Stacia Kane is the author of the gritty dystopian urban fantasy “Downside” series starring Chess Putnam and featuring ghosts, human sacrifice, drugs, witchcraft, punk rock, and a badass ’69 Chevelle. She bleaches her hair and wears a lot of black.
Ten Things about Stacia
1. Your genre(s)?
Urban fantasy. Scary things. Crazy things. Sexy things.
2. How many books have you completed?
Oh, boy. Um. Okay. Nine. (Note: this was written 12/07. The count as of 7/09 stands at thirteen, all of which are or will be published.) Nine that have been or will be published. Plus a few novellas and shorts.
3. How many books are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on a YA project and plotting a new historical UF series.
4. Are you a linear or chunk writer?
I write start to finish. I only allow myself to skip if I am absolutely stuck for more than a couple of weeks. It’s only happened once.
5. The POV (= Point of View) you’re most partial to?
Third. I don’t like to write in first person. I don’t read much in first either, although I won’t not read a book I’m interested in because of POV. But a book I haven’t heard anything about that I pick up in a store…if it’s in first, chances are I’ll put it back down.
6. The themes that keep cropping up in your books?
*rubs hands together* Oooh, this is fun! Isolation. Loneliness. Depression. Rejection. Emotional damage. Self-hatred. Self-medication. Self-injury. Self-reliance. That love means wanting people to have their independence too. That being happy isn’t as important as being strong.
They’re fun books.
(Actually I think they are fun, really. They’re not as depressing as that makes them seem. It’s just that’s sort of what I always come back to. I can’t write happy people because I don’t understand happy people.)
7. How many days a week do you write?
I try to write every day. Lately I’ve been on a little break, after moving back to the US and finishing DEMON POSSESSED, the third Megan Chase novel. So I’m just about to get back in the saddle.
8. What time of day do you get your best writing done?
Late morning, and at night. Really, I’ve had to learn to work any time I can because of the kids. I can’t always work when I want to or when I feel most productive.
9. Who are your inspirations?
I hate questions like that. It sounds kiss-assy. Pass.
10. Who are your favorite authors to read? (different from mentors)
Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters. Stephen King. Herman Wouk. Neil Gaiman. Jeph Loeb. Florence King. Sharon Kay Penman. Andrew Vachss.
Top Ten Signs a Book was written by Stacia
1. Third person. I’m not a fan of first person and don’t write in it. My romances are, of course, written from third omniscient, but my urban fantasy is strictly from the heroine’s POV (= Point of View).
2. Absent Families. Either they’re dead or they’re just a bunch of jerks, but not one heroine I’ve ever written has had a warm family relationship. Fathers often sell their kids out. Mothers are cruel and distant.
3. Everybody drinks like they’re trying to keep up with Dean Martin. And they drink all sorts of things. The heroes might have a preference for Scotch, but basically, if you show a bottle of booze to a character in one of my books they’ll drink it.
4. Twist endings. Not all of my books have them, but the large majority does. Either the villain’s motives aren’t what they seemed, or the guy we thought was the bad guy isn’t. Even if it isn’t a major plot point (it usually is), at some point we’re going to be surprised.
5. Smoking. Yeah, I know. Not everyone smokes, but enough people do that it’s safe to say if you pick up one of my books chances are somebody, some time, is going to smoke a cigarette.
6. Smooth dialogue, everybody is smart. Nobody is stupid (at least nobody we’re supposed to like), not even the characters who never had an education. They may not know algebra but they have agile minds, and their dialogue tends to be quick and clean. At least I try to make it so; dialogue is a big issue for me.
7. Manners/the man pays. Oh, yes. My characters use each others’ last names regularly and often wait to be invited to use firsts. My men open doors, believe in “ladies first”, prepare drinks, and always pay for meals (unless the heroine specifically does the inviting.) They get a little anal about it, too, sometimes. Even my poor uneducated men know how to treat a lady, and that’s how they see them, too—as ladies.
8. Everybody has great sex. Like I said, my heroes believe in ladies first.
9. Heroes are dark/heroines are slim. Both personally and physically. I’m another one who just doesn’t find blond men terribly appealing as a rule, so my heroes have dark hair and dark eyes. Most of them have Deep Secrets too, or if they don’t they’re just plain criminals. Also, my heroines tend not to be curvy. They’re slim, small-breasted, probably not particularly tall, and average pretty.
10. Violence/stuff explodes/car chases/infernos. Oh how I love action. People in my books are always running, away from the crazy guy with the knife or the evil spirit they don’t yet know how to defeat. They’re in the car breaking laws as bad guys shoot at them or hordes or vampires chase them. Fire is everywhere. Houses catch fire, warehouses, corpses, heroes are fire demons who can burn stuff to a crisp just by thinking of it—now that I’m thinking of it, if something isn’t burning yet in one of my books it’s probably at least been foreshadowed. Just give it time. Everything burns.