Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My Top Ten

Top Ten Signs that a book was written by me:

1. Third person. I'm not a fan of first person and don't write in it. My romances are, of course, written from third omniscient, but my urban fantasy is strictly from the heroine's POV.

2. Absent Families. Either they're dead or they're just a bunch of jerks, but not one heroine I've ever written has had a warm family relationship. Fathers often sell their kids out. Mothers are cruel and distant.

3. Everybody drinks like they're trying to keep up with Dean Martin. And they drink all sorts of things. The heroes might have a preference for Scotch, but basically, if you show a bottle of booze to a character in one of my books they'll drink it.

4. Twist endings. Not all of my books have them, but the large majority does. Either the villain's motives aren't what they seemed, or the guy we thought was the bad guy isn't. Even if it isn't a major plot point (it usually is), at some point we're going to be surprised.

5. Smoking. Yeah, I know. Not everyone smokes, but enough people do that it's safe to say if you pick up one of my books chances are somebody, some time, is going to smoke a cigarette.

6. Smooth dialogue, everybody is smart. Nobody is stupid (at least nobody we're supposed to like), not even the characters who never had an education. They may not know algebra but they have agile minds, and their dialogue tends to be quick and clean.

7. Manners/the man pays. Oh, yes. My characters use each others' last names regularly and often wait to be invited to use firsts. My men open doors, believe in "ladies first", prepare drinks, and always pay for meals (unless the heroine specifically does the inviting.) They get a little anal about it, too, sometimes. Even my poor uneducated men know how to treat a lady, and that's how they see them, too--as ladies.

8. Everybody has great sex. Like I said, my heroes believe in ladies first.

9. Heroes are dark/heroines are slim. Both personally and physically. I'm another one who just doesn't find blond men terribly appealing as a rule, so my heroes have dark hair and dark eyes. Most of them have Deep Secrets too, or if they don't they're just plain criminals. Also, my heroines tend not to be curvy. They're slim, small-breasted, probably not particularly tall, and average pretty.

10. Violence/stuff explodes/car chases/infernos. Oh how I love action. People in my books are always running, away from the crazy guy with the knife or the evil spirit they don't yet know how to defeat. They're in the car breaking laws as bad guys shoot at them or hordes or vampires chase them. Fire is everywhere. Houses catch fire, warehouses, corpses, heroes are fire demons who can burn stuff to a crisp just by thinking of it--now that I'm thinking of it, if something isn't burning yet in one of my books it's probably at least been foreshadowed. Just give it time. Everything burns.

I have also done a preliminary Stacia Kane website. It's here. If you have a minute, check it out. I think it's pretty blah, but as I said on livejournal last night, I really find GoDaddy's "Web Site Tonight" web builder to be difficult and painful to use. It's slow, it's not very customizeable...argh. Just a pain in the butt. So please be kind. :-)


BernardL said...

The site looks fine, and I imagine you'll put up an excerpt of your book there in the future. I like your bio. It reads like someone had a gun to your head, forcing you to write it. Very realistic. :)

Anonymous said...

I think most writers put themselves in their books to an extent -that's why most people write bad books. Obviously not the case with you -your personality in your writing is a good thing.

Also, I like the green on your Stacia web site. -V95


I'm writing a short story in 1st person, and it is painful. It just does not feel natural at all.

The web site looks fine, but even if it was butt-ugly, the most important things are content, organization, book info, and loading speed, which you're good on. My only suggestion would be to make the text size a little bigger for those without superkeen vision. It doesn't resize in the browser.

I hate my web host's design program, too. They probably get kickbacks when their clients turn to professional web designers for help.

I've been playing with Web Studio 4.0 (if I try to link it, I'll screw it up, but you can Google it if you're interested). You get a 30-day trial to play with it. You can use their templates if you want, or you can build from scratch (easy, drag-and-drop, WYSIWYG, no coding required). I'm happier with it than anything else I've tried, so I'm going to shell out the $140 when my trial expires.

Demon Hunter said...

I hate writing in 1st person. I always write in 3rd, even though a short story I'm penning now is in 1st and it is very foreign to me.

By the way, I love your website, especially the font for your name. I have my domain name through GoDaddy, but I won't build a page until I have to. Hopefully I'll have some money by then, because I don't want to build my own site. Technology and I are sworn enemies! :*)

December/Stacia said...

That's about how it feels, Bernard! I do so hate writing bios. It's like jumping up and down and shouting "Look at me! Look at me!"

Aw, thanks V95! *sniffle* BTW I have a whole post planned about you and Bernard and Charles. My man readers. Probably in a couple of weeks. I like the green too. I wanted something easy on the eyes but not pink or purple or anything too girly.
And yes, we do put something of ourselves in there. Read my books, witness what a degenrate I am, lol.

Oh, Kerry, I've never even tried it. I think it's hard to have a truly original voice in first. People do it, absolutely. But I can't.
I have a different web design program that's okay, I forget what it's called. But again, I needed to cusomize everything and I got sick of messing with it. I did build a really gorgeous Stacia site on it, but realized it was too Personal Demons-centric and that if I wanted to write other series or books I'd need to revamp the whole thing anyway. It was very nice, though, black and red and yellow, with all the print in black on a yellow background.

I;d heard the GoDaddy one was really simple, so I figured I'd give it a go. Blah.

December/Stacia said...

Thanks Tahitia! Oh believe me, if I could afford a designer I would totally hire one. I just can't. Once I Make It Big (ha) it's first on my list. (Okay, second. After expensive shoes.)

Charles Gramlich said...

This is an interesting exercise. I should do it for myself.

As for the website. It looks nice and clean and I like the color scheme.

kirsten saell said...

I used sitespinner--it's easy to work with and I'm sure if I spent a bit more time goofing around with it I could come up with something cooler than I have so far. And it's only $49.

I like the look of your site, although I would go with a bigger font. And make sure you check how it works in all the popular browsers. Shit will load with Internet Explorer and be a pile of steaming crap if you use Netscape. My mom tried to check out my site using Firefox and got the Hostmonster under construction page, even though it's up and running and accessible through Explorer. Grrr.

I hear ya on the 1st person. Blech. And on the drinking and the violence. My problem is I keep having this urge to kill off my hero and/or heroine, which kind of leaves the HEA a tad flat. Always did love Romeo and Juliet, though. Think they have a name for it? Romantic Annihilation Complex?

ZaZa said...

That Stacia site is fine. Like someone else said, it's got all the necessary content links. On the site you did originally, you could still use that for a while. Most writers, unless their site is very generic, wind up changing things after a time.

Thanks for doing the meme. I'm keeping track over on my blog, so that participants won't be so hard to find. If you know of someone else who did it, and you don't see them listed there, just put a link in my comments.

McKoala said...

I think the site looks good; simple, clean and with good use of colour. It's well organised and the right information is there. I think you've done a great job. One of my NY resolutions is to create my own web site - so far I've only bought the domain name!

Camille Alexa said...

My favourite:

. . .basically, if you show a bottle of booze to a character in one of my books they'll drink it.

Camille Alexa said...

Hey! I like the way the SK site has a totally different feel. You'll tweak it as you go. It's got a suspense-y feel to me.

December/Stacia said...

You should, Charles. It's funny, a few of those, like the families thing and obviously the POV I knew off the top of my head, but the others I had to really think about. I'd be interested to see yours.

Lol Kirsten, yes, the Romantic Annihilation Complex! I've had that urge before, but I just can't do it. I actually created a major character in Unholy Ghosts intending to kill him off but I loved him too much and realized he served a much better purpose by staying alive.

How do I check in other browsers? That stuff confuses me.

Thanks, Zaza, and thanks for stopping by! I got the meme from FF&F.

Thanks McKoala! I guess I'm just disappointed because it's not as customizeable as I would like. I can't change the background color, for example. And the one I built from scratch was really cool. :-( But since I'm getting ready to query Unholy Ghosts I don't want a site that focuses too heavily on one series, you know?

Hee, that one is my favorite too, I think, Camille. And so true.

Yeah, I did want a very different feel, and I will tweak some more. But at least something is up, right? :-)

kirsten saell said...

You have to install netscape or firefox or whatever on your computer and then just go on the web with that. You can have a friend do it for you if you don't want to install all that crap on your system. My buddy Mike, who has been helping me build the hulking, recalcitrant ogre that is my website, has ten different browsers on his imac, so he checks for me.

Kerry Allen said...

Ah, the sweet smell of knowledge.

In Internet Explorer, if you go into Tools, Internet Options, and click the Accessibility button near the bottom, you can check "Ignore font sizes specified on web pages" and THEN use the View-->Text Size feature to adjust text everywhere to suit your viewing preference. It might feck up the aesthetics on some sites, but nothing's perfect, right?

Today's knowledge brought to you by the letter "O" and the contact page of

Gabriele C. said...

Nice website.

The one sign a novel is written by me? There's a male friendship, and everyone detects homoerotic undertones I never intended to put there. :)

December/Stacia said...

Oh, dear, Kirsten. Installing things on my computer is an enormous pain. I will endeavor to try, though, thanks!

Thanks Kerry! I will go in at some point soon and enlarge the fonts, as they look a little small to me too. But that's good to know, I'm lways coming across sites with teeny print.

Lol, Gabriele, I know what you mean! Why can't men just be good friends?