Thursday, March 20, 2008

December talking...

It’s Fun to Write Dirty

I remember writing my first real romance, back in seventh grade. The amount of actual experience with sex I had at that point equated to seeing a couple of copies of Playboy and a clandestine viewing of Last Tango in Paris (I didn’t get it), but I was determined to write a sex scene.

I do wish I still had it. I don’t remember it well, but I do recall one line, which I in the wisdom of my twelve years on Earth thought was fantastic: “They moaned and kissed and moved.”

Now that’s HOT.

My writing got better (at least I hope so), but I still have to admit, when I’m planning a new book in my head, the sex scene is one of the things I’m most excited about. That’s what got me into erotic romance to begin with. I was writing “regular” romance, and one day I discovered Ellora’s Cave. I still remember that, reading excerpts (the excerpts were more explicit then), studying everything on the website, with my heart pounding. I could write those! And it would be fun—really, really fun!

And it was. And it still is. But…it feels so strange to admit this…

It started not being enough. It wasn’t an issue with the genre itself, or anything of that nature. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to write it anymore, because that was not the case at all. It wasn’t that I didn’t think (or don’t think) writing good erotic romance isn’t a challenge—believe me, it is. It was quite simply that I wanted to try other things, too. I wanted something new.

Not to move away from either romance as a genre or erotic romance in particular. But to spread my wings a little and see if I could do it. I’m far from a master of erotic romance. I get pretty good reviews. I have decent sales. It’s not like I reached the pinnacle of a genre and decided there was nothing else for me there. I just wanted to try something else.

So I wrote my first urban fantasy, Personal Demons, which will be released in a few weeks by Juno Books. My first mass-market paperback; that’s pretty exciting! And it’s funny, because when I was writing it I considered it to be straight urban fantasy with a dash of romance (and of course a sex scene). Now, looking back, I think it actually straddles the line between urban fantasy and paranormal romance pretty neatly.

And it was fun. It was exciting not to be plotting out the arc of a romance so the end and the “I love you” came at the same point. (I of course have the entire romance planned, and know everything that will happen, but I didn’t have to put that in the book and that was pretty cool.) It was exciting to focus on one character and write the entire story from her POV (a little constricting, I admit, it took some getting used to). I really enjoyed myself.

Even more exciting is the idea that I can actually let my parents and family read Personal Demons—I don’t allow them to read any of the December Quinn stuff. Well, really, would you want your parents to read it? Romantic as it is—and I hope it’s pretty damn romantic—it’s still graphic and explicit. I really don’t want my Dad reading that and wondering if I write from experience.

So will I ever stop writing the erotic stuff? I don’t think so. It’s too much fun for me. But writing urban fantasy is just as much fun, and now I have an agent (my heart still stops when I type that) who wants more urban fantasy, and it looks like my experimenting might have taken my career in a whole different direction.

Which is fine with me. I love it all.

Stacia Kane’s debut urban fantasy, Personal Demons will be available in bookstores nationwide in the first week of April. To learn more or read a sample chapter, visit her website.

For erotic romance, check out the December Quinn website or her Books page at Ellora’s Cave.


Robin S. said...

Hi Stacia,

I don't really have a question, but I did want to stop by and say congrats! It's got to feel gratifying, to work at a writing goal, and to achieve what you set out to achieve.

You go, girl.

Evil Editor said...

What's the deal here? Is this a live event? What's the time frame? Maybe I can drum up some business.

December/Stacia said...

Thanks Robin! It does feel pretty good.

Hey, EE! I'll be here all day. :-)

Precie said...

Hi, Deece and McK!!!

December, I'm SOOO happy for you!

Did/do you feel any concerns from a career standpoint about doing multiple genres?

Do you see PD as the first in a series or is it a standalone with other separate urban fantasy books planned?

pjd said...

Like Robin, I don't have much to ask or say except congratulations! I look forward to finding it on a bookstore shelf and actually buying a copy.

December/Stacia said...

Thanks pjd!

Hi Precie! PD is the first of a series; the second is scheduled for Jan 2009 and we're looking to August or September of 09 for the third. far as the multiple genres go, yes and no. Having two pen names makes it easy to do both erotic romance and uf, but my agent definitely wants me to focus on the uf now. Or basically, anything as long as it's paranormal/supernatural. Which works for me, because that's all I write anyway, lol.

Sarah said...

This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing with us on Mck's blog. No questions, just admiration. Good luck with the continuing series.

blogless_troll said...

Congrats! I read the first chapter on your website and I remember the query from EE's. Can't wait to read the whole thing.

December/Stacia said...

Thanks guys! It still doesn't feel real. :-)

ChristineEldin said...

I remember seeing some of this on EE's site a long time ago and thinking--this is sooo unusual and fun! I am not surprised to see it coming out!!!
Many congratulations! I want to read this. It's not what I usually read, but there is just enough of a clever twist that piques my curiousity.
You go, girl!!!

December/Stacia said...

Thanks Christine! I hope you like it! It's kind of sad, actually, because when I look back at it now all I see are flaws that nobody else sees, lol. I still love it, but it's hard to go back and read some of it.

Bernita said...

The thing that I love about this book is that you took a cliche, turned it inside out and made it fresh and fun.

Robin S. said...

Hey there,

I just thought of something. Did your agent or editor ask for many changes in your manuscript?

I'm asking, because I'm smack in the middle of a reading/editing of my own.

December/Stacia said...

Thanks Bernita! I had a lot of fun with that.

Robin, there were some changes, yes, but I don't think it was a lot. There were some scenes she thought were a bit slow, and a few dialogue changes in various parts, but nothing too serious. Right now I'm waiting to hear from my agent about what revisions he wants in the ms he just accepted, so I'm quite nervous about that.

BuffySquirrel said...

Hola December!

Looking forward to reading my review copy :D. Looks great!

kirsten saell said...

Yanno, every time I see that cover, it just gives me this little shiver.

One question: you don't let your parents read your DQ stuff--but what about Black Dragon? If your mom reads any romance at all, I can't imagine she would be offended by anything in there. That was an awesome book!

Of course, I let my mom read all my stuff. She's masochistic that way.;) I just make her repeat this mantra: Read the warning, heed the warning.

Hey, EE! *waving* Long time no see!


McKoala said...

Hi December and all! Good to see you were keeping the blog busy while I was sleeping. Keep it up, I've got a family event today so I won't be back until late your time, but make merry while I'm gone and I look forward to reading!

Here's a question: how long was the journey from starting to write Personal Demons to its acceptance for publishing?

December/Stacia said...

Sorry it took me so long to get bck, the hubs decided to hang out on the computer for a while himself. :-)

Kis, thanks!! When Black Dragon goes to print I'll get my Mom a copy, yeah. She can't figure out how to download ebooks.

Hmm, McKoala, you know I don't recall for sure? I think I wrote it in August of 2006 or thereabouts, or at least that's when I started writing it, and it took about 12 weeks to write (if memory serves). No, it must have been later than August because I'd just finished it when Miss Snark did the December crapometer. And the other day I was looking up the dates for the submission to Juno. I sent the original query and first three in March, got the request for the full May 2nd and the offer May 20th.

Robin S. said...


That's what I was wondndering about - thanks, sweetie.

I wondered if, as long as the voice and the flow and the plot were good, if they'd let a few scenes, or passages, "pass" enough to accept you, and then say - 'let's make these changes'.

Sounds good to me!

December/Stacia said...

Oh, absolutely they will. :-)

Wonderwood said...

Congratulations, Deece! You must be at the intersection of excitement and nervous anticipation, which has to be a pretty cool feeling. Best of luck!

McKoala said...

Hi December and thank you so much for visiting my blog! Any time! *applause*

December/Stacia said...

It is kind of cool, Wonderwood, but also scary. I keep thinking about what will happen if no one ever buys a single copy and I'm a big huge failure. :-)

Chumplet said...

EE never comes to my blog. I even put Novel Deviations in my Favourite Books, but to no avail.

Anyway, from one minion to another - congrats, Deece, on your new novel (and agent)! It's nice to stretch your wings, ain't it?

sylvia said...

I'm looking forward to getting your book and reading it on real paper - yay! I'd love to write sex scenes, I never know where to start them. Hmmm, now there's a writing exercise that could be fun to run ! ;)