The One Thing an Author Must Do to Expand their Platform


GREY MAGIC is out in audiobook! All three Bonds of Magic books are now live on Audible for your glomming pleasure!

This week at the SFF Seven, we’re offering tips for expanding your author platform.

“Platform” is one of those words I’m not terribly fond of, seeing as how it comes from the world of sales and legal wrangling. If you do a bit of digging (but please don’t go down that rabbit hole!) you’ll find that the term arose in the early 90s, along with the advent and burgeoning of the internet, and originally applied to nonfiction works and proposals. (Jane Friedman has a great write-up on it here.) Nowadays it seems like the term gets thrown about by all sorts of agent, editor, and marketing types in seeking the ideal author for them to make money off of.
(Note: there’s nothing wrong with trad-publishing folks making money off of authors. That’s the business model and it can work for everyone involved. I just feel that the ‘must have a great platform’ folks are more interested in the generating moolah side of things than, you know, books.)
Anyway, as Jane succinctly defines it, an author platform is an ability to sell books because of who you are or who you can reach.
So… not all of us, right? Most authors of fiction sell books because of our voice and the stories we write, not who we are. However! What we write is what reaches people, so who we can reach is within reasonable grasp for a writer of fiction.
Are you ready for this? The great secret??

Write more books!

Or short stories. Or create games or draw comics. Whatever medium is floating your creative boat at the moment, do more of that!
I know, I know – the answer is always the same. But that’s because this is the very best advice out there. The most effective marketing for any author is to create more. The more stuff you have out there, the more people you can reach.
Seriously, over the years I’ve seen SO MANY AUTHORS get sucked into focusing on flogging a single work or series to the exclusion of all other efforts. Sure, it can be easy to get focused on wanting a particular work to succeed, and yes, marketing can feel like a clearer path, with lots of vultures vendors out there waiting to take your money with glowing promises of high sales. Writing more stuff is hard.
But creating stuff is why you got into the gig in the first place, yes? So go do it, my friend.

First Cup of Coffee – May 13, 2022

Good morning, Everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.


Today is-say it with me boys and girls and other-Friday woohoo and it is Friday May thirteenth Friday the thirteenth it’s a magical time. Magical day and this weekend is a full moon and a full lunar Eclipse. So. It’s a great time to put new things into motion. Ah launch new dreams tie off old stuff take advantage of that element of chaos. To make a turnabout in your life. It’s like the midpoint of the story speaking of which I have completed the revision so far of the ah. Storm princess and the Raven King I’ve got something like 76000 words on it. So in the neighborhood of 20 to 25000 to go to lay down in the next week or 2 really to. Plus a little bit of time to revise those last one hundred pages or so is about what it works out to um, wonder if that’s exactly right? Well wallpark little bit less than 100 pages. Yeah, because it’s the last 25% I passed the act 2 climax and yeah, it’s now racing towards the end I hope.

Ah, so um, so yeah I think I’m feeling pretty good about it and that I’ll do my out loud proofing and see how that works I might just sit out here in the grape arbor and read aloud to myself that’ll be entertaining I wonder how long it’ll take I’m planning on spending like. 2 really intense days doing that. Do we think that’s enough maybe I’ll work long days I won’t limit myself to my 3 hours so um right now I’m feeling good about it I have to. I do have to do 3000 words a day to get that done so we’ll see where I am by the end of next week right? And next weekend’s nebula conference. So for nebula conference if you have not. Registered consider it. It’s gonna be an amazing conference The programming is really good I’m really pleased with how it’s come out. It is um, yeah, it’s it’s gonna be great hundred and fifty dollars all online come and join us lots of opportunities to chat and so forth. We also have the sub what auction going on and you can bed on a coffee clutch with me ah come and chat I’ll answer questions talk to you about whatever. Um, and thank you in particular to Meghan Ciana Doidge for giving me some. Talking me out of my tree yesterday with the comment on Instagram I appreciate that Meghan I I was really freaking about trying to get 10 titles up but Meghan gave me some some wise perspective on it doing the rapid release on the fantasy romances and then just. Maybe doing the rest on ah you know, just getting them out there for glomming I did ask the question is do we think people glom wide as much as they do on k you and maybe the answers. Yes. For a while Sorcerous Moons was doing really well on k u or at least well for me. But now it’s dropped off again which means I should probably advertise it right? or do some sort of promotion I also need to port over.

Reviews from the old set. But um, yeah, so and and Grace was just Grace and Jennifer Estep both gave. Ah they were not as comforting as Meghan was but um, they’re a little bit more tough love with me. Because they were just like get those books and get them up. Get them up and get them earning Jeffe they were immune to my whining about having to pay for cover costs but Grace had good insight where she said you know, get Ravven to do the covers. For the 3 fantasy rodent ances for covenant of Thorn’s and and Megan pointed out that I really should get those up now because Fae romance is so big right now and then I make change I wonder if I have to change the bcc on those. Have to look at them I know that I can’t use the harlequin copyright anymore or Carina copy you know, logo or anything like I’d want to and I can’t use the covers but I have to look into whether I even want to use if I can use the bcc that they have back cover copy. Um, even if I wanted to do I want to? We don’t know I have to look it this I haven’t looked at these books in forever. Um, Meghan suggested that I could do well revens making a cover for the first book. That I could hire someone to do a line edit of that thick first book to fix whatever is bothering me well you know these have all been professionally edited by really you know that was deb nemo who is a great editor I thought what I would want to change is some of the content and I am considering. Deleting a single scene except I went to write her coffee yesterday and had a wonderful breakfast with ah Jack and Jim my writer buddies Jim Sorensen and J. Barton Mitchell um Jack’s doing that great podcast, Derelict. The story podcast I should link to it. It would be nice of me. It’s I I’ve listened to the first episode. Um, you know I don’t listen to podcasts which I find very ironic since I do this podcast? Alas, so um. A waffley. Oh so Jack and Jim had good insights on it because Jim in particular because he pointed out. He said if you take out that scene. There are going to be people like him who.

Will inevitably go back to the original to try to figure out which scene was deleted so I’m only calling attention to it I don’t think he has a legit point there because I would do that too. Ah and then. Jim also made the point that I have to weigh if I’m really thinking about fixing this book. You know is my time better spent is it worth more and sneeze. He said is my time worth more. Minute for minute hour by hour spent fixing this old book or writing a new one to which the answer is obvious my friends. So so I don’t know I don’t know what I’m going to do. But the good news on the covers is Ravvenjust talked to me the other day and because I have a cover a month slot with her for the rest of the year and I’ve been planning to have her do the. Cover for the standalone of familiar winter magic but I think what I’m going to do is hold off on that because if you guys want to read it. You could still read it and fire of the frost and I’m going to have her due for may June and July the 3 covers for covenant of thornness. And then um, my one concern was is I’m going to try to come out with that bonds of magic book number 4 as yet untitled and I’m hoping to have that out by the end of August and my slot with her is the latter half of may. So I was like oh would we be doing the cover the you know the end of August but then I couldn’t do rapid release and all this you know so I was like trying to juggle this and serendipitously enough. My slot is in the early part of August and she said her August is really booked so she might try to move it up anyway. So I’m just going to get her the information for all for those covers and we’ll do bing bang boom and I’ll be forking out a bunch of money. The other thing that’s going on is I mean the good news is good news bad news great news is grey magic is now available on audiobook whoo so that whole series is available on acx the weird and annoying news is that like book 2 bright familiar. They have put grey magic in erotica.

Which it’s not erotica I mean it’s that’s hot. It’s sexy. So this is something else I’m going to have to address because I asked them to take bright familiar after erotica and they did not first book is not in erotica so I’m sure that like the Ai tags certain words or something like that i. Doubt that a person’s listening and doing that unless I’m wrong if any of you know how this acx categorization thing works let me know. But I think I’m going to have to like get a person and argue with them about it but I need to do a little research I need to see like where the you know where are they putting. Like Jennifer Armmentrout an Sarah J Maas you know, like where’s book 2 of acotar if that’s not an erotica then my book shouldn’t be an erotica It’s not that I’ve been ding against erotica of course. But since I have written erotica. But it’s um, ah I don’t think that’s what these books are and I’m afraid it’ll mislead people mislead listeners. Um, maybe if I take it out of acx and go wide which I will do. After gray magic has been in there for ninety days but um now that’s irritating. So um, so those things are going on. Doesn’t seem like I have a lot going on it feels that way I mean I guess it’s all good things champagne problems right? Um, yeah, so there was 1 other piece of news I was going to give you guys but I don’t know what it was now. I don’t know. Yeah well for those of you who follow me on like Facebook or Twitter did put up yesterday. Ah, my new chinese proverb where and many people asked me about it. Ah. Mary Robinette commented on my Twitter saying oh no and this raises questions. So it’s like okay yeah, because I said she who puts ice cubes in her pocket will receive a unhappy unpleasant surprise something like that. So why did I put ice cubes in my pocket. It was my jacket pocket I was wearing ah my sifwa jacket actually and so the deal is and I think longtime podcast listeners will remember that I was going through this thing of.

How do you keep an orchid alive because I have my trader Joe’s orchid you know like don’t we all have a trader Joe’s orchid at 1 point in our lives or several because we can’t keep the fucking things alive right? And so it’s a challenge. How do you keep your orchids alive and and it’s one. Those ironies because they’re like $5 at trader joe’s so you know it’s like not, it’s not a monetary thing but it’s like this gardening challenge I have not been able to keep the orchids alive but I recently learned you know because everybody’s like well you have to water them just as the small amount or the roots rot and all this. So I discovered somebody told me the the miracle trick is you water them with the ice cubes. So you just put ice cubes in the pot with the orchid and like once a week or whatever twice a week and the way the ice cubes melt it. Feeds the water to the roots at a rate where they can absorb it without rotting and apparently the cold is also good for encouraging a rebloom. So my trader joe’s orchid I have kept alive and it rebloomed um and I think i. Post pictures I was very excited and and the blooms have lasted It’s very happy orchid. So what I do is I don’t have a super regular schedule on watering it. But um, the way our icemakerer works is sometimes does everybody have a fridge icemaker. For those of you who have french icemakers maybe ours is substandard but sometimes it spews ice cubes on the floor. So when ice cubes spew on the floor I take them and I put them in the orchid. Yeah, it’s recycling right? The conservation of water and all of these things. So. Yesterday I was getting another glass of water and I had several things to carry back to my office and there were ice cubes that had spewed onto the floor and I didn’t have enough hands to carry the ice cubes and all my things and it’s not like I’m going to make 2 trips. So I stuck dicekeeps in my pocket because I thought well it’s it’s just from here to there right? you know walk from the kitchen to my office. It’s not far I could have made 2 trips but you know let’s let’s not get crazy here. So inevitably I forgot. By the time I got to my office that I had the ice cubes in my pocket which is a neurophysiological thing have I mentioned that to you guys recently I know I’ve talked about it before but there are legit studies that have shown that our brains respond to us passing through.

Portals or gateways and when we go from one room to another. We do an automatic wipe of recent short-term memory. It’s a way of clearing the trash out of our brains because it’s it’s kind of um, it’s a survival thing right. It’s like our brains know that when we go from the kitchen to the office or we go from 1 place to another that we don’t need to retain all of the information about the place we were just in so it does like this little cleansing wipe. So that we can absorb information about the new space that we have moved into it’s it’s protective right? You want to be not thinking about the old space but ready to react to danger in the new space or opportunities in the new space. This is why? Um, we all joke about it and some people worry about it. But this is why very often when you go to get something in the next room you forget why you were there. You forget what you were going for. Ah what you have to do the trick around this. Is like if you decide if you’re in the kitchen and you decide you want to get a pad of paper from your office is just keep thinking about that pad of paper as you pass through the doorway it totally works you guys I do this all the time but I had not been thinking about the ice cubes. As I moved into the next room so there I was in my office and I was working and there was cold drippiness on my leg and I was like why? Ah why is there cold wet water on my leg and I was like ah. Ice cubes. Alas, so um, so yeah I see I feel like things are working out things are positioning. Um. Maybe you hear from agent Sarah on some opportunities and yeah, oh I guess I didn’t finish saying what? Grace’s advice was on the other books on the contemporary bdsm books was she suggested just doing very simple covers for those. And I think that’s probably a really great idea and she even is encouraging me to make my own covers which I never do. But I’m really going to have to go look at the contempt media samorotic stuff. So who’s writing at it anymore.

And if anyone knows who’s who are the hot writers I just have not been paying attention. But I’m going to have to go renew some friendships there and find out like the best way to put those books up and see what kind of covers people are doing I’ve been immersed in the fantasy romance stuff for so long that I’m really just out of touch. So yeah, Jack and Jim were riffing on like what kind of simple covers I could do they were like black with a pair of Handcuffs I think they were terribly amused so I may do something like that and just get those up. As to your suggestion Meghan on you know, just having Ravven do all those covers. She won’t do the the contemporary erotic stuff that’s not her stick so she’s she would say no I won’t even bother to ask. But I do have other. Cover artists I could ask to do it I could ask the gal who did the sorcerous moons covers. Um, ah I’m going to be paying so much money for covers. Maybe I will try to do them myself. Grace who refers to herself as Mrs Krabbs is big into saving money and doing. Tiy so I don’t know maybe I’ll use book brush to make the covers see if I feel creative. But for this weekend. It’s gonna be a lot of gardening I think maybe some book cover creation. Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and ah. That you get to do all the things you want to do. We’re supposed to have beautiful weather. No wind I’m going to be outside twenty four seven I got to sit outside last night and have um a brandy and read my book at the fire table and it was so nice. Deb the wind not blowing had the. Windows open all night ah such a relief so you all take care I hope it’s a magical weekend for you and I will talk to you tomorrow? Oh no, not tomorrow. What am I saying I see that’s that tape recording I just went into auto mode I will talk to you on Monday. You all take care bye-bye.

Three Things I Did to Sustain a Full-time Writing Career

The audiobook of BRIGHT FAMILIAR is now available! And GREY MAGIC in audio will be out very soon!!

This week at the SFF Seven our topic is: Being a full-time writer – is it your dream? How do you pay for life and write, too?

In this instance we’re defining “full-time writer” as someone who doesn’t have a day job or other paying occupation that competes with writing. Most of us – unless we marry money or inherit a trust fund – continue to work jobs even after our first books are published. Sometimes for a LONG time after that. For myself, I continued to have essentially two careers for just over twenty years after my first publication.

I worked in environmental consulting while all the while carving out time and energy to write. I kept waiting for my writing income to match my day-job salary – even not figuring in benefits! – and it never got there. Eventually life made the decision for me: my primary project got axed, our team dissolved, and I was laid off with decent severance.

And I made the decision to try to have only one career at that point.

It hasn’t been easy! KAK’s post from yesterday about being exacting with a budget is super important.

This is especially true if, like her, you have only yourself to count on for income. Or if, like me, you are the primary breadwinner for your family. When authors give advice on managing finances as a full-time writer, it behooves you to pay attention to what other financial help they have. It might not be a trust fund, but having a spouse with a steady salary (and benefits!) goes a long way. Other authors live on retirement income or other, similar sources.

So, how have I done it?

1) Meticulous budgeting.

As much as I can, I budget a quarter at a time. Writing income is volatile and, unless you’re making buckets of it, you can’t count on being able to pay the bills with income from a single month as you can with a regular paycheck. As KAK mentions, you can’t figure your disposable income by simply subtracting your expenses from that month’s income. You may need that “leftover” money for next month, or the month after. The financial gymnastics require creativity and flexibility.

2) Tracking sales

Data is everything! You can’t afford to be only a dreamy creative. You have to wear your business hat and crunch the data from your royalty reports. You have to be ready to be stern with yourself and pay attention to which efforts generate income and which don’t. You may find you can’t afford those passion projects if your writing is what puts food on the table. OR, that you can afford them only if other projects are paying the bills.

3) Self-Publishing

If writing income is volatile, then income from traditional publishing has the lowest evaporation temperature. It comes, it goes – often on an annual or semi-annual basis. Quarterly is likely the most frequently you’ll get paid, and every royalty check is a surprise! Again, unless they’re cutting you BIG checks, it likely won’t be enough to live on. This is why so many trad-pubbed authors also teach or have other side gigs. Self-publishing provides monthly income. Yes, it fluctuates, but you can also track sales and predict how much money will arrive in two months. Taking the surprise out of the equation helps immensely! You’re also not subject to the whims of traditional publishing on a number of levels.

Those are three practices that have helped me manage a career as a full-time writing with essentially no other income. The other, quite obvious step, would be to make buckets of money and never have to think about budgeting again.

Maybe someday!

First Cup of Coffee – April 12, 2022

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

Ah, excellent today is Tuesday April Twelfth for 122022 and it’s um, I’m looking at my thermometer. And it’s actually showing 51° out there which means I could be going outside I don’t know why I’m like not moving out to the grape arbor. The the wind is cold I think that’s part of it. Ah, but there we are.

Ah so um, update on the ah laptop screen Watermark I’m sure you’re all on tenterhooks to know. But I think it’s decreasing ah if I wanted to risk it I would trace an outline. That would be the scientific thing to do but trace an outline so I could see if the borders are actually moving but I’m not willing to risk it because I don’t want to mess up my touchsc screenen so I’m just excuse me. But. Don’t know what that was a little bit of frogginess. But um yeah it’s um I think it’s I think it’s different today I think it’s the borders are receding and I think there’s more open patches in the middle. So. Cross our fingers that maybe I didn’t fuck it up forever if you don’t know what I’m talking about you have to listen to yesterday’s podcast and get the whole story of Jeffe’s carelessness although this is it’s not nearly as bad as it could have been so I’m telling my blessings. Actually today is a counting blessings kind of day. It feels like a good day. Um, saw bobcat this morning young female. Do these bobcats have this sense to them that they seem to me like they’re smiling. You know she comes. I saw her as I was lifting weights, saw her out the bedroom window and called David and we watched her come around and she drank from the fountain and and she glances up now and then and kind of has this look on her face like it’s a great world. It’s a beautiful morning I swear she’s smiling at guys. And um I was ah dancing around to Taylor Swift’s I Think He Knows really love that song. There are a lot of songs on lover that I really like and I almost feel like we like lover kind of got a little bit lost in the wash. Maybe that’s just me. But um, what year did that come out 2018? Yeah, that’s why it was 2019 August of 2019 so we only got to enjoy enjoy it for I mean I guess it was a good six months before pandemic kicked in but I don’t know it seems like a lot of that stuff that happened at the end of Twenty Nineteen kind of got um, kind of smooged out like that’s totally a word and I’m not even gonna fix it on the transcript by what came immediately after and the.

Stress and trials of that I’ve been going through the programming stuff for SFWA’s nebula conference and there are a lot of panel suggestions on creating well being under stress. It’s like. I wonder why this topic is on people’s minds ha and I won’t go into another rant on Brandon Sanderson but seeing how many writers wonderful writers out. There are suggesting. Topics like that just reinforces for me that someone being flip about making a joke about people not being able to create during the pandemic is just that much more annoying.

And if you don’t know what I’m talking about you would have to go find that podcast because I’m not going to renew my rant I have other things to rant about. Thank you? Ah, but no I’m feeling good today I’m dancing around seeing the bobcats feeling pretty good. Um, feeling like I’ve a lot to do. But theoretically it’s doable. Theoretically um, let’s see so oh I wanted to talk a little bit more I even made notes sticky notes. Yeah, to collect my thoughts collecting um I need like one of those waynes world moments blue do pu it’s not a flashback. It’s me collecting my thoughts. So. I talked quite a bit yesterday about um about the Jack Williamson lectureship and how much fun it was one of the things that I don’t think I really touched on I sort of did tangentially. But I wanted to come back to it to talk about what makes panels at conferences. Really fun for for the participants for the writers I think that it’s um, there is something indescribably wonderful. About being able to have conversations with other writers in a way that we don’t on our own so this is something for all of you readers or aspiring writers out there for when you go to conferences and you feel like. You you don’t want to ask the stupid question you know and people always excuse it. You know they’re like oh well can I ask a stupid question and and I really do strongly believe there’s no such thing as a stupid question I think that’s just people being snotty who say that there are. Because how do you get your question answered unless you ask it and and yes I have known people who are like you should go out and do the research yourself and they totally make that face and they use that voice. You should go out and do the research yourself and. Discover the answer to the question my idrate which like do you even know how they found out they like happened to stumble upon it. We did get a question at 1 of the panels somebody asking us about research and what was our you know did we prefer to ask people or.

You know Google or look stuff up and I was totally on the side of I want to ask people because you know until we get better ai the human brain is able to drill down to answer exactly the thing that you want and dorendda was talking about. Um. Doing research for her sunshine books and you know like talking to sheriffs and they would say well this is how it would go down and she’s like yeah yeah, yeah, but I can’t have it go down that way because it won’t work with the story I want it to do this How can how can I make it do this and still be kind of close to real life That’s what you need people for um, asking questions of other people is a wonderful way to get information and especially when you have the opportunity to ask other creators or ask authors you admire or what have you. To answer a question that you might have you know that’s wonderful and and it prompts us to think about things in ways that we don’t normally think about you forget what people don’t know first of all and. The conversations that we have just listening to how other writers answer the same question is I don’t even know I don’t have the words. Ah, it’s um, transcendent is that too strong of a word. It’s just really so stimulating and it refills the well and it just makes me feel good and there I so I’m just gonna come down on this full stop. You guys doing a panel in a room full of. Living breathing human beings with other living breathing human beings is just a thousand times better than the online panels. Um, and I know I’ve complained about this before but you know doing those online panels. Where you’re just looking at the other panelists and you don’t have any sense of the audience at all, you can’t see who’s asking questions. You don’t have that that energy in the room. It’s a real thing you guys if we have learned nothing else from this whole Zoomtastrophe there I Coined the word. It’s probably a terrible word. It won’t last stop trying to make fetch happen if we learned to anything from this whole Zoomtastrophe. It’s that that Zoom interaction doesn’t um replace human interaction.

So I just wanted to emphasize that how great it is if you were putting together a conference if you’re attending a conference being on a panel with other writers who have interesting things to say is um is the best. it’s awesome and it’s it’s always been. From the very beginning of my writing career. 1 of my favorite things and it continues to be 1 of my favorite things. There is something about that about that conversation about having observing how other people make things happen. That is endlessly fascinating David and I have been watching. Let me get the exact title. So it’s called winning time the rise of the lakers dynasty and I will link to it in the show notes. It’s on Hbo Max which is I think funny. It’s like the only Hbo there is now but like they had Hbo and then they added Hbo Max and I don’t know if I was like not the only one who was really pissed that they wanted me to pay for 2 channels but they merged them so it’s called Hbo Max now but it’s um, Hbo right so it’s um a series on Hbo Max sorry I already told you that and it’s ah about. Exactly what the title says it takes place in like starting in 79 I think with the purchase of the lakequors by a businessman I’d never heard of but who used to live in Kemmerer Wyoming of all places um, played by John C Riley who’s amazing Jason Segel is in it and it’s about how they sort of I so much stuff I didn’t know even though I lived through this era about like that and Mba best ball was not bringing in the money. It wasn’t popular. They I don’t know if I can even discre. You know they’re talking about Magic Johnson’s in it and Kareem Abdul Jabbar and they’re just talking about how they transformed this money pit into a moneymaking enterprise. And the creativity that went into it and I think that’s the kind of thing. It’s a good show for us because David likes basketball stuff. It’s very witty. That’s really cleverly done a lot of good people working on it like Jonah Hill

Say I could tell you like some of the John C Riley well he’s a star store I knows gent Jonah Hill Adam Mckay is like 1 of the directors some of these other names I don’t know people more savvy than I might. But it’s um, they’re they’re delving into the racism of the era in really interesting entertaining ways the development of I didn’t realize that the lakers were the one to create the whole. Um. The lakers girls the the sexy dancing girls as cheerleaders. it’s it’s just fabulous you guys and it’s I think endlessly inspiring to see how people do things how people created things and overcome things. And that comes back to listening to people talk on the panels and talk about one of my favorite questions to ask other authors is to talk about a time when they had to reinvent themselves because everybody has had it. It’s a treasure rich question because. Every single creator out there has had to reinvent andvent themselves and reinvent their career at some point and hearing what happened and why they had to do it. It’s um, really just ah so enriching stimulating. But. So this is I’m I’m sort of bouncing all over the place this morning dancing right? I won’t sing tempting though. It may be 1 of the gals I got to know at the lectureship is. Mary Ayala who is the Dean of arts and sciences at Eastern New Mexico University and she sat right by us at dinner that first night and she is um you know like my age Darynda’s age and. Super smart I mean obviously she has to be in order to be dean of a college and we just had a lot of fun talking and then the next day I saw her and she she stopped. We were walking from like 1 building to another and she was coming towards us and she stopped. Was walking with Dorinda and she stopped us and she said I just wanted to tell you guys how much fun I had talking to you last night. She said it was just like a breath of fresh air I think this is how we all felt that was just like we could finally take in some fresh air and talk to people. We didn’t already know.

In person. Ah and she was just she said I just feel so I woke up this morning just feeling tons lighter and feeling excited about things again and she even decided at that point she had been headed somewhere else. And she said you know what? I’m just gonna run this errand later I’m gonna come sit with you guys and talk some more It’s just delightful. So I know I’m sort of going in circles here. But I think we can’t underestimate the the stimulation that that kind of thing provides us and what. We can learn from other people and from what they’ve struggled to create and do so and I know I had another oh I also finished watching last night severance you guys been watching severance this is on Apple um. So yeah, it’s on Apple Tv and if you um, if you couldn’t watch Ted Lasso mother then you can’t watch this but I don’t know that you and would like it anyway, it’s dark. It’s very dark and unsettling. In fact, we watched I don’t know 1 or 2 episodes and David bailed on it because he said this is kind of depressing. He’s more sensitive to depressing stuff these days and I was like yeah it is kind of depressing but it was also fucking fascinating. It’s Adam Scott and directed by Ben Stiller of all people then Ben Stiller who is like coming back to dark in his old age David was telling me that Ben Stiller when he was in like film school. Ah. Got kicked out of class for writing a screenplay that the professor said was so unsettling that they wouldn’t show it to anyone so now like maybe he’s sort of coming into his own. This is also cool, right? You know where people are in their careers and you kind of get to that fucket point of your career sorry I should have like warned people that this is the 4 letter. Word episode but it’s on Rand here at first cup of coffee right? You reach this point in your career where you just want to do the stuff you want to do and and and you don’t care if anybody else thinks that you should be doing it or wanting you to go back to doing zoolander or whatever. Ah. So severance. The premise is that people have a chip embedded in their brains that divides their memory so that when they’re out living their lives. They don’t know what their work is.

And then when they go to work they ride in an elevator and this circuit they make it be like little sounds which they then use to really good effect later for disconnects with reality. But then it clicks out and it blocks out all their memories of who they are outside that place. And they are only awake and alert in their office world so that it’s it’s the ultimate work life separation right? and which is how it’s built. But then it’s it’s creepy because the people who live inside the office building. Who only have their lives as workers they that’s all they have right? They don’t know anything else and this affects them profoundly and so the the final episode of the first season came out last week and i. Wasn’t able to watch it because I was out of town but I watched it last night and David was cooking dinner and we sort of have that open plan open to the kitchen there at the pass crew and he was like why do they keep playing that really ominous creepy music. And I’m like because there are ominous and fucking creepy things happening. Um I was I did not expect the revelations in that final episode I knew that there were going to be questions answered and i. Of course not all not all completely answered. There is a season 2 but you know there’s a lot of times with shows like this where they set out with this premise that creates a lot of mystery and paradox and you really want to know the answers. And then by the end they fail to satisfy that it’s like they. They’re really good at setting up the question but not so good at the answer and this final episode was just amazing. Ah yeah, so we could talk about severance. So let’s see. Um I think I’ll call that good I’m thinking about setting up a Discord channel for conversations where we can have like spoiler conversations about books and stuff maybe through a Patreon or something let me know what you think about that and let’s see. Will talk to you all I’m flying out of town on Thursday but not till later in the morning. So yeah I think I’ll talk to you all on Thursday you all take care bye bye.

Grey Magic, Dark Wizard, and Storm Princesses – Oh My!

This week at the SFF Seven we’re sharing newsletter info and promoting work. For those feeling hesitant to promote their books during this terrible time, I’ll remind you – as I’ve been reminded – that art brings us joy and books open minds. When we’re dealing with close-minded bigots, hatred, and war, we need stories more than ever. We provide the counterbalance. Please share about your books, because the world needs them.

So: Promo from me! Book Three in my Bonds of Magic seriesGREY MAGIC, released on Monday!!


This series is The Witcher meets The Selection.

His Darkness, Her Brightness… Together They Defy the World

Lord Gabriel Phel at last holds his dream in his grasp—and faces losing everything. He’s finally won the love of his wife, familiar, and mother of his child, and she offers him a heartfelt commitment he can truly believe in. Together they’re building a true house, one with a growing family of friends and allies that can help them stand against their enemies. And he’s learning to master his magic, to use it as the powerful tool and weapon it should be. But old and new enemies array themselves to take it all away.

Lady Veronica, now fully of House Phel, is doing her best to embrace happiness. After all, she has her hands full managing her mercurial and powerful wizard as he navigates taking his place as the head of their house, and with learning her own extraordinary ability. But she fears whatever peace they win won’t last long. When their enemies inevitably strike—including, perhaps, her own father—they must be ready to defend all they hold precious. It doesn’t help that her idealistic husband insists on making foolishly noble decisions that put them at even greater risk, nor that she loves him all the more for it.

As Nic and Gabriel struggle to put their household in order, giving ill-advised safe harbor to Nic’s runaway sister and risking their lives to save Gabriel’s sister’s sanity, their enemies draw the noose tighter on their well laid plans. When the unthinkable occurs, it’s up to both of them to trust in the nascent, unknown magic they’ve woven together.


If you’re into audiobooks, you can listen to the first in this series, DARK WIZARD. Books 2 & 3 will be out on audio soon! Comment on this post and I’ll pick one person to receive a promo code (US only, not my fault) for a free copy of the DARK WIZARD audiobook!

Finally, if you follow me, you’ll know that I canceled the preorder for THE STORM PRINCESS AND THE RAVEN KING, Book Four in the Heirs of Magic series. Several things came together to force me to cancel, alas. BUT, this neatly segues into our main topic, the newsletter! Subscribe to my newsletter for news on when this book will release. There are also regular yummy giveaways.


DARK WIZARD Available in Audio!

DARK WIZARD is now available in audiobook format! BRIGHT FAMILIAR and GREY MAGIC will also be in audio soon!

“A delicious performance of a captivating story

With her signature world-building mastery, Jeffe Kennedy has once again delivered a deeply compelling romantic fantasy. The characters are dimensional, complex and endearing. You have to keep listening, longer than you intended to, to find out if Nic and Gabriel can manage to not only find love and power, but to retain their very humanity in a world engineered to deny it to them. Everything about this story is refreshingly original, brilliantly conceived and beautifully rendered. I really can’t wait for the next entry in this series.

I also have to confess that I now have a huge crush on Deborah Balm. Her voice is like a big mug of hot, dark chocolate, with maybe some spiced rum mixed in. I could listen to her read the phone book for hours and be happy. She portrays the wide spectrum of characters, moods, and… activities, with engaging grace and charm. I will be looking for more of her work, as well.”

In The Witcher meets The Selection


She ran from him… but couldn’t escape her heart.

Lord Gabriel Phel wants one thing: to rebuild the shattered fortunes of his people and restore his ruined house to its former station in the Convocation’s highest tiers of elegant society. Fortunately, through a wild chance of birth, he was born with powerful wizard magic, the first in his family in generations. If he can obtain a familiar to amplify his magic, a highborn daughter he can marry, to be mother to his children, he’ll be that much closer to saving his family. With her by his side, he can ascend to such a position of power in  the Convocation that he can destroy it forever.

Lady Veronica Elal, captive in her tower, has only one way out. To her bitter disappointment, she will never be a wizard. Instead, through a twist of fate, and despite her expensive Convocation Academy education, Nic is doomed to be a familiar like her mother. Forced to participate in the Betrothal Trials, she receives a wizard suitor for one night each month. Whichever man impregnates her will bond her to them forever. With no choice but to serve the one who wins her, Nic has one hope for control over her life: a wizard she can manipulate.

Gabriel Phel seems like the perfect choice for Nic’s gambit—he’s desperate and untutored in wizardry—but within moments of meeting him, she feels the bonds of magic tying them together. Afraid of losing her will to the compelling wizard who touches her heart like no other, Nic does the unthinkable: she runs. Pregnant and alone, Nic eludes monstrous hunters, searching for a safe haven. But when Gabriel catches up to her, their adventure has only begun.