hard to understand him, since he were talking into the thin carpet. “Sorry, sorry, got no, waitin on…Louann here, she gonna get me some, she gonna…gonna earn us some…”

Aw, fuck. He gave them both another hard shove into the floor, tightened his fists. Their necks were so fucking stringy and skinny in his hands. “How? How’s she earning it?”

Wayne apparently realized he’d said the wrong thing. “She…she…”

“Aye? What?”

“Only be a couple dudes we knowing,” the dame—Louann—said. Squeaked, more like. “Wanted it from me, them did, not from just any dame. Them ain’t be paying for it any elsewheres, true thing them ain’t.”

“Maybe—maybe she coming work for Bump.” Wayne tried and failed to lift his head so he could look at Terrible. “Maybe she work off my owings. Maybe you wanna take she off inna bedroom, give she a try? Be—”
Terrible shifted his weight, pressed his knee into the dame’s back so he had a free hand. He needed it to smash into Wayne’s face. Which he did, with a satisfying crunch of bone. Fucker. What kind of man whored his woman like that, ain’t even checked with her first?

And as if he had even the faintest interest in that dirty, ragged, starved sack of bones under his knee, with her broken teeth and bruises. Even if he needed to take a whore to his bed, he wouldn’t be interested. Bump’s whores were clean, and most of em were pretty, and he could have any one of them he wanted any time he wanted, for free.

He never did, but he could. He weren’t so desperate he needed to jump whatany dame waved it in his face. Specially not one like this one.

“You knowing how this goes,” he said, loud so they could both hear him over their wails. “Money, or knowledge. Which you got?”

See you tomorrow!

What Stace had to say on Thursday, August 1st, 2013
Winners!

Thank you all so much for entering!

The winners (chosen by the usual extremely scientific method of assigning each entry a number and then having my kid pick a couple of numbers) are:

Drey’s Library (Facebook acct)

and

Mish (commenter here)

Please contact me (email using the Contact form here or staciakane AT gmail) to let me know which ebook format you need. It’s helpful if you email me from the account you want the ebook sent to.

Thanks so much again, everyone! And thank you all for the great questions, which I’ll be going through and answering. For those who asked about Downspeech, if you check the Media page here on the site you’ll find several blog posts and a video about its creation, which may answer your questions. If whatever you wanted to know isn’t there, let me know! (I did get one about whether I keep a dictionary/notes for myself, which I’ll be answering.)