Saturday, September 17, 2011

INTERVIEW - STACIA KANE AUTHOR OF 'DOWNSIDE GHOSTS' SERIES


I would like to welcome STACIA KANE author of 'DOWNSIDE GHOSTS' series and 'MEGAN CHASE' series , to Novels On The Run and thank her for taking the time to answer some questions for my interview.



Michelle: Firstly I want to congratulate you on the ‘Downside Ghosts’, series. I stumbled across your books at my local library last year. I knew nothing about you as an author, or the books. I picked them up as I could actually get the whole 3 books at once and thought I would give them a read.......WOW!!! I know I’m not the first to say it but this is truly a different, awesome, gritty, dangerous, tough series of books. I congratulate you on your totally flawed characters that are soooo impressive to read, it’s refreshing to ‘feel’, such love and emotion as you are reading the series for Chess and Terrible. You did not give these characters a pity party, they are damaged, use drugs, take a beating, not handsome but at the same time utterly gorgeous and memorable. I have wanted to interview you since I read them, I was truly in awe of your complex characters. I highly recommend this series, but they are not YA genre. So young chickens , eyes off until you are old enough, when you are old enough, come a knocking .


Stacia: Oh, thank you so much, I really appreciate that! And lol, no, it's not necessarily appropriate for younger readers. I was always a very advanced reader, and I hesitate to say anyone shouldn't be reading it, of course--it's not that I think teens couldn't "handle" it at all--but I definitely want people to be aware that it deals with some very adult subject matter. (I actually had a friend tell me that she found it in the YA section at her local library; I almost had a heart attack and begged her to go tell the librarians that it is NOT written for a teen audience and to please reshelve it!)



Michelle:  I did a lot of research before I even wrote my interview questions to see what you had already answered. I learnt a lot about you which helped me prepare. Hello , December Quinn, erotic writer.
 I would think writing erotica and doing it well would be quite difficult, but your urban fantasy just has so much grit and depth. What do you find easier to write, erotica or gritty , urban fantasy? I need to get my hands on a book by your pen name ,December Quinn and have a read.


Stacia: Oh, hmm. I wouldn't say one is easier than the other, really; they both have their challenges. I do think I enjoy the UF more, or rather, I put more of myself into them and I really enjoy the freedom that comes with UF.


I did have a lot of fun writing the erotic romances, though.


Michelle:  Your series , the ‘Downside Ghosts’, has a gritty, dangerous, very dark, challenging world for your characters. Chess Putnam, your female lead in this series would have to be my all time favourite female lead from any genre I have read. Purely because she is so flawed, not whingey, quite selfless in many ways ,tough and even though she is an addict she gets on with her job, doesn’t slack off. I have such emotion for her when I read and feel the pain that is below the surface of her upbringing which you haven’t delved too deeply into. In book # 4 ‘Sacrificial Magic’, is the reader going to find out more about the personal demons Chess struggles with daily as an explanation for her need for her drug use, her need to keep herself in nips and cepts?



Stacia:  Well, I think--I like to think--that in every book we get a more complete picture of what Chess's life was like before she entered training at the Church, but I also try to be very careful with how much is revealed, if you know what I mean. Because I think it's very clear that she had a pretty horrific childhood, and I think there's a fine line between mentioning it and exploiting it, or mentioning it and dwelling on it.



I do think that SACRIFICIAL MAGIC--and book 5, CHASING MAGIC--show us more not necessarily about what happened to her, but about what the consequences have been beyond her addiction. It's very difficult after a childhood of abuse--it's difficult for someone left with the feelings of guilt and self-hatred and fear and all of those emotions childhoods like that engender--to trust people even when they claim to love you; it's very difficult to let them in, to accept them, to allow yourself to feel worthy of that. You know, we're aware of what Chess does to try to cover up her pain and keep herself from dealing with her past, but there are some aspects of that--aspects of herself--that she can't hide from, not when there's another person in the picture and she's having to make herself vulnerable in ways she never has before.



So I think readers are going to see more of the effect that had on her, and more about how she sees herself and what damage has been done to her, absolutely--at least I hope so, because otherwise I won't have done a very good job. And yes, there are a few other memories or flashbacks or whatever that expand on what we already know. But in the main we're just seeing her trying very hard to somehow reconcile how she sees herself with how others see her, and how she struggles with accepting even the smallest bit of happiness.



Megan Chase # 1
Michelle:  Terrible, you write him totally against the way most lead guys are written. He is the guy your mother would have you running from, but you write Terrible in such a way that the reader ‘feels’, for him on so many levels. He has his own fan club on Goodreads, ‘Terrible Fever’. For you as the writer to give us this character who is not good looking in anyway, essentially a thug, right hand man to Bump, the drug lord and have us women just falling over ourselves for him, is a huge kudo’s to your writing power. I read in a past interview you were actually going to kill him off at the end of book # 1..OMG!! I bet you are glad you rethought that one.


Stacia: I definitely am, heh. But I realized about halfway into the book that I just loved him too much to be able to do that, really; when I started inventing plots in my head like "He comes back as a ghost and lives in her apartment with her" I knew I just couldn't let him go.

He was a big challenge for me, actually. I specifically wanted to play with the idea of a hero and what a hero was supposed to be, and wanted to write one who wasn't rich and handsome. I mean, I like rich handsome heroes as much as the next girl, but I wanted to do something different; I wanted the hero not to be the handsome guy everyone instantly assumes is the hero. I wanted him to have to work for it.


Then, too, I wanted to make the point that everyone deserves love and happiness, not just handsome/beautiful people or whatever, and that there's someone out there for everyone. And that sometimes who a person is can make us see them differently.



Like I said, it was a challenge for me to see if I could make him a character readers would love and root for despite his flaws, despite the fact that he's not handsome or educated. And seeing if I could show what kind of person he really is, and that while he may not be perfect--of course, who is--he's perfect for Chess.



Megan Chase # 2
Michelle:  Terrible has his own dialect, ‘downspeak’. How hard was it writing his dialogue with his ‘downspeak’ , did you have to read it aloud to yourself to make sure you were getting it sounding right ? Was it overwhelming to find how much love Terrible was receiving from your readers?





Stacia:  Hmm. I don't usually read anything out loud, no. It was a bit difficult--or it can be--keeping everyone's specific verbal tics and dialects straight, since everyone talks a little differently. But in general it was a blast, coming up with Downspeech. I find it very hard these days to write characters who don't speak some kind of dialect, actually, I'm so used to it now!



And yeah, it's completely overwhelming! I worry about it a lot in the next books, whether or not I'm handling the relationship the right way and keeping true to his character; it's a different side of him and Chess both, and really neither of them have a lot of experience with it, so... I can only hope, really.


Megan Chase # 3
Michelle:  I have been wondering how many books would be in this series. I hoped for around 6 but read that if possible you would be happy to go to 9 or even 12, story permitting. Have you already mapped out in your incredible creative mind up to 12 just to see where it could all end up if you were to go that far ?

Stacia:  Lol, I don't know about "incredible creative," but thank you! I have, yeah. I originally had a nine-book arc but I also have plans for how to take it to twelve if that happens. I'm not counting on it, though. I hope, but I'm not counting on it.




I GOT TERRIBLE FEVER - Goodreads Group


Michelle:  Would you ever consider writing a book from Terribles POV? I think being in Terrible’s head even for part of a book would be incredible, looking at Chess through his eyes, getting to know him inside his head. I know we saw Terrible with his daughter and I found that to be a wonderful insight into there being another life Terrible had.



Stacia:  Actually, that's something I'm working on, yeah. Not a whole novel but a novella, from his POV. I'm not sure yet if it will be basically the events of UNHOLY GHOSTS told from his perspective or a different story, one that happens between UG and UM.



Michelle:  Are you able to give me 2 quotes from ‘Sacrificial Magic’, from Chess and Terrible that don’t give anything away?


Stacia: Hmm, let's see. You mean like two quotes from a scene with them together? Okay. Here's one:



His eyes fastened on her, waiting for her to continue. When she didn’t, he said, “Ain’t needing the lashers, aye? Causen I got—”


“No, no, I’m fine, I have money, I just…it’s depressing to lose, you know? I don’t like it.”



He smiled, and even in the middle of her misery, in the furious tangle of her mind, she was able to see it, feel it all the way down her body. “Oh, aye? Never would guess that one.”



Her own smile couldn’t compete with his, but hey, at least she was able to make the attempt. “Yeah, I guess that’s not really a secret, is it?”



“Ain’t to me.”


And two:



Chess handed Terrible her keys. If it made him trust her less, fine. At least he’d be alive to do it. “Have fun driving my car.”

That earned her a sort of half-smile, a semi-laugh. “Aye. Be all cool in it, maybe get myself one.”



It's really hard to find scenes that give *nothing* away!


Michelle:  Can you give me 5 words that describe Lex in ‘Sacrificial Magic’, where he is at now?


Stacia:  Hmm. Where he is in the beginning of that book and where he is at the end are very different, so some of these may only apply to the beginning or the end, but... Frustrated. Planning. Waiting. Amused and unamused.



Michelle:  Will you be bringing any new major long lasting characters to ‘Sacrificial Magic’?



Stacia:  I will, yes! And I'm really excited about it. But it would be kind of a big spoiler to give any more info. So I'll just say I hope readers like the new character.


Downside Army
Michelle:  If readers reading this interview haven’t yet started reading the ‘Downside Ghosts’ series, and 5 words or less were used to encourage them to read this series, which I for one highly recommend , would you be able to give me upto 5 words that describe each of the following about your series?



Stacia:  Oh, man, this is hard! I really think readers would be better at this than me. So I'd love to see your/their suggestions!


Chess Putnam
Stacia:  Determined. Scarred. Lost. Addicted. Smart.
Michelle: Selfless, Hurting, Lonely, Tough

Terrible
Stacia:  Also determined, also scarred, also smart. Tough. Loyal.
Michelle:  Lonely, Hurting, Forgiving, Protective, Dangerous

Lex

Stacia: Arrogant. Clever. Sneaky. Careless. Troublemaker.
Michelle: Sex, Addictive, Ego, Games, Trouble, Seducer


Bump
Stacia:  Horrendously dressed. Arrogant. Powerful. Sly. Sleazy.
Michelle:  Dangerous 


The Church of Real Truth
Stacia: Scary. Omnipotent. Cruel. Protective. Harsh.


Downside
Stacia: Poor. Dirty. Rough. Dangerous. Creepy.


Black Magic
Stacia: All over the books!



Michelle:  I am a mum of 3 kiddies and you have 2 . Do you keep any sort of keepsake, scrapbook of your author life to show your children when they are older. Or anything that you can show to the ones you love?



Stacia:  No, I never thought of that, actually. Hopefully it'll all still be around when they're older, so...


Michelle:  Do you do anything special on the day your books are released to the public?


Stacia:  I generally have a really nice little routine of puking and panicking, yes, with some hysterical crying and the absolute certainty that everyone will either hate or ignore the books thrown in. Release days are not fun for me. 

 Michelle:  How does it feel knowing bloggers are spreading the word of your books and really loving what you are writing? Has there been a particularly memorable instant of a passionate reader?



Stacia: Oh, there aren't even words to describe it, really, it's amazing. To see how much people love them and how much they understand them is just incredible. I never even dreamed people would like them half as much as they do.



But they're all memorable, honestly. Every single one who emails me or send me a message through Facebook or Twitter or comments on the blog or seeks me out at a con...it's always amazing and unbelievable.

Michelle: Thank you Stacia  for taking the time to answer my questions.

Stacia: They're great, thank you so much!




I hope you all enjoyed this interview as much as I enjoyed doing it.
Check the left side bar for my reviews on the Downside Ghosts series.

Michelle



http://www.staciakane.com/


"Stacia Kane has upped the stakes for all those writing in the urban fantasy genre — UNHOLY GHOSTS is gripping and brilliant." --FantasyLiterature.com



"taking paranormal fantasy to another level right before our eyes." --Barnes & Noble Explorations



"UNHOLY MAGIC spits on gritty and calls its mother names." --Fiction Vixen



"The ultimate Bible of badassery." --
Ann Aguirre, National Bestselling Author of SKIN DEEP







7 comments:

  1. awesome interview :) I can't wait for SM to come out.

    Erika @ Badass

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  2. Awesome interview. I would never have thought in a million years I would think of a drug addicted character as a "heroine". Chess is that and more. I really look forward to her and Terrible teaming up (and having lots of sexy times together) come March.

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  3. A wonderful interview. I've been trying to avoid snippets and teasers for Sacrificial Magic, but these quotes have me extra excited.

    I was like you, Michelle, as soon as I started reading I _needed_ all the books as soon as I could get them. And I've already pre-ordered SM.

    Thanks to you both!

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  4. Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your comments. I really do love this series. If you want leave your 5 words that describe one or more of the characters. It would be fun to see what everyone thinks.

    Michelle

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    Replies
    1. Amazing interview. Also it is seldom that we read addicts being portrayed as heroines and witnessing her struggles and journey in the book will provide us a valuable insight to the dark world of addiction. Sacrificial Magic is truly a must-read.

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  5. Hi Jamie,

    I can't wait for Sacrificial Magic. I am rather proud of this interview. It's one of my faves I have done. I think Stacia is a truly awesome , gritty writer. Chess would be one of my favourite heroines. She just doesn't fit into the normal box of most heroines.

    Michelle

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  6. I couldn't agree more!

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