First Cup of Coffee – August 4, 2022

News about an exciting whirlwind trip to Las Vegas to see Celeste Barber, #perfectlyfine frose, a bit about chips on shoulders and publishing paths, and how the bar is what I remember about hotels.




Transcript
00:00.96
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Was so good today is Thursday August Fourth um well here we are in August beautiful lush summer gotta love it. Kind of an overcast day here in Santa Fe we’ve got um some rain last night. A little bit supposed to get more today robust monsoon season. There’s so much. So so much waiting I have to do so much. But I did get the finances caught up yesterday and that was a big thing.

00:56.46
jeffekennedy
Yeah, um, sort of thinking about and I also did a bunch of SFWA stuff? Um, you know it’s funny when we have conversations about things that we do to advocate for writers right? It’s big part of our mission. Advocate for creators. Really we’re trying to make that distinction acknowledging that not all creators of science fiction and fantasy work in prose. But there’s um, trying to figure out how I can say this. Sometimes advocating for publishers is not the same thing as advocating for writers and I had a little bit of a back and forth with someone yesterday who didn’t quite get my point there. It’s not that I think that traditional publishers. Are against creators. But I think that they’re on their own team and that just because a publisher wants something doesn’t necessarily mean that we should as an organization advocate for it because it may not be. The best thing for the creators and the person ended up saying something about how they thought that they thought that certain people had chips on their shoulders about um, traditional publishing or self publishing which okay sure some people do. But I wanted to say if that’s directed at me I’m not sure which shoulder I have the chip on since I do both traditional publishing and self- publishing and I think there are merits to both but I also don’t think that traditional publishers. Are going to take care of authors um over their own interests. I think there’s plenty of evidence for that anyway, that’s a little bit of a tangent. It was just something that was on my mind. Um, yeah, so it was good I got a lot done yesterday I got my 2000 words I participated in a meeting I got the finances totally caught up and the bills paid which I had not. In a while I still need to finish crunching royalties. But I’m getting closer. Ah it was actually pretty awesome because I got my 2000 words by 11:30 in the morning because I had an 11:30 meeting and so I started slightly early and I was feeling good and.

03:44.16
jeffekennedy
I was pretty intent on getting as much done before that eleven thirty meeting so I could like catch up whatever and then I got them all by 11:30 and ah I know I keep saying it if I can get my words by noon I am just a happy camper. It just makes all the difference for me. When I’m still trying to get my words at one or 2 in the afternoon. no no no I just don’t like it doesn’t work for me. Ah so some exciting news that I realized I forgot to mention and it sort of became this is like a last minute thing. And I saw Megan last night and the delightful Charlie we had Frose which was #perfectlyfine and if you don’t know that joke you’re gonna have to go back some podcasts or just accept. It. Was delicious at la casa sena in Santa Fe in the courtyard ended up being a gorgeous evening I thought it was going to be too rainy, but it was perfect evening didn’t rain at all and skies cleared out so it was a lovely peaceful evening.

05:02.29
jeffekennedy
But um, so we were talking about our plans to go to Las Vegas next weekend. Jeffe you may say we did not know you were going to Las Vegas next weekend and I will say to you? Well it was a last minute thing. Ah. And we just put it together. Um, so not this Saturday but a week from Saturday we are flying to Las Vegas and we are going to see Celeste Barber play at the venetian going to see her ah her show her stand-up show which is I think. It’s something like fine fine. Thanks, that’s it. It’s Fine Thanks! which is a nice dovetail with #perfectlyfine I’m sure I told the perfectly fine story here on the podcast if I didn’t those of you who watch all the time. Ah, tell me and I will tell the perfectly fine story. But I think I did so I have told it to a number of people so I may not remember where I’ll I’ve told it but it’s my favorite hashtag now. So yeah, um. Celeste Barber’s playing at the venetian her Fine Thanks american tour. She’s an australian comedian if you don’t know her. She’s a hysterical ah me it introduced me to her on Instagram she does these wonderful sendups of the ah you know like that. Ridiculousness of the things that people post to Instagram trying to show off their bodies. You know mean all airbrushed and she does like the real woman version of them and so she did her australian tour and she’s been up in Canada and she’s coming through the states. And we were able to get tickets for her show kind of last minute I think not a lot of people know who she are who she are who she is yet in the us. So we got um, 4 tickets for $20 each – dang! I should have given Megan money last night I forgot. Terrible. Ah, and Megan found us. Um airline tickets for spirit airlines out of Albuquerque to Las Vegas for $63 each round trip. Ah so it is. Extra if you want to check a bag. They don’t even have like um you it’s the carryons aren’t even freeance I’ve never flown spirit before I ventured it to David and he said does it take off from someone’s backyard and Megan said yes, lol.

07:46.56
jeffekennedy
So we told Megan that if the plane crashes and kills us all. We’ll be really unhappy with her. But yeah, you can’t even carry on a bag for free. All you can carry on is a personal item and David needs too many things to keep him going. So I paid like $40 to check a bag. So that means we’re flying round trip for $200 and our tickets between the 2 of us are $40 and we got free rooms at the venetian from david’s ah you know account they comp us to room. 2 for 2 free nights. So ah yeah, we’re going to las vegas for like $250 no doubt we will end up spending more than that but not bad and it should be really fun I’m excited. So it’s yet another weekend I’m going to be gone in august I will probably bitch about this later but right now it sounds cool. I’m home this weekend next weekend we’re going to vegas ah going saturday morning coming back monday morning the following weekend I will be in albuquerque at bubonican – No wrong order the following weekend. We’re going to tucson. To celebrate birthdays see my family then the weekend after that is Bubonicon in albuquerque and the weekend after that labor day weekend I will be in chicago for ChiCon for world con and I’m giving a workshop there did I mention. I probably did I’m pretty excited that I get to give a workshop at world con and I’m on several panels and things so that’s nice. What’s with the mosquitoes you know like they say april showers bring mayflowers. It’s sort of like monsoon rings bring mosquitoes it’s not nearly so poetic or delightful.

09:42.37
jeffekennedy
Sorry for the clapping if that was startling so that’s the news in my world. Um I also need to finish writing this book during August so hopefully that’ll work out. I am teaching a class for the fantasy futuristic and paranormal chapter special interest chapter I think still of RWA lot of the chapters have been disaffiliating so but I think they are still affiliated. So I’m giving a workshop at their meeting on. Sunday afternoon and then we’ll be teaching the class for four weeks online ah so if you want to register for that I assume you can I don’t think they’ve even given me links on how to do that. But it’s going to be. Busy wizy months but hopefully with the leavening of a lot of play in with the work I’ll be able to get everything done. Um, let’s see other news. Some of you may know if you’re following closely on a polyon 2023 ticket sales have been postponed until they can revisit the ah the hotel. The venue was pretty disappointing. I didn’t have too many problems but then Jennifer L Armentrout sort of posted a list of all the things they struggled with some of them I didn’t know about boy the mosquitoes are just everywhere. Sorry um so that’s postponed it’s. Funny because we were at the Hyatt Crystal City in arlingto,n suburb of Dc is there a suburb of Dc. Anyway, you know what I mean and when I was in the bar called the Lobbibar which they spell a cute way but is otherwise. Unimaginative name I recognized this high table or it looked I was like oh I know this high table and I took a photo of it because it reminded me of this table in the bar at world fantasy con in Dc in 2014. Ah, and I’m amazed that it was 2014 ah time time is strange. Um, yeah I get my years confused but I know this because I looked it up.

12:29.18
jeffekennedy
I’m spoiling the story. So I took a photo of this table because when I went to world fantasy con it was the first time that I met ah my first agent in person and he was not yet there when I arrived and I was walking into the bar. As one does and this ah woman says to me are you Jeffe Kennedy and it was one of the first times that um someone recognized me and I said yes and she says hi I’m Jennifer Udden and Jennifer turned out to be. My agent’s best friend. She was also an agent and that was the beginning of ah of a fruitful friendship, a long friendship and there were several other people sitting at the table agents and editors and they just kind of um took over that high table. For the entirety of the conference they just parked there and so I would go and I would sit with them and they would buy me drinks and they would buy me meals and it was really um, it was just really fun. It was like 1 of the first times as an author that industry people were treating me to stuff. And so I took a photo of this table and I texted it to jen yesterday. Ah because I’d just finally gotten around descending it and I said this table reminded me of the one that we sat at at world fantasy and she was like oh my god the memories and. And I was like well it wasn’t the same hotel was it and so then when I went back and looked at my emails that was what I saw it was world fantasy in um, like November of 2014 and it was the same hotel. It was the exact same hotel and I the only thing that. You know now that I know I can match up the memories. Yeah I mean it’s eight years difference right? But I find it just really amusing that what is the thing that really triggers Jeffe’s memory ah it’s the bar. It’s the bar is what Jeffe remembers. Um. So none of us are shocked by this right and then amusingly enough because we one of the things we were doing yesterday is we’re working on the nebula conference for 2023 also and we. Was we were putting together our our RFP which is what you send to the hotel. It’s basically a request for a proposal. We send it to the hotels and ask them to tell us how much it would cost and what the logistics would be and so we were getting some advice on how to put together the rfp.

15:18.81
jeffekennedy
To cover having a hybrid conference because we want to do this as best we can and so there was a list of like all the hotels where there’s previous nebula conferences and I saw 2012 conference was at the Hyatt Crystal city. It’s like clearly this hotel has like established their brand as. Serving science fiction and fantasy community. However, um, the Jennifer L Armentrout ah corporation group are not happy with them right now and when she explained all the things that had gone wrong besides us not having. Adequate air conditioning in the ballroom that I was signing in I don’t blame her for being unhappy. But maybe they’ll get it together because it’s otherwise ah a decent hotel for a convention I mean obviously lots of us have done it. So um. I keep meaning to tell dorinda unforgeting and mentioning here. One of the things about flying back and forth to a polyon was I flew on Delta which I have not in I don’t know probably 2 decades I have a memory of flying delta. Back when we still lived in Laramie it would have had to been pre 2007 and ah missing my connection in I think Memphis and having to stay overnight. And they did comp my hotel room but calling David and just crying because I was so frustrated I couldn’t get home. This is when I traveled all the time. Yeah, and he was like it’ll be all right? you know, but it was um I flew home in the morning and had to get all the way back up to laramie. And we were hosting a party that afternoon for my own fucking birthday and it worked out I got home. Everything came off fine but I was that was just a low point and I associated that with Delta which really it wasn’t delta’s fault. I remember a ticket agent being very kind to me because I was probably just incredibly stressed and exhausted and it was like I does want to go I always try to be nice to the ticket agents because it’s not their flip and fault right? So um, why was oh. Flying on Delta so I flew on delta for reasons. Um I had a here are the reasons I mean they’re not important, but it was because I had been going to go visit. Ah Kelly Robson in Toronto ah, last January and that was

18:06.54
jeffekennedy
Delta was where I could get a decent fly to Toronto was it a year ago january oh well and ended up having to cancel that trip because pandemic and I think it was January Twenty Twenty one so I had that flight credit and I wanted to make sure to use it before it expired so and and it was a good way to fly into Reagan which Hyatt crystal city is right next to Reagan airport and you guys flying you all flying delta was amazing. There was. Fantastic. The people were great. The planes were so clean I was saying this to Charlie and Megan last night and I was said I’m wondering why I’ve been messing around with american and southwest when Delta was so fabulous and not more expensive and and Megan is like yeah, it’s like their planes are skeezier. And it’s so true so they had the Tvs and the seatbacks and free entertainment and I was able to watch for free. The new Dr. Strange on the way there and on the way back everything everywhere all at once and um. And it’s interesting. How both of those movies are really playing with multiverse things and um, yeah, sort of fracturing of realities and so that was really cool to sort of put that in I I very much enjoyed both movies I thought. Both were excellent. Um, and then because I had a connection I to fly through Atlanta I also just watched some fun movies like on the flanking side of those but it was nice to be able to just sort of sit in my comfortable seat which. I felt like I had plenty of room and it was a cozy seat and I was not in the lap of the person next to me and you know they provided the headphones with the little Jack and just to be able to sit there and concentrate wholly on the movie. Um, yeah, both of them were really good. And I probably have more intelligent things to say about them. But I’m about out of time and I am going to go to writer coffee today. So so yeah, often think of if I have specific things to say about those movies but I find it very interesting that that’s where we are with storytelling is. Playing with the whole multiverse thing many different realities and more than one person has commented that we appear to have gotten stuck in a very bad timeline. Ah as we want to go back to the ah the 2016 branch.

20:52.19
jeffekennedy
And go into the timeline where Trump did not win that election and maybe things would have been very different these last six years. So um, on that note, let’s make the best of this timeline that we can I hope you all have a fabulous Thursday and I will talk to you all tomorrow. You all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – August 1, 2022

I’m back from Apollycon and giving my full review of the conference! Also discussing it in terms of cons that take advantage of authors, the importance of keeping in mind why authors invest in this, and more!




Transcript
00:01.16
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Well, that’s good. That’s my first at home cup of coffee in a number of days so I’m back home today is Monday August first and I returned home from Apollycon yesterday. And it was. It was truly a wonderful convention. It was fabulous. So I have lots to say about it. Um, ah quite a few take homeme messages I pretty much ah called Grace Draven bestie as I was leaving the airport and we talked my entire 1 hour drive home. Ah, like as I was leaving the parking garage I called her and she picked up right away and I was like want to hear the breakdown. so um so yeah nice to be home nice to be back. Ah, it’s good to go places. It was really productive conference but I’m also happy to be back in my garden and now for for several weeks couple weeks anyway, no like 3 almost 3 ah. So um, astute and dedicated listeners among you may be surprised that I am podcasting today because you may have remembered that I was supposed to have jury duty today but they called me on. Friday afternoon and said that I was no longer needed I’m still on call for jury duty through the end of August but um, that thing got canceled. So my theory is is that they like settled out of court on Friday they called me. Well. It’s maybe they settled out of court on Thursday day. Ah because they called me fairly early in the day eastern time on Friday organized of them huh I really appreciated that they called and let me know so early so that I didn’t have to ah truck down. To the courthouse. Um I would have had to be leaving about this time. So I got a day back which is good I did get writing done when I was on site but I didn’t get a lot done. Um.

02:44.34
jeffekennedy
I wanted to get my 2000 words a day on Thursday and Friday I did get 2000 words on Wednesday before I left so that was good but I ended up getting a little over 2000 between Thursday and Friday I got like um. Almost 600 on Thursday there were a lot of distractions on Thursday and I got in very late. So ah I slept in some and then got up and I was rooming with Jennifer Estep so we were chatting. And then we went for a walk and found the Starbucks and got back and sat in the lobby and did some writing and Jennifer is very good about um you know sitting quietly by but of course that’s what you get for sitting in the lobby you’re asking for it. So you know. Lots of distractions people talking and then agent Sarah arrived and she took me out to lunch so that was nice. We got to have a good conversation and um, yeah, and then on Friday I did a little better I got. Like 1488 on Friday ah Jennifer had panels to do and I did not so I walked to the Starbucks and did an hour of writing there and then another hour once I got back to the room and I was hoping to get those last 500 words, but it um it didn’t work out that way we were setting up tables. We went ate lunch things but that was pretty good for being on site. Um, and now I got today back an extra day. Which is good because um, the other thing that happened Friday was David’s movement disorders specialist called the office called reminding him his appointment this afternoon at two fifteen in Albuquerque and I was like did we know about this Ah I don’t think it was on the calendar anywhere. So I’m going up to talk to the nurse about that because it’s just fortunate that it worked out. Um, if I’d had jury duty still. Don’t know what we would I guess we would had to cancel and re schedule so things work out a lot of rain while I was gone the rain ga had over three inches in it when I got back.

05:29.53
jeffekennedy
We got some last night but I don’t think anything measurable I could go look. But um, it’s definitely good for breeding Mosquitoes If you’re on Video. You’ll see me whacking the Mosquitoes So I Even read um some notes on the airplane things that I was thinking about. On the back of my hotel bill which was actually quite reasonable I Really do have to hand it to a polycon. Um, if you’ve been listening to me for a long Time. You will have heard me talk about um. Conferences and other events I Guess that don’t pay authors and how it’s a problem. So.

06:22.97
jeffekennedy
Um, this is leading me into many other thoughts that would that’s the long pause. But so I heard a story while I was at Apollycon about um, another conference. That’s a writers conference actually I’m not going to tell that story here I’m sorry sorry to tantalize you um to fill in for those of you who have not been listening for a long time. Ah I had resolved some years ago to stop going to conferences that ask authors to pay. Ah, registration fee that is equivalent to or more than what the attendees pay and there are a lot that do that? Um, because basically they’re building their reader conference on the backs of authors wanting to get promo and. Um, our t had become a big offender that way. It’s bastard child story con is doing the same thing if not worse asking authors to pay a very high registration fee and then tosquito. Ah, and then to do all sorts of sponsorships in addition. Ah, there are other conferences where they would just like charge the authors substantially more than the reader attendees. And it was aggravating to me because you know basically you’re being their content and you are paying to be their content. Um I’ll be right back there. That’s better. Sorry. So anyway, a lot of that stuff grew up around the rise of self-pubishing where so many authors were willing to invest in promo which there’s nothing wrong with that. But. Especially some of the smaller cons and I went to a few of them and I paid my money and they tried to extract more money from me and I watched them go after authors. Um like Darynda who is very kind and has a hard time saying no. And who they saw as having lots of money and they would ask her to pay more and more and more which she did and which drove me crazy. Um, and now I know that some of them don’t like me because I got in the way of them.

09:09.63
jeffekennedy
Tapping money for a Darynda I’m happy to be mean that way. So. Sorry that that would like lead into a whole nother ramp. Um, but you know I feel like this this whole community that grew up around tapping authors for money. Um, in the name of readers. Getting to do things or um, these other industries that were growing fat off of it. Um, it was it was bad scene and worse some of these smaller cons like I went back to 3 years in a row and it was exactly the same people. And not only was it exactly the same readers it many of these were having fewer and fewer actual readers at them including Rt and more aspiring authors which it’s fabulous to have aspiring authors there. We love having aspiring authors involved. Ah. But when you are paying as an author to go to a conference in order to expand your reach to new readers then that’s ah you know, not necessarily a good thing. Yes, writers are readers too. But you really. What to reach the power of readers. Ah, and that’s that’s important to some of the things I want to say about why I found a polycon. Really excellent. There were a couple of problems I hope we’ll get to do a feedback form but um. The buy-in for a polyon is very inexpensive. It’s $150 for an author to have a table. There were 3 3 hour signings which was a lot. Um and we were tireded afterwards. Um this is sponsored by Jennifer L armintroub and Jennifer ended up I heard from other people that she skipped on Saturday skip lunch and skip dinner and she was still signing at Eight o’clock at night trying to get through her line. So I’ll be interested to know how she re-jiggers it for the future.

11:31.21
jeffekennedy
She’s gonna have to figure out um a way to to maintain her health and still give the fan service. So it’s a cheap buy-in you know, otherwise we pay our travel costs and hotel and food and so stuff. Which we would have to do for every other conference right? Um, so the investment’s inexpensive investing and having your books there your swag and so forth, but the apolykon readers the way that Jennifer set this up. Is Jennifer and her team and the apolllyon team were really great too. Like I said a couple of problems things I think were probably not entirely in their control. Ah some of this might be like first in-person event coming out of pandemic. But. This crowd of readers was so refined and so exactly wanting the kind of thing that I write um and that Jennifer writes and so forth some of the Ben Diagrams got a little you know tangential. But it was um, you know 2000 readers and I think something. Like 100 authors? Maybe I don’t think I know the exact number so the ratio was fantastic and these were power readers. These were the people who um. They were there to see their favorite authors and get signatures. But then they were also looking for new to me authors and they were um, ready to to spend money and they bought books like crazy I have never sold books at an event like this. Um, it was incredibly well worth it. Well worth my time and the best part is is I really reached so many readers who are like I said power readers. Love to read enthusiastic parts of the fandom and. Who had never heard of me and so this sort of brings in an interesting question because and you all have heard me if you listen for a while you’ve listened to me talk about the competing of and I say demands and that’s not right. Reward system may be goals of being a career author because there’s a lot of reasons to try to make your living as an author. Um and the first and foremost should be love of story I think if you don’t love to write if you don’t love story. Um, then.

14:09.38
jeffekennedy
It’s gonna be really hard for you because that’s what carries you through the hard times and there will be hard times. So If you’re not doing it because you love it reconsider but love of story then there are other reasons um making money. You know, keeping the lights on ah and and as with I think probably all human professions. There’s a sense that the more money you make the more successful you are and the more you can feel good about it. That’s not ah, a straight line. I Know some really amazing tret pubbed authors some I was talking with over this weekend were making very little money and we were kind of talking about why are they not making more money. The simple answer to that is that the trad traditional publishers. We’ll get away with paying authors. It’s really a mosquitoy morning. They’ll get away with ah paying authors as little as they possibly can and um, yeah, enough sad. But you know so there is making money as one thing. Um. And so reaching new readers is kind of of a double-pronged thing because you want to reach new readers because part of the whole point of writing a book Is you want people to read it. It connects that circuit between the creator and the consumer of the creation. Um. I’ve known writers who say well I write only for myself and I’m happy that way and it’s like oh well, great. But you know why? Why would you write something that no one will ever Read. It doesn’t make sense to me. That’s some part of the sure there’s that creative upwelling. But. Circuit is completed when somebody receives the creation and reacts to it but then also reaching more readers means more success more money enables you to do more things enables you to not worry about paying the mortgage. In some of our cases. But then there’s always the ego thing and the ego thing isn’t entirely bad. You know and I know I talk down Ego I talk about fighting ego and ego being a problem and ego can be a problem but Ego is also what. Gets you through the hard times. Um, believing in yourself believing in your work having that strong enough belief in yourself and in what you’re doing that you can I don’t want to say ignore the rejections.

16:55.62
jeffekennedy
But um, you know that sort of that idea of having a thick skin nobody really ever has a thick skin but especially as a creator you tend to have a thin and sensitive skin. But that ego is what will help bolster you so that. You can get through the rejections and the scathing reviews and the various slings and arrows of working in a creative industry so you have to have a healthy ego but not an overweening ego but at events like this ego can really come into play. Because of course you have someone like Jennifer L Armittrout who’s enormously successful and signing. You know as long as she could stay on her feet and so it’s easy to be that success. Although a bunch of us were like sitting around in the bar. We found this great back nook in the bar and we’re back there. Eating and drinking wine because we were all so exhausted after 9 hours of siing and and that was where we were hearing that Jennifer was down there still signing and it was eight o’clock at night and she was still signing and had people in line and they were restructuring the line and all of this. And we were all like you know it’s easy to envy Jennifer’s success and at the same time we were all so grateful that we were not still in that line. Um, so it’s great to do this fan. Service. There were other author authors there who were ticketed authors and. Grace and I had even discussed ahead of time like why were these the ticketed authors ah where they could predict who was going to have the really really along the lines and I was interested in how did they predict it and some of the fallout from that was. Is they they didn’t always predict well I don’t know if they had any authors who were ticketed that they predicted incorrectly but there were certainly other authors there that ended up with huge long lines that they had not predicted would um and those authors they. Actually did a great job as soon as they saw a huge long line forming and it happened with um Danielle Jensen’s table was like a couple up from mine I was right next to Jennifer Estep and almost immediately in that first signing this huge line started forming and it was snaking in front of our tables and I was thinking. Oh. This is going to suck because no one’s going to be able to see our tables because we’re going to have this line in front of us which happens at signings it does and you just have to be zen about it. Although you’re muttering to yourself. Oh this sucks? Um, but apolllykon people jumped on it I mean they were.

19:34.51
jeffekennedy
Within minutes they were there and they were laying the tape out on the floor and getting the line to snake so it didn’t block. Anyone’s table and I was super impressed by that and then they were handing out wristbands for people. Um, at the end of the line so that they could come back later when their number group was called so. You know so it was like well why didn’t they predict Daniel Jensen would have a long line because she’s certainly very popular. She’s blown up recently blown up I love that we use these terms. So um, what was my point I know I had 1 oh. That it’s easy to to succumb to the envy. Um and the proddings of ego and be like well well I just don your gentlemen have such a huge long line and I don’t um but I had steady flow. And it was really cool I had people showing up with like old copies of the mark of the tala or the pages of the mind which I did not have copies there with me. Um one person showed up like first thing Saturday morning she was like on a trajectory. And she came in she brought her whole stack of like all of the 12 kingdoms and the unchartered realm’s books and that was so cool and it was. It’s gratifying to to meet those people who have been reading you for a long time but I realized that. It’s slightly loud at the garbage trucks going by on the street if you’re hearing that but it’s um, for me I had so many readers coming to my table saying you’re a new to me author tell me about your books. And I realized that the authors with the huge long lines they weren’t reaching new readers necessarily maybe they got some but for me I reached so many new readers and that was like Jeffie this is the point this is why you’re here. Um. And so that was so productive for me with this with this convention. Um I will be back in April for the Twenty Twenty three one and it’ll be interesting to me to see how it goes will there be a certain point at which. Reading new readers taps out and as you’re a very successful author like you know Jennifer L Armentrout has this huge audience now. So maybe she doesn’t need to reach new readers. Although I know it’s something that Darynda thinks about all the time. Ah, but you know like for Danielle Jensen

22:20.21
jeffekennedy
Um, how do you do that balance between making sure that your fans get to see you but then also reaching new readers. It’s ah it’s an ongoing question right? But anyway great convention for this. Um. And I think it’s important to remember that there’s just like different circles of readers because Jennifer Estep like I said sitting next to me has this huge huge platform in urban fantasy and some in fantasy romance but she did not have a long enough line to be ticketed and I think at times was like well you know. It’s easy to just you know to feel a little sad about that. But I think it’s because this set of readership. We should keep track of how many mosquitoes did I kill during this podcast. Um that you know this readership was slightly different enough from her usual platform. She did have readers showing up with like all 19 elemental assassins books. But then she had other people wanting to know who she was and what she wrote so so you want that balance all right long podcast today. But that’s my cheese. That one just dive bomb straight for my nose. Um, that’s my assessment of Apollycon thumbs up I don’t know if you can still get on for 2023 but it’s worth a try right um. I’ll I’ll see if I can put the author interest form in the show notes just in case all right I hope that you all have a wonderful Monday and I will talk to tomorrow morning you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – July 25, 2022

I’m back from vacation, which gave me time with my head out of the book to think about some business stuff, so I’m sharing my New Plan for Social Media and promoting my backlist. Also: an RWA mystery!



 
Transcript
00:02.12
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. And my Hummingbird friend. Ah delicious. Today is Monday July twenty fifth I am back in the saddle at least temporarily. I am um refreshed from my vacation for the most part you all the joke about how you need a vacation to recover from your vacation but we had fun. It was lovely time. Enjoy it very much and um, it was good. Just to take a break from things but busy catching up as always and and I don’t know what all I have to say I didn’t make notes today. I’ve started using Tiktok a little bit I’ve been playing with it putting up little reels and a friend asked me if I was going to post a podcast to Tiktok and she said you know there’s mosquito buzzing around here. She said you know you can put up um up to 10 minutes now on Tiktok. She said are you thinking about doing that I’m like oh I’d have to confine the podcast at 10 minutes which I feel like I’d have to be succinct which let’s face it that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. It might be good for me to be more succinct but I don’t know. It comes back to my whole um measurement of like when the podcast becomes more of a pain to do than than a pleasure. so um so yeah I paused you so you wouldn’t have to watch me kill the mosquito. In case, any of you are tenderhearted enough to worry about the mosquitoes mosquitoes are the one thing that I don’t mind whacking. So let’s see um this week will be kind of funny because I am.

02:28.79
jeffekennedy
Hear podcasting today and tomorrow. Um Wednesday I fly to DC for Apollycon very interested to see how Apollycon goes I’m excited to see my friends that it’s starting to hit me that I’m going to see these people I haven’t seen. Since um, three years or before a lot of them. It was ah RWA convention in July 2019 I saw a funny thing David found this kind of bizarre movie from 1990 on Paramount plus called. The um, the boyfriend, the boyfriend something I think if you look for the boyfriend. You’ll find it um boyfriend test boyfriend experiment something like that. Um with Shelley long and Steve Gutenberg and ah oh Erin um she was in a lot of those late eighty s movies hang on – The Boyfriend School and it’s Jamie Gerrtz who was in Sixteen candles and the lost boys. Ah, so ah, what was funny is so the movie was originally released back then back in 1990 as Don’t Tell Her It’s Me and I’m sure I don’t think I ever saw it. Ah. It’s from the book called The Boyfriend School which apparently that title tested badly. But then when they re-released on Dvd they went ahead and went with that because apparently don’t tell her. It’s me was an even worse title which I think the boyfriend school is good title. Anyway, this movie got so panned so panned and um, we’re finding it funny ah I don’t know why people hated this movie so much but the interesting part I promise there is an interesting part see this is why I couldn’t do this in 10 minutes right admittedly might be a good idea. Just not going to happen. Ah Shelly long plays a romance author and while there are a few cringe worthy lines here and there for the most part. It’s ah, a solid defense of being a romance author. Ah, Jamie Gertz comes in as a journalist making disparaging comments ah about at this conference that says romance writers of America and it’s all of this There’s the banner that says romance writers of America.

05:11.24
jeffekennedy
And on one of the author table there tables there. There’s the Harlequin brand so I feel like the movie makers must have gotten permission to use this stuff but there’s nothing in the trivia I’m I’m going to have to do some research and find out was this an actual Rw a conference that this movie. Ah, filmed this scene at there are things that seem not Rw a that seem more like RT, but it could be that rwwe was like this in the late 80 s you know if the film came out in 1990 it could have been one of those conventions in the late eighty s. And maybe they were like that because they had like a male model walking around basically wearing a thong. Um, that was our tea but not Rw so I’m going to hit up some of my um older Rw a ladies and see what they say. Yeah I want to know what they think and then if if I find out that it was this may be what finally catapults me into logging into I am db and creating an identity just so I can upload that trivia and then I might have to go in and like. Counter some of these horrible reviews I think people trashed it largely because of the romance. Um I mean there’s I mean it’s not a brilliant movie but it’s certainly far better than than many and it has a promising romance. We didn’t finish watching but um. I mean just did to see how it goes but it’s funny seeing the ah r wa stuff in there. Oh and and Jamie Gertz comes in talking to Shelley long and doesn’t realize that Shelley long is interviewing her as a potential ah love interest for her brother Steve Gutenberg who is recovering from. Treatments for Hodgkin’s disease was always bald and puffy I think apparently this is this is sort of like how time moves. Ah I did read in the trivia that at the time Steve Gutenberg had played entirely suavet roles up until then. I like in 3 men and a baby and um I don’t remember what all, but and that this was the first time that he you know here, he’s being bold and puffy and kind of um, a recluse and unhappy and it’s funny because. I do not think of Steve Gutenberg as a suave guy. Um and I think that’s because later he leaned more into being pitiful loser guy.

07:52.66
jeffekennedy
So perhaps I’m more willing to accept that than audiences were at the time there was I also saw when I was trying to look up who that little girl is who plays Shelley Long’s daughter who’s like 3 ah. And actually does kind of a brilliant job of it. She’s this very solemn little girl who were apparently a pair of twins but um, ah, let’s see what led me down that path I was trying to remember when I was looking it up. Oh. I found like this l a times review of the movie that mentioned this little girl’s name Susan Lund I think she must have been. Someone’s daughter you know well of course she’s someone’s daughter. But. Not a professional actress I think this was the only thing she ever did and it was like you know like the costume designer’s daughter that kind of thing so the um but this scathing scathing review written by a woman which I’ve always feel like is telling um. Really slammed the romance aspects but then she also said um that they failed to take advantage of the beautiful Charleston location and I thought really that’s a criticism of the movie that they didn’t choose to show the. Pretty Charleston south carolina stuff but instead chose some of the more rural landscape anyway, I didn’t mean see this is why we can’t do 10 minutes of this because I just spent almost 10 minutes talking about this movie. Anyway, we’ll see if we if I can upload this to Instagram I’m I haven’t tried obviously in a week so I was giving you my schedule going to Apollycon Wednesday. Um, Thursday Friday maybe I’ll do some podcast interviews. Maybe not. It. It’ll be potluck. Maybe you’ll get lucky maybe having a podcast interview with somebody will be unlucky. You never know. Ah, um, and then I come back on Sunday and next Monday I have um, and dum dum dum jury duty magistrate court. They think it’ll only take one day but they summoned me at the beginning of summer and I’d said well I have travel and they came back which I thought was interesting and asked for.

10:31.46
jeffekennedy
Um, documentation of my travel dates like hotel stays and plane tickets and they had a nice um interface on the website where I could upload. Those documents so I sent them. You know here’s my travel schedule here’s my plane tickets and hotel stays and so then I got a notice that I have to appear on August first and I was like you all are correct I will be in town. So it’ll be interesting I’ve been called for jury duty before never in New Mexico but I’ve never served I always get dismissed. Ah I’m apparently not an ideal jury member probably because I think it would be interesting to do so um. You know, like no cell phones nothing like that. So I won’t be out of contact next monday try not to set the world on fire without me people. Um, and after that it should be a fairly normal ish schedule for a little while. Hoping to get back into making progress on shadow wizard I’ve been looking at the covers going through the cover iterations with my fabulous cover artist Robin and Suku I’ll just love this cover. Um, just love. Discover the the model she found for Jadren is um, it’s perfect. So so it was interesting I wrote on Monday and then I just decided I was kind of pondering it I think on. The podcast last week but um I just decide to take the rest of the week off writing I decided it would be more stressful than anything trying to get my word count in and it would have been so I did do some. Um, pondering on the drive thinking about just some business e things and so while I was there I did work on some business-y things I researched a couple of things. And one thing I’m going to do and this this feels like a big transition for me a milestone for me I realized that it is not for other people. But for me, it’s kind of a big deal.

13:15.22
jeffekennedy
Not many people know this. But I’m kind of a big deal. Love that line. Thank you Jim Sorenson for pointing it out to me from cheers. So I’m going to I think use SmarterQueue ah. SmarterQueue as in making a line ah to schedule social media posts and this is a transition for me because I have never used a scheduler I have um, always believed that social media should be. Authentic and in the moment and that I should engage directly hence this podcast.

14:06.34
jeffekennedy
Um, and I did like the I give scheduling. Um I’ve always thought that social media should not be like a billboard but I’m feeling like things have changed that there are. Aspects of all of the social media platforms that are like billboards that there’s room for both and I really need to get into promoting my backlist more Um, and so smarter queue will apparently allow me to. Ah, schedule on all the social media platforms and I can just put up evergreen posts to promote the backlist. Um and and that’s what I’m going to do so that that step’s just always out there because what I’m finding is. That my whole thing about posting in the moment and so forth that it creates this. Um sorry I just had an idea of something I want to do on Instagram but because i. I do the podcast in the morning I exercise do the podcast get this uploaded try not to look at social media as I upload it. Ah, don’t look at email write get my words in while my brain is still fresh. Then I come out and. Deal with email social media sif web business business of life. Ah that that is when I would like do other kinds of social media posting problems with this are it’s not necessarily the ideal time to post um and. I’m not necessarily full of bouncy social media energy at the end of the day and I was talking with I consulted a few other people that was part of what I was doing when I was you know like downtime at the resort when everybody else was sleeping off being in the casino all night um I got on some of my. Author groups and stuff and just ask people what they use and and and it’s a thing because people were like yeah you know end of the day I’m just not social media friendly and you know the world has changed It’s amazing to think about how how long it’s been. Um, we were talking about someone who I’m trying to think of how to phrase this we were talking about this gal and I said you know that person’s um, someone to keep an eye on because.

16:56.80
jeffekennedy
They had a big social media meltdown and I went to look up the links on it and it was 2009 2009 so thirteen years ago and so so so I added to it I said here’s what’s happened here’s what the person. You know, got into and I said um and it’s entirely possible that my memory is way too long. Um, because wow, but you know that is one of those things is that people don’t forget and I said I don’t believe that. People should be held accountable forever for a mistake like that. Ah, but this person did not handle the social media meltdown. Well um, threatening to call the Fbi on readers who had given their books bad reviews. You know it was like a little on the emotionally wonky side and I said you know it could be It was a bad time. A one time thing but just keep an eye on this person and you know it’s It’s been my hope my point and I do have one is that it has been a long time. Ah, you know when we first started using social media a lot I think I got on Twitter in 2009 um, Facebook might have been like 2007 and it was mostly promote my blog. So I think you know that is the thing is that we have to continue to roll with the times and um, so that’s going to be a big thing that I’m going to do. It’s smarter q you have to pay for but I’ve been thinking out paying for a publicist and instead I’m going to pay for this and I’m also going to set up. A blog tour for shadow wizard. Um, so that’ll be interesting. Oh and other news is rogue’s possession releases tomorrow. So how how could I forget. So so yeah, um, release day tomorrow and exciting changes for some of these business things I’m I’m excited to to implement these particular tools and see how this works for me. Um, one thing that’s going to have to happen with that smarter cue is it’s gonna there’s gonna be some ramp up right? I’m going to have to spend some time getting all of that stuff queed up as it were ah but otherwise I’m hoping to get.

19:47.00
jeffekennedy
I hope to get a full writing week this week I hope that’s not unreasonable. Um I’m glad I didn’t write last week now I need to get my head back in the book. Um I don’t leave to Wednesday afternoon so fingers crossed I should have three good writing days and then. Um, a polykon stuff doesn’t start till Thursday night. So I should have good writing time Thursday morning and then also um Friday morning I don’t have anything until that afternoon. So thinking good thoughts that I’m not distracted by other stuff should. Should work out so um, regardless I will be here in the garden tomorrow morning and it’s ah it’s nice to talk to you all again? Um I would say I missed you but it’s kind of weird because I don’t hear I mean I guess I get your comments and stuff. So. But yeah, it’s nice to be back on the podcast nice to be back in my garden if only for a few days and I will talk to you all tomorrow you all take care bye-bye.

First Cup of Coffee – June 7, 2022

Last week to preorder books for Apollycon! Also thoughts on author and reader platforms like Goodreads, free speech, “cancel culture,” reviews, and why saying I write “Epic Fantasy Romance” works best.




Transcript
00:00.72
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Delicious today is Tuesday June sixth and I meant to mention this yesterday and then sort of segued off into my various things about the wedding but one of the things that I’ve discovered about saying epic fantasy romance to people who especially to people who don’t know genres or. So genres is that it communicates better for whatever reason it comes closest to trans many what I do and I discovered this talking to so many people at Megan and Charlie’s wedding who I’d never met before. I had to learn so my new names and I kept getting them wrong I’d like get half of the couple right? you know I’d say things like Mary and Joe and they’re like you mean Mary and Andy like yes so I thought I did really well though I kept close. Um, anyway, you know people would ask me how do you know me again. I know Megan from the writing world. Yes I’m a writer which do I write and it’s funny when you say fantasy um people have a weird reaction when you say you write fantasy that and I’m talking to like John you know John q public. People who are not like part of the community reader or writer they go right to like erotic fantasy I don’t know why. But if you say if I say I write fantasy. They’ll be like they give they’ll like give me the eyebrow waggle and be like. What kind of fairness seek um in exactly that tone of voice too. Yeah, so and if you say write romance. Um, that’s just you know it’s not that I don’t want to own that I write romance. But. People tend to then dismiss it as nothing if I say I write fantasy romance. Um, it’s it’s almost like it doubles up but then it comes out like even more erotic or weird. But if I put the work. Epic in front if I say epic fantasy or epic fantasy romance then they don’t go to that weird. What kind of fantasy space and they actually find it kind of cool. So yeah.

05:39.40
jeffekennedy
Um.

05:49.12
jeffekennedy
Hummingbird! One thing about the transcript and and I you guys know that I really try very hard not to spend too much time editing the transcript because I can’t be spending my days editing transcripts. But it puts in a nun when it can’t pick out the word which it often does on the numbers. It’s like why are numbers so freaking hard for you. But I’ve learned to search for none. But if there’s a random none in there. That’s why, but if it can’t figure out what I’m saying little do none also but it. Picks out none on weird words like first who knows but it’ll attempt my name attempt my name and get it wrong every time but it still attempts it. A eyes. What can you do? It’s a little bit. Um, breezy here this morning we may get some clouds and some rain this afternoon cross your fingers I was talking with assistant Carien Transcript never gets her name right. I try to catch them all I really do I know I miss them. Ah and she said that it had finally dried out after more than a day of rain and I was like I would love a day of rain only we could like. Move things around to different parts of the world I feel like this should be within our technological grasp and it probably is. It’s probably just that there’s no money for it. Nice cool breeze so it got warm yesterday yesterday was our first hot date and we’re supposed to get up to 88 today so yeah, just blew something into my eye there. We go.

09:33.80
jeffekennedy
So um I did finish the revision yesterday and ah, woohoo, yeah I I did a long day I did 5 hours almost 5 hours let’s throw out some numbers to confuse the transcript so I ended up at 108,456 words all told long right easily. 10K words longer than what I had been hoping shooting for and oh I didn’t quite do this right yesterday. Let’s see if I can get the. I might not be able to get the calculation then yeah I haven’t have the formula set on the wrong cells there. So let’s see I did um 4.5 hrs of work. And started at 8 56 ended up at 3 22 there was that 1 hour break in between to talk with the gal about platforms author reader platforms. So it was a longish day but I wasn’t totally wasted either that or I’m like on. Reserves at this point I’ll be very interested to see how the out loud proof goes I have a fairly hard stop tomorrow. Um, because we are going to go get our second booster. Fourth covid shot at 5 so I have to send this off for formatting it by like a quarter to five, 4 30 probably but um Carien did send out ARCs or I told her she could send out the arcs of the finished book on corrected proofs. So if you get an ARC and you find any typos let me know don’t tell me after the book is published please or tell me don’t tell Amazon fortunately I do write pretty clean so I’m not I’m not too worried about it. Um, yeah, so getting those things done I’ve got the covers for covenant of thorns those are done pretty awesome and bought new isbns I got 100 of them.

15:07.62
jeffekennedy
For or no I got a hundred of them for $575 so $5.75 each um the transcript’s going to hate me so that was actually a pretty good deal. And now I’ll be set again for for quite a while. Um and now I have to pay for those 3 covers but hey I’m made of money right? reader I have not made of money. Ah, ah oh well. Um, at least it’s tax deductible right? Business expenses got to spend money to make money. And to to to to what else um front to do do to to I can sing you a song apologies for the earworm yesterday I was amused at how many of you did know that song and. We’re earwormed by it.

17:22.84
jeffekennedy
So I did have something else I was going to say what was it.

17:44.46
jeffekennedy
It’s just flown out of my head I was going to tell you a story about something… Pause. I know if I gave it a minute I would remember what it was I was gonna talk more about the platform thing. So this gal is a. Author and is looking to create something better than Goodreads. Um an platform for authors and readers to interact and you know I’ve been around long enough which is funny to me. That I have been around of that. It’s like you know that I could tell her about various iterations of this kind of thing that people have started and I told her that one of the ongoing problems with trying to create like the new social media website which people try to do all the time right? You know it’s. Oh we hate Facebook so we’re gonna create the new Facebook um, the reason why we all keep doing Facebook even though we all kind of hate Facebook I don’t know anybody who says I love Facebook um, but we do it because everybody’s there. And when you start a new interactive website with people. It’s the huge hump is to get people to go there because people won’t go there unless other people are there. And so you can’t get people to go there until other people are there and it’s it’s a catch 22 it’s a cycle of vicious cycle right? So you know I felt like I was tellinging her stuff that she already knew but she said it was helpful so I was like okay, um, and she wanted to. Wants to make a site and she probably is the technical know-how from what she told me and she’s got people interested and a business partner and all of that. Um, yeah, she she wants to make a place that’s friendly for both readers and authors and she spent. Time talking about how ah you know good reads is so awful and that nobody goes to good reads anymore and I’m not sure that’s true and I told her I said I didn’t think that was true. Um, but I also don’t feel like good reads is toxic like so many authors. Do. Um, yeah I I have never had a problem with with good reads I mean we’ve had to do some stuff stuff to adjust to stop ah people from trolling with like the one star reviews. But for the most part.

23:09.00
jeffekennedy
Um, you know I guess I just feel like there’s nothing wrong with readers having a place to say what they like about a book and and I brought this example up to her I said you know, certainly there have been many times when. I have read a book and sometimes I obliquely complain about it on here because I don’t want to out the author but there are times when I read something and I’m like what the fuck ah and I want to talk to somebody about that. It’s like somebody tell me why you know what what’s going on here. Why is this such a mass. Um. You know it’s it’s an emotional thing and you want to be able to share that with people and and she started talking about things like cancel culture which I just have a real problem with. People talking about cancel culture because I don’t believe that there is cancel culture I think that it’s people who don’t like being called out for stuff call it cancel culture. Um you know and then somebody is canceled as if this is some sort of irrevocable status. You can’t come back from? um, are people unfairly piled on on social media sure and can it be awful. Oh yeah, are people trolled sure but the term cancel culture is being used. It’s such a broad sweep these days and it’s. You know it’s like oh well, you know Harvey Weinstein was canceled and Bill Cosby was canceled and all of this and it’s like no, no no speaking out against people who do nasty shit is not cancel culture. That’s. That’s bringing stuff into the light that people don’t want brought into the light now you know is it different if it’s you know like somebody writes a book and you don’t like the way they did it well sure I mean that’s you know, certainly not the same degree. But people should still be able to have that conversation. Um, you know and and and and that’s that’s free speech and and it’s the thing that we we keep going around about with free speech that um. You know people feel like want to come back to this right that I can say whatever I want and and yes you do have that right? Um, people don’t have to listen to um and that’s where we draw the line and that’s that’s how we.

28:48.88
jeffekennedy
Create safe spaces is that we say we cannot stop you from. For example, using a racial slur sure it is your right to use a racial slur but we will not give you the platform then to to speak it from and. Um, sort of getting tangled up in this a little bit I think um readers getting really upset about an author and piling on and saying that they don’t like the way something was written. Yeah it affects someone’s livelihood and and that sucks. But. But isn’t that part of life and also you know if a whole lot of people are buying and reading a book and saying that they’re mad about it is that awful. Um I mean there’s shapes here. But anyway, that’s a little bit off of what I wanted to. Talk about which is you know she she was interested in creating a place that’s like positive for both readers and authors and which sounds good on the outset but I was pointing out to her I mean ask me the question and I’ll give you an honest answer right? I said you know. Those 2 things are not necessarily compatible because authors want and and I want it I want 5 stars all the time every time I want everyone to say my books are perfect and wonderful and for every single person on the world to buy them and read them and love them. That’s my ideal. Um, I know it’s not realistic, but sure that’s what I want I don’t want people to trash my books I don’t want people to to hate my books or to um, say that they’re stupid or something like that. So if you have a place where okay authors want readers to just. Celebrate their books and recommend them and everybody loves them and buys them great readers. Want to be able to figure out which books they’ll like to read and they want to be able to discuss the books both the good and the bad and. That’s not necessarily compatible with having you know authors be totally happy and I suspect that part of what she’s wanting to get at is you know like talking about oh well Goodreads is a toxic place because they they pile on and they rant about books and it’s like well. You know how are you going to create a place that is only making authors happy where the readers only come to to say nice things. It’s um, you know that’s just like a a fan group right? which.

34:30.88
jeffekennedy
Sure sure that could be fun, but um I know it was interesting because she was making me think she was asking me. You know, like how I interact with my readers hi readers. Um, you know and how. How I hear from you and I was saying you know like a lot of people comment on the podcast and or send me messages in various media and and I was sort of listing all the places and and excuse me. No I’m choked up. No that was choking on my coffee I said you know what. Some of you have asked me where should you comment or where should you send messages and I am perfectly fine with you doing it anywhere I I like hearing back from you guys. But I’ve also noticed and I and I said this to her that I think that you’ll like the early 2010 s we were so much on social media and there was so much commenting and replying and so forth and then you know like the 2016 election happened with all of the trash on social media and I think a lot of us just stop participating as heavily. And I don’t hear back from people as much and I don’t have any kind of quantitative measure of that but I sell more books than I did then so I don’t think that it’s that people aren’t reading the books I think that people just aren’t engaging via social media as much. And then also I used to interact with people at conferences I used to see all of you at conferences or various reader events and now I don’t anymore. Um, so it would be very interesting to re-experience that you know now that pandemic is over air quotes. Ah, to see you all at a polykon speaking of there’s only a week left to order if you want to preorder books I will have books there. But if you want to make sure that you get a copy of a print copy of something in particular, let me know and I will um. You can preorder it I’ll put the I think the link is on the show notes. But I’ll make sure to do it and I’ll advertise that this week. So um I think that’s everything. Yeah and I’m going to. Put that recipe for the low sugar blueberry pie that y’all were interested in I don’t know why I have to say that in a southern except I’m going to put that in the next newsletter too so if you haven’t signed up for the newsletter do that I never tell people to.

39:54.56
jeffekennedy
Sign up or I don’t do it as often as I should if I think we’ll get a newsletter out a dispatch um before that a polykon order deadline just to remind everyone all right? So um, I’m going to get. Going on this out loud proofing. Wish me luck right? I will talk to you all Thursday you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – April 25, 2022




Transcript
00:00.00
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:12.83
jeffekennedy
Ah, dreamy sigh for the deliciousness. Those of you acutely observant either on video or listening to the sounds of the chime will note that I’m back inside today. It’s a stormy morning here in Santa Fe not precipitation. Alas. But um, a cold wind blowing. Ah today is Monday April Twenty Fifth it’s the perfect date. Um, all you need is a light jacket. Ah, hopefully that’ll be us this afternoon you I’m sure all of you get that. Maybe not my mom but ah, you know what can you do. Ah I had a great weekend. Um, did get to get out in the garden hung up my hanging plants. You can’t see them on the video. It’s to glare e f. It’s not gonna happen. But. Yeah, got my hanging plants hung up just in time for them to be blasted by the cold wind. But I’m sure they’ll be fine. It’ll be fine. Everything is fine I got some other ones planted I put together a couple of hanging baskets of my own. We’ll see how they turn out. I did go out and check on them see if I could sit outside and I thought oh it’s not gonna be pleasant been scraping tumbleweeds out of the property. So Friday we got this wind that was. Unreal I mean they’ve been given us the high wind warnings by afternoon we had ah the alert go off on our phones saying warning us of dust storms that you know if we were traveling that the visibility could go down to 0 in like no time at all. We were having like seventy mile an hour seventy five mile and our gusts and the wind roared all night long it was it was something people so I’ll put a photo on the show notes. But the ah. Tumble weeds I was bitching about the tumbleweeds last week there they’re everywhere I had already cleaned up a bunch from like under the juniorni per out front and that kind of thing tons under there now but they had mounted up in front of our garage. You know like the old. Um I don’t know.

02:49.26
jeffekennedy
You know if you grew up reading Laura Ingalls Wilder like I did or that sort of thing but you you know instead of having snow piled up to the eaves of our house so that we have to dig our way out with tumbleweeds piled up in front of the garage and I had did like. Get out there and drag them out of the way just to get the car out of the garage. It was um and was something and on Saturday I saw some of the writer people Melinda Snodgrass did a plot break with us done at beastly books. And Melinda has lived here all her life I’ve just been here like 13 years but I asked Melinda because she lives not far from me just like we’re we’re both sort of in the same outskirts of Santa Fe area she’s a little bit more outskirty than I am. But I asked her I said knew the wind had to be bad at her house too and she was and she said it was the worst she’d ever experienced in all her time here. Good thing. There’s no such thing as global climate change right? Otherwise we’d be concerned. Ah, um. Total aside for those of you who you probably were not you probably were not worried about my laptop screen but it is gradually drying out it dried out someone I was in Tucson and there’s like only a couple little spots left. It’s mostly good now i’t been meaning to mention that. There’s like 1 that’s like right if I do this of your own video I could put it like right over my face and then it looks like I have some sort of skin condition. But if I don’t do that. It’s sort of like the ah the thing with the doctor you know it’s like you know, stop doing that it hurts when I do this. Then don’t do that. Ah, so um, yeah, been cleaning out tumbleweeds I told David that for the first time really ever I understand now why people want to burn stuff because. There’s like what can you do with all of these tumbleweeds except set them free again. I wish the ha would hire like a big wood chipper and put it in the community parking lot and so that we could just haul all our tumbleweeds there chop them up. That’s it’s so tempting to set a match to the fuckers.

05:24.61
jeffekennedy
Except then we would be we would have big problems but I understand now why people want to do it? Um, yeah, so so had a great time. Got I was pretty efficient on Saturday got the laundry done got some chores done around the house. And then in some nebula meeting stuff and then headed out in the afternoon and ran a few errands and then met up with the writer folks for the plot break talked to Grace Draven on the phone for a while and that was really nice to get to talk to her. She had so some good news career wise so that’s nice because she’s been having a hard time with dealing with family stuff. So it’s funny when we have these conversations we our conversations are this mix of personal family and career. But it was nice to get to have a ah long conversation with her and yeah and just debate stuff. You know we were we? Um, we rubb her neck on other authors and and judge them. Ah quietly to each other. Um, but it’s always interesting to look at what other people are doing and do it it helps reaffirm our own guidelines for what we’re trying to do and 1 conclusion I came to I’ve been sort of mulling 1 question. And I’m trying to think of how to phrase this because I don’t want to to give you guys the exact details. But ultimately I came around to well I don’t know why my writing is perceived this way and someone else’s writing is perceived that way. And then I kind of circled around on it and said but you know why am I even thinking about this because even if I could figure it out. It’s not like I’m going to change what I’m doing and and I come back to this over and over again and I’ve even got this little. Well I’ve got it stuck on here pretty well on my monitor but it’s a Georgia O’Keeffe quote and she says if you can believe in what you are and keep to your line that is the most one can do in with life and I really do believe that. Ah, you know it’s. Tempting tempting when you look at maybe something else being ah more widely regarded you know more popular selling better um, having a better reputation that you think oh should I should I be trying to do something more like that.

08:16.57
jeffekennedy
And of course there’s always the drive to improve to to grow and to do better and are those things in line with each other or are they going in different directions and what I ended up circling around to on this was. I’m not going to try to write like somebody else does even if I could I couldn’t do that all I can do is believe in what my what I am and keep to my line and I think that’s that’s.

08:53.36
jeffekennedy
That’s just part of you have to grow and develop in your own way but you can’t be someone else and we were ah looking at another author who is trying very very hard to look like somebody else and and. And she’s not the only one it’s tempting. You know everybody wants to be as hugely successful as some of the big authors some of the big popular authors right now and but imitating them isn’t gonna get. Anywhere something that I don’t do and it may be effective marketing. It probably is effective marketing grace and I were acknowledging that it probably is and at the same time we will just hate it is when people have perfect for fans of. Sarah J Maas and that’s always like the same 3 authors you know, perfect for fans of these books and it’s like well ah, what maybe it’s perfect for fans of your books guys. Ah I ah, um, shake my cane at you can I shake I’ll shake my ah. Permission wand here shaking the permission wand ah Scott the same as shaking a cane. But um, yeah, be yourself right? like you if. If you want to do a cover that’s more in line with the subgenre now I just did this rebranding for sorceress moons books they’ll start releasing on Friday I am’m trying a new a few new marketing things on those I’m gonna put them in kindle unlimited ah but I want to signal to readers that I think these books fit in that genre but I am not going to tell you that you know perfect for fans of throne of glass. You know first of all, okay, Mea Culpa I’m going to say it right out here. Um I hate a throne of glass I tried to read it. I read about half of it and nearly threw it against the wall because I found it insipid and stupid I know a lot of people. Love it. I’m sorry yeah and and it’s one of those ones that like people say oh well, it gets better after the next book and it’s like yeah I’m not gonna spend any more of my life reading about this. Girl who’s supposed to be an assassin. she’s supposed to be a trained assassin and she’s like the stupidest assassin on the face of the earth who never does actual assassin things there. There’s my unpopular opinion and I know a lot of people. Love it.

11:40.60
jeffekennedy
And it’s a great premise. It was a really wonderful premise and I I read it. You know as part of genre research. Ah there are other books are wildly popular that I think are abysmally stupid and I never ever ever. I shouldn’t say never ever ever. But I I feel like at this moment I can say with confidence that I’m not going to compare my books to those because I don’t I think I write better books on that. Yes or not as popular, but so anyway it’s it’s back to that same thing. And I know I talk about this a lot. But um, don’t try to write like somebody don’t try to make your book be a clone of somebody else’s so anyway, it was fun talking Grace always grounding for me. Do that with her and I’ve got I cleaned off my desk I had like all this crap you know how it like slowly grows I like a really clean desk so I’m very happy that my desk is now clean, but I’ve got a couple of stickies. So I’m gonna throw this one in here. Um, I thought I was gonna talk more about it. But I was you know last week or the week before I talked about generation x stuff. So I think maybe this is a Genx thing. But when I see on a I don’t know any of these social media sites. When I’m trying to find something or look at something in particular and they have the thing like look at what’s trending it’s like is it just me that I am automatically suspicious of anything that’s trending this is not a feature for me. It’s a bug It’s like if it’s trending I don’t want to know about it because. That’s like mass mind shit I’m I’m in a feisty mood this morning aren’t I I mean when you guys see stuff that’s trending do you go to magpie to it I know that’s what they want us to do I think this is like a gen x thing Megan tell me sit since we are. Fellow Gen Xes um so then my other sticky note I was well I want to finish what I was saying about melynda. Um, she’s so smart and it’s really fun to hang out with her and for those of you not familiar with Melinda Snodgrass um she has written. You know she wrote for star trek the next generation she was the show run showrunner for the third season she wrote the episode the measure of a man where they did the trial for whether or not data was human I think is was the question.

14:28.80
jeffekennedy
Um, she’s also written on other shows the profiler ah stuff like that. She’s writing on a new show. It was fun because after we did the plot break stuff which I’d like to go and listen to that’s how I got into this I was explaining to grace. That I don’t go to get my own work critique because I have feelings about that. But I like meeting with this group because I really like hearing how melynda approaches plotting she has such a different approach to it than I do so this is part of how I want to learn and grow because. I may not be able to do it like she does I’m tempted to try it with one of my upcoming books to have her do plot break with me and just see if I can do it but 1 of her things is is she she has to know the ending she wants to know the ending so that she can figure out everything. Leading up to that and she’s very firm in her opinions and which I adore about her. But I think is funny sometimes too because sometimes I just totally don’t agree with her. Um, but she puts things with such conviction I I admire that. Ah. But she’s like you have to know the ending otherwise you never end anything and it’s like I finish stuff all the time. Ah, but I never know the ending till I get there but there is one book that I do kind of that I’m one of my upcoming projects for the fall I do kind of know the ending of it. And I’m going to get her to ah maybe do plot break with me on it. We’ll see. We’ll see what happens it maybe I don’t know I might drive us both crazy. Yeah, we’ll find out but um, yeah so I was telling grace how interesting it is. Just to go through that mental process and it was very stimulating for me refilling the well and and now I have all of these ideas of things that I want to do and and she’s funny I may never get around to my sticky note here because I have other things to say. I did ask her a question because 1 of my upcoming projects is very much inspired by a particular movie and and I love her that she didn’t ask me what it was I said basically it’s an alternate fantasy world version of of a big movie. And she well she did say well if it’s Casablanca and I said it’s not Casablanca ah they all love casab blanca. It’s like the perfect moving perfect story. Ah they were going on about it at the Jack Williamson lecture ship too and I guess at tous toolbox they have a casa blanca viewing night.

17:10.47
jeffekennedy
Where people um are forced to watch it and then they analyze why it works so well I know I saw it a long time ago when I was younger and I keep thinking she watch it again. But I don’t I don’t know maybe I’d appreciate it better this time anyway. Um. Yeah, I’m clearly never going to get to the stick keynote so it’s just gonna have to live on my desk today. Um I asked her is it. You know this is what I want to do I said if you were going to do this if you knew not me would you. Try to plot the book according to the exact beats of the movie or would you just allow that beat to be the inspiration and and get away from the movie and she kind of cocked her head at me in a funny way and she’s like I would even take the movie of course she said that’s. That’s how you do good work is you find the right template and you use it. So I’ve never done this before but I’m I’m intrigued so I have these 2 potential projects that I could try to plot break with her and I would find very interesting to. Know just try stretch myself a little bit that way I’m having all these stretchy feelings as those of you who have been participating in the podcast for a long time having coffee with me for some time now. Um. That you know like I’m wanting to go into multiple povs which I know should not be as big a deal as it feels to me but it does and I think it’s it’s breaking out of that romance structure is what feels like such a big deal. Um. And I kind of want to do that for the next bonds of magic book once I finish this one? Um I found out interesting things about the book that I’m writing I’m enjoying that and let’s see oh but I know that there’s something I’m supposed to tell you guys. Also. Have to go look at my um to do list because I know I noted it on there something I’m supposed to publicize as a responsible author. Oh yeah, um I have I’m going to start putting the link in the show notes. But I do have a. List of ah but bla for the polyon convention in July I have a preorder link and it’s only it’s a good to like the first week of June or something like that. But if you want to preorder print books for me to have their.

19:56.50
jeffekennedy
For you to purchase and sign and so forth. You can do that and I’ve been meaning to say things about it but I need to put it out there a little bit more um and then sorceres moons rebranding. Coming the end of this week exciting. Yeah so um, there’s my 20 minutes further stickies tomorrow I hope you all had a great weekend to hope you are feeling. Like stretching and growing in all the most positive ways and I hope that April Twenty fifth is indeed the perfect date for you and I will talk to you all tomorrow take care bye bye.

A Year Ahead with Jeffe

This week at the SFF Seven we’re taking a look at the future! We’re asking: “What does your writing life look like for the upcoming year?” That includes book releases, WIP’s, retreats, cons, signings, etc.
I just had my annual planning call with my agent, Sarah Younger at NYLA, yesterday and my year ahead is looking pretty damn busy!
Book Releases
First release of 2022 is the audiobook of DARK WIZARD, Book #1 in Bonds of Magic. This is Baby’s First Self-Published Audiobook (TM) and I couldn’t be more delighted about it! Book #2, BRIGHT FAMILIAR, and Book #3, GREY MAGIC, will also be releasing in audiobook this year, probably in March for both. Whee!
Next up is GREY MAGIC, the current WIP, slated to be out February 28. After that, the long awaited finale, THE STORM PRINCESS AND THE RAVEN KING, Book #4 in Heirs of Magic, will be out in April (I hope!)
Those are my only slated releases at this point, but there’s lots more coming!
WIP’s
Does it count as a WIP if it’s out on submission? I have one of those out.
I’m going to finish a science fantasy I started two years ago. Super excited to get that out!
I may be doing a ghostwriting project 😀
I’d like to begin a new trilogy in the Bonds of Magic world.
I have a new shiny idea that I’d love to write, that Sarah is excited about too!
If this sounds like more than one person can humanly write, it probably is. Ever in motion is the future!
Retreats
I don’t do retreats because I do my best writing at home.
Cons
I’ll be attending SFWA’s Nebula Conference in May!
Also the Jack Williamson Lectureship in April, Apollycon in July, maybe ChiCon in September and possibly World Fantasy Con in November.
Signings, etc.
Dependent on in-person events – cross our fingers!!

       

I’ll Be Signing at ApollyCon!

Yes, it’s a year from now, but isn’t it exciting to be planning for a super fun event in the future???

Personally, I can’t wait to see all of my wonderful friends who’ll be attending. The event has a spectacular lineup of authors that you can see here. Tickets go on sale September 22 and you can find more information here. I understand tickets go fast so be ready to clicky clicky!