First Cup of Coffee – June 30, 2022

How I’ve been learning to use TikTok and other thoughts on keeping up with technology. Also damaged protagonists, how Romance treats them differently, & potentially selling Bristish rights to Prisoner of the Crown.




Transcript
00:02.42
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:14.58
jeffekennedy
Um, wonderful. Ah today is Thursday June thirtieth last day of June. It’s very exciting isn’t it so exciting I had to set up again. Um, yeah, so here we are at the end of June halfway through 202022 I probably said too many 20 somewhere there didn’t I no wonder the transcript can’t figure out my numbers It’s choking on my coffee a little bit there excuse me.

00:54.94
jeffekennedy
So here. We are um what do I have to report I don’t know. Ah my allergies are finally receding I’m feeling much much better and. Although occasionally still coughing a little bit much much less much less than I was and my voice is better I think so um, so yeah, ah. Been working on shadow wizard I nearly said storm princess and that’s not correct. Is it ah something that I have finally gotten to on my list is is the ticks on the talks the Tiktok. Um, you know it’s really hard when you get to be a particular age. A woman of a certain age so that awful that we even say that um and you become aware of like. how how much technology you have witnessed. Um you know and it’s funny to me because I’m you know I’m sure it annoys the young people. It is the job of older people to annoy young people anyway and one of the ways that. Is traditionally done is to talk about how things were different when you were their age but you know I find it very interesting I’m I’m somewhat absorbed by the fact that my beautiful mug this beautiful mug that I got for christmas. Handle is starting to detach at the top I picked it up this morning and it’s like crack through. So if I tug on it. It actually separates which I know the answer is don’t tug on it but can I trust it to hold um is there anything I can do. Um, you know there’s the which it feels like it’s become ever so fashionable to mention now the japanese art of Kintsugi ah where you repair breaks and fill them in with gold and or make the the breaks decorative. Um, another way to look at it is visible mending. Um my friend Mary Robinette Kowal is really into visible mending and posts about it occasionally where you fix things but you don’t attempt to conceal the fact that they were broken instead you make.

03:39.98
jeffekennedy
Fix be decorative in some way and I don’t know if there’s a way to do it on this? Um, but I really love this this mug and I’ve I’ve been handwashing it people which is a big concession. So I don’t know what to do. But it’s interesting because in the essex serpent which I was talking about the other day that I I gave up reading it like um, 62% because I don’t know it wasn’t making me happy I wasn’t enjoying it. I could kind of see where she was going but and I went and read some of the reviews and I would review this one myself except I don’t like to post reviews of other authors’ work. That’s critical instead I just rant about it here to you all because you keep my secrets. I know it’s like it’s not like this is it public but I don’t think Sarah Perry is going to seek out my little podcast and if she does it’s on her right whereas I feel like ah posting a review is a little bit more putting it in her lap I thought the book had a lot of early promise and I noticed a lot of reviews said that. Because I was compelled from the beginning and one of the things that I loved is the damaged heroine, Cora – is there anything more compelling than the damaged heroine or hero damaged human being and and she references Kintsugi um because she had this horrible sadistic controlling husband. Um, and and I almost kept reading to find out more about that except I was starting to feel like she was never going to tell me any more than that. Um. Which is kind of a thing that I think literary fiction does um as opposed to to romance that maybe romance will go to these places that that other genres won’t because it’ll go in and delve into. Um. People’s feelings and their scars and how they overcome them in a way that other genres sort of stay away from when I first was writing prisoner of the crown I was working with a critique group of mainly. Science fiction and fantasy writers which I thought was going to be just fine because in many ways prisoner of the crown is one of my few books that has no romance in it at all. Um, this series ends up going that direction but prisoner of the crown itself is more or less high fantasy.

06:26.63
jeffekennedy
Um, and for those of you who have not read it. It is about a young woman being forced into a cruel and sadistic marriage and she is also treated very badly by her mother. She’s basically groomed to be I hope this isn’t spoilery, but. Um, she’s basically groomed to be a victim ah from a very early age she is subjected to treatment from her mother who has long range plans for her daughters this political alliance to make her into. Kind of person who will accept what she later must endure and in some ways it was interesting to do because in some ways her mother. Um, while awful. Her mother is is simply repeating the generational cycle she is repeating what was done to her. And and in many ways she feels like she’s doing what’s best for her daughter because she’s preparing her to endure and she doesn’t see any other paths for her daughter but there’s some stark stuff that happens at the beginning of the book because I really wanted to show. How how these how a particular victim is created and I remember that the other people in the group actually all the guys one other woman in the group did not have this reaction but the other guys were all like whoa. This is really dark. This is really brutal and you know should you really show all of this. And it’s like you know this is what some women’s lives are like you guys. You know how how precious are we going to be I was frankly taken aback that they were so squeamish about it. They’re like well maybe have the mother be a little bit less cruel and. Okay, but so ah reader I did not take their critiques and I know that that book is hard to read for some people because it is um, does explore so much of that. I believe I have recently sold um u k rights to that book. Although Kensington didn’t actually tell me um because why would they tell me it’s only my book that is sarcasm in case, you need the sarcasm emoji I find it really irritating that publishers. Ah, don’t bother to tell us these things. Um, but they sent me money they sent me what appears to be a advance. It says. Um, it’s weird I shared it with doranda when we were working yesterday.

09:16.35
jeffekennedy
The sort of the check memo from Kensington says BristishAdvSign anyway those are all capped so it looks like british advance signing so like my signing advance only why is it bristish and and I asked Darynda what she thought and she said oh that um Bristish is near Britain. So. It’s not quite Britain but it’s bristish. We were amused. Ah thank you for the person who ah commented I believe on Instagram longtime listener and lurker Thank you explaining that, yes, an effort is being made lately to specify authors as being english. And they pointed out that we don’t refer to like welsh authors or scottish authors or Northern Irish authors as british so we should then specify english authors as english so. Good to know. So anyway, that was a winding path to get there. Um, so yeah, kind of cool that prisoner of the crown will be published in the uk in brist dish I have no I worked I idea on that. I was corresponding with the financial gal at the literary agency because agent Sarah is on vacation good for her until next week so Sarah will be able to exp explicate further. Um, so so yeah it’s interesting that that little trilogy chronicles of des area is seeing the translations because it’s also been translated into check and the checks gave it perfect colors. Gorgeous covers the covers. It should have had all along um, piss me off, no end. The way Kensington punted on those fucking covers and then tried to and then my editor who I loathed and is now gone. Um, she was awful. She would lie to me all the time she would blow sunshine up my skirt you know and she would by like flattering me flattering me in a way that um. I mean was obvious I mean she would just any time I questioned anything she would start telling me what a wonderful writer I am and it would be like okay am I supposed to just like fall down on my knees and start sucking now sorry you guys? um, show me crazy and she’s like well this is very expensive art.

12:08.17
jeffekennedy
And it’s like I can recognize clip art when I see it anyway. I keep um, diverting off topic here. So I was talking about technology and I got totally off on other things. Let me finish the thought on technology ah because I do talk about how when I was in high school I learned to program in dos and now the thing about technology is it keeps changing and my very first website I programmed my first website and. I knew how to do html programming but then it keeps growing and changing and after a while you either have to devote yourself to keeping up or hand it over to other people who have time to keep up. So. Every onces a while you know like what somebody says oh well, you know it’s so easy to learn this. You could do this yourself and I’m like yeah talk to me after you’ve been doing that for 20 years you know after a while you just you have to c seed certain territories. So I’ve been learning tick talk um playing with it. Which I do think is one of the best ways to learn things and it’s the way that we learn things when we’re young the way that kids learn things. Is you play with it because you’re not afraid of doing it wrong. You’re not afraid of breaking it and as you get older, you get more worried about doing it right. Which is unfortunate. So I’ve just been trying to take some time to play with Tiktok and share some things. So I think I’m clumsy at it. But I’m getting better and it’s been fun going and finding. Wonderful videos people have been making about my books and sharing this so that’s been a kick and if I lost other points along the way please remind me um, sorry. If I edited this podcast. We would catch those but since I don’t they are um, lost lost to the wind and the dregs of the coffee. So I can’t remember if I had a point how did I get on to prisoner writing dark things. Oh The Essex Serpent. That’s right and Kintsugi. That’s it um, that there’s I was very very intrigued by this marriage where the husband tells her he wants to break her apart and mend the cracks with gold and.

14:49.10
jeffekennedy
I wanted to know more about that and I finally decided I probably wasn’t going to find out more and that it wasn’t worth it shen a lot of themes in there I think um and this is probably uncharitable. The whole review is uncharitable. Um, you know she got to this whole thing about. Housing crisis in London and I don’t know I felt like she was trying to make it be an important novel you know with capital letters and trademark and I don’t know I wanted to know more about the woman whose husband tried to break her apart. And men the cracks with gold and what that made her into and I felt like at 60 to 65 I hadn’t found out nearly enough about it and I was finding out way too much about the housing crisis in London and so. So I bailed I don’t this all came from trying to mend my coffee mug. Um or thinking about mending it. Alas.

16:04.17
jeffekennedy
So um, I had another thing I wanted to talk about and I was trying to decide if I had time time to address it. Okay I thought about it. Um. I’m not sure I have complete thoughts on it. That’s why I’m not sure how long it would take and I I do remember it from last night even though I didn’t write it down I went out with my friend Kelly Robson and we did some shopping and I even found a birthday present for me which is not till the end of august. But I texted my mom about it and said what if I found a birthday present and she said get it. So I got it and have it set away so that she can wrap it up. We have to talk about how you want to do that mom but um and we had drinks and we got takeout and took them back to her wife, Alyx, and sat and had pizza and then I got home and David had been watching five hundred days of summer which I remember vaguely seeing the first time I liked it well enough that I bought the soundtrack but I think a lot of us went into that movie thinking it was going to be a romance. And it is decidedly. Not I did not remember it was Joseph Gordon Levitt in it which is why David was watching it because he really likes that actor I remembered it was Zooey Deschanel I remember how that whole thing about the manic pixie dream girl came from that. And I understand the criticism more because um I would like to watch it from the beginning again because David and I kind of came away from it disagreeing on it I felt like she had been kind of unkind to him. Um, that she had let him on and and David said no he wanted her to be something that she couldn’t be interesting so we don’t often swap like swap sympathies gender wise that way. So now I kind of want to watch it from the beginning again, but the script I was reading in the trivia. You guys know I’m always ah scrolling the I am db trivia as I watch your show. Um that the screenwriter had written it. About a specific woman that he even calls out in the credits Jenny Beckman bitch um so it’s always questionable right? when you.

18:52.98
jeffekennedy
Write about something that is a deeply personal experience and I think that especially as new writers we have a great tendency to make the protagonist be an avatar of ourselves. Um, maybe it’s because it’s like. That’s a story. We have to get out or we just don’t know better. It’s interesting releasing Rogue’s Pawn now because that was um, out soon right? Thank you all for all the preorders I should include those I think it is in the show notes. Um, but that was the none novel I ever wrote and the ah I mean the protagonist is a neuroscientist who accidentally ends up in Faerie and was absolutely my avatar. In fact, I even gave her my name and a lot I gave her my dress I gave her a lot of my same characteristics and I felt very clever at the time not realizing as so many newbie writers. Do. Is we think we’re very being very clever and we’re actually following a very well-trod um, unfortunately so path. Um, it’s like we have these blinders on and we don’t see how many people have tried this path and the other writers going. Don’t go down that path. Which is why I don’t totally hold things against Sarah Perry because she’s still a new writer. So even if she says things like I want to create the first female monster villain. Um I just. Shake my head and say oh you sweet summer child because she’s thinking of her predecessors as Daphne du Maurier and Mary Shelley and is apparently oblivious to the entire world of genre fiction because literary writers think that. Those books don’t count. There’s a grand tradition of that too. Um writers like ah Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood, Kazuo Ishiguro thinking that they have invented genre. Because somehow all the other genre being written is beneath notice and that they’ve come up with something really interesting like Ian McEwan talking about that he was going to write about artificial intelligence but he wanted to write about how it was affecting society not in terms of like ah.

21:38.25
jeffekennedy
Space Boots with rockets on them. It was really that Bad. It’s like you have no idea how much thoughtful, really wonderful and entertaining stuff has been written about artificial intelligence Anyway, I’m running out of time. So I think I’ll just stop there if I had a point I probably didn’t make it. But you all will forgive me and feel free to poke me about it because I will definitely talk to you all tomorrow you all take care Bye bye.

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