First Cup of Coffee – June 21, 2022

How traditional publishing handles covers, the importance of the first book in a series, and how trad sometimes punts (or fumbles) on that second cover. Also thoughts on my new reading catnip.




Transcript
00:00.41
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:27.70
jeffekennedy
Ah, today is Tuesday June Twenty first and summer Solstice Longest day of the year we’ve actually already pivoted happened at 3 thirteen this morning my time and it’s a good thing. We don’t observe things by the solar calendar here you ever wonder how they managed to pull it off and like the united kingdom right? Um, it’s cloudy here today. Very overcast. We’re supposed to get more rain which is incredibly welcome. So rain rain rain!

02:01.63
jeffekennedy
And the garden is looking lovely makes me happy I have a ah guy coming by at any time now supposed to stop in between this certain window. To give me an estimate on hauling away a whole bunch of our brush remember I posted those pictures of like our all the tumbleweeds because our monsoons were so robust last year and we had so much growth and then such terrible winds this spring and we’ve got this brush just piled up everywhere. So he’s going to come by and give me an estimate on hauling it off also exciting. Um, and it’s musing because his name is hay-SOOS which is a very common hispanic name especially in this region but it is spelled like Jesus. And so I’ve had it on my calendar and it’s somewhat disconcerting to have Jesus on your calendar I almost um, tweeted about it I had a very pithy tweet about having Jesus on my calendar and then I thought should I? But is that a good idea and my policy is is if it occurs to me that tweeting or Facebooking something may not be a good idea I default to not.

04:58.30
jeffekennedy
So um, yeah, getting back in my groove I was clearly tired from the traveling and what all because yesterday afternoon I just hit tired. Um. Even hit tired before that after the second hour of writing I laid down to put my feet up because I work on the walking desk and so I occasionally like during our breaks I’ll elevate my feet get the blood going the other direction so I had my book in my hand and. Put my feet up on the you know sort of the futon couch in our bedroom and fell asleep I was late coming back I was like I was sorry gurnda I totally fell asleep and then by late afternoon I was just fighting sleep. And I considered going and taking a nap then but it was already 4 and I thought ah do I really want to take a nap at like 4 and it’s still wanted to take 1 at like 5 so I read for a while in the grape arbor the pergola under the pergola and I think maybe this is a pergola but then when you put grapes on it. It becomes the grape arbor does that seem like a reasonable definition. So I read for a while then I watched an episode of ob b one. But only watched the first episode I think david didn’t love. Love love it and he was he was sleeping because he had had a bad night the night before and hadn’t slept much so I watched ob one and I’m liking it. Um. I’m not gaga for it I have thoughts about that I’ll talk about that in a moment. Um, but then by like seven thirty I was just still feeling like I needed to sleep so I ended up starting to get ready for bed. You know, picking things up and that kind of thing and I was asleep by 8:30 people and slept until six thirty so clearly I needed it I was kind of thinking about the thing about shows because we talk about them so much. Um. My ah couple friends had recommended watching ob b one saying that they thought I’d like it and I do It’s not that I don’t like it. But I think part of it is because I don’t watch all that much tv overall I prefer to read right? you know? and so i’m.

10:37.85
jeffekennedy
Get very absorbed in the books I’m reading. In fact, I’m not sure if I mentioned I probably didn’t since this is partly over me being gone but you know I’ve been doing this whole series reread of this author who I’d liked for so very long. Um and had fallen off and. Didn’t ever get around to her spinoff seriess or not off to um, more than like a couple of them that I wasn’t wild by but then later she did some series with spinoff characters where she did the same. Ah, female male lead for 3 books and I’m discovering that this is my catnip. This is my sweet spot to have that same relationship for 3 books which is why I am considering doing that for. I have to figure out at like what point does considering become the plan I am considering doing this for the next books in the bonds of magic world I mentioned that book one is being called shadow wizard. Which I think is pretty well set. And yeah I want to do 3 books with Judgeron and Cellie and then I want to do another trilogy with somebody else I don’t know if I should say yeah because it could change right. That’s the other thing. Oh he Zeus might be here I will be back now. It was someone doing something over at my neighbors. Um, also apparently all way brush tis the season. So. So yeah, that’s some I’m discovering I really love that especially in something like epic fantasy romance or urban fantasy which is what the books I’m reading are and it’s um, yeah, where you have a lot of. External arc where you have a lot of action lot of things going on being able to have that romance that’s developed over the course of a trilogy is ah yeah, just my catnip these days and it’s what I want to read? It’s what I want to write.

15:35.73
jeffekennedy
So that’s why a couple of you did comment social media to me about the am I really talking about nine books in the bonds of magic world and yes, reader. I am ah I think it was Laura Darnell asked if I’m going to do these straight through or if I’m going to interweave them with other books I wish I was doing them straight through I really do. But I do have other things to write. It’s one. Things about when you have a relationship with an agent that you kind of have to accommodate that relationship. So unless she’s selling books for me, she doesn’t make money and we also kind of have to keep my name out there and so forth. So they. Secret projects secret projects. There are 2. One is totally brand new. It’s this idea that has been a twinkle in my eye I think these guys are stuck I have to go look again? Sorry okay so I think what happened is they were not going to my neighbors. It looks like they. Are delivering trees which is great season to plant them with the monsoons and I think they came around the corner a little too fast and went to the borrow ditch and they had to get the ah truck on the borrow ditch. You know he slipped a slidey with the mud people here aren’t used to it. So anyway, ah, what was I saying I shouldn’t let myself get distracted. So yeah, reading oh the new projects. So yeah, this one has been a twinkle in my eye since early in the year and Sarah is interested in that story. And then the other one is one that I’ve talked about before which is the science fantasy that I wrote like 50 pages of and we went out on submission and came this close now. These guys are roaring off again. Glad this is not my brush guy because these guys are um, not on top of it. It was oscars tree service not my lord and savior Jesus. But I can hear their engine roaring. They’re just like ah they were running around like ants around the truck. Ah always exciting around here. So anyway, um, yeah, so the other ones the science fantasy we came this close I thought I was going to sell it.

21:07.55
jeffekennedy
To Tor I mean the the editorial director at Tor said that she fucking loved this book. But it was too close to something else that they had like sold and marketed like a decade before this is how tribe publishing works. So anyway, um. I had mentioned in our beginning of your planning call to agent Sarah that I was planning to finish writing that book and self- publishlish it because I do love it and she said well since it has been since fall of 2019 my how time flies. Ah. If I’m going to go ahead and write the whole book. Anyway, would I let her take it on submission one more time because the publishing houses have completely turned over It’s you know by the time we got it out there. Well at this rate who knows when I’ll have it written but you know could be spring of 2023 and that’s coming up on 4 years so we’ll see um I need to talk to her about which book she would like to see first but I’m going to write shadow wizard then write one of those books and then um and then go to town on renegades of magic. Which is what I’m calling this trilogy but back to the trilogy that I’m reading ah I had read this I read all the way through all of this authors currently published works and it was a great reading binge I enjoyed it and those. The last trilogy she did I really feel like she just knocked it out of the park I just loved it and now I’m in the peculiar position of do I recommend it without ah tipping all of you off to who I’ve been reading all this time. Because I know I bitched about stuff in the earlier books. But I love this trilogy I love this trilogy so much that I turned around and reread it which is unusual for me part of it was because I finished that third book and I was going to be flying the next day and I wanted stuff to read on the airplane I wanted something that I knew would satisfy me get me through the airports and I wasn’t ready to leave it behind. So now I’m almost done rereading the third book and then I swear I will move on with my life and read something else. But. Wow are these books good? um it. It just hit my sweet spot. So um I don’t know what I’m gonna read next I’m supposed to read something for I’ve I’ve couple things that I’m supposed to read to blurb and so I need to start doing that.

26:49.65
jeffekennedy
Work that into my schedule see if I can. Um yeah I was thinking about a syndrome I was gonna just sort of tip you guys off to this. This is a part of my personal theory of how the world works. But. I think it’s correct because I would not harbor an incorrect theory. You guys. So one thing about traditional publishing is that they will really invest in the cover of the first book of a series. Um, did. They just have this whole mindset of promoting that irst book which can be a useful mindset I mean there there is a lot to be said for having control of the none um I just get over having control of that none book in the series. Because that’s the entree. Um like I was mentioning yesterday with covenant of thorns with my re-release of those books I looked at the math. It’s 3 times I have 3 times as many preorders for book one as I do for all 3 and you know so some people are giving me that vote of confidence of yes. I’m absolutely going to read all 3 but you know the other 2 thirds of readers I think this is probably a pretty reliable statistic will preorder book one and see how they like it and and I would totally do the same thing so and Amazon has a really cool deal. Where and I love this actually that when you buy the first book and then decide to buy the rest of the series. They’ll give you that series price less the book you already own. So there’s really no penalty to waiting. So you know that first book is the entree traditional publishers have that much correct. What they what they do that is really frustrating is that they will then punt on the cover of the second book. I’m trying to feel what this is behind me I could see it on the screen. Okay, it’s it was just that um fragment of that vase that I have back there for some reason it was looking dark and lurking. Don’t mind me while I get distracted. So part of why I’m thinking about this is that I don’t know what it is about the second book but they kind of they must have this make or break and I don’t have the inside knowledge on this but I’ve observed it happen where.

32:27.37
jeffekennedy
If the first book doesn’t hit some kind of watermark for them then they slap a cheap crappy cover on the second book which I can’t even um, it’s they did it to me on 12 kingdoms. The the mark of the tala has a really great intriguing cover. It’s not my ideal cover. It looks a little too YA they made me change the title of that book because it was originally called the middle princess. They made me change the title because I felt like the title was too YA which fair enough. Ah, but then they slapped a really YA cover on it and as one of my stalwart readers Mary Lynn Nielsen I don’t know if you listen to this podcast mentioned she was going through and compiling books by women fantasy writers. She was really interested that Kensington called those books fantasy. They didn’t package them as fantasy. So some of that is confusion within the house I don’t even know. But for the second book for The Tears of the Rose that cover wasn’t nearly as good. It’s um, there are a lot of crappy things about it and they gave me 0 consultation. They handed me that cover. They said here you go um I think it was even posted before I saw it and I was terribly disappointed because it’s um. If you go look at them. it’s just um it’s a dumb cover. It doesn’t look like it doesn’t look like anything um and it’s not as well done as not as well executed as the first cover. The third cover is much better and I did get. Input into that cover. So I I’m not exactly sure what happens there if they like do books one and two too rapidly and like that second cover is like okay, let’s do the same kind of thing. But as I said I’m thinking about this because I have a friend who had self-published some books and then decided to um where we don’t talk much anymore from long history. There. So I don’t know why she made the decision but she went with this small press. Publish the books for her and I know she was at least social media excited on it right? You know talk to up a good game. Really happy to have someone else publish and market these books for her yada yada they gave her a really cool cover for that first book and you know it’s like great.

38:02.65
jeffekennedy
And and this is totally legit I am not um, you know whatever people decide to do you know having somebody else package of market. Your books can be huge if you don’t want to spend the time doing it and you know if you’re hoping to break into other markets. So forth so they give her a gorgeous cover for that first book. And then just the other day I saw the cover for the second book and it’s nothing like the first book. It’s not nearly as good and it’s like what they did to me on these that’s like they just phone in that second cover and and I tend to think it’s when. That first book doesn’t sell at the numbers that they want it to so um, the mark of the talla is still still selling strong. In fact I just got this renewal of rights the other day. It’s it’s selling consistently. Um, you know my first agency. Sends me checks and she sends me little congratulations with it because it’s like still making money and I know a lot of people still pick up those books still love those books. Um I I would love to get the rights back for those books and I just think it ain’t gonna happen because they sell too well. But. I wish I could because the the other option folks is if they so well enough that they decide to put new covers on them so we could hope for that because um I while I’m fine with the first and third covers. Um I would love a new cover for tears of the rose. So let. You know that Hbo mini series when they decide to recover to match the series aesthetic. Let’s do that all right? I’m gonna go get to work today and hope you all have a wonderful midsummer day. Um. Perhaps a midsummer night’s dream tonight and I will talk to you all on Thursday you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – May 13, 2022




Transcript
00:00.71
jeffekennedy
Good morning, Everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:32.70
jeffekennedy
Delicious.

00:45.25
jeffekennedy
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.

04:13.77
jeffekennedy
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.

09:44.13
jeffekennedy
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.

15:22.10
jeffekennedy
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.

20:56.65
jeffekennedy
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.

26:16.79
jeffekennedy
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.

31:55.96
jeffekennedy
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.

37:23.59
jeffekennedy
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.

First Cup of Coffee – April 29, 2022




Transcript
00:00.60
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:15.25
jeffekennedy
I need that kick today today is – say it with me – friday!

00:27.59
jeffekennedy
Ah, ah, April Twenty ninth for all intents and purposes. Not for all intensive purposes which is how some students hear it the end of April I mean we get tomorrow. But. If today is actually your Friday and your last work day of the week that’s pretty much sand of april.

00:56.79
jeffekennedy
Um, so amazing huh First third of 2022 over has it been fast for you or slow. Um a lot of people. It seems like been having. You know, not a great year so far even though things are better. You know we’re opening up from pandemic and everything um people still coping coping with all the things right? So let’s see. Things are good here. We have a little bit of haze from the fires a little bit of smoke haze and very cold tumbling wind this morning I tried to go out to the grape arbor and it was um, yeah too too chilly too. Um. With the high walls around the garden. It’s usually more protected but not this morning so I am being a weeny and being inside.

02:10.24
jeffekennedy
I’m trying to think of what do I have to tell you I think I’m a little tired today I kind of hit tired yesterday afternoon I’ve hit 10000 words for the week that the guy should turn this off. Okay, um, um, it. 67500 on this book and yeah I’ve done over 10000 words this week a little bit more 11000 if you count a couple of blog. Posty type things that I’ve done. Um, so yeah, so the question is it’s not really a question. Ah I I’ve been doing slightly more than 2500 each day just by like 50 words to get myself back on trap track. To finish on May thirteenth is a day I want to be done drafting so that I can then spend the week of May sixteenth doing a full revision and the following week doing a proof I’m doing something different this time did I mention this. I am I’m going to do my own proofing. Usually I pay a proof reader. It’s funny as time goes on I stop paying so many editors and turning into these authors that I speak out a guest saying that everybody needs an editor. But. Do think everybody needs an editor except now I think I don’t um, I’ve stopped paying a developmental editor partly because it’s expensive. It added several weeks into the drafting time and. I didn’t feel like I was getting that much out of it I didn’t feel like um, the editors I was paying to give me content edits were really changing all that much about the story or the things that they were changing I wasn’t convinced that it was making them. All that much better which is kind of a funny place to be but if I have doubts I have my crip partners or beta readers read and since everybody uses those words. Interchangeably I think it’s just out of fashion to say crit partner ah nobody seems to use that word anymore. I think maybe it’s the the shit sandwich thing you know nobody wants to use the word criticism anymore. Um shake my cane shake my wand.

05:00.18
jeffekennedy
Oh and it chimed. ah ah ah yeah so whoever having someone read to give me content subsantive feedback on the book. Um, probably I should do that. I do everyone’s while but it’s when I have doubts so I had gone to having someone proofread the book whos also would give me copy edits and 1 thing I found in doing my big reread of the Heirs of magic. Books because I read the prequel novella and the first 3 in order to write this book for and I kept finding mistakes and I know that there’s you know mistakes are always going to get through but I was trying to decide. I mean I write pretty clean copy I’m I’m fortunate that way that I’m a good speller and I know the punctuation and grammar rules you know and I always say that I don’t know Commas I think comma rules are arbitrary. So I was thinking oh and then one other thing happened is that now I have all 3 Bonds of Magic books in Audio Grey Magic is still waiting to go live but my audiobook narrator. Sent me lists of like errors and typos that she found because reading it out loud. She catches those things and my proof reader was adding five days into the process which and she was doing a great job. You know. Really nothing against her I know that things are always going to slip through but on this book I thought I would experiment and see because I know I want to make sure to catch everything to wind up this series and possibly in this world I don’t know if all right in this world again. Um. Yeah we’ll see but I’m I’m feeling like maybe that’s enough for this world for the moment anyway. So if I spend a week revising this book and then I thought well if I did my own proofing if I spend four days the week of May Twenty third reading the book out loud then I should be able to catch all the typos I can look up any of the formatting our grammatical stuff that I’m not entirely certain of and save myself some money and also give myself that final.

07:51.86
jeffekennedy
Chance to go through because I find things like those word echoes on those awkward phrasings. So this is my experiment I’m going to see if that extra pass of reading aloud um will add anything. To my revision process. So um, let’s see seems like I something happened on Thursday yesterday that I wanted to tell you about hold on who else. I suppose anything that happened Wednesday I would have talked about yesterday I did notice looking at my calendar I was trying to figure out what all I’ve been doing the last few days who knows playing on the streets obviously but shout out to agent Sarah it is her birthday today. Happy birthday Sarah! Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency who works her butt off for her clients and I say this? um I think it’s easy for people to say that. Ah, you know and it’s authors develop certain lingo that then other authors imitate wanting to sound like real authors you know and they’re like oh my amazing agent I remember that when I was a newbie writer. Ah like this one gal I followed was always talking about. And should always put it in capital letters. Amazing agent I don’t remember Anastasia it wasn’t that I don’t remember who it was and you know she would just gush. You know oh spoke with amazing agent and this was in the newer days of Twitter when I felt like we had more conversations. Got to know people. It could be people still do that. But I’ve ended up backing away from Twitter so much and now that Elon Musk wants to turn it into a free for all of we all are we gonna be leaving Twitter.

10:01.92
jeffekennedy
I’ve been seeing some think pieces on what it means for a billionaire to own a social media marketplace like Twitter or Facebook and how that shapes the world question is what are we gonna do about it. Somebody posted the other day about um that the Eu has passed a law. It’s like in the first stage it hasn’t been ah, fully executed like whatever their version of like then you know, starting in the senate and having to go to the house or vice versa. So it’s not a thing yet but they did pass the resolution to make the law or what have you ah to force companies like Amazon and Facebook and so forth to reveal their algorithms and to make them egalitarian and people were saying oh they were excited. Celebrating saying you know Amazon might finally have to reveal their algorithm to us you know like how are they you know promoting some books and not others and I thought I didn’t want to reign on their happy parade. But I was thinking. It’s just never gonna happen Amazon. These companies are never going to ris feel there there I’ll go the rhythms they’re gonna consider it proprietary information. They won’t do it I I could be wrong. It’s happened put it on the calendar. So anyway, um, how did I get there.

11:37.24
jeffekennedy
Sometimes I wish I could replay this thing so I could find my train of thought again sorry I’m a little fuzzy brained today. So let’s see algorithms legalities. Is it gone forever. It might be you guys are shouting at me I also wish that I could hear you tell me what was I thinking about something I was gonna tell you and then I figured out know that Sarah’s birthday I guess yeah, that was it. Agents ah see I can rewind mentally kind of um, but anyway the scout that I used to follow you know and people would always be like oh my amazing agent this and and following her particular journey which I’ve always hated my journey to publication. Ah, we don’t hear that nearly so much anymore probably because there’s so much self- publishing but especially back then because we’re talking more than ten years ago now right? That’s amazing. You know like 2009 is when I joined Twitter. Things were very much about tribe publishing you know and so people would be like posting their milestones so that you like we could follow their journey from pre-published to astonishingly successful the problem with chronicling your journey to publication like that is that. Not everybody made it there and that certainly happened with this gal and I could see her being going back and forth with her agent where she would like revise her book that her agent had signed her on and the agent still didn’t like it and she would talk about oh well, she was going to have to gut it again, but amazing agent Anastasia had given her. You know all of these great notes and she was going to do it again and and I mean this went on for a long time and I was thinking and she’d never even gone on submission and even then being well I wasn’t entirely a baby writer because I’d been in the nonfiction circles for a long time. So I knew how publishing worked and was like she just. And I keep you revising forever chasing some goal some intangible it wasn’t clear to me like what this agent wanted her to do and then eventually she ended up parting waste with the agent you know and she reported this faithfully too. We’ve parted ways because we’re just not a great fit and like and this agent never took her book out on submission. So it was a live and learn kind of thing. Maybe that was beneficial to me that she chronicled her journey to not publishing I don’t think she ever got a book published.

14:24.16
jeffekennedy
Anyway, um, was her agent really amazing was she as delighted as she wanted her chronicle to portray probably not but my agent Sarah is a hell of a worker. She is. Communicative ambitious she takes amazing care of her clients. Ah she is a delightful person in every way and I know that you know like I’m not always an easy client to work with.

15:04.25
jeffekennedy
Neither is Grace Draven for that matter. Also one of Sarah’s clients because we are very definitive about what we need as far as making money and what we put into our self- publishing careers which isn’t always easy for an agent because and there are some agents out there who are like no I don’t want you to so. Publish and Sarah doesn’t ask that of us she she works with us and I I appreciate her I appreciate you Sarah if you listen to this? Um, yeah, you really are an amazing agent. So um, the other exciting thing is that Lonen’s War is out today in Kindle Unlimited with the new covers I probably have to figure out how to brand things. As far as the metadata for Kindle Unlimited readers but because right now the ranking is really really super low. Ah you know and it’s interesting because and I’ve said this often right that I feel like the kindle unlimited ecosystem is just a really different set of readers. And I see this all the time I see these? um you know, authors celebrating other author who are like Kindle un limited famous that I’ve never heard of and the reader is recommending these books and series and they’re just these circles almost don’t overlap anymore. I grew irritated with some of the science fiction and fantasy people the other day and I won’t say why sorry I’m not going to spill that tea but there are circles of snobbery in this business and people forget that. Their particular circle is not the only one in the universe and they take that because they’ve they have never heard of an author that therefore what they’re doing is not worthwhile and it’s not true. That’s not true. So. This is like so far the most abysmal release that I’ve had in a really long time. But I think it’s because I’m so unknown to this Kindle unlimited audience. So I’m looking on it as a challenge to to pick it up I was ah. Venting to some of my writer friends hi gals. Thank you I appreciate you yesterday because one of my longtime readers and I mentioned this I think on yesterday’s podcast does not like the new covers for sorcer moons and and it it kind of got me down and and one of the gals said you know not to let it.

17:53.95
jeffekennedy
Diminish my joy and an assistant Carien said that said the same thing assistant Carien is always ah, awesome. Awesome assistant andastasia ah, um, but yeah, this girl. Who is my reader said well that she missed the pretty covers and said um, finished up with saying she said it was only weapons and she wouldn’t pick these up in a store and I was like oh okay, well first of all I mean the first covers are always going to be there. Guys they’re they’re out there if you love the first covers. Great um, but also I’m not trying to tell this series to the people who already read it right? I’m trying to communicate the genre to this new group of readers. And for the record it is not only weapons on the covers. It is. There’s lots of other elements on the covers and and Carien was resistant to me changing it at first too and now even she is saying that she loves the look of the new series. It’s it’s much more cohesive than it used to be and. I’m looking forward to yeah to just to reach these new readers. Ah, it’s it’s exciting. So um, yeah, lones were out today if you’re in kindle unlimited if you know people enkindle unlimited please share. Um. I I want to want to reach those fantasy romance readers slow burn romance lots of epic fantasy and warrior stuff in it which this was another thing when we were discussing it when this gal said you know gone were the the girls and the horses. And the dragons and that it was only weapons and that it looked like masculine fantasy and I thought why are we correlating weapons with masculine fantasy because I mean and this is someone who’s read all of my books I have female warriors right? You know I invented an entire martial arts system for ah well for Ursula and then ah Kaja and Jenna/Ivariel all follow it. Jepp follow follows it and Jack does too now. They’re all part of that. System and it’s part of the marsh I I not part of I imagined it reimagined it from mar martial art systems that I trained in and I have weapons in my office and and I’m a girlie girl. So um, yeah i.

20:41.71
jeffekennedy
I don’t like the idea that that warrior stuff is correlated only with masculine fantasy. So anyway, off I go to get my final 2500 for the week I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Um I hope I get to get out in the garden this weekend. That’s my my big goal for it and I will talk to you all on Monday take care bye bye.

21:16.62
jeffekennedy
I’m having trouble I like hit my coffee cup with the mouse here. This is the blooper reel all right by.

First Cup of Coffee – August 23, 2018

About the Book

Not all desires are shiny and sweet—and the dark ones might change you forever…

It’s not the kind of obsession a tough Army guy can admit to—a jones for Ava, the pretty-princess pop star. Not just her body, the perfect product that sells all those magazines. Her music.

The critics call her human lip gloss, all style and no substance. To Joe Ivanchan, Ava is the exact blend of reality and fantasy that he can tolerate, the closest he’s willing to get to giving his heart after the injury and breakdown that got him out of the service.

But Ava is real. She’s a flesh and blood woman with a publicity machine and an album deadline, along with a whole team of handlers paid to shellac a pristine sheen over a damaged, desperate soul. A woman with fears, with secrets, with desires.

When Joe finds himself in an interview to join her security team as her driver, his instinct is to get away. But the woman behind Ava’s carefully focus-grouped image is even harder to walk away from. The angry needs tormenting her speak to something within Joe. Something empathetic, protective—and primal…

Besides, even a falling star can light up the darkest night.

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