Archive for 'awesome things'

What Stace had to say on Monday, June 16th, 2014

I’m hiding from the internet today.

See, last night all you lucky people in the US got to watch the GAME OF THRONES finale. Whereas the hubs and I–and everyone else in England–have to wait until 9 pm tonight. A WHOLE DAY LATER IT IS KILLING ME BLAAAH.


What happens to Tyrion? Will Arya find Sansa? Does that psychopathic bastard Ramsey move his sadistic ass into the ruins of Winterfell to rebuild it and, I dunno, have a place where he can grin his evil grin while he drinks blood and tortures infants and conducts medical experiments that would shock Josef Mengele? What’s Stannis going to do? What about Sir Jorah–I love Sir Jorah and I’m so sad, even though really he did ruin everything and it’s his fault I don’t get to look at Khal Drogo anymore.

Some of the anticipation is gone now that Joffrey is dead and all; I mean, I was thrilled to see him die but it felt sort of anticlimactic. Mainly because I suspect most of us–or, okay, maybe just me–would only have been happy if the show had done a one-hour “Joffrey dies the hideous death he deserves” special, in which we saw clips of all of his worst acts–okay, it’d need to be, like, a four-hour miniseries event–and the people he’d wronged each got to come up, call him names, and slap him, and then stab him somewhere painful but non-deadly, like the Death of a Thousand You’re-A-Hideous-Shitbird Cuts, until finally Sansa and the ghost of Ned Stark finish him off by ass-fucking him with Ned’s sword Ice. And also, I’m disappointed that we found out so quickly who killed Joffrey, because Hubs and I were having a lot of fun imagining it like a game of GOT Clue: was it Sansa in the Observatory with the Poison Wine? Tyrion in the Tower of the Hand with the Valyrian Sword? Cersei in the Red Keep with the Crazy Malevolent Mother-Obsession? Margaery in the Garden with some sort of Magical Ingestible Torture Device? It was fun, but sadly, we now know Emma Peele did it, along with Littlefinger, who is just as sinister as the Red Death when the clock strikes twelve.

Feel free to comment on any of the above, but for the love of all that’s holy please don’t spoil me for the finale!! Because seriously, I will be very upset and will probably put you in a book suffering some sort of very undignified and stupid death. “We have a new case, Chess…there’s a woman who reported a ghost but then we found her dead. Apparently she was masturbating with a carrot and it broke, so she sent a mouse up there to eat it, and it died so she sat on the toilet to try to douche with bleach to clean it out but it hurt, so she stood up and tripped and drowned with her head in the bleach-filled toilet and a dead bleach-soaked mouse and a half-eaten carrot inside her ladybusiness there. Her name was _____ ____, and everyone hated her guts because she couldn’t keep her spoiling mouth shut. So I say we don’t need to investigate her ghost, because she got what she deserved for being stupid and horrible and spoiling GAME OF THRONES.”

Um…sorry, guys, that got sort of needlessly graphic and horrible, huh.

Anyway. I know there are spoilers out there, and so I must hide.

Not because I’m afraid of, say, being randomly attacked by a spoiler as I mind my own business walking down the internet street. No, I’m reasonably certain that most spoilers–not all, of course–mark themselves clearly as such, as they are respectable spoilers and do not wish to be mistaken for hints, previews, or mere theories. They’re proud to be spoilers and want the world to know it. Yes, there’s always that moron or dickhead who enjoys spoiling things for others, or dismisses complaints with, “It was on LAST NIGHT, man, if you haven’t seen it by now, that’s your fault,” but in general I’m not too afraid that I’ll be accosted by a spoiler while innocently researching the death penalty in Victorian England or reading humorous anecdotes on

I just don’t trust myself. Right now I’m practically sweating, because I know there are spoilers out there and that I could find them. Easily. Five minutes from now I could know everything that happens; it’s the digital equivalent of knowing exactly where your parents hide the Christmas presents.

But you know, one year I found those presents, and realized that it really did ruin the run-up to the actual holiday and the holiday itself. It just wasn’t as much fun knowing exactly what was coming. Same with spoilers. (Plus, the hubs hates it when I know what’s coming and he doesn’t.) At least, not when I actually care what happens. I no longer particularly care what happens on MAD MEN, frex–watching Don Draper have a meltdown and turn into an insignificant sadsack, living in roach-infested filth and failing at everything he attempts, is not really what I signed up for when I got on board the MAD MEN train however many years ago (and don’t even get me started on splitting the final season in two, seriously. Because that story moves so fast it needs to give us time to breathe? uh-huh).

I watch MAD MEN to watch Don be clever and drink and get laid a lot while being impossibly smooth in nice suits. I don’t care if the point of the whole show is how men like that are secretly miserable or how that image is a miserable facade just like America in the early 60s or how the majority of men lead lives of quiet desperation in their gray flannel suits. That’s not a show I want to watch. I want Don to be awesome, and Roger to be awesome, and Peggy to not turn into a shrew right out of the pages of a 1950s True Confessions magazine (“I had it all, but I cried every night because without a husband it’s all meaningless, which is why I became a barfly and lost all my teeth and then had a hissybabyfit in the office because my secretary got flowers”), and Stan to be hilarious, and Joan to appear in every scene being cutting and gorgeous. (I can’t complain about what they did with Pete in the S7 episodes I watched, because he’s pretty much how he’s always been, only with louder pants.) That is why I watch.

To replace MAD MEN, we started watching HANNIBAL. I said on Twitter that if you’re not watching HANNIBAL, you are missing the fuck out, and that is entirely 100% true. More than that, even. It’s more true than even the craziest stereotypical football coach would feel comfortable expressing in a percentage (“That truth is giving 469%–oh, dammit, now I just sound like a moron, don’t I.”) so s/he would just go back to shouting “WIN! WIN! WIN!” (Remember, we’re discussing stereotypes here. Please do not get angry at me if you know and love a football coach, or are personally a football coach.) Seriously, you guys, HANNIBAL is SO GOOD. SO FUCKING GOOD. I thought it wouldn’t be good–it sounded sort of dumb and pointless to me–but I was wrong. It’s amazing. It’s so good that after the first couple of episodes I completely stopped noticing that Hugh Dancy’s earlobes are kind of hobbit-like.

But of course, it’s on summer hiatus. As GAME OF THRONES will be after tonight, and I honestly do not know what we’re going to do here–at least, what we’re going to do until JUSTIFIED’s fifth season comes out on DVD and we scrape together some money to buy it and have it shipped to us. But that’ll last us, like, a week and a half if we’re lucky. (Because JUSTIFIED? Also AWESOME, and you should watch it so we can all talk about it and trade little references like, “It was in your glass,” and dissolve into happy drooling sighs over Raylan and Boyd.

And we have some episodes of THE BLACKLIST still to watch, which is also a very good show and we like it a lot, although let’s be honest, compared to GAME OF THRONES it might as well be The Teletubbies. We have a couple of seasons of THE SOPRANOS that we never finished watching (I know, I know) and–shocking as I’m sure this will be–we have never actually seen THE WIRE, although we’ve both really wanted to.

So there will be things for me to watch on warm evenings as I sit on the couch and apply lotion to every exposed bit of skin I possess. (I realized last night that I do this every summer. It’s like I’m anointing myself for some sort of ritual, or I’m about to be placed on a very hot grill. You guys know I’m never far from a bottle of lotion anyway, because I’m constantly washing my hands, but in summer it gets sort of weirdly obsessive and at any given moment I’m contorting myself oddly on the couch rubbing coconut oil into my elbows, or something. I also put it in my hair. I’m like some sort of grooming machine.) I will somehow manage to be entertained throughout the summer, aside from the time I spend working, which will be plenty.

But what I’m watching won’t be new episodes of GAME OF THRONES, which is the saddest thing…well, the saddest thing I’ve said in this paragraph, because the stuff about the lotion is pretty pitiful, really.

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
News, notes, and Norway!

First some YAYNEWS! My wonderful agentman has just sold UNHOLY GHOSTS, UNHOLY MAGIC, and CITY OF GHOSTS to Schibsted Forlag in Norway! I have no idea what the titles might translate to or when the books will be published there or anything else, but it’s awesome just the same. So I’m very excited.

Second, just a quick note re the blog. From now on, all links posted will open in a new window.

So. This is fun. Remember last week when I blogged about those two YADS? And basically just said hey, these sites don’t tend to work for me, because I don’t personally want to wade through slush? One of those sites took great offense, I guess, to the fact that I pointed out on AW that their stated goal of getting two thousand reviews for a book before it’s published is an extremely difficult one to reach (I assume that was the issue, since as far as I could tell they didn’t even see my blog post), and sent me a nice little email about it. Only, they didn’t actually email me about their site or why I was wrong about it. And it wasn’t actually a nice email. And they didn’t even mention their site. Instead they informed me that my writing “sucks shit balls,” that my books are dull and unoriginal, and that “you new authors” (I guess having only five years of being commercially published still makes me a “new author”) are “all the same” and don’t know how to tell a story “old school.”

Of course, since they apparently don’t understand what an IP address is or how one can be tracked through websites, I guess they thought this was a very clever little attack on me, sure to leave me crying into my pillow. Unluckily for them, I do know what an IP address is and how it can be tracked through websites, and so was able to identify them pretty much immediately, even between bouts of laughter and head-shaking at the feebleness of that attempt to upset me.

So, my initial “Sigh, people have tried this before and it doesn’t work” reservation about that particular YADS has turned into a much stronger “Avoid avoid avoid,” because rather than discuss the actual issue, they send childish insults through email using someone else’s name (they claimed to be “Jason Biggs”) or leave nasty comments on someone’s blog (not here, but a friend who participated in the AW thread got some fun ones). Which display site was it, you ask? Well, it wasn’t PUBSLUSH.

In other news…beauty news: I don’t know if any of you ever read Jezebel, but I do. And commenters there often discuss using the Oil Cleansing Method to wash their faces. Since we’ve gotten to England–a different climate–my skin’s been a little unhappy, as it often gets when seasons change, etc.; it tends to be a bit dry and quite sensitive anyway, and it hasn’t been a major problem, but enough of one that I was curious to try the Oil Cleansing thing, especially since A) I’ve seen so many people raving about it, and B) when we got here I decided to try a new cleanser & moisturizer, switching from the Shiseido stuff which served me very well and trying Fresh’s soy cleanser and a Murad moisturizer; neither of which I particularly liked. Well, I liked the cleanser okay (though it was awfully pricey for such a small tube; more expensive than the Shiseido, which was already not cheap at $35 or so for one tube, but which was a bigger tube and which required me to use such a small amount it was actually worth it; that one tube lasted me over a year and a half and there’s still a decent amount left). But it was my birthday so I decided it’d be fun to do something new. I definitely don’t like the Murad moisturizer, though. It made me feel greasy and heavy, like my skin was covered in plastic. Ick.

Read the rest of this entry »

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
Less than a month!

I just realized that there’s less than a month to go until the (August 2nd) release of HOME IMPROVEMENT: UNDEAD EDITION, the latest Charlaine Harris/Toni L.P. Kelner-edited urban fantasy anthology, and the one featuring–ta da!–a brand new Downside story, called RICK THE BRAVE!

I’m very excited about the story (which is a little different, and hopefully you’ll all get as much of a kick out of reading it as I did writing it), and of course *very* excited about the anthology (already getting great reviews), which features much, much bigger-and-better-than-me writers like Charlaine and Toni, Patricia Briggs, Heather Graham, Melissa Marr…you know, people of whom readers in general have actually heard. I *may* go ahead and send a snippet of it out to the Downside Army later.

Speaking of which, there are over 500 members now! I know it’s not a patch on what other, way more successful writers have, but I’m proud of it. And I’m hoping to get some activity going on in there soon, as we gear up for the release of SACRIFICIAL MAGIC, among other things (she says mysteriously).

It’s a bit weird for me, though, the whole “street team” concept. We were discussing it on a forum I’m a member of the other day, and I thought, you know, it’s hard for me to ask or even suggest that the DA members do anything to promote the books; not to mention, what do I ask them to do? Granted, by signing up they indicated a willingness to do things, and granted, there’s no obligation to do things in order to be a member, but…I think especially given some of the issues that have been had online in the last few years with writers expecting readers to do things for them, it feels bizarre for me to ask for any sort of promo help or anything like that. But I’m trying to come up with something, because there are a few things coming along the pike that it would be great if word could be spread about (she says mysteriously again). So if anyone has any ideas, feel free to share. I have a few of my own, as well, so we’ll see.

Also…on a completely different subject…quite a few people yesterday saw my tweet mentioning that my father-in-law has died. I really, really appreciate the replies and the expressions of sympathy. It’s an odd situation, really, because without going into detail we’ve been estranged from the man for a few years now; my husband did get to speak to him back at Christmas, and we’d hoped the relationship could be rebuilt, but it wasn’t something the FIL was particularly interested in. He was often a difficult man to deal with, and a stubborn one, and he’d gotten involved with a person who would much prefer my husband and I not be around and did everything she could to make that happen. Sadly, it worked.

All of this is my roundabout way of saying we’d actually dealt with this loss several years ago, so while this is a shock, and a sad one, we’re okay. It’s another reminder, though, that life is short; too short to let petty differences get in the way of things. I know the hubs feels much better knowing that at Xmas he reached out and tried to mend things; it doesn’t make him feel less rejected, or less sad about how difficult their relationship always was, but it does mean he can take comfort in knowing that he was able to tell his dad he loved him that one last time, that he proved himself to be the bigger man by making the gesture.

So thanks to those of you who saw the tweet and said something, and to the few people who emailed me, and thanks to those of you who’ve read this little exercise in navel-gazing, but please don’t feel you need to leave a comment here or anything like that. Perhaps it’s presumptuous of me but I’m going to take your sympathy as a given (since you’re all such awesome people) and just issue a blanket thank-you, and don’t worry about commenting on it; not because I don’t care or don’t want to hear it but because I’d rather we discuss and think about more cheerful things, like new Downside stories and fun activities and being kind to people we love (and to those we don’t love, too, for that matter). How does that sound?

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 Tuesday, March 1st, 2011
Check them out

Tomorrow I’m going to do what I think will be a really fun post, hee. This weekend the hubs and I were looking for a specific document and so ended up going through a bunch of boxes we haven’t looked at in quite some time. And in one of those boxes were several of my elementary-school report cards, which I have scanned (well, he scanned them, as our scanner hates me and never wants to work for me) and cropped and will be posting tomorrow, just for giggles. Some of my teachers’ comments are pretty interesting.

But today, it’s all about stuff you need to check out!

First. Some of you know I hang out on io9 sometimes, although now that they’ve changed their format I’m not there as much as I used to be. I did make some good pals there, though, and one night on Twitter we started talking about what a shame it was that io9 didn’t do more “girl geek” news.

So my pals decided to do something about it. Stellar Four is a blog for all things ladygeek; it has a special focus on things like jewelry, clothes, make-up, crafts, etc., but is of course still devoted to all things sci-fi/fantasy/comics/etc. I highly recommend you check it out, and leave some comments and all of that; I’m hoping to find time to write an article or two for them myself, because I think the idea behind the site is such a great, exciting one.

Second. Last week my dear friend Caitlin Kittredge‘s first YA novel was released: THE IRON THORN. I got to read this a long time ago–I actually got to read the proposal before she sent it to her agent–and I have to tell you I was sooooo excited, and so filled with writer-envy over the absolutely stunning world/characters/writing. It was not a surprise to me that the trilogy sold in like a day. I of course ran out to buy the book the minute it was released, because I need to own it–it’s so good–and I highly recommend you all do the same. Seriously, you don’t want to miss this one.

We had some other releases last week, too! In fact, we had so many that I’m going to link you to my friend Carolyn Crane’s page on them all. Jackie Kessler, Dakota Cassidy, Richelle Mead, Jaye Wells, Anton Strout, Michelle Bardsley…there’s a whole bunch of them, so go check them out.

Still hard at work on the fifth Downside book, and still pleased with it. We’re just over 30k at the moment and things are starting to get really crazy. Hee!

Oh, one other thing. The other night on Twitter a discussion was started (okay, by me) about whether or not the Contact email on a writer’s website should be labeled as for “Fan Mail.” Like, “Send Fan Mail to…”

I personally think it sounds a bit…well, not great, honestly. It sounds kind of egotistical. Like, “Oh, all of my fans will want to email me.” It’s not an issue when other people refer to them as fans so much, but for me to do so feels kind of wrong. I prefer “readers.” I do have readers (and I love and am grateful for them, as you all know) but I don’t think of them as “fans.” That implies to me a sort of subordinate level, if you know what I mean, like I consider myself above those “fans.”

But that could be just me. What do you guys think?

Anyway. Check in tomorrow to have a look at my childhood. I think it’ll be fun.

What Stace had to say on Thursday, December 16th, 2010

The hubs has always wanted a white Christmas tree, and me, being a woman of particular tastes, has always said no. The hubs thinks this is boring. But then, he also moans and whines about the fact that I only like white sheets as if this is some kind of failure of imagination on my part, when in fact it’s simply that I think sheets should be white because it looks nice. And besides, I’ve let him go for very pale blue-grays too. I like colored stripes at the borders just fine. And I bought a white-on-white striped set. I think that’s quite enough excitement for a bed; the point is to sleep, after all. Everything else can be colored. Color is great in other rooms. But sheets should be white, and that is just the way I feel.

(Besides, when all the sheets are white you can interchange them easily, so you don’t have to worry about keeping the sets exactly together. And if one tears you don’t have to throw out the whole set. I like Egyptian cotton sheets–I buy one or two sets a year because I’m picky about sheets–and they’re not cheap, and to have to throw out a whole set because of an issue with one sheet would suck. And you can never be sure you’ll find any color except white. So see, I’m practical and stuff too. Anyway.)

So I’ve always said no to the white tree. This year, though, I decided what the hell, and told him to buy the damned white tree if he wanted. hence, our Tacktastic Xmas.

Here’s the tree, all decorated up in its tacky glory:

The tacky, it burns! In an awesome way.

Is that not the coolest thing ever? It’s like…like a decoration on the “It’s A Small World” ride. Or something they’d use as background in one of those Rankin-Bass Christmas specials. (There are actually lights of all colors, I don’t know why the orange and pink show up so much brighter than the others.)

To add to the theme, we bought two little shiny trees from the grocery store; a pink one and a purple one. Check this shit out:

Pink and purple are SO appropriate for Yule.

I have to say, I actually kind of love the white tree. I’ve always been so against them but…it’s kind of like having a big glowy ice cave right here in my living room, especially with the tinsel on it:

Look! Shiny. Shiny and TACKTASTIC!

So I’m keeping the white tree. Maybe next year we’ll have two of them. Or who knows, maybe we’ll stick with the white and just put regular pine boughs everywhere to bring in the greenery.

But I am not getting crazy colored sheets.

I hope you’re all having a tacktastic holiday so far!

Oh! If you all want to pop over to my friend Richelle Mead’s blog, you can see a picture of us on Monday; her tour brought her into town so we got to have a nice long lunch, which was awesome.

BTW, I did send another DA email out yesterday (I think it was yesterday) to let you all know about the Goodreads awards: CITY OF GHOSTS is nominated for Best Paranormal Fantasy, and I’m nominated for Best Goodreads Author. And I MIGHT be persuaded to send out another short excerpt as a holiday giftie…maybe. If you guys want one.

What Stace had to say on Friday, December 10th, 2010
Totally Uncool Excitement

Lookie! I got nominated for an award! Goodreads is doing its “2010 Goodreads Choice” awards–I guess it’s for best or favorite books of the year, I couldn’t find something that said exactly what, and it doesn’t matter much anyway–and CITY OF GHOSTS is one of the fifteen Paranormal Fantasy nominees!

I think it’s totally obvious I’m going to win, considering what nobodies the other nominees are. I mean, whoever heard of Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton, or Jim Butcher? Or any of those other totally unimportant names, like Patricia Briggs and Jeri Smith-Ready. Or Joe Hill. (I’m also quite excited that my darling friend and fellow Reluctant Adult Carolyn Crane is nominated for her excellent DOUBLE CROSS!) (My other darling friend and fellow Reluctant Adult, Richelle Mead, has of course been nominated for everything, including some awards I suspect they made up just for her: Where did the “Best Redheaded Author” and “Name that Sounds Most Like Michelle but Isn’t” categories come from, and why is there only one nominee?)

I’m actually planning a careful smack-talk Twitter campaign against Mr. Hill, so he better watch out. Did you hear that he likes to spit at kittens? Seriously. What kind of man does that? Not the sort who should be winning an award, that’s for sure! I’ve got your number, Hill.

I showed the hubs–I actually saw on Twitter other people mentioning nominations, and said to him, “Let’s look at the nominations list I won’t be on,” before I clicked the link–and while he’s very happy and all of that even he acknowledged there is a bit of a “One of these things is not like the others,” sort of vibe. Which there totally is. Which makes it even more amazing. I’m really really stunned.

See, “Best of” lists and award nominations are fun and exciting, and everyone wants one. We do. I’m sorry, but if a writer tells you they don’t want to be nominated for an award, they’re lying. They may not be when it comes to a *specific* award, but any award? No. Think of your work. You might not want Elvira the office hypocrite to tell you she loves your whatever, but you’d like *somebody* to love your whatever, right?

Not to mention how happy it makes our publishers and what a difference it could conceivably make for us. I’m not saying it does or that all contests are equal in that regard, but it’s entirely possible that, much like the Emmys did for Arrested Development, an award nomination and/or win could be really helpful career-wise.

But anyway. Here’s the thing. While awards are all well and good, they are, like everything else, subjective. One reviewer may not have liked your book, so they’re not going to nominate it for anything. A group of reviewers may not agree about your book, so they don’t nominate it. Or maybe they just think you look funny or smell of elderberries. Subjective.

But the Goodreads awards are reader-picked, essentially, and that’s why this is so awesome and special and makes me all smiley and emotive in a very uncool way. It’s like I’m a Real Author or something now; look, I got nominated for an award on this huge international reader site! My mind will never stop boggling, seriously.

OMG! I just went to see if I could figure out how the nominations were put together, and saw that I’m nominated for Favorite Goodreads Author too!

(And, in a totally fucking bizarre OMG, Alice Clayton is also nominated for Favorite Goodreads Author. Why is this totally fucking bizarre? Because Alice and I went to high school together and were good friends. And used to write ridiculously purple-prosed porn stories together. No shit.)

Anyway. This is a huge deal for me, that actual readers actually liked my book enough to get it nominated. That’s amazing, and I’m totally stunned and grateful and all of that. Thank you, each and every one of you.

I could swear there was some other stuff I wanted to tell you all about. But I don’t recall it at the moment, and I do need to get to work; it’s just after midnight at the moment, but I’ll be posting this in the morning. So you’re reading this now, which means the morning is gone and it’s already been posted, which makes this whole thing very meta, doesn’t it?

ETA: To add to the meta, now it *is* Friday and I’m adding to this before I post it! Creeeepy. Anyway, I woke up to two emails from Goodreads informing me I’ve been nominated for awards (look at that!) and telling me that the “Goodreads Choice Awards reflect what readers like. There were no secret committees. We did not defer to experts or look at book sales or previous awards. Goodreads nominated 15 books in 23 categories by analyzing statistics about books read by our members from the 47 million books added, rated, and reviewed on the site in 2010. Official nominees were selected based on a book’s popularity and average rating among Goodreads members,” so this really is doubly triply exciting. It wasn’t even a write-in campaign or anything, it was just site statistics or whatever. Again, thank you all so much.

So that’s it for now. Oh, and be afraid, Joe Hill. Be very afraid.

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
Some News!

This is just a short one–I’ve had quite a crazy couple of days, not really very good ones, to be honest–but I did want to announce this because I’m so excited about it! And I think it might make you guys happy.

I’m sure you guys are all familiar with the UF anthologies Charlaine Harris and Toni Kelner have done in the past, like DEATH’S EXCELLENT VACATION and MANY BLOODY RETURNS. And if you’re not you should be, because they’re hugely fun, and Charlaine and Toni are wonderful writers and very cool ladies; it’s an honor just to know them a little bit.

But it’s an especial, especially, special honor to say that there will be a new Downside story in their next anthology, HOME IMPROVEMENT: UNDEAD EDITION, which will be released August 2, 2011 (at least so Amazon says; I just knew it was August).

I was invited to submit back in April, I think, and submitted in July, but of course I didn’t want to say anything and jinx it. So I can finally say something today, and there it is. A new Downside story for everyone!

It’s a fun little story, I think. I did something a bit different with it; I didn’t want to give spoilers, since I knew the fourth book wouldn’t be out yet, but I didn’t want to do something set in the past or anything either, so…well, you’ll just have to see. But I’m quite pleased with it, which is especially exciting since I have kind of a hard time writing shorts, and I’m just really thrilled about the whole thing.

Which comes in quite handy today, to be honest. I’ve had a pretty lousy couple of days; yesterday was especially bad, at least until I woke up this morning and got more horrible news. The news isn’t directly related to me, it’s just dealing with people I know, but it isn’t good and it isn’t fun, and I may talk more about that another time.

But for now I want to focus on the good stuff. There’s going to be a new Downside story next summer, and it’s not a story in continuity, meaning if you don’t read it you won’t miss anything important series-wise, nor will you be completely lost if you haven’t read the series, at least I hope not (I had a few people read it who hadn’t read the books and they all understood it, so that’s good). I just think it’s fun and kind of exciting, and I had a good time writing it, and I’m very pleased it’s going to be out there and available, especially in such great company.

Yay, such fun to have something positive to post!

Cover under the cut… Read the rest of this entry »

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
Deep Thoughts

Ha! Fooled you! I never think deep thoughts!

No, of course I do. And this one is, well, deep-ish. But it really surprised me, so here we go.

Friday night, as I mentioned, I went to talk to a book group in the area. And it was a blast; I really had a good time, everyone was nice, most of them knew & liked my work (there were a couple of teens there for school extra credit, which I wouldn’t have expected them to read my books), they asked great questions, and I admit, heh, I gave them a few extra bits of information about a few things.

Anyway, it was awesome. And at some point I got asked the inevitable did-you-always-want-to-be-a-writer question. To which my answer is always yes, and a little bit about some of the other things I wanted to do (race-car driver, actress, professional killer, that sort of thing; y’know, typical stuff), and then about how I was a stay-home mom when I finally decided to give the writing thing a try, and how much I really enjoyed being a stay-home mom. Which I did.

(Digression: I’ve never understood people who think it would be “boring” to not have a paying job outside the home. Um, really? No, of course it wasn’t. See, funnily enough, I’m actually capable of entertaining myself; I don’t need constant stimuli to keep me happy like a baby under a mobile.)

Anyway. They asked if I’d always told myself stories, which I didn’t quite get at first, until they elaborated a bit. Like in bed at night before I fell asleep, did I used to tell myself stories.

Well…doesn’t everyone?

Of course I did. I did it every night. I still do. I plan the next day’s writing, or scenes for later pop into my head, or plot issues work themselves out, or whatever. And if I’m not working I’m thinking of new stories and ideas, looking for one that really grabs me. I even remember some of the stories I told myself when I was a kid (they usually involved me being rescued by my current crush on a horse. Hey, I was eight when I came up with that one, give me a break). When my girls go to bed, and Faerie insists she’s not tired and starts pouting because it will take so long for her to fall asleep (ha, it’s usually more like ten minutes, tops), I’ve always told her to lay there and think up a story to tell herself. Because, well, that’s what people do, right?

So that’s my question. Did you, do you, do that, and tell yourself stories before you go to sleep? Or is that unusual?

Having some fun with Downside 4. I thought I had a title for it–I really loved it–but the PTB want something “more,” maybe a bit sexier and more exciting, so it’s back to the drawing board for me, sigh. This is where I start throwing my hands up in the air and saying things like, “Why don’t I just call it THERE’S FUCKING IN THIS BOOK? Is that sexy enough?”

(Note I don’t blame the PTB for this at all; I’m just being funny here. But it is a bit…sigh.)

(Also, now I want to write a book with that title. Maybe it would go with the ridiculously anachronistic historical romance I’ve always thought it would be a hoot to write, the one where characters wish cars had been invented already so they didn’t have to walk, and Regency rakes say things like, “You’re bringing me down!” Well, it’s funny to me. I’ve had to fight the constant urge to put stuff like that in the few historicals I’ve written.)

Also, last night the hubs and I went to see the theater re-release of BACK TO THE FUTURE. Awesome. It’s funny, I’ve seen the movie dozens of times since I first saw it in the theater, but I don’t remember it being that much fun, you know? You forget a lot of the little things. And it helped that the audience with us was amazing. We seriously wanted to hug them all when the movie was done; they were all into it, they were all as excited as we were, they laughed and cheered and clapped at all the right moments and they kept their mouths firmly shut the rest of the time, which as I’m sure you know, is pretty rare these days). So, AMC North Point audience, thank you!

That’s it for today. But I really am curious about the bedtime story thing; do you or not? And do you write (I know a few of you do)?

What Stace had to say on Friday, October 1st, 2010
A quick little story about the Downside Market

(BTW, I’m not sharing this story to brag or anything, I just think it’s really cool and I’m quite pleased about it.)

A few days ago I was somewhere online, can’t remember where, and had someone tell me he couldn’t figure out why I would bother or even care how much the stuff cost, because that’s not my problem. Which, whatever. I love the idea that I’m not supposed to care how much stuff I’m selling costs. Oh, really? Okay! How about if I raise the price of everything to $100? Hey, if they want it, they’ll pay it, right? Sigh.

Anyway. yesterday I got a Facebook message from a reader who’d had a slight problem with her order. She sent me the order number and asked if I had any suggestions or could do anything about it.

I forwarded the message to Matthew. Remember, Matthew is my personal representative at Southern Promo. And that’s another reason I went with them.

Not too long after that, I got another message from the reader. Before she sent me the message she’d given Southern Promo a call, since you can do that. She’d left a message, thinking no one would get back to her.

Guess what? The OWNER of the company called her back, and took care of her issue.

Would that happen at Zazzle?

Like I said, my point isn’t to brag about look how cool I am or anything or pull some kind of stereotypical overbearing mother act (“Look how much I suffer and sacrifice for you!”). It’s to let you guys know that Southern Promo really offers great service, and they really believe my readers are as important as I do.

So if you’ve maybe been on the fence about ordering…that’s something to think about.

Also, the Market has a Facebook page now, that you can “Like” if you want to. I’m not sure what “liking” actually does, but it would still be cool if you would and I would appreciate it and all that stuff. (You can also “Like” the items in the store.)

Tomorrow I’m heading downtown for Karen Marie Moning’s FEVERCON, and I’m really looking forward to it. Karen and her readers have all been amazingly good to me and really enthusiastic about the Downside books, so it’ll be great to meet them in person and hang out a bit. So if you’re going, make sure you say hello! I’ll be at the ball tomorrow night (though not in costume) and at the breakfast and signing Sunday morning. I hope I see some of you there!