Maidens, we are very excited to have with us today the wonderful and so talented Stacia Kane!!!  If you haven’t heard of her work before, then you NEED to look into it.  Her books are dark and gritty and emotional and so different from anything else out there.  They stand out from the crowd.  Of course, it helps that she writes a to-die-for heroe.  Please help us welcome her today to UTC!

Stacia Kane

Good morrow Ms. Kane, how fare thee?

Heh, I hope everyone is doing well today!

Chess has a major flaw in her character. She is an addict. Why did you decide to give Chess such an unusual character trait?

I was sick of seeing urban fantasy heroines who didn’t really have any actual, real problems or flaws, honestly, or who seemed to all have the exact same problems/flaws. And it was a subject I’d wanted to explore for a while. I just wanted to do something a bit darker and a bit more serious, to write an imperfect character, one I could relate to instead of all those heroines out there who just didn’t seem anything like me at all.

The Downspeech in your books makes your books very unique and even helps readers differentiate between characters. Why did you decide to create this new dialect?

For those exact reasons, basically; to do something different, to add character, to deepen the world and further immerse the reader in it.
Plus it was really fun.

How would you say Chess has grown throughout the series? Do you feel like she has overcome her greatest obstacle?

She’s definitely grown, absolutely. In the beginning she had no one in her life, beyond Edsel–who is certainly her friend but only very casually, it’s not like they used to go out for drinks together or anything–and Elder Griffin, who is of course her superior at work and so again, not someone she spent time with outside of that. She was completely alone. Now she has actual friends, people she cares about who care about her; her life has really filled up in the last six months or so of dramatic time.
But no, she definitely hasn’t overcome her greatest obstacle. Certainly she’s getting closer to it, but she’s not there yet; she has a ways to go, I think.

Terrible isn’t your average hero. He’s not the dashing, handsome figure in your books, but readers still have a favorable response to him. What do you think it is about Terrible that makes every reader want to be his dame?

Well, I can only say what appeals to me about him, I can’t say what it might be for anyone else. I think there are a lot of factors: his strength and general badassishness are big ones, heh, but I think there’s a lot more to it than that, too. He’s smart, and he’s brave, and honorable. He’ll do anything for Chess without even thinking, and that kind of loyalty is pretty rare, I think. And of course he demands that sort of loyalty and acceptance in return, too; he may be completely head-over-heels in love, but he refuses to let Chess treat him badly. He stands up for himself. He makes her acknowledge his own feelings, and forces her to take them into account. I think he’s teaching her things, and I think she’s doing the same.
But I think a big part of it, too, is that he understands Chess–better even than she understands herself–and he accepts her completely. He may not like everything about her–like her addiction–but he accepts it, and doesn’t judge her for it. It’s not that he doesn’t see her flaws and it’s not that he never gets upset by them or wishes they didn’t exist, but he accepts them, and understands why they’re there. He thinks she’s special in spite of her flaws and always has, and he treats her that way every day and always has.
And I think he’s very manly, in an old-fashioned kind of way, which is very appealing.

If you could live in any author’s urban fantasy world, whose fictional world would you like to live in?

Mine, of course; it means too much to me not to want to give it a try!

As a churchwitch Chess has tattoos on her arms and chest, do you have any tattoos, would you ever have one?

I have four, yes. A lizard on my left shoulderblade, a little equality symbol on my right ankle, a Seshat hieroglyph on my right upper arm (Seshat is the Egyptian Goddess of writing; the glyph itself means “writing,”) and the phrase “I am not afraid” on my right bicep. And I definitely want to get more; I’m planning some nautical stars next, I think.

So it’s Friday night and Terrible wants to do something special with Chess, maybe a night out. What would he do to woo his girl? *Feel free to get as descriptive as you’d like*

Hmm. That’s a tough one, actually, because neither of them are very much into the whole “special nights out” thing; they’re not very comfortable places other than Downside, really, and anything they do together is “special” because they’re with each other. In between CoG and SM they spent a few nights at a hotel together, but that was more so they could get room service and not worry about being seen together for a few days; they didn’t really leave the room. I would say he’d take her to see a band she really likes but they do that all the time anyway.
Instead of a night out it would probably be more of a night in, just him getting them some decent food from somewhere and they’d watch a movie or something; maybe they’d go up to the roof of her building and hang out up there with a few beers and some music.
Like I said, they’re just not really “fancy night out” people, sorry. And all of the “wooing” type things are things he does every day anyway.

If you could form a soundtrack for the Downside Ghosts series, what tracks would you pick?

There are soundtracks to each book, actually; they’re on my website: click here

Is there a possibility that the Downside Ghosts series will surpass the six contracted books?

I honestly don’t know. I’d certainly like to get to finish the story.

SACRIFICIAL MAGIC has just been released! Congratulations! For those who are anxious for news on this book, how would you describe this book compared to the others in the series?

I think it’s more emotional; I think it focuses more heavily on Chess’s fears and worries than the others (and than the future ones do). Being in a real relationship is such a different thing for her, such a confusing and scary thing, and it’s a big problem for her in this one. So I definitely think there’s a bit of extra emphasis on that. It’s almost a transitioning book for her, where she’s trying to accept this huge change in her life, and of course change isn’t easy for her and being emotionally vulnerable is incredibly difficult for her.

Will we ever see more of Chess’s dark past and/or the reasons why she became an addict in the first place?

I think there’s a bit more of it in every book, but of course I want to be very careful with it; I want to make it clear what happened to her and why but also not make the books *about* that or show so much that it either distracts or upsets the reader. I think at this point in the series it’s pretty clear that she had a horrific childhood, you know, and there’s a point where you’re no longer just revealing the character or allowing the reader to understand her more deeply but are instead just exploiting, and I don’t want to be exploited or exploit others, frankly, so I try not to cross that line.
Thank you so much for stopping by UTC and letting us pick your brain a bit!
Thanks for having me!

Ms. Kane is giving away a signed copy of Sacrificial Magic!!! 
You won’t want to miss this! 

When Chess Putnam is ordered by an infamous crime boss—who also happens to be her drug dealer—to use her powers as a witch to solve a grisly murder involving dark magic, she knows she must rise to the challenge. Adding to the intensity: Chess’s boyfriend, Terrible, doesn’t trust her, and Lex, the son of a rival crime lord, is trying to reignite the sparks between him and Chess.

Plus there’s the little matter of Chess’s real job as a ghost hunter for the Church of Real Truth, investigating reports of a haunting at a school in the heart of Downside. Someone seems to be taking a crash course in summoning the dead—and if Chess doesn’t watch her back, she may soon be joining their ranks.

As Chess is drawn into a shadowy world of twisted secrets and dark violence, it soon becomes clear that she’s not going to emerge from its depths without making the ultimate sacrifice.

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  1. I have seen such great reviews for this series. Can’t wait to read it. Congrats on the release.

    Joanne B

  2. I agree with Stacia on her points as to why Terrible, the snti-hero, is so popular with readers. I find myself liking the heroes that accept their heroines flaws and all the best.

  3. I have had this on my TBR list as I’ve heard so many great things! Thanks for the interview, letting me know more about the series. I will be starting this very soon!

  4. Awesome interview UTC girls!!!!;) XO Love Downside, Loved the interview! I can never get enough Chess & Terrible *sigh*

    Thanks for telling me about it Annie Girl 😉 <3
    I’m thinking that since Chess & Terrible “don’t do” nights out much, I’ll just take the night at hotel with Terrible, and we won’t need much room service……

  5. Thank you for the fantastic interview! I have Stacia’s whole series on my TBR shelf and the new cover of this latest release of hers looks stunning, I can’t wait to get my hands on it 😀

    Thank you for the chance and congrats Stacia on the release!!

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. Congrats on your release Stacia. It sounds great. It’s definitely on my TRL. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  7. I enjoyed the interview and learning more about the series and why Stacia chose to write her characters the way she did.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  8. I remember before this series was released Stacia was wondering how people would react to such a flawed heroine. Addiction has always been such a big no-no for characters. I knew people would love it because her writing is so passionate. Same for Terrible– who reader’s love!

  9. Hi!
    Stacia – you’re a new author for me and what grabbed my attention about the book was that the hroine is an addict. You don;t see that very often in books like yours. I’m really excited to read it.
    msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

  10. I absolutely love this series. I was very grateful to H& who first made me aware of Downside because I can’t imagine not having read it. I’m making as many people read it as I can finagle. XD

  11. Awesome interview! I love this series and I really love Chess and Terrible!! Congrats on the release, I’ve already read it and thought it was amazing! Now I just can’t wait for the next one. I really like what you said about not exploiting Chess’ past, because you kind of expect everything about her childhood to be explained all at one point but I like how it’s been really subtle in the books, because then it’s like Chess is a real person, and her childhood isn’t the only thing that defines her. And I didn’t know you had playlists for the books, definitely have to go check them out now.

  12. I enjoyed the interview and the chance to learn more about Stacia Kane’s her work and the Downside Ghost series. I haven’t had a chance to read any of the series yet, but judging by the reviews and interview, I really need to get started soon.

  13. Great interview ladies! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it…I’m intrigued by Downspeech…definitely interested in finding out what that’s about…the Egyptian tattoo sounds really cool I would love to see what it looks like!!!

  14. congratz for the release of sacrificial magic. I know about this series and have read review, and sounds great. Can’t wait to read it. I am looking forward to have this book!! Thanks for giveaway!!

  15. I’m so glad I didn’t miss this!!!
    Fabulous Interview! This is now one of my favorite UF series, I love the world, the writing is so original and most definitely captivating, but above all I love Terrible.
    Thank you girls!!! you guys rock!
    …Impatiently waiting for Sacrificial Magic audio release…

  16. Great interview!! i LOVE this series, and SM was amazing, just like all the others!!

    but EEEKKKK!! to finding out only 6 books are contracted thus far!! please, please, please publisher….we need more Chessiebomb and Terrible! 6 is not enough!!

  17. FAB interview! Thanks for introducing me to a ‘new to me’ author and series! Looks like I have a little catching up to do… 🙂

    barbbattaglia @

  18. Love the interview! The uniqueness of this series is really amazing and I’m so glad that you planned it that way!

    Thanks for the soundtracks link. I am going to check them out. Curious to see what the soundtracks for the series would be.

    Congrats on the new release!

  19. Great interview, I really enjoyed it. I didn’t know about the tattoos on Chess and what they mean. Thanks for sharing. I’d love to win.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

  20. I’m sure you hear this all the time and hopefully it never grows old…I love, love, love Chess and Terrible.
    Thank you for the sharing their world.
    Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview and the great giveaway.
    I hope your are fully recovered…what a scary time it must have been.
    Best Wishes;

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