This is a little meme that's been going around, I got it from the Fangs Fur & Fey livejournal community (and posted this there too.)
I'd love to see my fellow Juno authors' Top Tens!
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 of 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. :-)