Archive for 'city of ghosts'



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 Monday, August 9th, 2010
Just a quick one

I am in Miami at the moment, staying at my best friend Cori’s house, and we’re doing all sorts of fun chatty things and going out for drinks and everything. So this is just going to be a quick little update, and I’m doing it today instead of tomorrow because I’ll be out pretty much all day tomorrow, and I do want to come back and check in for my birthday on Wednesday.

So, first thing I wanted to let you know is, a group of awesome readers have set up a Goodreads group for fans of the Downside books! The group is called “I Gots Terrible Fever,” and you can join it here.

Second, after I get back home I am going to be compiling my doc of deleted scenes from CITY OF GHOSTS, so look for those to go up on the site within the next couple of weeks. I’m also considering putting in some trivia, like the way Chess’s last name came from the Salem Witch Trials, or whatever. I think that might be kinda fun, and I want to give you guys as much information as you might want; I like websites to be really informative and full of different kinds of things, don’t you?

And I am still considering what we’ll do as far as t-shirts and stuff, but we definitely are going to do something. So please keep those ideas coming!

And, we have some new reviews for CITY OF GHOSTS!

Abigail at All Things Urban Fantasy gave it what she calls an “uber-rare” five out of five!:

After devouring the first two Downside Ghost books in all their addictive, screwed up goodness, I had crazy, impossibly high hopes for CITY OF GHOSTS. And Stacia Kane didn’t disappoint in this action packed, scary cool, emotionally naked urban fantasy that I can still feel racing through my veins.

Niki Bruce, who reviews for several major newspapers and publications in Australia, did a joint review of UNHOLY MAGIC and CITY OF GHOSTS (with a link to her review of UNHOLY GHOSTS, which I hadn’t seen, and is great!) says, among other things:

Chess is the perfect anti-heroine; the antidote to the soppy, love obsessed teens dominating the urban fantasy genre at the moment. There’s not a vampire or werewolf in sight – thank god – and the gritty truth of Chess’ life adds depth to what could be dismissed as “just another fantasy novel”.
There are more books in the Downside Ghosts series to come; I can’t wait.

The book got five out of five stars from SupernaturalSnark, who says:

This series is addicting, and I’m as sure to enter withdrawal waiting for the next book as Chess would be without her drug of choice.

And I know there are more, but those are all I could bring immediately to mind, and I have to go hang out with Cori now.

Oh, and when I come back on Wednesday…as you know, I normally do a De-lurk day for my birthday. This year I think we’ll do a bit of that, but I thought it might also be fun–although it probably won’t work, because I’ve asked it before and not gotten the kind of response I’d hoped for–if you guys, any of you, whether lurkers or people who regularly comment/participate, have any questions you want to leave in the comments, I’d be happy to answer them!

Also, I am STUPID and left my notebook with the counts for everyone’s Name a Character Contest entries at home. We’re going home on Thursday, so I will endeavor to announce the winner(s) on Monday; I’m so sorry, everyone! I thought I’d remembered to grab it! Sigh.

And that’s it for the day.

What Stace had to say on Friday, July 23rd, 2010
Reviews & new CoG excerpt!

Four days and counting, my goodness. It’s almost here! And yes, as promised, I have another excerpt for you. Just a couple of quick things first (or probably last, since I bet you’ll go straight to the excerpt and then come back. That’s probably what I would do anyway, just like reading the last page when I get about 1/3 of the way through the book).

First, don’t forget tomorrow’s #UFChat on Twitter, which I’ll be answering questions in. You can get a bit more information on it here, if you like. It starts at 6 pm EST (3 PST) and I really hope you all come and say hi! Well, really, I hope anyone comes to say hi. This is the sort of event that gives me nightmares imagining it will just be me sitting there and no one else showing up. Seriously.

Next, there’s a new interview with me at The Literary Project. It’s not really about the books, it’s more about writing and career and personal stuff, and a bit about the difference between urban fantasy and paranormal romance. So worth checking out if any of that interests you.

A review or two! Murder by the Book bookseller John does a joint review of UM and CoG here:

I can’t say enough about how wonderful this whole series [is]. The plotting over the three book arc is top-notch. Once I finished City of Ghosts I felt like the three books together told a bigger story. That doesn’t happen often with books in a series.

And Book Chick City gives CoG a 10/10 review(!!) and says:

Unholy Ghosts and Unholy Magic stayed with me long after I read them and it was no different with City of Ghosts. There’s so many layers from the complex characters to the awesome world building of Downside. It’s full of witchy magic, action and romance, I literally couldn’t put this book down until I had read the very last word. I could go on and on about these books, they are just so brilliant! If you haven’t started this series, you MUST!

And last but not least, don’t forget the big-ass Name a Character Contest! I’m really excited by the number of entries I’ve gotten so far, and I hope to get plenty more, too! And I’m really hoping word spreads and more people give the books a try, too.

But anyway! On to the excerpt!! This is from Chapter Thirty.

And again, it is a bit spoilery. I tried to find one that wasn’t, and this one isn’t terribly so, but do be warned. Click at your own risk!

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What Stace had to say on Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
…and still more stuff!

Well! Last night (or actually early this morning) I sent Frauke at Croco Designs, the lady who designed this fabulous site and still does the more complicated updates for me (which is most of them, frankly), a very very long list of updates. Included in those are a bunch of interview links, and bunch of guest blog links (mostly about different aspects of the Downside books), some new sidebar links, the Downside playlists with buy links, and a bunch of other stuff. I also sent her a separate file with four or five deleted scenes from UNHOLY MAGIC, with commentary explaining why they were deleted. I don’t actually have any deleted scenes for UNHOLY GHOSTS, to be honest, but there are a few for CITY OF GHOSTS as well, and those will go up a couple of weeks after that book’s release. Which is Tuesday! Ack!

(One thing about the deleted scenes that I think will be really fun: I wrote a scene for UM that ended up getting cut. But I really really liked the scene, so I rewrote a little bit of it–the intro part, basically–and stuck it in CITY OF GHOSTS. But as I edited CoG, I decided the scene still didn’t work as written, so I rewrote it again, extensively this time. So there will be a few versions of that scene, and you’ll be able to compare them all, if you’re the type of person who enjoys stuff like that.)

So look for all of that soon. I’m really excited about it.

Another thing I’m quite excited about is the fact that my blog series “Be a Sex-writing Strumpet,” with which I know some of you are familiar, is now available on Kindle! So you can buy a paperback from Lulu, or an ebook from Lulu, or a Kindle version from Amazon. And of course, as always, the series is free here on the blog; just click the “be a sex-writing strumpet” tag in the sidebar.

I offer the series as an actual book because I had a lot of requests to do so, and I charge for it in those formats because people convinced me to do so by saying they wanted to pay me something for it, but you absolutely do not have to buy the book to read and enjoy the series. You don’t and you never will have to. I wrote it as a blog series, and it will remain a blog series. The book formats are just there to make it easier for people if they like, and so they don’t have to keep clicking all over my blog if they want to read it. I still get website hits for that series almost every day, which just stuns me; if you type “be a se” into google the second auto-finish term it offers is “be a sex-writing strumpet.” It’s just insane, it really is. I never imagined when I wrote it that people would enjoy it so much and find it so useful, and that’s amazingly gratifying. Also, having it on Amazon offers people a chance to write a review for it, which would be fantastic; it’d be really cool to see some feedback on it after all this time! And of course you could all review all of my books if you want, heh.

Also exciting to me is the Name a Character Contest! I’m thrilled at how enthusiastic you all are! Thank you so much! I did want to let you know that I am checking the #cityofghosts tag on Twitter regularly, and keeping track of the entries there, as well as the emails and blog post links I’m getting. If at any time you want to double-check the number of entries you have, feel free to email either the Downside Army email address or me, or use the contact form here on the site (which of course also comes to me). Make sure you include your Twitter name, if you have one, or whatever other information I might need to identify you.

Tomorrow evening sometime I plan to post a new snippety excerpt from CITY OF GHOSTS, so be on the lookout for that!

I know I say this a lot, and you guys are probably tired of hearing it, but I really honestly am amazed by how enthusiastic the response has been to the series. I never expected it, I really didn’t, and it’s absolutely amazing. I can’t thank you all enough.

So let’s see, what else? I’m going to be popping down to the RWA convention in Orlando next week for a couple of days. I know, I know, it’s RWA, but I’m not actually registering/paying for the convention, I’m just hanging out in the bar, really. I’d decided–and basically committed to–doing so when it was supposed to be in Nashville, which is only like two hours away. Of course, tragic floods intervened, and now it’s in Orlando which is considerably farther, but like I said, I’d already committed. And it’s not a bad drive. I like driving by myself. I mean, I like to drive, period, but I especially like driving by myself. I can turn the music up loud and sing along, I can flip through the radio stations all I want, stop or don’t stop as I please…whee! I’m almost more excited about the drive than the con itself, much like I was when I drove to Massachusetts to see Caitlin before we went to RT. Of course, I was excited about the convention, but that really was an awfully fun drive.

Anyway, I think this post is unfortunately a bit dull. Too much news and stuff to keep track of. I’ll try to be more fun again shortly. For now my head is so full of nervousness (over CoG’s release; what if you all hate it? What if nobody buys it?), projects I’m working on (loosely mentally plotting the 4th Downside book, and lots of stuff for the new WIP/series I’m working on), netbooks (hee, I am totally getting one asap!), our trip to Florida to see my BFF next month–we’ll be there for my birthday–and of course the usual family things. So forgive me, please. I’ll be more interesting next time. Anything you want me to blog about? Feel free to ask!

Oh! And speaking of questions, I wanted to let everyone know that this Saturday the 24th at three pm, I’ll be participating in Twitter’s first #UFChat! You can find a bit more info about it here. Either way, come and hang out, follow the hash tag, and please ask any questions you want, as many as you want! I’m hoping it’s going to be a lot of fun (and, you know, that people actually participate).

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
All Kinds of Stuff

One week to the release of CITY OF GHOSTS, and I’m doing a big contest, so stay tuned for details!

Let’s clear some other things out of the way first. I have some really exciting news! We’ve sold Polish rights to the Megan Chase series to Amber Publishing, the same company putting out the Polish Downside books! Foreign translations are just the coolest thing, so I’m really thrilled about this!

And speaking of the Downside books, we have a couple of new UNHOLY MAGIC reviews!

Vampire Book Club gives it five stars and says:

With increased intensity, Kane delivers an action-packed, dark urban fantasy novel that will leave you reeling for days after finishing it. (We actually pre-ordered the third novel, City of Ghosts, the day after completion of Unholy Magic because we don’t want to waste even a day not knowing what will happen with Chess, her job, the love-triangle and the others within Downside.)

Smokin’ Hot Books also gives it five stars (to both books in one review, actually):

Unholy Ghosts and Unholy Magic are two of the best books I’ve read of 2010 and 2009. I’m not going to lie, the second book will tear your heart out, you may even find yourself emotionally ‘stress eating’ but so worth it. I promise! This series has grit, angst, violence, and pulls you in with each page – if you haven’t read this series, get thee to a bookstore post haste!

Vampire Book Club also has an interview with me, and a giveaway contest for both UNHOLY GHOSTS and UNHOLY MAGIC. So if you haven’t yet read them, there’s your chance!

There’s another interview with me, conducted by Daniela, a very sweet German blogger I chanced upon one day (she was blogging about GEISTERFLUT, the German edition of UNHOLY GHOSTS which will be released in Feb 2011, and I said hello, and it went on from there). Anyway, she asked me some kind of neat questions, and you can find it here. The interview is first in English, then in German; hee, look at my perfect German! And don’t you love that German cover? I can’t wait to see what they do with the other two! Obviously, the bangs aren’t there, ha, but who cares when it’s that pretty and atmospheric?

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What Stace had to say on Saturday, July 17th, 2010
CITY OF GHOSTS playlist and excerpt

I can’t believe we’re only ten days away from the release of CITY OF GHOSTS, the third Downside book and the last one releasing this summer; it’ll probably be a year or so before the fourth one comes out, but of course we’ll see. The last month or two has absolutely flown by for me. I think I’ve been busier than I’ve ever been in my life, but it’s been absolutely amazing too, and I can’t thank each and every one of you enough.

Anyway, in anticipation of that release, I’m posting the playlist for CITY OF GHOSTS, and a new excerpt!

1. MURDER CITY NIGHTS–Radio Birdman
2. BORN TO LOSE–Johnny Thunders
3. ONE TRACK MIND–Johnny Thunders
4. I LOVE LIVIN’ IN THE CITY–Fear
5. GLORIA–Them*
6. BORN WITH A TAIL–Supersuckers
7. SEARCH AND DESTROY–Blanks 77
8. GODDAMN BOTTLE–The Lazy Cowgirls
9. GO MOTHERFUCKER GO–Nashville Pussy

*This song was actually cut from the book at the last minute, when I’d already set up the playlist. Also, the list should include BLANK GENERATION by Richard Hell, which would go in between the two Thunders songs and Fear.

You can purchase the list through iTunes here, if you’re so inclined. Remember, I don’t get anything when you buy the lists; the bands do, which is great. I just set them up in case people are interested, and would like to hear/have the songs mentioned in the books.

And here’s a new excerpt! As always, this is from the pre-copyedited version of the manuscript, so may differ slightly from the final version. If you haven’t read UNHOLY GHOSTS or especially if you haven’t finished UNHOLY MAGIC, this will be spoilery, so read at your own risk! Also, if you haven’t yet dowloaded the three-chapter sample of the book and would like to, you can do so on the CITY OF GHOSTS page here on the site.

So, this is from Chapter Eight.
Read the rest of this entry »

What Stace had to say on Monday, December 7th, 2009
New Downside covers in all their coveriness!

Yes, I do indeed have covers for all three Downside books, so here they are!
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What Stace had to say on Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
Important News

Yes, I forgot to blog yesterday. I’m sorry! We will resume the series on Thursday but I have some really exciting news I wanted to share right away.

Some of you know that we’d originally hoped for the Downside books to be released consecutively; that is, one per month for three straight months. Scheduling issues prevented it, however, and eventually forced the reschedule of UNHOLY MAGIC as well. Pretty par for the course as far as publishing goes, really; schedules often change.

Well. I received word this morning that thanks to some clever switching and moving by the fantastic people at Del Rey, we are now able to release the first three Downside books as we’d always wanted; three consecutive releases! This is really, really exciting for me; such releases are always exciting, I think, and I’m really thrilled to get one and have such a big deal made over my books.

However. There is a *slight* downside (heh heh) to this for you guys, and for me as well. The three consecutive slots which were available are in summer 2010.

I know this is disappointing for those of you who were really excited and eager to get your hands on UNHOLY GHOSTS, and I’m really sorry about that. But…UNHOLY MAGIC was slated for June 2010, and CITY OF GHOSTS for November 2010, so while this means you have to wait for the first book, it also means you won’t have to wait nearly as long for the second and third!

So I hope you guys are excited about that, and as excited as I am to have the Big Summer Releases. :-)

I don’t have any information yet on how this effects the UK releases from Harper Voyager, but I will let you know as soon as I do.

And I have some other exciting news about the books, but I think that will wait until next week.

.

What Stace had to say on Sunday, March 15th, 2009
Thoughts on finishing a book

I was going to blog today–well, tomorrow, actually, because it’s 12:25 am right at this moment–about pantsing, and how sometimes really cool stuff just appears, and I’ve had two incidences of that in the last two days and it was awesome. And I might go ahead and blog about that at the League in the morning; I probably will.

But right now…right now I feel awful.

I just finished the book.

It should be a good thing. And it is, really. Finishing a book is a Good Thing. We *should* finish books. Especially contracted books.

But this one–new title DEVOURER OF GHOSTS–is the third Downside book. The last contracted Downside book. And I have no idea if I’ll get to write more.

I certainly hope I will. I hope the series is popular enough, sells well enough to justify another contract. But there are no guarantees, as we all know; especially not in this business.

So right at this moment, instead of celebrating, instead of gleefully sitting back and having a cocktail, I am bereft. Totally and completely.

Sure, I’m not done done. I have edits. I have a subplot to strengthen and a Baddie to make badder. I have copyedits for DOWNSIDE GHOSTS. Heck, I have edits and line edits and copyedits for this book. It’s not like I never get to visit this world again, or play with these characters I love so much–and I do, I really, really love them. I’m looking forward to actually reading this book first page to last, as I haven’t done that yet.

But I don’t know how much more playing I’ll get to do. I don’t know if I’ll get to create new stories for them, to expand what’s there. I have some scenes already waiting in my head, some plot twists and moments and scares; I have no idea if I’ll ever get to write them. I have full plots for the next two books, in fact, including an entire weeklong ceremonial celebration complete with blood sacrifices and roaring fires and haunted streets…and I might never get to write any of it.

Intellectually I know I’ll get over it. That after a few days I’ll have found something else to work on–I’m actually 17k into a new project and I am looking forward to making some heavy progress on that–and, hey, if things don’t work out I can spin those ideas into a new world and it just might work, right?

Intellectually I know I feel this way when most of my books end. It’s worse for the non-series books, when you really *are* done with those characters when you write THE END. I’ve never cried after finishing a book until now, but I usually feel like it. Writing a book takes an enormous amount out of a person, or at least, out of me. By the time it’s done I’m usually sort of a drooling goon, unable to think or talk about anything else, unable to see anything else, I’m so focused on bringing a good ending home; my eyes burn, my hands ache, my right arm is sore from moving the cursor, my knees stiff from being folded in one position for so long. I haven’t gotten a solid night’s sleep in a week; I wake up three or four times, jerked from dreams in which the characters act out scenes in my head. It’s always like that for me as the book starts wrapping up, but this one has been worse.

So I know all this. I know I’ll get over it and be okay, that I’ll go to sleep now and wake up feeling much better and ready to start editing. But it doesn’t help, not right now. Not when I’m facing saying goodbye. This is the series that got me an agent and my first NY deal; the one that paid for us to go back home in a few weeks. And I just love it so much and I feel so lonely and uncertain.

The part that was up to me, the real heavy lifting, is done. I know pretty much what needs to be done in edits. Aside from the subplot and strengthening it’s just fine-tuning: fiddling with sentence structure, eliminating redundancies, etc. I’ve done what I can do, what I needed to do, and I’ll continue to do so, but soon it won’t matter at all. It won’t matter what I think or how I feel. Because the book will be out there, in the hands of readers (um, or not, which of course is the real fear), and what they think of it will make all the difference. That’s scary. Very scary. This is a very dark series, about drugs and poverty and ghettos; in this climate, are people really going to want to read about my punk-rock ghetto no-hopers? I sure hope so, but there’s no way to tell, is there.

So there you go. My unvarnished thoughts on finishing a book, specifically this book, which is the last book under contract. I hope I get to write more. I want to write more, desperately.

But I might not get to. And it’s hard to think about and it makes me sad. And that’s where I am at this moment; just sad. And hopeful, and nervous, and scared, and wishing I could start it all over so I don’t have to say goodbye.

Sorry, everyone. I’ll have cheered up by Thursday, I promise.