Stacia- Very hard. I had an ending in mind but it was difficult to try to get there in the space of one book. See, I didn’t know if I was going to get a deal for more books after this one and I am strongly of the mind that you don’t leave readers without a resolution to a story, so I had to get to that desired place between the two main characters by the end of the third book. So, yeah…it was difficult trying to still make it believable. But, I think it’s the whole part with her [Chess] almost dying…I think that’s really what kind of clinched the deal for him. She almost dies and he has that light bulb moment like “Okay, it would really suck if she died” you know?
Day- *laughter* Yeah, that’d probably suck..
Stacia- *laughs* Definitely, and the whole trust issues…they aren’t over with-by a long shot. The entire fourth book is dealing with lots of trust stuff happening…
Day- The trust issues and things of that nature really seem to make the character dynamics believable, because who doesn’t have flaws and issues? I think it translates really well, and could be one of the many reasons why your books are striking a chord with so many types of people. Aside from the cool story and all…
Stacia- I don’t know…that’s possible. I mean especially since trust is such a big issue for both of them. Neither of them trust a lot of people and he *really* trusted her and then to find out everything…that was a really big, awful thing. That was all kinds of difficult and took me a while to write because I kept going off on weird tangents. I actually turned it in last April and my editor read it and sent it back with just a couple little notes. So, I went in to fix those little things but, I still didn’t like it…I just was not happy with the book at all. So, in December I emailed my editor asking if I could just rewrite the book.
Stacia- Yeah. She said yes, and I ended up writing an extra 30k words and cutting like close to 20k…so the book ended up 120k words.
Day- Which wasn’t at all what you had intended…
Stacia- No, but at least…I don’t know. I’m still not crazy about City of Ghosts and actually, it’s my least favorite of the series..
Day- Really? Which book is your favorite?
Day- Oh my…creepier? What goes on in that head of yours?
Stacia- Well, I wanted to empathize the whole cannibalism thing a lot more, but my agent said I couldn’t write cannibals so I was like…”o-kay…if you say so:(“
Day- Is there like a list of things that you can and cannot write about?
Stacia- As far as I know Cannibalism is it…*giggles* and I’m very disappointed about it.
Day- Well that’s too bad. It would have been interesting to see exactly what you had envisioned on paper. Do you have any plans for future series?
Stacia- I’m kind of working on something now…it’s a Young Adult and it’s like a Victorian-Alternate History- powered by death and magic kind of world.
Day- That sounds intriguing…
Stacia- Yeah, I’m really liking the world but I’m having a hard time with the plot. And, I’m getting more comfortable with the main character cause she doesn’t have a name and I’m not going to give her one.
Day- Nameless? That’s really cool.
Day- So, a Victorian alternate history? Is it more steam punk?
Stacia- Kinda…it’s like steam punk but with magic instead of steam…and lots of blood.
Day- Magic-Punk with blood…I am so fascinated by this concept now. Any idea when you will actually put pen to paper and bring this new world to life?
Stacia- I actually have about 20k words written already but I just started writing the fourth downside book because my deadline for that is November 15th. So, I have had to put the YA on hold for the moment…which is really frustrating to me and my agent because I have done like three versions of it, and my plot keeps changing. I really need to quit playing around and just buckle down I suppose.
Day- I am sure it will come to you in the most perfect way eventually. You mentioned buckling down and starting stories, where do your stories begin? Do the ideas come to you in images, or is it a character or plot that just creeps up on you?
Stacia- You know, it really depends…usually it is a plot idea or concept. With Unholy Ghost, I was reading one of my husband’s magazines and there was an article about a B movie that featured like a professional debunker who discovers that the haunting he has been out to debunk is actually real…and I was like “That is AWESOME. What a cool plot!” Then I realized that it wasn’t really high stakes, it was just a ghost story. Actually, I had set out with Unholy Magic to write a more traditional haunted house ghost story. You know, with the typical dark hall ways and ghost with stuff running down the walls…spooooky. But, in my world…well it’s not quite the same thing really. So, Unholy Magic is as close as I’m probably going to get to a “Haunted House” book. Anyway, I had also wanted to write a drug addict for a long time. I had kind of had her in my head for a while and I needed a world where a haunting was a big deal…where it would mean something. That’s when I came up with the idea of the church…I just sort of pulled stuff from wherever. Usually, when I start a book I just have an overall sense of the basic plot and an idea of a couple of big dramatic scenes that I’m wanting to write, but no clue as to how it’s going to end or who the bad guy is. However, when my characters finally have sex in City of Ghost, I had that scene already in my mind since their first kiss in Unholy Ghost. I had known how that was all going to play out for that long, and it was fun writing it finally.
Day- So, if you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
Stacia- I would be at home with my children probably, cause that’s what I did before. Actually, I would be at a point now, since my youngest just started kindergarten, that I would probably need to start looking for a real job to help contribute. I loved being at home, cooking and being a mother, I don’t really like to leave my house very much.
Day- Speaking of children, when you were younger what kinds of books did you read?
Day- I love the creepy, scary ones too…always have. Now, we are at Dragon*Con and though this is work for you it’s play for many others…is this your first Dragon*Con?
Stacia- No, it’s my third, but my second as a guest. I came in 2003 to see Luke Perry and he wasn’t there. But we came anyway, and I met Sherrilyn Kenyon that year. She did a panel and I was one of only like five people in the audience. Sherrilyn Kenyon, Betty Ballentine…amazing panel and there were literally like five of us in the room. It’s crazy.
Day- Wow. That’s crazy and kind of awesome how much those authors and their books have exploded in the past ten years…it feels like more people are reading, at least genre fiction.
Stacia- I hope so. It definitely feels that way. I think more people are reading genre fiction, it seems that way to me. Then again everyone I know writes or reads genre fiction.
*we were then joined at the table by the lovely and talented Caitlin Kittredge*
Day- So, are you the type that would dress up at one of these types of conventions?
Day- What about you Caitlin?
Caitlin- Yes. I am the type. I’m not working this one, but I am usually working and don’t get to dress up. I’m actually kind of jealous of all the costumes right now.
Day- What would you dress up as Caitlin?
Caitlin- Ummm…well, I’m going to go as the Baroness from GI-Joe for Halloween so, that would have been my default since I have stuff for that already. But, I’m saving it for then, so not till October.
Day- That’s awesome. So Stacia, what was the last book you read and enjoyed?
Stacia- Well, since I’ve been getting ready for the fourth book I have been going back through the first three downside books and re-reading them. I have a lot of non-fiction and I tend to look something up or read a sporadic chapter here and there and then move to something else. My mind is kind of a blank, and that’s crap because I know I have finished a book recently…
Day- Let me ask this then…favorite authors?
Stacia- Oh *looks at Caitlin* ahhh…Caitlin Kittredge, Andrew Vachss, Sharon Kay Penman…
Day- Love Sharon Kay Penman!
Stacia- I actually got to email her! I had a real email conversation with her, it was awesome! I did my “Be a sex writing Stumpet” Blog series and I wanted to quote her from “Cruel As The Grave” so I emailed her to ask if it was Ok, and I had a really nice exchange with her and was all fan girl!
Day- Kinda like I am sitting here thinking “I’m talking to Stacia Kane & Caitlin Kittredge is here too” Fan girl squee on the inside!
Day- Sounds really great! I’m going to have to add that to my shopping cart. Gotta love two authors highly recommending a book! Thanks ladies;)