Writing to the Market – Is It *Always* Anathema?

lookout quail This is like one of those “Can you spot the X?” photos. Can you spot the quail in this pic? While the others in the covey are scratching around and eating, one will get in a high spot and be the lookout for predators. At first I thought I hadn’t gotten a good photo – several were out of focus – and then I zoomed in and wow!

Love how he’s looking right at me, too. lookout quail crop

I’m over at Word Whores today, talking about when you *should* write to the market

Five Ways to Combat Bad Writer Habits

Bird Woman by Jeffe Kennedy

This week I put out on Amazon a short read. It’s a true story I wrote some time ago, that was originally published in a literary magazine, about one of the most unsettling experiences of my life. A brush with the unseen that I don’t care to repeat!

At Word Whores this week, our topic is “My Bad Habit as a Writer.”

Which took some thinking about, really. Not that I’m ALL THAT or anything… but I have rather ruthlessly weeded out my bad habits over the many years. Like… twenty years. And I’m still a work in progress, which I suppose is part of the point. So, rather than focus specifically on my own bad habits, former, existing or future, I thought I’d give five ways that I’ve developed to identify and eliminate bad habits.

BirdWoman Is Available!

Low Res
Bird Woman by Jeffe Kennedy

Very excited to announce the release of BIRD WOMAN, a creepy true story about my brush with the paranormal!

I wrote this story some years back and it was published in a literary magazine. I’ve told the story to a few people over the years and thought it would be fun to put out there for you all to read.

Can’t wait to hear your reactions! 

Worldcon 2016


Kansas City, MO | August 17-21, 2016

Find more information about this convention here


Find me here:

‘Have at You!’: Writing a Great Fight Scene

Thursday 11:00 – 12:00, 2210 (Kansas City Convention Center)

Fight scenes are a hard beast to write. Who’s hitting who and why? How do you describe what is happening? What’s that guy doing on the floor? How is the protagonist going to react, given her history? And wow, was that just a scratch, or did it take that other person’s leg off?! In this session panelists explore the different ways to experience a good fight scene in science fiction and fantasy, as writers, readers and martial artists.

Eva Elasigue (M), Dr. Claire McCague, Kathryn Sullivan, Jeffe Kennedy, Steven Gould

Happily Ever After…?

Thursday 12:00 – 13:00, 2504B (Kansas City Convention Center)

After the shocking news that Han and Leia were not destined to live happily ever after, what are the chances for our favourite – and not so popular – fictional couples? How many can realistically be considered to have a Happily Ever After, and if not, where might they be better off?

Brooke Johnson, Jeffe Kennedy, Christie Meierz, Meg Frank

Writing Erotica

Wednesday 16:00 – 17:00, 2208 (Kansas City Convention Center)

Erotica might be said to be created to stimulate or sexually arouse the reader or viewer. We ask what the difference is between erotica and pornography, what the place of erotica is within the sf community and its works and perhaps even share the odd tip as to what makes good – or bad – erotica.

Adult Content. Not for Children.

Rachael Acks, Christie Meierz, Belinda McBride, Jeffe Kennedy, Darlene Marshall (M)

Being Jessica Jones

Saturday 17:00 – 18:00, 2207 (Kansas City Convention Center)

Trigger Warning: Due to the nature of the show, this session will include discussion of a sensitive nature.
The powerhouse Netflix series Jessica Jones tackles difficult subjects relating to domestic violence and rape. It does so from the perspective of a survivor and raises valuable questions about society and gender. This is within the environment of the Marvel universe. Jessica Jones’ appeal is to comic fans and those who are looking for complex representations of women on television. We discuss the show and its impact.
Adults only

Elizabeth McCarty (M), Aurora Celeste, Anna Raftery, Tui Sutherland, Jeffe Kennedy



Five Things I’d Tell My Newbie Writer Self

roadrunner crop

This is our neighborhood roadrunner. She comes by fairly frequently and checks things out. Not easy to get a good pic of her either! This isn’t the best shot I got (too much background, not *quite* in focus), but I love how it captures her purposeful stride.

Speaking of purposeful, our theme over at Word Whores this week is: What I wish I knew when I started writing. 

So. Many. Things.

But I picked five. 

Also, if you haven’t yet read THE MARK OF THE TALA, it’s on sale at Amazon for only $2.51. Great time to pick up a copy!

Jeffe’s #1 Tip for Being a Good Blogger

Bluebird 2 cropI love seeing the mountain bluebirds come around this time of year. They’re skittish birds though, so it’s hard to get a good shot. I’ve been leaving the tripod up with telephoto lens trained on their usual perches. Even so, this is about the best pic I’ve gotten. Mostly they’re a whirl of bright blue and rose amidst the snowflakes. 

I wrote a blog post early this week that was a bit meta – on how to write a bad blog post. Maybe that was a good example of a bad blog post because only one person commented! 

At any rate, I’ve had a note for a while to share one of my blogging tricks. Not that I claim to be a great blogger or anything, but sometimes people ask me how I come up with topics. My secret? I keep a list. I have an ongoing list in Word of various topics, and I add to it as things occur to me. Sometimes I make notes in my phone or tablet and transfer them to the main list.

The most important thing I (try to) do, and this is really key for writers, is I note topics that apply to the book as I’m writing it. You will love your past self for doing this when it comes time to write those promo blog posts. If you’ve been there, you know. It can get really difficult to think up interesting things to say about your published book. Having this list of things you researched, what gave you images or ideas, problems you encountered, people that offered needed obscure information – and so forth. 

All of these things will make great blog topics in the future, all that you would likely never remember months or a year later, depending on your publishing schedule. 

Short and easy tip there, but one I’d had on my list for a while. 😀

Happy weekend, everyone!

Getting Book Reviews and Odious Comparisons

elephant butte 5 cropA rare sight of Elephant Butte with snow, from the Christmas storm in New Mexico. We caught this on the drive home from Tucson, and now that I’ve turned in THE EDGE OF THE BLADE, I’m digging photos out of my camera and sharing. Yay!

The last few days, I’ve been in a range of conversations with writers at various stages of their careers.

One friend is not yet published. She had been discouraged by a string of rejections and has resolved to take her series out via self-publishing this year. (It’s a contemporary romance series that I think is excellent and will be excited to tell you all about when she’s ready.) We’ll also strategize another series for her to query with traditional publishing. For her, everything is about cracking that first barrier – getting her first book out there. 

On one of my author loops, several extensively published authors bemoaned not being able to get book reviews. One commented that her latest self-published release got zero reviews. On another loop, more published authors complained of the same, asking for tips on getting more reviews.

Meanwhile another author friend yesterday celebrated the one-year anniversary of the publication of her book – and that it just hit 1,000 reviews on Amazon.

Me? I fall somewhere in the middle of all of this. I get a substantial number of reviews, from wonderful, enthusiastic readers – but I got nothing like 1,000.

So, what did we learn today, boys and girls?

There’s a saying that hearkens back to the fourteenth century, credited to John Fortesque, that’s been repeated by many, such as Lydgate, Shakespeare and Swift.

Comparisons are odious.

And no, that has nothing to do with odor. The word “odious” comes from the Latin odium for hatred. Something that is odious is hateful, disgusting or offensive.

In other words… DON’T DO IT.

Don’t make comparisons, people. And I’m speaking to myself, too, because when my darling friend announced hitting 1,000 Amazon reviews, the first thing I did was go look at my comparable book. How many? 54 Amazon reviews.

But hey, it’s better than zero reviews.

And it’s better than not having a book published yet.

Actually… it is what it is, right? Comparisons are odious because they’re meaningless. I reminded myself of that, shrugged it off, and closed the Amazon page.

We all do what we can do.

How to Know When to Give Up


Can’t believe it’s already time! But the Coastal Magic Convention is only a few weeks away and January 15 is the last day to register. I love this convention and there’s going to be tons of great authors, bloggers and readers there – so if you can wrangle it, you should totally join us. Great panels, terrific interactions and it’s right on the beach. SO fun!

So, this week’s topic over at Word Whores is: It’s dead, Jim – how to know when a project isn’t working vs when its fixable.

I’m telling a couple of stories about knowing when to give up.