First Cup of Coffee – July 14, 2022

A long, involved saga of internet and cellular data woes, including multiple interactions with service providers, three trips to the store, two lightning storms, and one coincidence so incredible that I blame Thor.




Transcript
00:00.85
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Um, delicious today is Thursday July fourteenth halfway through July race and ride along I don’t know is this like summer syndrome. Ah delicious. So. Um I have had just how do I describe it. It’s it’s just been an epic few days and in some ways it began a couple of weeks ago with ah a storm it is monsoon season here. And New Mexico I’ve mentioned a number of times which is fabulous because it means rain we are most grateful everything is green. Um, it’s incredibly incredibly important to get these monsoon rains. It’s when we get most of our moisture. However, with rain. Often comes lightning and a couple of weeks ago. We had a storm where we were getting this gorgeous rain and a lightning bolt hit nearby and it was one of those ones where you know like when the lightning cracks right? overhead and makes you kind of. Just jump out of your skin and this one was particularly shocking because we hadn’t had the normal lead up. You know, like normally you can like hear the storm getting closer and closer and the thunder is ah coming faster after the lightning cracks and so you can count and. You know the the childhood game of counting. Ah you know, basically knowing the difference between speed of light and speed of sound and how close that lightning is getting well. We didn’t get any of that. Um, even though there had been like some lightning and thunder in the distance. All of a sudden we had this. Crack right? overhead. Um that you know like everything went really bright I was like whoa and we’d already had things unplugged but it knocked out our internet and we got texts from. Xfinity saying ah internet is out. We’re working on repairing it. Um, they didn’t get it fixed until this was already like um I don’t know seven-thirty Eight o’clock at night and they didn’t get it fixed till like 4 in the morning but it came back up and you know.

02:44.50
jeffekennedy
Hoay. But then our internet just wasn’t the same again. It was um, slow our you know we kept it kept dropping. We had to keep rebooting the router. Um, it would be unstable. You know like in Zoome. Your internet is unstable. Um, so I’d gotten on with an xfinity ah helper person on chat who was great and we were we were on for like an hour and a half and she ended up like upgrading our internet we got faster internet. Um. She like cleared clean things up I don’t know what they do when they clean things up but she cleaned things up and she um when I complained I said ah she said that she could actually get us a better plan where we’d be paying like $10 less a month I said that would be great because we’d already spent like. $30 on cell phone overage charges because we hadn’t had that internet I think we finished watching a movie that night which we were feeling profiglet. Um because you know was like well use our cell data so a bit of background to this. Is we have had this plan that is a very old plan capital V Capital O Capital P Very old plan with ah Verizon which did not have unlimited data but it was it was inexpensive. And Verizon kept trying to get me to switch to unlimited data and I’d looked at it a couple of times but every plan change would have us paying like one ah hundred dollars more a month and we were paying like every time we went. A gigabyte over or four gigabytes over um on our allow allotted data allowance. It was costing us $15 so even on some months when we like. It was mostly if we were traveling if we were on a road trip and we wanted to play music or something like that we would use data and it would you know everyone’s why we would have like $60 in over its charges but it was still you know made more sense financially than $100 more every month. So we were using this cellular data overage I mentioned to the xfinity gal. Oh well, you know with like $30 in overage charges. So be nice to have less on our plan and she said oh well let me credit you $30 so that was lovely.

05:30.16
jeffekennedy
She even said by the time we finished and everything was really working great that she said that I was one of the nicest customers that she had dealt with all day and she really appreciated that I got that twice in a couple of days and I thought are they saying that to make me feel good or am I really nicer. Most David thinks it’s because I’m nicer than most people. Um, maybe it’s I’m I’m not generally and a nice person. Maybe I am I don’t know. But um I can be very forceful about getting what I want but what I’m dealing with. Customer service people like that on chats are on the phone. You know it’s it’s never their fault. It’s it’s never their problem that things are not okay I thought it was showing weird connection speaking of um. You know? So. There’s no reason not to be kind to them. You know, working in those call centers sucks. They’re always just doing the best that they can every once while if they’re not listening and they’re just going through their script then I will get pointed about it. So anyway. We’d come away thinking aha success on the internet’s working well well reader it was not working well it continued to the grade we were rebooting the router many times a day. The router was getting really hot. It was um. Just not. It wasn’t up to speed. You know all of these things lagging dropping signal so I was doing a little bit of research on this I thought I’d have to get on with Xfinity but we decided that probably what we needed was a new rubber. So. On um, we’ll see today’s Thursday so on Tuesday David went and because our router was you know they they start getting old and I was concerned that it was so hot. It’s always a bad sign so he went and got a new router which. Cost like $200 I was a little shocked it was that expensive. Ah, but he came home with the new router and he ah installed it and got it working in time for um, oh just a couple things that we were doing whatever. Um, and so we had it was like installed by like two or three o’clock and it was great internet was perfect it was solid this was clearly the great solution everything was going fabulous and um, we were all pleased. It’s like problem solved then we can move on with our lives.

08:19.40
jeffekennedy
Ah, it’s amazing to me how integral having internet is now but wait. There’s more so storm rolls in that evening and it’s starting to rain and I’m very happy because we’d had a couple of storms come through that hadn’t produced any rain so I was like hooray rain and then. Can you believe it all is sudden crack this massive lightning bolt and I saw it from the kitchen window like it went down and I don’t know where it hit but it hit close and you know instantaneous crack of sound and David was in the kitchen cooking dinner. Like a good man and he just about jumped out of his skin and we were like whoa and ah and it fried our new router it fried the new router it stopped working. What are the odds what are the odds I mean that’s like like Thor coming after me personally. So we um. Best buy didn’t open until Eleven Wednesday morning till the next morning so we used cellular data to do work stuff. Um have both both writing and SFWA stuff. And so we start burning the cellular data and I told David because this happened again at like 7 or 8 at night I was going to go to bed and read and but you know he has parkinson’s disease. He doesn’t always sleep well and he’s very restless at night and I said you know. If you want to watch movies or whatever tonight. Um, go ahead and use the cell data. So I wake up in the morning to like another $30 worth of over its charges but you know what can you do and I do. Stuff that morning pretty much without internet. Fortunately, it’s Wednesday which is my blog day I ended up not blogging at all I thought I could do it later in the day but I didn’t get to it. Um, so apologies there if you were looking for a blog post. Ah fortunately no podcast. Tuesday morning I used cell data to do the podcast to ah, record it and to upload it which that burned a lot of data. It’s funny because it it reminds me of that quote. Um.

11:00.78
jeffekennedy
Which there’s some question of like whether or not it’s apocryphal. Ah, apparently bill gates denied ever saying this but then they found evidence that he did that in a 1985 article. April 20, 1985 issue of info world that bill gates said when we set the upper limits of pc dos at six hundred and Forty k we thought nobody would ever need that much memory. It just amuses me when I’m like burning. Ah, gigabytes of data at a time I could tell you like how much we went through I’m not sure it matters. But oh yeah, like our overage got up to $120 for eight gigabytes um so we had considered lying about the router right? when David was going to take it back. We were like well we could just say you know I mean we didn’t didn’t even have it 24 hours that we could just say oh well, it didn’t work so we need to exchange it. And we decide that that would be wrong that that would be unfair. Ah and so he took the router back and he explained to the best buy person what had happened and and they just said oh sounds like you need to exchange it. So fortunately, we were not out. An additional $200 for this router. So David comes home with the router. Um I’ve pretty much got my words done I had to give a class for the clarion folks. The clarion writathon folks at two o’clock my time. Ah, hello to any of you who may have tuned in today normally I talk about writing more but today’s the epic story of our internet and loss thereof. It’s it’s a variable feast here at first cup of coffee. You just never know what you’re going to get. So I by now it’s like David got home at like noon and so we’re trying to set up the router and I figure it’s going to go fast right? because we’ve done it once already we’d know how to you know we’ve done the drill the day before even though David handled most of it and so. We get it all set up and it won’t connect. There’s no internet. It does connect it says connected. No internet. So I finally get on with an Xfinity person and because I can’t do chat.

13:52.41
jeffekennedy
Because we don’t have internet right? and I don’t want to try typing on my phone and I’m trying not to use the cell data to power my laptop so it and it really was a lot of effort to talk to a person on the phone like even while I’m on the waiting. For to get somebody to come on. They’re like sending me text saying click this text to have a chat I’m like no I talk to a person finally get on with a person. He tries bunch of times tries to help me um, resets it and. It will not connect. There is nothing there and he says we have to send somebody out to your house because there’s there’s something wrong. Um that like the internet data is not making it to the Router. So and of course they can’t send somebody until Friday. So two more days so I’m just like fuck my life. Whatever I can live so I’d hope to have internet back in time to do this clarion class I did not so I ran it on cell data. Did my laptop on connected to the hotspot did the class. It was fun if any of you were listening. It was really fun chatting with you all? Um, we can talk more about the heroine’s journey versus the hero’s journey. Ah, but um. I I don’t know maybe I should read Gail’s book anyway that’s a side conversation. So um, finish that I have like half an hour before I have a meeting for SFWA and so I do that via Discord and. You know I’m watching like getting the messages from Verizon telling me about my overages and so right before I get on this meeting with SFWA I decide. Okay I I cannot be stubborn on this any longer I go to Verizon I pick the cheapest plan I can with unlimited data. It’s still going to cost us like $100 more a month I’m griping about it. But um, at this point it’s just got to be done right? And also I’m noticing for the first time that apparently like we could go to nine gigabytes of overage. But. And we’ve already used like 8.4 and I’m thinking oh it’s not unlimited overage I mean I can’t just keep shelling out otherwise I might have done. It. Also I had gotten a message from Verizon recently. Ah, where they’d said that they were.

16:39.68
jeffekennedy
Absolutely making my Very Old Plan go away and I was gonna have to change anyway. So I was like all right capitulate have to change so I go in and I change it on the website and I figure. Okay, it’s fine. So I’m in the middle of this meeting and it’s like started at for It’s like 4:45 and all of a sudden internet just drops I have nothing I’m kicked out of the meeting. Ah and my phone has not only no cell data but I can’t even use it to make calls. Says oh you can make emergency calls only um and but actually I’m sorry I left out a little piece of this story I changed it before the meeting but then during the meeting I got another notice for an overage charge and I was like what the heck. So as we’re talking I go back into the Verizon website. And sure enough the changes had not taken effect. So I do it again and it’s weird because it’s like different prices now actually lower. So yay me so I go ahead and set it and I don’t know if it’s like when I confirmed the plan change but that was like when it kicked me out and it um. My phone becomes a brick I can’t use it I have no internet can’t use that to contact Verizon so it was like oh well this is just really charming. So I go and get David’s phone which is like down to 10% charge I can’t even with this so I have to find his charging cord too. Culverizon I get on with somebody. Ah this person can’t help me. They say they have to like connect me to someone else and and it takes a while to get to the point where they can’t help me and so then he’s like well let me ah, get you to someone who can help you change your plan and he puts me on hold and. Comes back once to check with me and we’re still on hold and then I get this message saying please enter your pin I’m like what again. So I entered my pen and then it says I’m sorry your the call center is closed like no no the call center cannot be closed so that was when I go. And um I am oh I’m sorry I already was on David’s phone so I call again and I get through and this guy is um, sounds very nice and helpful and but he says you’re you’re so static I can barely hear you and I’m like I am desperate I really am afraid that if I hang up I will not be able to get. Ah, person again. Ah so I’m like yelling into the phone so he can hear me and he says he’s he’s like that looks like you have unlimited data now. You should be fine. He said if you tried restarting your phone and I was like ah fuck me no I had not tried restarting my phone.

19:30.76
jeffekennedy
So while he’s there I restart my phone it clicks in my phone is no longer a brick I’m able to use it and then David’s phone at the same time like even though I didn’t restart it now. All of a sudden it has connects to the 5 g and everything. So. This is this has been a 20 minute story so I apologize to those of you who are here for talk about writing and industry but you know this is like part of it. So I’m um, accessing internet through my cell phone for the next couple of days till they come fix our internet. It is occurring to me now that I have unlimited data. Why don’t I do this all the time. Also when I was on with the the lovely first xfinity gal who gave me all these deals she had asked me who we did our cell phone service with. And I said oh I don’t want to change our cell phone service and she said oh I I completely understand that well dear reader I am now considering changing our cell phone service. We have been with Verizon since the beginning. Um and now I’m wondering um should I consolidate. My internet and cell phone service. It makes me think maybe it would be bad. You know like in this case, it was good to have 2 different services so I could go back and forth and it really sucked when both were down I couldn’t even I had no way to contact the people I’d been in the meeting with. To tell them what had happened I tried to text them and my texts wouldn’t go through. Um, so it’s disconcerting when there’s like 0 ability to contact the outside world I thought that I was going to have to my my final plan and I had another meeting at six and now it’s like after five but my next plan was was like get in my car and drive to the Verizon store I wasn’t even sure what time they closed and I had no way to check since I had no internet or sell data. But I thought well I’ll just go. Drive to the Verizon store and if I can get them to restore our service um desperate measures I was also thinking that I could actually go to a place today. We have a board meeting and I’m probably gonna be online for a couple of hours for that board meeting. Um, we are so reliant on internet now right hummingbird up above. So um, and I could go to a friend’s house too and use their internet.

22:07.83
jeffekennedy
But I think there’s no reason now why I can’t just burn cell data right? I have unlimited data I’m so we’re going to be paying out the wazoo ye old wazoo for it. So I might as well. Just do that right? So on that note I’m going to go upload this podcast. Um, this has been. The latest installment of all the things going on my mom said you certainly don’t lead a boarding life. Um my 80 year old mother who has covid thinks her life is boring and comparison to mine. Thank you for all of the kind thoughts on that she um. Has probably had it since Saturday she was diagnosed on Monday she’s been taking the medication which she said makes her feel like she’s sleepwalking but it is helping she is doing better. Um, stepdad has not gotten it. So. I think which kind of bitches are out because she’s annoyed that she got it and he hasn’t but um, you know it’s just weird. It’s funny how the viruses work some people get some people don’t ah but at least we have the medications and the vaxs now right? Ah all right. This has been a long podcast consisting of very little but ranting I will be back tomorrow I hope you all the wonderful Thursday and I will talk to you in the morning you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – July 12, 2022

My crazy afternoon and evening yesterday, including a vehicle near-mishap, along with thoughts on role-playing games, doing the Bag of Giving, and about my early game-playing trauma when I was a teen.




Transcript
00:01.80
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:14.42
jeffekennedy
Ah, that’s good. Delicious. Today is Tuesday July Twelfth Two Thousand and twenty two and well big news in our household is my mother has COVID. Um, it’s the first time that it’s hit my immediate family I guess guess everybody’s getting it now. Um, um so they caught it pretty early. She hasn’t felt too terrible tired headache little bit of a fever. She is um you know twice boosted four shots. So and they’ve got her on Paxlovid so hopefully she’ll kick it pretty quickly and it won’t be a big incident. Um, it reminded me though of an incident from fairly early on in the pandemic it was after. Walk down had let up. So I think it may have been summer of 2020 and a lot of the restaurants around Santa Fe had opened again. But they’d also created all of these socially distanced outdoor spaces and I went to dinner with. My friends Megan and Charlie and they yeah we went to the Compound and the Compound had set up these tents those you know like the kinds you get for parties. They’d set up tents with tables and them so we’ve been hoping to like. Sit on the patio. You know just have drinks on the patio and or d’euvs and stuff and it turned into this whole. Um we couldn’t because the patio had been taken up by the tents because in case it rained I guess but we were having a good time. And we were talking about New Mexico had a mask mandate very early on so we were talking about people wearing masks and not wearing masks and the young man came up to fill our water glasses and. There was something about where we like we’re explaining our conversation to him. We’re like oh ah, you know we were just discussing masks and we appreciate you wearing yours and because all the servers were really, but we were sort of.

02:54.37
jeffekennedy
You know, like sometimes you randomly include the survey in your conversation and he said oh yeah, he said we’re all wearing masks because we have to and he says but I figure. Um, you know there’s not a lot of point in it because sooner or later. We’ll we’ll all just have it and there may have been more to it but it was really kind of funny because we went from being jovially optimistic and compliant to this like complete downer and the young man left again and ah and Megan said well that went downhill fast. Like yeah bit unexpected and now I feel like soon or later we’re all gonna have it right? He was um, oddly prescient which I don’t attribute to any foresight of his. But. Seems to be the the case at Megan and Charlie’s wedding somebody asked the morning after when we were all kind of like sitting around in a big circle nursing our hangovers and somebody said so has everyone here had covid already. Which I thought was a funny question and I think several other people did too because we were like no and and I said not to my knowledge and couple of girls said yeah not to my knowledge. You know if we’ve had it. We’ve had it asymptomatically there are mosquitoes buzzing around me this morning. Getting on the laptop screen. So um, hopefully everything will be fine. It’s fine. Everything’s fine. So um, otherwise things are going pretty well, we’re struggling with our internet we had this outage from xfinity a couple of weeks ago with big storm I may have mentioned that and ever since they restored it. It’s been um. Different and weird and this morning I can’t connect to it at all. So I’m doing this through my hotspot I’ll have to discuss with David Hugh when I got home last night. It was a very frenzied evening for me. Um. Because I knew it’s go to be a busy day anyway, it’s kind of a busy week. A lot going on and I think I get so used to not having anything going on that having a lot going on always feels like much so I got to um, got my words in which is great and.

05:37.45
jeffekennedy
Writing went fairly well finished um talked to Grace on the phone for the first time in a long time and that was really nice. We talked on the phone for about for over an hour and I had to leave for my very important mani/pedi. Had an appointment at 3 so I just kept talking to her in the car and um, got there did the mani/pedi got back home at four thirty left the jag running outside the garage because I didn’t know if the airlock was on. Because Jackson will escape if he’s in the house and the airlock isn’t on and it’s if you’ve been listening to to this for a long time. You know that? um my jag battery ah is drains fast. It’s like something to do with the old car. And my mechanic has told me that it’s much better to leave it running if I’m driving it for less than 20 minutes at a time. So if I’m going to like go in the house and make sure that I can open the garage door I just leave the car running. So I go in. And David starts talking to me about the internet and how we need to change the administrator on the router and he wants to know what email address I’ve been using on to you see the hummingbird humming hovering over my head. That’s very nice. Youre on video getting very nice hummingbird shot. They’re coming in for the feeder. It’s buddy. Ah so you know he’s like changed the password. But. He doesn’t know what email address I’m using for it and you know it’s like one those communication things where I sit down and look at it and he’s like is it a capital j or a lowercase j for the email address and you know so I try that one and he said no I think it’s supposed to be capital j and I’m like. I don’t know that’s it and he said well that’s email you’re using for the router and I’m like I don’t fucking know the email address I use for the router and I’ve got this thing at 5 that bag of giving deal and time is ticking. It’s like 20 minutes till and I said I need. Internet I have to do this thing at 5 so he’s undoes, whatever it is. He’s done and fortunately I could get on the internet in time. So ah, you know? so then I like go pee and put on lipstick and I sit down and I get there like right at 5

08:27.34
jeffekennedy
And we’re doing setup and we’re doing things and we’re getting everything figured out and it’s ah you know like five-twenty I I did manage to pour myself a glass of wine because I have high priorities and ah. And it’s we’re going to start at like 5:25 and it’s like 5:20 and I said um, can I have a couple minutes because I haven’t explained to David any of this and they’ve told me it’s going to take 3 hours which I did not know it was going to take that long and so. I I said can I take a couple minutes and they’re like well only one or 2 and I said okay you know let’s play I just need to go talk to David so I go in and explain to him. This could be long but um I can eat dinner after or if he wants to bring dinner into me whatever and he’s going to go to the store and we talk about that and ah. And then I realize do you realize? oh alert listeners. Yes I’d left the jag running. It’s been almost an hour ah fuck my life. So I quickly ran out brought the car in. Turned it off then did this thing to like 8:30 and and during all of this my mom had texted me while I was driving back and my phone had fallen on the floor and I’m trying not to look at my phone when I’m driving anyway and so. She texts me around eight fifteen while we’re still going in this game and says you know where are you and I realize I never looked at that text from when I was driving back from the mani/pedi and that was when she told me that she had covid so sorry that I didn’t reply um so I was just it was just kind of crazy. Um, it was interesting playing the game. Ah Kelly Robson wrote me into it. Derek Kunsken was part of it and Derek is a great guy. Um Michael Underwood and ah the game master was ah Gregory Wilson I think that’s right hadn’t met him before and so you know it’d been this thing where they’d asked us to do this and people would be watching and I never saw. The interface where people were watching have no idea what’s wrong with this eye. Well right? So um, playing the game I had told them all that I am not a game player that I have.

11:13.42
jeffekennedy
Played very very rarely my whole life and they all said that that’s not necessary that I don’t have to I didn’t have to do any research to prepare that I could just come and play and that people would donate money was I’m like real. Okay. And I knew that it was like I wasn’t going to be any good because I I think with games like that I overthink and we can um we can get to that. But ah I as we’re waiting this is before I’ve remembered that my car is still running. Ah um. I said well can I tell you all my ah, my gameplaying trauma and I said oh yes, please and it’s funny because I hadn’t thought of this story for a long time and, Kev, I might tell you to listen to this podcast because I think you will be amused. Ah, no I’m gonna sneeze all right sneezing accomplished. So I said well my game playing trauma when I was in high school with my very first boyfriend. My first. Love not my actual first boyfriend but um, Kev he and his friends were playing this game that they that they stole that they shoplifted um and these were not poor people. But. They may have been out of money and I was already in great disapproval that they had shoplifted this game and they were all agog to play it and it was this is so long ago that it was one of these computer games. That you would play with like dos commands I mean there’s no graphics nothing um and you would just type in commands and it would do things and so. They they convinced me to play this game despite my high dudgeon and gave me a character because I think they wanted me to you know they wanted me to not take kev away. You know there was already some tension there with. Ah, at least one of his good friends who felt very competitive about the time that Kev spent with me and so my name is actually Jennifer many of you know that.

13:55.52
jeffekennedy
And so they’d named my character Jennifer and she was a mage and and I was just starting to get kind of intrigued because I had like these mage powers and could do things and then all of a sudden we’re like going down some tunnel or something and the dos readout says: A pit. Jennifer dies. And I was like wait. What does that mean and they’re like oh well, you know you didn’t have enough power or whatever we all fell in the pit but you died and I’m like well do I get another life or whatever and I said no no, you’re you’re dead now and. You know and that’s funny because ah I remember this so vividly and I was so annoyed and I so I was telling them all this story kind of at first in jest you know, just saying ah you know here’s my gameplaying trauma and I’ve really never gotten into roleplaying games. And Gregory said. Ah I mean he was incredibly sweet I I’m hope by getting his name right? Um, he was incredibly sweet and said ah I’m feeling like I should look up his name hold on. Let me make sure I’m getting it right. Was right? Gregory Wilson I um remembered better than I thought so anyway Gregory took this incredibly seriously and he said um, he said you know game playing came at a time in my life also in high school. When I needed it very very much and in many ways it saved me and so I’m really sorry to hear stories like this because of a bad experience and he says and there are other stories of people who had bad experiences like this from inexperienced game players who didn’t take things seriously. And didn’t take care of the other players and I’m really sorry that happened to makes me all over clumped and I wanted to say I mean I nearly came back and said well it wasn’t that big of a deal I’ve always thought of as kind of a funny story but but looking back you know I wonder. How much of that bad experience did affect the fact that I really never wanted to play any role playing games again. Um, and it’s not if you do listen to this gift. Maybe I won’t tell you to listen. Um, it’s not your fault that your friends were mean to me. Um, no brad was such a fucking ass right? You know? Um so competitive. Ah so anyway, it was an interesting experience playing this game. Um.

16:43.88
jeffekennedy
And it did remind me of one of the few other occasions that I’ve played a game similar to that which was also with Kevin his wife Linda David and I went with them in a group of other friends ah up to um, can’t remember what was called a. This old ghost town in the mountains where they did like the murder mystery dinner and you’re supposed to solve the mystery and both playing that game and playing this one last night I find myself. Interrogating the people much too closely and it’s an interesting phenomenon because I know that the roles that they’re playing that they have certain kinds of information that they can give and and Kev won that game. At the murder mystery thing and I think he knows how to abide by the game architecture in a way that I don’t because I keep trying to interrogate people more closely and I think it’s because I can tell they’re lying to me and so I’m always trying to extract. What what are they not telling me and I suspect what it is is that it’s that they’re lying to me because they’re playing a role and so they’re saying stuff that they know is it true? Ah, ah. So this is what I mean that I think I totally overthink this stuff. Um, it’s ah it’s a funny thing isn’t it. So yes: A pit. Jennifer dies. Ah I did um, kick ass with my bow and arrow and my quarter staff in the game last night so cheers um yeah I know that’s probably shocking to all of you that I may overthink these things. Um. I was also um I understand now more why so many fantasy writers generate books from their fantasy role-playing games. Um. Which I do think has a certain stamp to it and there were a couple of people who were like doing more to like be descriptive and talk about the storytelling type things that they were doing and I I feel like I I did not quite get into that because.

19:27.30
jeffekennedy
Um, Gregory was doing a great job of leading me through it and I think he was being especially tender with me knowing that I had this like terrible trauma from the pit in my teenage years and at the end everybody congratulated him on being a great game master which. I I probably should have just echoed. But I don’t know from good or bad but I enjoyed it and and he um was walking me through stuff but at one point he’s like all right, you know because I decided to rescue this deer and he said so what what are you going to do and I was like I don’t know what to say um and there was 1 other ah person who was um, being much more descriptive and so I don’t know it was interesting to play. So. That was my yesterday hopefully today will will be a little bit smoother. Hopefully my mom will be feeling better. Hopefully my stepdad won’t catch it from her and yeah and then I have to save this sticky note again for like Thursday. So. Um, yeah, well go get to work get away from these mosquitoes and I will talk to you all on Thursday you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – July 11, 2022

Why I don’t think of storytelling as lying, conversations with writer friends about process, achieving Inbox Zero, fitting things in, efficiencies with To Do Lists, the story muscle as a visceral thing, and why I love Romance.




Transcript
00:00.76
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Um, delicious today is Monday July Eleventh we’re full of perkitude here at Chez Kennedy Hope you are too. Um, yeah I ah. Good weekend I had a restful weekend had some good conversations with people not with all the people I meant to I reached out to a couple of friends that I owed food and conversations to say we could talk on Sunday I’m getting my life back and one said okay that should get back to me with the time. And then she never did and the other one I’m going to talk to this afternoon. Um, so I’ll keep pursuing the former and hopefully talk to the latter and then I did get to talk to another friend yesterday. Um, we had a. Virtual well I was trying to explain how it was because I told my mom that I’d had a glass of wine with my friend and she said um I assume you mean a virtual glass of wine and I was like well the wine was real but the the interface was virtual. But it was funny because my friend is also a writer and a very busy person and she was showing me a new kind of scheduling system that she’s using ah sort of an online calendar. Um, because that was partly how I had scheduled to. Have like social time with her and I I want to set up my mind the same way. Um I was using callendly before and I should do that again. So that people can like schedule social time to chat as me because I did like doing that and she was glad that I did and so were like okay. Keep this going I think she was intent on reciprocating which is very nice. So but so she’s showing me this other scheduling system that she’s using which would probably be a little much for me. It’s really cool, but one thing I’ve discovered about myself is that if I am. Too heavily scheduled I I start to feel pressed and I don’t like it but you can pick the things that you put in there. It’s kind of a cool system and so one of the things she was showing me on the sidebar she was sharing her screen on the sidebar.

02:43.81
jeffekennedy
You know have like lunch exercise you know email you know, along with scheduled meetings and an attempt to like handle daily things like we all do and um and it showed for that day for Sunday and on exercise it said couldn’t fit in and I started laughing. I don’t think she thought it was as funny as I did because I was like isn’t that just the way it’s like exercise couldn’t fit in even our Ai driven scheduling systems can’t figure out a way to fit in some of those things I was very amused by. She not so much it could have been that she was more focused on like trying to explain to me why the calendar couldn’t fit in exercise on that given day but I was I was going for the um, the the universal irony of the thing could not fit in it’s like writing right it’s the thing that although I hear it much less now I don’t know if it’s because where I’m at or where aspiring authors are at but you know for so long. It seemed like I would hear from people you know oh I want a book. But I can’t find the time you know what? I wonder if pandemic changed that people were like well I definitely have the time but maybe so that’s an interesting thought isn’t it anyway. Yeah writing could not fit in um because. And and that’s how this calendar is is you could set things as being um, immovable appointments and then it would shift other things which it is a cool system. You know so like if you end up having if you usually schedule lunch for noon and you end up having a meeting that goes till twelve thirty it’ll shift lunch down. Um, so I mean I could see that I could see that I I kind of do that on my own scheduling. Some things are more flexible than others. So on the one hand I’m I’m tempted and interested and on the other I think ah. Is it really doing anything I can’t do for myself I was in a meeting the other day and somebody was referencing their to-do list and they said that they had read that you should never change the order of your to do list. That you shouldn’t spend any time rejiggering your to do list because then that you’re just using time that you could have been using to do the thing which I can see but all of us on the call kind of groaned.

05:34.49
jeffekennedy
And we’re all like I spend a lot of time rejiggering my to-do list and and the person said well that’s the point and it’s like yeah but it’s important to rejiggering. Um I’m not sure I want to I don’t know. You know it’s sort of like the other efficiency advice you know like you only pick up a piece of mail once which now translates to email that you only look at an email once and you respond to it then I’m happiest when I’m in that place I am not always in that place. It would be interesting to try to do that with the to do list. It would take quite a bit of rejiggering for me to get it to a place I could do that because I do always have more on my list on any given day than I can get to which I do know is a problem. Um, and so I I do think in terms of if I move things to particular days and really commit to on this day I’ll get this thing done and I can’t move it will that help I don’t know. But I did get um I got to inbox 0 over the weekend whoo which is great because ah, especially my SFWA inbox had gotten up to like 42 emails which I know is not a lot compared to other people run their lives. But mine was at that because they were all things I had to deal with and and it had slid back to um the beginning of June that there were things lurking in there in my defense we had had a little bit of an. Email server hook hiccup and a whole slew of emails that sort of came through like to the general president email had gotten stuck and so they were all liberated at once and they were all things that I had to consider in some way or another. So now that I’m back at inbox 0 hopefully I can keep keep going. Um, but my friend and I were just talking about one of the difficulties with inbox 0 is that there are days when you simply can’t face. Opening your email I was glad to hear her say the same thing. It’s like you know that after you get traumatized a few times. It’s like oh I don’t want to open my email but but yeah, so I actually have notes today I was thinking about.

08:20.80
jeffekennedy
Things this morning. My brain was clicking along which is a good thing. Ah I was talking to David because so we have this puzzle box for the cats that we got it off of Amazon you know and you put it together. It’s cardboard. It’s got like two levels. And got little boxes inside and you put their toys inside and you put treats in there and then the cats absorb their energies by digging the treats out of the box and at first only Jackson liked it. Um Isabel completely ignored it. But Jackson got tired of it. He I think it’s too much work for lazy boycat. Um, and then Isabel discovered it a few weeks ago I don’t know why it suddenly caught her attention. But. She loves this box she loves this box she like sleeps beside it she loves it so much. Sometimes she sits on it sometimes she lies next to it and gazes at it lovingly and she wants us to put treats in it all the time. And she is senior cat and she has started to decline and wait. So I’m not concerned about um, her eating too much sometimes I worry about her eating too many treats and not enough of her cat food. But I don’t know how much of a concern that is so. She yells at us to put more treats in the puzzle box and this morning I was making my coffee prepping to come out here and David walked through the living room and Isabel stared meowing at him rather strenuously and I said don’t listen to her stories I already gave her. I already refilled her box with treats and I thought it was funny that I say that and I recall that coming from my grandmother that she would say stories now don’t be telling stories as a way of saying telling lies. And it made me think about there are always some some writers out there who say things like I lie for a living I tell lies for a living. Um and I don’t like that and. And I could see probably where they come from culturally because it’s the same place. My grandmother came from right with that. Don’t tell stories. Don’t listen to her stories where stories are equivalent to untruths and I don’t really believe that.

11:03.37
jeffekennedy
Um I don’t believe that storytelling and lying are the same thing.

11:16.68
jeffekennedy
Incidentally and completely off topic Thursday and Friday I was not able to get Instagram to load this podcast I don’t know why I might have to go back to doing a clip. But if you missed the podcast at the end of last week this is why. If you watch on Instagram and I know a lot of you do so it just keeps saying can’t load or or can’t share I think can’t share probably Instagram changed their settings again. Alas so. Ah, just wanted to mention that if um, if it won’t load today I’ll try to do the snippet again and see if that works hello hummer.

12:06.70
jeffekennedy
Hammers coming in to feed off of the hanging lobilia very picturesque. So oh the other thing that my friend and I were talking about. I’ve got something fuzzy on my face. Sorry I don’t know what something floated down. Um, oh we were just talking about the storytelling muscle and what that feels like. And how for both of us. It feels like more of a visceral thing than ah, a floaty thing and I was saying that’s partly why I don’t really grok with people saying things like the muse or the spirit or the inspiration. Ah, you know the word inspiration comes from inspire to draw breath in it never feels like an airy breathy thing to me. It feels like a gut thing. It feels like a muscle and she was asking me about something I’d been sort of debating been waffling on in writing shadow wizard. And I said oh you know what? I I got to the point in the book I meant like um, a little more than 25K words now I’m closing in on act one climax and so I meant I mean we could see I lied to her probably and said I was at like 25K words and i. I don’t think it’s that many 21.4 give or take a few 3,500 words but it was good enough for the conversation and I said that I had gotten to that point where I started to do the thing I wanted to do. And it felt so good I was so happy that I could do that and she had kind of given me quasi permission waved the permission wand to try this new thing I wanted to do oh who am I kidding I’ve already told all of you ah that I want to write more than 2 povs in Shadow Wizard. So I’ve been alternating with Jadren and Seliah for the first part of the book and now I have switched to Gabriel’s pov and. And she asked what did I think about it I was like ah felt so good and she’s like that’s that visceral feeling is it like yeah yeah, and and we’re both talking about how it feels like a she said sometimes it almost feels like sculpting like you’ve got this big thing and you’re kind of wrestling it. So I find it interesting that we both.

14:45.74
jeffekennedy
See it the same way. Always fascinating to me how people see their process. Um, you know that I also wrote these notes on this and I’m tried to decide if this is like a whole nother topic and I’m probably not going to get to in the. Next 5 minutes but I can talk a little bit about about that first act. Um I’ve been reading several different books over the next last few days or the next few days um trying to. Trying to satisfy various obligations and settle in um, for something that’s going to feed me through writing shadow wizard and I haven’t quite found it yet. I was reading a book that ah. Kelly Robson recommended to me and she really really wanted me to read and it’s a fantasy, a new fantasy. It’s not romance though and and I do feel occasionally a little bit of chagrin about. When people will say well does a book have to be romance and it’s it doesn’t I read a lot of books that are not romance. But if I read a book that is I’m trying to explain what it is about this book without getting too specific um romance. Adds a level of of happiness and reassurance to a dark story for me so I can read a story that is nonfiction or that is um, even something that is like. I don’t know. Um, ah I’m not sure I can even say what it is but if there is a story like this one that was fantasy but where the protagonists are all really unhappy people and it’s. Macabre ah, in a way that is similar to and I’m going to mention this one um Gideon the Ninth I know a lot of people loved Gideon the Ninth I did not get through it and it’s I read it for quite. I don’t know I think I read like the none 25% and it’s nothing against Tamsyn Muir because I I do think that um Tamsyn is a wonderfully skilled writer and created a fascinating world and I loved that opening scene the opening scene was

17:35.33
jeffekennedy
Amazingly well done which kept me going but then it goes into this world where there is so much darkness and the people are miserable and they are all unkind to each other and I know that. Least people say that there is eventually a romance but I didn’t I didn’t believe that it was going to be a romance with a capital r because the people were already so unkind to each other and I thought it might end up being more of a um I don’t know. Kind of a gray romance if you know what I mean because it was really more of a fantasy or science fiction story and of course there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s perfectly fine perfectly. Fine I should tell you all the story about perfectly fine but I won’t write now. Have to get permission. Ah no, but it’s it’s been become our new favorite hashtag so I’m totally distracted by perfectly fine perfectly fine as a way of seeing saying. I understand why people enjoy this thing and it’s perfectly fine for them to enjoy this thing but but I don’t get it and I seriously but I don’t get it because I see it so differently. Um, the. The hate hate relationship thing is just not something that’s fun for me and in this book that Kelly wanted me to read. It was um, there was a lot of that and it was. A very interesting magic system and an interesting world and setup. But I knew that I was not going to get happy emotions from reading this book and I think that’s what it comes down to is. And maybe that’s something that romance readers and writers have a difficult time conveying. It’s it’s not just that we want the romance or the love affair. It’s that I want that emotional satisfaction and that was RWA’s definition for a long time. Probably still is. Um, I’m really not sure what’s going on with RWA these days but you know it’s that emotionally satisfying conclusion and and that’s what you want? Yeah I mean they probably didn’t want to say happy. But there’s something to that you know that we want to come out of it feeling.

20:15.99
jeffekennedy
Joyful and optimistic and believing in um, in a satisfying relationship. Whatever kind of relationship that may be and if I am in doubt about getting that and I’m not going to. Get happiness from the story in any other way than I’m unlikely to want to keep going with it and so I think Kelly was pretty disappointed in me that I wouldn’t keep reading this book and then she was talking about another book. She said well did I ever tell you to read this book and I said yes and I tried to read it and I didn’t like it. She’s so we’re we’re just um, doing perfectly fine to each other so ah on that note I think I will go on I know I didn’t finish talking about first 25% but I’m gonna talk about that more tomorrow because I’ve. Other things to say about that and yeah, but now I need to go get some work done. So I hope you all have a wonderful Monday and I will talk to you tomorrow I’ll take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – July 8, 2022

I’m getting my new fountain installed today! Photo shows where it will be. Otherwise I’m discussing tail-sniffing, being made to feel inferior and other forms of intimidation, along with curation of what is “real” in a genre.




Transcript
00:01.83
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone. This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance here with my first cup of coffee. Ah, so good today is say it with me Friday woo woo woo July eighth exciting day here. In the Kennedy household because I am getting my new fountain installed d d um, it is ah they are coming at 9am I don’t know why say it this way I I do know why I I am um it feels fraught. To me and in a ridiculous way considering that this is something that I have wanted for 10 years and saved up my money for and is um, an expensive addition. But also value add to the landscape. So when I when I start feeling like this is a ah ah silly thing to spend money on David reassures me, he says that I always have ah, it’s very sweet to me. He says that I have really good taste and that I’m always very good about adding stuff that improves the value plus it will make us happy it um feels a little fraught in that I don’t know Dave I was talking to. My friend Kelly about this. She’s in town for one more day and I talked to David about it. Um, you know there’s just like all of this stuff about Can we get the equipment into the spot and you know like I put down the deposit on this. Six weeks ago and it’s been kind of a pain to get them to come and actually install the thing and um I don’t know they’re just kind of cantankerous about can they get to the spot you know and I did the call before you dig stuff. We did the measuring. You know it it all should be fine, but um I think I’m doing the thing where and I I hate that this bothers me but I don’t want to deal with the it’s kind of like the construction guys thing.

02:41.77
jeffekennedy
You know that I don’t want to deal with the look here little lady attitude and I’ve like been pre-stressing about it. Why do I care if they try to pull this shit on me I don’t know and Kelly pointed out that’s really not good customer service. And I’m feeling this way and she’s absolutely right? and David says he’ll handle it for me because he does speak construction guy. Um, so hopefully cross your fingers for me that it’s um I want this I wish it could be just fun and not. Stressful it maybe it will be it. It could be that I’m totally overthinking this which it would not be the first time right. So um to to do? Yeah I’ll be happy wouldn’t it say I just want it there for it to be done. Um, maybe if I were more of more naturally inclined to be a diva. It would be better. You know where I could just be like fucking put it where I want it be the princess. They imagined me to be um again I’m overthinking. So. Um, it’s interesting because I’ve been thinking more about you know how much tail sniffing there is in the industry and that’s what I call it and it was kind of amusing. I I used that phrase recently with somebody and they thought that I was like they’re like that’s such a great way to put it. That’s I’ve been calling it that since the very very beginning and my friend and I came up with it when we were. Um, newbie newbie writers and we would go to these writing events in our small town of Laramie Wyoming and and everybody there I mean a lot of people already knew each other but the people who didn’t know each other would all of the conversations would be like what do you write. And ah, where have you been published and and and you have to do that you have to like draw your mouth down and talk like yeah um and we started calling it tail sniffing because it was like when the writers would first meet each other. They all did.

05:20.52
jeffekennedy
Go round sniffing each other’s butts to figure out who’s the most alpha. And and it persists to this day and and I see it happen. It’s changed right since then because that was the early 90s and self publishing. Was not a thing I think when we first started I remember when I was in a crit group that came after this and I remember 1 of the gals telling us about the fabulous new website called Amazon where you could buy any book you want it? ah. So not only was self- publishing not really a thing unless somebody like I don’t know went to Kinko’s and ran off a hundred copies of their book and tried to get people to buy it? Um, but. You know it was um for there wasn’t even really much in the way of digital reading yet. It was um, you know bookstores was where it was at and it was all print and newsstance and now. A lot of the tale sniffing involves. You know like are you traditionally published. Are you self-published and and there are people in I think romance doesn’t do this as much. There are people in the science fiction and fantasy community that are heavily invested in being the curators of what is real science fiction and fantasy. What is good science fiction and fantasy. What is not good. What is vetted who’s important who is not you know I maybe this is a people are going to people thing. Ah and there’s a whole lot of the like the awards community is really invested in deciding who gets the awards. Who should be lauded and in some ways. It’s a response to the fact that some books are very popular with readers and others are not but there’s um, there’s this dichotomy between.

07:59.23
jeffekennedy
The books that are popularly read and the books that are considered award worthy and and there is a Venn diagram overlap of books that are award worthy and that are read by many people. But. It’s um. The and will let me sorry I’m I’m thinking as I speak which is never a good thing. Um there’s also you know like the that there’s still the idea that if you’re traditionally published that your books are inherently better. And it’s very difficult to get people to read and nominate self-published books for awards unless those ah awards are specifically for indie books and so like with Nebula awards we have discussed creating an award care category for self-published books. But there’s also a a feeling of like of ghettoizing self-p publishishing that way right? that separated you separated out. Um, and I’ve considered pushing for it and then I can’t decide if I really care. That much because in some ways I could get in trouble for saying that? Yeah I’m not going to say it well I’ll say this that um, that. Do awards contribute to sales is the eternal question and I have been interviewed on this topic before because when the pages of the mind won the Rita award people asked me if I thought that made a difference to the book sales and the thing is is I think it made a difference. Yes. Um, there was a lot of promo that that book got because of that and a lot of people are aware of that book I see it brought up frequently. Maybe not more than other books. But. Definitely a lot of people read it for that reason. Um, it’s not my highest earning book and there are many people who will say that that is the that is the only marker that matters right.

10:34.38
jeffekennedy
That’s the only part that matters is whether or not you spend spend the money whether or not the book earns the money and if you’re making a living as a writer. Um that is the bottom line I mean you do care most in a way about which ones are going to you know. Keep the lights on and pay the mortgage and one of the things that happens a whole lot in the indie circles and with the self- publishing writers is that they will become to some extent extremely focused on money. Ah, some of them being so intent on marketing and earning money that they say that they don’t care about anything else some of them even don’t care about like craft and that sort of thing you know with the whole idea of the minimum viable product and that’s a. Ah, subset for sure you know So It’s like um, but sometimes I think we comfort ourselves with that because I was ah in a conversation with someone who. I Think regards me as an upstart as not a real fantasy writer and I’ve talked about this before that. Um,, there’s ah, a section of the science fiction and fantasy writing community who believes that I do not write fantasy because there’s romance in it which. In which the romances the antimatter that cancels out all of the fantasy and even some of my friends sometimes who are more on the literary fantasy side of things um will suggest that I Write. You know, oh well, you could write a book more like this. It’s like yes, but I don’t want to. And I think that and I and I feel it in myself like when I am with this person who kind of considers me an upside upstart and not a real fantasy writer I think to myself. Well yes, but I’m making more money than he is um. Which I happen to know that I make more money for my writing than he does despite his storied career and it is a comfort to me because it’s like yes, but I have a I don’t know a marketable product right? So we tell ourselves these things.

13:10.18
jeffekennedy
You know to? Ah I I don’t know balance out the various aspects of success I have a friend who talked about you know like that we have different goal posts so short fiction writers tend to get very caught up in. Being published in particular publications because it confers a certain honor. Um, but it’s also very very difficult to make a living as a writer of short fiction because you just can’t you can’t make the money at it right. not enough not consistently um so then people those people will comfort themselves with well I may not be making as much money as x but I get these awards and I have this reputation my contribution to the canon. And if you’re very good. You can get your short fiction put together into a collection and sell the collection. So I’m not sure how I got on this or exactly where I’m going with it. It’s I think this is tied in with the in my head with the dealing with the construction guys and dealing with the um self-appointed curators. Of the genre in that they they both want and maybe it’s not fair to say that they want this but they both operate by keeping me off balance um or attempting to keep me off balance right? to. So that I will think that their opinion what they want is more important than what I want ah you know and I come back to that line from by Eleanor Roosevelt which I think is really important where she says no one can make you feel inferior without your permission. And and I do think that that is critical and it can be very difficult in the moment because people who throw their weight around in this way and and I should qualify that like the construction guy who’s coming. I think is the owner of the business I don’t really know because it was a woman who sold me the fountain and she just refers to John and it’s just kind of funny how they run the business and she says well John says and well John will and it’s like so who who is John.

15:54.55
jeffekennedy
John has gained this sort of semi mythical status in my head right? and she’s very concerned from the very beginning. She’s been very concerned about John being upset and so maybe that’s like transferred to me. It’s like oh well, we don’t want to upset John um. The other thing I know I’m circling between these two topics. It’s part of the brand here at first cup of coffee I did ask them to come out and look at the site I said when and you I work from home I’m here all the time you know, somebody’s out in our neighborhood stop by and look and see what you think and she said oh no, no, that won’t be necessary. John doesn’t need to do that. Well we’ll see what John thinks when John gets here. Um, which is better for me to have that strike attitude. Um, so yeah, there’s this Ah i. Can’t be made to feel like my books are less important than someone else’s books unless I agree to that? Um, but you know it can be difficult sometimes where you know it’s um. The self-appointed curators rely very heavily on getting us to believe that their opinion is correct and valid and important and do we think then I don’t know this particular person. I’ve read some of their work and it’s not the kind of fantasy I like and I could um I could go into why I don’t like it but I feel like that’s unfair. It’s not my not my cup of tea. But and I could even go so far as to say that I think it’s not good. But that’s me right? That’s my opinion. It’s um, oops hang on got something in my other. It’s um, it’s all the various kinds of gatekeeping and 1 way that people reassure themselves that what they’re writing. Is good and valid and worthy of respect is to find other stuff that they say is not as good and I think it’s hard when you’ve been a writer for a long time too and you see the industry changing you see other stuff becoming important. Ah, to people for whatever reason and you’re throwing out there well but this is why the old school thing is better. This is why this is the gold standard and these whippersnapppers today. Don’t know.

18:44.10
jeffekennedy
What they’re doing so I know this is something I circle a lot. Maybe it’s something that um I don’t know is it me? Maybe it’s just me. Ah. Or maybe it’s a maybe it’s a human thing you know where you’re always kind of looking at I don’t know maybe we’re always tail sniffing right? Who’s who’s got the um who’s got the sexiest anal glands this week but ah. To ah extend the analogy rather uncomfortably. So I’m almost out of time so I won’t go into I should make a note though because I do want to talk about um about some recent cages cases of plagiarism by. Very highfalutin authors and I think that this is related because I think that um sometimes authors who have a certain reputation to maintain end up like borrowing generously from other work in order to sustain that. I don’t know prestige… prestige is a thing right? You can’t put dollars on it but having prestige does help sell books. Um, it’s an interesting thing right? So all right? Well I’m going to go. And work on writing and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I will talk to you all on Monday you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – July 7, 2022

Print version of ROGUE’S PAWN is available! I’m also talking about some history, mean reviews from the past, the conversation about whether authors should talk to readers, “hidden gems” & asking for recs.




Transcript
00:02.90
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Delicious Today is Thursday July seventh and it’s it’s a Thursday here we are I’m feeling so behind on all of the things and I was excuse me complaining to David about it saying why am I so behind on everything. Have I been saying this for a while I kind of feel like I’ve been behind since a nebula conference. But then in June I went traveling for a week right? And then I’ve had friends here which hasn’t been that intensive but it’s been. Disruptive you guys know how I don’t like my schedule to be disrupted I am also totally aware now of how ubiquitous the phrase you guys is it’s in movies. It’s everywhere I am trying to lense it from my vocabulary with limited success thus far. Least I’m aware of saying it but a lot of people say it. So um, so yeah, I’m really hopeful this weekend that I can get caught up on some stuff. David asked me this morning. If I had ridden my bike that we let’s see when we came back from Tucson in April April while we were gone I had it. At the bike shop so they could tune it up so because it wasn’t in shape to ride and I wanted to ride it and I was pulling into the garage last night and saw my bike there poised in front of my car and David asked me if I had ridden it since we picked it up and the answer is no I have not spent. Hundred and fifty dollars to get all tuned up and ready and I haven’t touched the fucking thing but but you know for a while it was really windy and then it’s I don’t know I have no excuse except that. Just feel like I haven’t had time and so I was starting to say hopefully this weekend I would get caught up on a bunch of stuff I’m hoping to but then on the weekend I also want to relax. So maybe I can go for a bike ride I have.

02:50.31
jeffekennedy
Ah, shit ton of stuff to mail out and I think would help me I I keep thinking in terms of and I do this to myself a lot where I want to get everything ready so I can mail it all out at once and and it creates this enormous bottleneck whereas what I should do is just mail things out gradually. So I do have print copies of storm princess I need to mail those I should just start mailing. Um, mailing mailing so some of it requires. Research like what is the least expensive way to send a thing and well I feel like I almost need a step by step list. Um I also feel like I need that with some of the side projects you know like. Rogue’s pawn is out but already I need to be thinking about getting book two rogue’s possession I just have to make a few changes to it. That’s these little tasks right? and making good progress on shadow wizard I’m having a lot of fun writing jeron. Even sent a snippet to caring yesterday I should ask her if it’s too spoilery because I’m thinking about posting it. You guys know. Ah you all know that I don’t um, post a lot of snippets of my work in progress. But I’m tempted to post this one. 1 of the things on my list is get to get the preorder set up for shadow wizard. So just all these things to do. Um I need to ship stuff out for a polycon too. And yeah. So let’s see. Yeah um, Kelly and Alex are only here for two more days they fly out on Saturday. So um, so we’re doing some fun things today and tomorrow which won’t help with getting caught up. But maybe I could get a few of these tasks. Done. So let’s see um one thing that was um, just this kind of funny serendipitous thing was I complained to a group of authors I was emailing with.

05:26.65
jeffekennedy
We were emailing about something else organizing a thing but I was um I was being cranky and I apologize for being cranky and I said that part of it was because um, what was of miscellaneous things. But anyway we got into telling these stories about I’m trying to say if I want to tell you I don’t want to sound ungrateful or like a bad person I’m still thinking about Mary Robinette talking about. Ah. Like apologies on the internet and are you really trying to apologize or do you want people to think that you’re a good person because don’t we all want people to think we’re good people and sometimes we’re not sometimes we’re not a good person. Um, so okay so I’ll be honest. Ah I saw this Instagram post from a reader who did a really nice post showing one of the uncharted reless books and she called it an underrated series. And she loves it and I love that she loves it and it’s it’s meant in all sincerity and but you know it’s just sometimes when you’ll it’s like one of my oldest series and when. I don’t know when somebody calls it underrated I understand what they mean they mean that it doesn’t have the fandom you know like Sarah J Mos or Jennifer O out arm in Trump which is absolutely true. It’s it’s not as well known, but it still. It just put me in a little bit of a mood where I was just like and I think I was already in that mood because I was talking about this some at the beginning of the week it’s just like I don’t know every once in a while and and people do mean it in all sincerity and enthusiasm. But you encounter readers. Who um, discover your books and they’re like why haven’t I heard of your books before and you’re like it’s the million dollar question I don’t know why I wish you had I’m glad you know now. So i. I hesitate to complain about that kind of thing because I don’t want anyone to not share about in fangirl. My books. You know? So um, but it’s still I don’t know it was a mood and.

08:12.92
jeffekennedy
So I I shared this with these girls and said you know and one of them wrote back to me and she said Jeffe I want you to know that a few weeks ago I was at a book signing and a reader came up to me and she said ah. That I that she knows I’m new to this and that but that I’m very talented and she really hopes that I keep going which is a lovely thing to say right? The thing is is it wasn’t for that this author it was she said it was like for the 7th book in her sixth romance series. You know? So it’s like but you know hope you keep going and one of the other girls chimed in and said that she saw a Tiktok video that was like on hidden gems. Which you know people like to do and it’s a wonderful impulse because it’s like let’s not all always post about the same 5 books and I’m seeing more and more complaints about this kind of thing. Um, even my assistant said something about it the other day after I’d heard some other people complaining about it where she was saying. She was finding it hard to get good book recommendations because everybody recommends the same 5 books and and there’s a cultural phnom to that right? because the people who are posting like the Tiktok videos and so forth they want their posts to be. Liked and get a whole lot of comments. So if you post about something that I just knocked myself off the ledge here. Oh there we go um, overly dramatic. Not much but you know you you if you post about a book that already has a huge fandom. You’re much more likely to get attention for that right? It’s sort of a side effect of that fandom. Um, but it does result in this the same book’s being recommended and my assistant was. Frustrated the other day saying I can’t get book wrecks anymore because it’s always the same same books and so the the whole impulse behind underrated books or undervalued books. Hidden gems. All of it. It’s great because the thing is is that and and I should say this to myself is it’s not really hidden gems or underrated books. It’s just like books that aren’t these five books. It’s ah like this big huge the venn diagram right is like everything else.

11:01.43
jeffekennedy
The 5most popular books and everything else. Um, but anyway she said that she had seen a tick talk video on hidden gems that ah was about a book by colleen hoover ah who is easily the james patterson of romance you know and it’s like not exactly a hidden gym. So so yeah, um, it’s all good I really don’t want to stifle. Anybody’s enthusiasm. You should be able to rave about anything that you like. Whether it’s the same 5 books that everybody else likes or something that nobody’s heard of It’s just a funny, a funny phenomenon I saw somebody quote yesterday um about again about tiktok and how. Maybe the quieter books don’t have the content that makes for good tiktok videos and it’s like I don’t know you know and I think that’s a response to if it’s not about. Big blue aliens was vibrating dicks than it makes for bad content I think anything to make for good content. So anyway, that’s that’s one of my thoughts. Um I was very interested I made a note about this. And I’ll see if I can link to it in the comments. Um, but there was this thing that happened quite a few years ago and I was reminded of it when I was looking up rachel vincent I mentioned her in my podcast the other day. Um, because Rachel Vincent had written that book Stray that I liked very much that was an urban fantasy and when I went to look her up to see you know like what is she doing these days I don’t know rachel I don’t think I’ve ever met her um wish her well in general because I enjoyed her books. So I was looking her up and I found a review of Stray on Dear Author and I think I don’t think dear author is still extant um Jane Litte was one who did dear author with another gal I think it was amy tan and then amy tan backed away. And Jane Litte and Sarah wendell were very good friends and sarah wenddell had smart smart bitches trashy books which I know is still going. Um, but there used to be a lot of back and forth between the 2 but anyway Jane Litte did a review of Stray and.

13:51.36
jeffekennedy
I will link to it because it is in her inimitable style. A really mean review. Um, and it was interesting because at the time she was leading a whole lot of conversation about how authors. Um, should not interact with readers that reviews were for readers and someone pointed out to her that by writing her reviews as dear author and then sincerely Jane as if she was writing a letter to them made it seem very much as if she is writing the review for the author. And not for the readers. She gave the book a d and it was um, it was harsh. It was really harsh and I noticed in her bio on there that she had updated it where she said that she writes. Um, contemporary and and a romance and I happen to know that that’s not the only thing she writes she has a number of pen names. But I remember when it came out that she was also a writer because prior to that it had been a secret and Sarah Wendell had known the secret and had kept it quiet and Sarah Sarah posted an apology and it’s hard to explain how explosive this was at the time because Jane had been so much on this side of that authors should stay out of reader conversations. And reviews are for readers and you know, never the Twain shall meet and she um called out authors for you know, interfering with readers. She was even say she would even say that. Um. Authors shouldn’t even like say thank you on reviews or respond in any way because it would have a chilling effect. I mean there were a lot of these conversations and then it turned out that she had been secretly writing under a pen name. So I found it interesting that her bio now acknowledge is the thing that everybody found out. And the reason they found it out was because of the Ellora’s Cave lawsuit ah because Jane had written a blog article about Ellora’s Cave and all of the things that they were doing to cheat authors and Ellora’s Cave sued her. For slander and just to revisit quickly in order to sue for slander you need to prove that it has had a negative effect on your business and that it is um.

16:36.54
jeffekennedy
I’m not sure if it has to be untrue, but at any rate they sued and her real name which is not Jane Litte her but her actual real life name was named in the lawsuit and so it all came out this way that because it was public record right. So it. It was I believe they settled out of court and then Laura’s cave subsequently folded. But yeah, it was just interesting to recall some of that history. So I thought I would share it. With some of you. But um, you know it’s it’s one reason why I don’t review books that I don’t like um and in some ways I could say that I don’t even I don’t know if I even. Review books because I certainly don’t do a critical review where I break stuff down sometimes I complain to you all anonymously here. Um without naming the book just so I can talk about general principles of story. But um I take it can be It is a narrow line between critiquing the work and being unkind or even mean to an author because you didn’t like their book and. And I think it’s interesting to read this review and I I encourage you to go read it because things have changed since then this was quite a while ago I didn’t look at the date on it but probably something like 2007 2006 given that’s when I was. Trying to figure out my how many words were on a page reference Tuesday’s podcast um so I’m not sure that people would get away with it in the same way now or that they would want to? um. early days of the internet versus maturity where I don’t know maybe the meanness is of a more pointed and different variety. But um, yeah, breaking down someone’s book like that as if you’ve written them a letter and. But it’s posted publicly and then just saying all this stuff and I suppose it’s admirable in some ways that she has not taken these down she clearly stands by them. But I think we have to ask ourselves what we’re doing particularly knowing that she was an author at the same time.

19:23.68
jeffekennedy
It’s um, yeah, a pretty fine line between critiquing work in a thoughtful way and attempting to eviscerate the competition. Ah you know and maybe it comes back to that thing that I was talking about the other day that. You know competition especially in like the reading and writing world. It’s it’s invidious. It’s unfair. There’s no place for it. Maybe that’s part of the frustration with people recommending the same books over and over Again. It’s like well it’s Great. You know and they’re. They’re wonderful books. That’s why people love them. But you can only reread them so many times right? and then you want to read other books. So So I’ve been looking through some things in my tbr trying some different stuff out I’m um. I’m really in the mood for a very emotional lush romance and it doesn’t have to be fantasy if anyone can point me to that I want something. That’s really yeah, emotionally transporting not mean I’m I’m finding I don’t want any of the bully stuff. Um, but yeah, something something really moving hit me with your res please and you all take care and I will talk to you to crew Bye bye.

MYOB – How Much Do You Know About Author Finances?

ROGUE’S PAWN is out now! This first book in my original Covenant of Thorns trilogy has been re-released with gorgeous new covers. Look for book 2 coming July 26 and book 3 releasing August 16.

***

This week at the SFF Seven we’re MYOB – Minding your own business!

Seriously, we’re taking a long look at how we manage the financial side of being an author. There tends to be a wide range of strategies for managing author finances. As all authors are primarily creatives (with the small exception of the widget-makers who hire ghost writers to write for them, which is another kettle of stinky fish), not all possess the inclination to crunch numbers and balance accounts.

In truth, while I think all authors should have a thorough understanding of what they should be earning, not everyone needs to be a financial guru of their own writing career. In truth, the most comfortable place for an author – or perhaps any creative – to be is independent of the need to make money doing it. This, of course, requires either family money (marrying money counts) or a spouse with a great salary and benefits. In these cases, writing money is all “gravy” and I know many authors in this position who don’t really track that income.

The major downside of this model is it means traditional publishing has favored those with this privilege and also takes shameless advantage of these authors. There can be a lot of funky tickling of the financials, both from publishing houses and literary agencies. Believe me: I’ve seen it.

Learn to read your royalty statements and hold those who handle your earnings accountable.

The flip side is if you’re like me – someone who is supporting their household with writing income. This is the other extreme, where ALL finances are author finances. I track everything scrupulously, to the point of using mathematical models to predict my future income. That’s the thing about writing income: it’s super unpredictable. Sales wax and wane, often due to reasons beyond anyone’s control. Traditional publishing pays quarterly if you’re lucky and semi-annually otherwise. There’s almost no way to predict what those checks will look like, so I end up behaving like the privileged writer as above – I treat my trad income as gravy.

Self-publishing income is what allows me to pay the bills with writing. That money comes in monthly and, because I can access my sales dashboards in real time, I can reasonably predict how much money will come in. The downside of self-publishing is that the author fronts the investment. KAK covered a lot of the nitty-gritty of self-publishing costs yesterday. Most self-publishing authors can implement the simple math of outflow vs. inflow. That is, what you pay to produce and market the book should be less than the money you make from it. Where it gets into higher math is managing that income so that you can cover the costs of being alive.

With a salaried job, or even hourly income, the basic budgeting model is to figure your monthly income, subtract your expenses, and the rest is “disposable,” meaning you can spend it on stuff you want vs. the stuff you need. But with a fluctuating monthly income, this simply isn’t possible.

So, my basic model is to try to keep enough money in savings to pay for two months of expenses should I have zero income in any given month. (Which hopefully will never happen, knock on wood. My backlist is substantial at this point, so the baseline backlist income is relatively steady.) Once I have that in place, I can pay for some of the things that make us happy. This is VERY important. It’s tempting to confine oneself only to needs and funnel any “extra” money back into growing the business. This works okay for a while, but it gets soul-crushing over time. We work hard; we must also play hard. Anything else is unsustainable.

As a creative, maintaining your joy in the work is key!

From my initial announcement, you’ll see I’m also republishing some of my trad-pubbed books. I did ten books with Carina Press and now have the rights back to all of them. Those royalties came in quarterly, so I’m eager to see how my income on those books changes for me. So far I only have ROGUE’S PAWN up again. Republishing meant paying for covers and formatting, so a bit of investment on my part. Hopefully it will pay off.

As with all businesses, writing for a living requires a lot of hoping for that pay off. Being smart about crunching those numbers provides the reality. A balance of both is best.

First Cup of Coffee – July 5, 2022

ROGUE’S PAWN is out today! I’m talking about the re-release of this, my very first novel, and reflecting on the 15 years that have passed since I began writing it, along with my baby-author hopes and dreams at the time.




Transcript
00:01.51
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. It was delicious. Um I actually already drank it today is. Um, Tuesday july fifth and it is release day for Rogue’s Pawn who. Ah I have some tea now this is my paris mug did I tell you guys the story of this one before when David and I stayed at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas for our anniversary I think was for our 25th anniversary I was getting ready putting on my makeup and he popped out. We were gonna go out to dinner and he popped out and came back with this little mug because I thought it was so cool if you’re not on video. It’s um, like when those mugs set straight sided. But. It flares slightly from bottom to top and it has black and white alternating vertical lines alternating fat and thin and then in red it says Paris across it. It’s very french looking I think probably there’s a name for this design but and he brought me a little split of champagne with it. It was just ah was a true love thing he knew I would like him. so ah so yeah Rogue’s Pawn rerelease out today. Thank you all for your support on the book. It’s um. Really appreciate. It. Really lovely of all of you to say nice things about it and buying it and so forth I hope you like it. It’s so funny thinking about this book because. So much of my oh look is there’s even emotion in my voice right? Ah of my of my newbie writer hopes and dreams were were in that book I’m I’m not a fan of saying things like the book of my heart I don’t really believe in the book of my heart. Um. And every everyone’s while when I say that to somebody they’re like oh but this book is the book of my heart almost It’s like you. Okay, um I don’t really believe in calling books babies. Ah.

02:39.15
jeffekennedy
Get what I’m saying. But I also know that I tend to be um I don’t know more I don’t want to say cool or remote. But um I am not as emotional about somethings. As many people are. Um, noticing that water has collected in this fire pit and that it may be breeding mosquitoes I think I see larvae on the top I’m going to handle that hold on there. We go. So. Yeah, it’s funny because when I wrote this book. Ah I called it Obsidian and I just I thought it was going to be the answer to all of my hopes and dreams right? I thought it was going to be huge. I had read other books you know like I’d read twilight and loved it. I had read other things that were very popular at the time. Um I think I mentioned that I found my old spreadsheet for when I was first writing. When I pulled out Rogue’s Pawn to reformat it to put it out on my own Rogue’s Pawn was the title that we came up with at Carina press in part because they didn’t like Obsidian I think also because I kind of screwed myself with them because I had written. The um, the erotic novellas that were one word jewel titles: Sapphire, Ruby, Platinum and then Five golden rings which should have been Oro and they thought that there’d be too much confusion which. If I had known that was going to be a thing I would have like stuck with Obsidian but then Jennifer L Armenttrout came out with a book called Obsidian um before ah right around the same time and and it was. It was pretty big. It was one of her early hits and so I was like well you know so but and when you’re a newbie writer these things I don’t know they affect you more. You’re maybe because you don’t have that that thick skin yet that we talk about.

05:12.80
jeffekennedy
Which I don’t believe is really thick skin but it’s um, it’s maybe it’s maybe understanding that a single book isn’t the make or break and I think that when we begin we think that it will be we think that that single book will be the answer to our hopes and dreams that it will be um yeah that it that it you know like this the the whole idea of my one big chance right? and. So like going through that spreadsheet and looking at the books because I was trying to figure out I’d been writing short I’d been writing essays and I had published or you know University Of New Mexico Press had published my collection of essays and you know so I wasn’t. Completely I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. But you know my fur wasn’t wet anymore I kind of knew what I was doing but I didn’t know how many words a fiction book should be and I knew that learning to write a novel that I was going to have to learn how to work more incrementally. As opposed to writing short when I would often draft an entire essay in one sitting come so so I went through and I picked out these different books. And I typed in sat there and typed in pages from those books to figure out approximately how many words per page they were and then looked at how many pages and calculated it. You know so so now we know it seems like everybody knows you know. Because when I was telling this story to like some of the faro girls on the Discord you know they were saying well isn’t it about 275 words per page and it’s like yes, but young Jeffie did not know this I didn’t know that yeah and then that was approximately what I came out to but so some of the books. That I came up with were um or that I used for examples wh=ere Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey and I don’t think I use Twilight let’s see which ones I used hold on. So the books that I used and it’s really kind of interesting to look at this very old spreadsheet from my very beginning days. Ah I used um one of the kitty books by Carrie Vaughn and it’s funny because.

08:00.14
jeffekennedy
Carrie’s now a friend of mine I love that as I said cushhi’s startt by Laurel K Hamilton or I’m sorry by Jacqueline Carey and then I also did a book by Laurel K Hamilton it would have been one of the anita bla a blake books but I don’t I didn’t know which one and then. I was trying to there was another book that I liked at the time that was an urban fantasy called Stray and I’m trying to figure out who the author was um but I’m not being able to load Amazon right now. Our internet has not been right since it got knocked out. Ah, in the storm that we had when was it Friday night knocked out our internet for most of the night and it’s still they keep saying oh it’s fine now. But it’s not fine. Oh good here. It comes let me look it up so it was Stray by Rachel Vincent and I start looking to see what Rachel Vincent was doing lately and it doesn’t look like she’s put out a book since 2018 so which makes me cock my head quizzically, it could be that she’s writing under a new pen name people do that. So if anyone knows. Do let me know. So anyway I thought that I thought Obsidian was brilliant I thought it was just I really did think it was gonna be like Twilight and I thought I was gonna make all kinds of money and. I was going to be famous and adored and I don’t know all of the things that people want with their first book and you know and then it ended up being difficult to market or rather difficult to sell because everybody said that they didn’t know how to. Market it and and it was funny because the people that I would talk to about it and and it’s hard when you’re a newbie writer and you don’t really have friends who are in the same arena or the friends that you do have are also. Trying to figure out how to sell books in their lives and so forth and so they don’t really know any more than you do, but you know like my husband who had really gotten into some of the success stuff and you know like manifesting. Your desires and all of that kind of thing. Um, he ah you know he was saying well you have to believe in the book. You know you have to really believe in it and I was like I do believe in it and I always believed in it and yet there becomes this thing where you you can really believe in it and also be terribly insecure about it.

10:52.54
jeffekennedy
And I kind of I remember those years. Um where I I think I started writing it in. Um oh and it actually says on here I think I figured it out. It’s on this I love that I keep spreadsheets because I can keep track of these things. Because I did write down what date I started it I began it April Sixth 2007 and so long ago isn’t it. Um and then and in many ways, not right? It’s only 15 years what’s happened in 15 years since I started writing that book. So yeah I both believed in it and then you know sort of went through this whole character arc right on this book where I went from. Overweening confidence and ambition for this book to tremendous insecurity. And I was doing much better than I knew at the time. Um, you know, getting full manuscript requests and building good relationships with agents all of these really good things that stood me in good stead later. Um, excuse me but I wasn’t selling the book you know and and people would ask me like you know what I wanted for my birthday or what I wanted for Christmas and I would say a lucrative multibook contract to remember that. Those of you who knew me then and you know I wanted I wanted big money for it. I wanted a big debut I wanted all of the things and as time went on. It became increasingly clear that that was not going to happen. That that I was too sideways of the mass mind and I’m reading this book now just even going through it and putting it together. Although it fits certain itches I mean I could see it better now. It’s not clear. But genre is in some ways I’m calling it dark fantasy romance now it is pretty much um, but you know it has the portal thing which always confuses people I need some water that’s better.

13:33.61
jeffekennedy
So So yeah, it. It has been the story of my life is that I have never been squarely down the middle of any genre I’ve always been a little bit cross genre even now when I try to do something that’s like really. Squarely in Genre. It always ends up having this weird twist to it I Really don’t even try anymore. Um, so excuse me. Um.

14:14.69
jeffekennedy
It was just you know I was so emotional about it then and wanted so much. And yeah, it’s kind of funny to look back on my. Ah, myself then and feel compassion for that younger writer that I was and at the same time understanding why it wasn’t going to work the way I wanted it to work.

14:50.19
jeffekennedy
So when I finally sold that book I sold it to Carina Press who was much more willing to ah take a chance on a kid with a dream. Um, that you know they. They were Harlequin’s digital first imprint and so they had a lower overhead and more risk taking and so I will always owe that to Carina for taking a chance on that book. Even if they didn’t make me change the title. And I did briefly toy with changing the title back again with this re-release but you know that’s water under the bridge at this point. So so I’m very interested to hear how. Sort of this new audience receives the book. You know, will it feel like um I’m getting funny reflections on my face here to die. Maybe maybe it’s meant to be the the cracked facade of the older author now.

16:07.82
jeffekennedy
I was trying to pause here there I shifted a little bit. Ah, it’s not making that much difference. It doesn’t matter so I don’t know if this has made any sense. Um, you know I had a good friend. Who was in the query trenches with me and she got her book deal which I and I didn’t um and she got hers. She got a 3 book deal for $30K which other people sneeringly said oh well that’s not that creative a deal when I’ve told this story and it’s funny. It’s like actually you know, maybe it’s not an amazing deal but it was it was a decent deal and other people have not gotten that good of deals. Um, and I am grateful for the success I did have because a lot of people didn’t do that. Well so you know it’s always a mixed bag that way and yes at the time when I was doing this shopping um, people did suggest that I self-publish. And at that point it just wasn’t it wasn’t as robust to market them and you know it could be if I had hit that market right around 2009 2010 that it would have um you know like that was kind of the route that’s grace and i. Grace Draven um she and I had very similar paths and experiences and wrote similar things so you know it was not surprising our first very long coffee date which we talk about sometimes which ended up being like 3 hours long um you know we we discovered how parallel our paths have been and in some ways she was unluckier and luckier than I was in that she sold her book to master of crows to Amber Quill press and they gave it this horrible horrible cover and. Sold nothing and did not do well and while I did not love my Rogue’s Pawn cover Carina did do they put a lot of marketing into it I mean it did reasonably well um, whereas Grace was really driven to then self-publishlished because she. Um, just couldn’t just couldn’t live with what they’d done to her book and so that ended up doing well and then radiance did incredibly well and if I had self published then would it have made a difference.

18:55.00
jeffekennedy
Instead of doing those ten books with Carina Press so I don’t know it’s interesting. It’s just interesting to think about you know that so much is serendipity. It’s hitting the market with the right thing at the right time having the right people believe in it. And which is the reason why my least favorite piece of writing advice is or one of them is you know to write a really good book. Yeah, it’s like well writing a really good book helps but there are patently books that are not so great that have done well. And then there are really great books that never made it anywhere and it’s that’s only such a small piece of things. So at any rate rerelease of Rogue’s Pawn very interested to see how it does now lo these many years later. It’s sort of you know, like the whole. A romance dark and conflicted relationships are really in right now and that’s um, very classic me to ah have been 15 years ahead of the trend and not in a positive way. But yeah. Glad to have this book out there. So ah, happy release day to Rogue’s Pawn and I will talk to you all on Thursday you all take care bye.

First Cup of Coffee – July 4, 2022

On writing first novels and going to the ARC stage too soon, why that can be a really rough thing to do to yourself, and other thoughts on competition, Taoism, writing, and life.



Laroche5, 2/19/21, 2:58 PM, 8C, 7850×10233 (121+197), 100%, Repro 2.2 v2, 1/15 s, R85.8, G60.3, B75.9

Transcript
00:02.45
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:14.83
jeffekennedy
Delicious today is Monday July fourth – the fourth of July everywhere in the world independence day and the US. But um, it’s um. It’s one of those funny. Maybe it’s like an american centrism thing but that we refer to it as fourth of July as if that’s the name of the holiday when it’s actually the date. You know how it goes so if you’re not on video. I could tell you that I am wearing my red white and blue. Well my skin is white I’m wearing red and blue wearing my red chilli pepper earrings. So those are my special celebration of New Mexico very glad to be living in this state. Um, so hope that it’s a good day for all of you. It should be pretty low key for us. Um, there’s going to be a parade here in our neighborhood at 10 but. I think I mentioned this they’ve changed it. So it just like goes around the parking lot at the community center which makes it rather less like a parade to me. Um, for safety I don’t really understand but not much fun to go watch. So. I’m gonna work today gonna get some work. He’s done and keep going on the book I did get some good good words on Friday so hoping to really start. Ah. Getting a consistent output here and then later today will probably go down to the plaza and hear some of the music and be around the people and stuff. Um I know Alex is a little concerned about being around people. So I don’t know. Who knows maybe we won’t do it. Um, they are going to England week after next so they want to be sure to stay join free until then and I think it’s funny. I even said to them last night I said but you’re here now you’re you’re here on vacation now doing a thing and I accept that that the trip to england was very important to them. So.

03:03.80
jeffekennedy
So I was um, excuse me I don’t know if this ah I want to mention something that I saw sorry I’m sort of messing around this because I don’t like to call out people in particular. Ah, but I did see something that gave me pause and I felt like I need to um, just say a few things about it because that’s what I do here. But I saw an author posting. That they had begun their first novel that they were 50 pages into their first novel and that they were looking for ARC readers ah and an ARC is an advanced review copy so when you are asking for arc readers that is the penultimate step to publication and putting it out in the world. You give people arcs with the intention of creating buzz of rewarding perhaps loyal readers of getting. Reviews getting early reviews. So yeah, so an arc is what you do when everything else is in place. Ah and sometimes it can be last minute. Like I will ah very often have the well for traditional publishing usually an arc goes out. Um, it’s the version right? before the final proofing. So. It’s already been through all the stages of editing. It’s been copy edited. But it just needs one more round of proofing and depending on the publisher. There might be several people who proof it the author goes over the page proofs. So ah, the arcs will often say on them. Um, uncorrected proof. Advanced review copy please do not quote without permission because there still might be a few things that change but otherwise it’s really really close to the final form. So if you are. And also writing your very first novel and congratulations. That’s fabulous and wonderful. Your next step is not looking for art readers your your next step should be looking for people to help with critique and.

05:52.70
jeffekennedy
And I understand the impulse to want to race right? to putting arcs out there for people to read but to me that the way it sounds like is if I said um I am building. My first kit car and I’m a week into it I’m about a quarter done and I’m looking for drivers to test it on the speedway I did spend some time trying to think of what a but appropriate analogy would be It’s um, it’s just not ready that you know if I’m building my my first kit car I could have the best instructions in the world I could have the most enthusiasm in the world that doesn’t mean I know what I’m doing it doesn’t mean that it’s ready to get tested on the speedway. The arc is the equivalent of testing the car on the speedway right? You’re seeing if it’ll you know before you actually put it in competition you know and I don’t like to think of publishing in terms of competition that’s something I’ve talked about a lot. Because I think it’s a well as a taoist I think competition is unproductive and actually counterproductive and I probably haven’t talked about that in a long time but I could um. I also take a lot of the competition in publishing is a false What’s the word I want there. It’s it’s just it’s not real I think people attempt to generate it because. Well some people feel competitive and then I think that there is a um I know a tendency for especially in american culture happy fourth of July um, there is a tendency to think that competition. Is good and that it brings out the best in people and I don’t think that that’s true. There have been things over the years where various um book bloggers and so forth would create. Like tournaments between books and encourage the authors to like trash talk the other authors and you know, attempt to garner votes I always hated those things where you had to like try to get votes for your book and you were supposed to you know people are like oh well, it’s all in good fun. You’re just supposed to have a good time. You know like.

08:38.10
jeffekennedy
Trash talking these other books and you know it’s it’s just to like get the books out there. Um, and I just um I never wanted to participate I never thought that it was it didn’t make me feel good. And I think that it it ittensified this idea that books and authors are somehow in competition with each other which is I mean just simply not true that you know if somebody reads one of my books and loves it and goes out there and says where are more books like Jeffie Kennedy’s I’ve read all of them. But can I read now then it’s great that there are other authors out there that have books to to satisfy them? Um, so yeah, that competitive thing is it I still can’t think of the word I want. It’s a false construct.

09:42.71
jeffekennedy
We go I had to go blow my nose tami looks like my lipstick still okay I’m I actually wearing lipstick since I’m doing independent stake colors. So anyway. Ah. We all have to go down into the drugs on competition. But. Give her I understand the impatience I understand the desire to get your book out there to get people reading it I realize that’s a lot of the the culture now with you know, social media and getting feedback and all that kind of thing that you really want that feedback. But. If. You’re a new author if you’re writing your very first book. Um, give your book. Ah a little bit of a chance because when you well if we’re going to extend that analogy if you are doing the equivalent of asking for race car drivers. To take it out on the speedway and tell you and they’re going to put it through its paces. They’re going to drive it as hard as they can arc readers are not necessarily going to be gentle with your first book. And that’s a pretty harsh entry. Um, find people who would be willing to read you read it for you and give you feedback not beta readers critique look ask for critique partners. Um. You know it’s I just think about some of my first efforts where I thought that I was so brilliant and I was so excited and then I would read it over and be utterly deflated because it it wasn’t good. It wasn’t what I wanted it to be. And you just have to get better. Um, and and you get better by doing a lot of it by doing a lot of it and by getting honest feedback. not not Reviews reviews aren’t critique. Reviews aren’t feedback. They’re not supposed to be so all right? We’ll leave that alone. Um I had fun yesterday we went out to breakfast to the tea house and then walked around kenyon road and Kelly and Alex really liked.

12:22.72
jeffekennedy
Seeing the galleries on Canyon Road I knew that they would. We went visited one of a couple of my favorite galleries the longworth gallery which has a lot of fantasy artwork I thought it was funny because one of the artists said they were featuring heavily. Um. They were really pushing the fact that it was metaphorical. Um and they even had like the owner was encouraging us or the manager you know like they got working there was encouraging us to read these screeds on the sides of the paintings and I know that I have been the one saying that I don’t like. Paintings that are untitled and people are like well that’s because you’re a word person. Jeffie and that’s like yeah but I didn’t I still don’t want that many words. Um I found the metaphorical art I mean it was very obviously metaphorical and I wasn’t quite sure why. We needed to be um, taken by the hand and really hammered about the here is the metaphor in my art now there has to be a balance there right? I I really I liked some of this artist’s work. But a lot of it was just I felt like way too heavy handed I liked the simpler stuff. Um, but it was still really fun to see I love going and looking at the fantasy artwork because it it gives me ideas and that’s always great and we went to another of my favorite galleries. Um Carol Laur Roche and so I brought out the postcard um isn’t that great Carol LaRoche does these wolves and other animals too. But for those of you not on video. This is a stylized wolf in red on a black background with red stars. And the wolf’s eyes are blue and glowing and there’s a real sense of both serenity and wildness to it. Maybe I’ll put that on the show notes. But I may frame this little picture I keep wanting to get a print from this artist. But they’re all like a thousand dollars for a framed print and that just seems like so much for for that. Um, yeah, well they were doing a 20% discount winter sale. But this is called. Under the red stars. Um, yeah so art buying art. So let’s see what else um.

15:13.77
jeffekennedy
I also saw a great um at that same gallery that has the fetasy artwork. They carry some um Michael Parkes stuff and they had a wonderful print of Michael Parkes that was called Morning that I really loved the feel of so that was fun to see and. Yeah So then you know we walked around till early afternoon and then I dropped them off again and I came home and I was virtuous and I balanced the books and pay bills and I still need to fit I started crunching royalties and I need to finish crunching royalties. But then I went back over and hung out for a while and drank wine on the portal. So that was um I don’t know kind of a good balance for the day right? and Saturday I don’t even remember. What did we do on Saturday is that funny I guess I mostly hung out. Yeah I think Kelly took the day down to to rest and recuperate and yeah, that’s right I did laundry I did laundry and I did a lot of reading. Um, finished reading this book that was not as good as I wanted it to be so here’s gosh. It’s another example in that I like this author this author has published several books so far. Um, self-published books. Um I found. Some of the previous books to be I mean they’re just not quite gellled yet and it’s hard to explain sometimes why a book hasn’t quite reached the point where I don’t know where it’s a keeper where it’s. You all know I hesitate to say things like assign qualities of good or bad to a book. But this author has a great great premises I really love how they set up. Relationship between the lovers I like the attendant fantasy world. But then it ends up being you know I grow bored reading it because the one thing that. I notice in a book. That’s not as gelled as I would like to see it is that the emotions the emotional intensity don’t seem to arise organically from the characters and I think that some of that is just again.

18:02.23
jeffekennedy
Writing more spending that time writing maybe getting the critique but you know when you get the hair the character sort of exploding into rage or exploding into passion where it hasn’t been built up I read to. I read to 78% and it was sort of to the point where some of the romance had been um, satisfied they I’d gotten a couple of sex scenes I’d been waiting for this author write sex. Well so I had. I’d gotten to that. But even then it wasn’t it just wasn’t quite built up to and I wish and I do try to turn off my editor brain when I’m reading for pleasure. So maybe if I read it again I would find where it’s not quite building up. But at that point it started to feel like. Mostly set up for the sequel and oh and I just wasn’t invested I just didn’t care that much. There didn’t feel like there was enough emotional tension there enough suspense. So yeah, so that kind of left me dissatisfied and now i’m. I’m looking for another great read. So I not that I don’t have hundreds of books in my tbr. But if you’ve read something amazing lately? Um I could use I could use an amazing read I think I’m still coming down from my. Glomming of that other author where I went through and read all of her back backlist and she’s very good, very polished author so it was hard to compare on that. But yeah, give me your Rex I want something I want a good. Emotional ride I might have to bounce out of um, fantasy romance for a little while and try some other things we shall see something with good characterization. All right I am going to get to work on my own. Characterization and emotional tension and I will talk to you all tomorrow if you’re in the us I hope you have a happy independence day thinking good thoughts for the state of our country and I will talk to you all tomorrow you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – July 1, 2022

A bonus podcast today because our outing was canceled, so I’m talking about why I find the tour of Georgia O’Keeffe’s winter home and studio a mystical experience and why I think all creatives should do it.




Transcript
00:01.25
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:14.42
jeffekennedy
Ah, sheer bliss today is say it with me friday. Ah, woo woo July First happy New Month rabbit rabbit we used to have this superstition that my mom taught me um that if you say rabbit rabbit. Um, the first day of the month None thing that you say when you wake up on the first day of the month that you’ll have good luck for the rest of the month and then my mom eventually decided that it actually created bad luck and we stopped saying it a long time ago. She’s to be much more. Superstitious that she is now Jackson is out here with me this morning and I’m having to keep an eye on him because he is um he is pushing his boundaries like it’s like having a None ar old kid around. And he’s a mature cat. You would think that we wouldn’t have this but um, he has been trying to go over the wall. He’s been trying to take advantage of this recent freedom of being allowed out here by going over the wall and yesterday he. Did he went on an excursion I think maybe Kelly didn’t realize she shouldn’t let him out and we thought he was sleeping somewhere and he showed up on the front porch all tired because he’d been on an excursion and now he thinks that that’s what he gets and I’ve been telling him. No. So forgive me as I keep an eye on him. So I thought I’d made a mistake yesterday when I said talk to you all tomorrow because I blaatedly realized that I wasn’t going to be able to do a podcast today. Because we were going up to Abiquiu but then below and hold here I am because we ended ended up not going had to cancel. So um, yeah, it’s too bad. Ah, the the tldr is that Kelly is not feeling well so we pulled the plug on the excursion which is the the saddest part of it is that these tickets are difficult to get and I got them I don’t know.

02:58.48
jeffekennedy
three months ago um they’re booked up till August at this point so there’s no no getting new ones I’ll call the place when they open at eight thirty it’s um an hour a half drive away. Um. Jackson no, he went over the wall all right kitty retrieved sorry for yelling in your ears. He is um, thought he was just gonna have a little escapade.

03:45.75
jeffekennedy
David’s pulling the car out I was like no, what’s happening so much activity today. So anyway, we were going to go do this tour of um, Georgia O’Keeffe’s winter home and studio in Abiquiu. And this would have been like my fourth time I love to take creative friends there and I recommend it if you’re in the Santa Fe region and you’re any type of creative. It’s so worth going because this is where she lived towards the end of her life and she set up this house. Exactly as she wanted it I want to say the latter half of her life. Um up until she had to move into. Um you know, kind of assisted living in Santa Fe when she was very old and declining last couple years. So. Because she was a visual artist. The house is set up with these beautiful windows that capture specific ah swatches of landscape. it’s um it’s like to me this is the pilgrimage. You know it’s like I could take her leave. The the chapel at Chimayo if um, you know I’ll take people to see that if they want to. You know you can go touch the holy dirt as it were um that has no mystical significance to me. Being in Georgia O’Keeffe’s home her studio. Her garden is um that for me is the mystical experience. It is I don’t know there is a there is a vibe to it. There is an energy in the air. There is a. Ah, purity to it that I find it immensely moving. So I’m disappointed that Kelly and Alyx won’t get to experience it. We also had a day passed to Ghost Ranch but that would have been just sort of knocking about and seeing some of the landscape we didn’t have like the the horseback ride or anything. So um, yeah, that’s too bad. It would have been a fun excursion I really wanted Kelly to see it but she woke up this morning. Saying that she’s sure she has strep throat I really suspect. It’s the the dryness of the climate here I could be wrong. It’ll be interesting to see but she went ahead and made an appointment with urgent care. For first thing this morning. So yeah, she um.

06:28.60
jeffekennedy
She did she kept saying oh well because we were messaging Alyx was messaging me Kelly was messaging me um and she kept saying oh well you and Alyx go and I was like you know if you’re sick enough that oh excuse me. Little bit of a burp there unexpected didn’t even feel it rising up so please excuse me. Ah, yeah, you know I was like you know if you’re sick enough that you have to go to urgent care. Then it’s probably a really bad idea for the 2 of us to be a 2 hour drive away while you’re alone in a city. You’re not familiar with David is here but um. You know and he could have been on call but know and I know that that can be the sickness stocking to sometime I remember being um with one of my colleagues there. We go what’s being weird. Ah, being was one of my colleagues when I had the day job. She was sick with a terrible terrible sinus thing fever um lungs oh she was bad off and we were in Atlanta and we’d been on a long trip where we um. Did Atlanta first and then we were going to fly I can’t remember exactly how we were going to do it but we had to spend the weekend away from home and then the next week in like North Carolina and I think we were flying into North Carolina on Saturday and. It was like Friday afternoon. We’d finished most of our work pouring pouring rain. Ah and it let out the whole time we were there. It was um, it was winter time that cold and dreary atlanta rain nonstop so heavy all the time. I had to go grab my water.

08:53.52
jeffekennedy
Ah, so much better coffee doesn’t always um quench the throat when it feels dry right? So anyway, this story ended up being long this here’s versimilitude this is like me trying to tell you a single story. As all sorts of things are going on at the restaurant. But um, so she was feeling sick. She was worried about having to fly because her ears were really stopped up and we had finished work early and one of the people we were working with one of the local epa guys found a. Urgent care location for her. Um, right off of the bart station so that we could because of course we had no transportation so that way we could just hop on the train and go there and ah, you know be right? there. And then get back on and get back to our hotel which was also very near it was near that downtown Bart station. Very fun, kind of vintage hotel so we left the Epa offices went to the bart station which I think was like right below the building and she turns to me. She’s so sick and she has big puppy dog guys and she says would you go with me and I was like no it was totally my plan to just like push you onto the appropriate train and say good luck out there I would like. Course I am coming with you anything else would be completely irresponsible. So but that’s how it is when you’re set right? You don’t always I don’t know you feel so pitiful right? So it turned out well she she got the serious antibiotics. We were able to delay the flight by a day so that it was long enough that the doctor said that she should be okay to fly without rupturing her earrums which was a concern. They’re a miracle cure. So anyway, I’m hopeful that they’ll be able to get Kelly fixed up. They’ve got another week here. So many fun things yet to do holiday weekend here in the us and well really in Canada too because that’s part of why we were going today is that it’s Canada day because they are um, working while they’re here particularly Alex who has a. Full time job.

11:27.30
jeffekennedy
Just kind of a scattered moon around here now. David’s out here in the garden look. It’s Stephan. It distracted me so exciting. Garden news is our lily blossom bloomed so beautiful I took a photo. Yesterday. It’s not yet open this morning cause it closes at night. But I’ll put that on the show notes so that you can see it and so yeah holiday weekend. Um, no big plans for the weekend. Otherwise we’ll try to assure canadian visitors a little bit of um. American fourth of July fund. They interestingly asked me if there would be military flyovers and I was kind of confused by the question at first and I was like well no I mean there would only be like air shows at. You know and that would be if you like went to one

12:29.77
jeffekennedy
But apparently in Canada and Canada day they have like military demonstrations and it made me realize how in the us that’s really not a thing like our parades are um, we have veterans and we. Have like emergency service vehicles and that sort of thing but we don’t include military equipment in our fourth of July parades. It’s not anywhere I’ve ever lived I don’t know if it’s different where you are but I was telling them about that. That’s part of why it had been such a um. A big freakin’ deal when Trump was elected that he wanted to have the um military parade for his inauguration that shit he’s such a shit and he wanted to have like tanks. And the pentagon put down its foot I don’t remember who it was or how but they said no they said that there has never been and and I was trying to qualify what never was you know like maybe not since the civil war but that there have never been. Military vehicles on us civilian streets in all of our history and it was a good start now. Even if Trump does think that he’s putin and some of these gp conservatives fancy themselves Putin. I take that you know that is one of our our last lines in the sand that I hope we hold to that. Um, we are not a military government and we do not parade military vehicles. Through the sky or the streets or the waters if you’re near water. Um, it was interesting to think about that and think back to all the parades that I’ve seen Ah yeah I mean certainly sometimes you might get like national guard troops marching but not. Like full out military right? so ah so yeah it should be a late back weekend. Maybe we’ll go get to do some fun things shop around and that sort of thing hopefully Kelly will be feeling better Alex is off today because of Canada day. So. I said that I might um, be able to meet up with them later and take them to do some things since Kelly will probably be sleeping and so forth. So I have my writing day back. Unexpectedly so that’s kind of a bonus for me.

15:18.63
jeffekennedy
Very excited to get that.

15:23.62
jeffekennedy
Excuse me.

15:29.57
jeffekennedy
So um, yeah, and so bonus Podcast My mom was sorry that I didn’t get to go and I said yeah but hey bonus podcast for you. So I’m gonna. Dash inside and call the Georgia O’Keeffe museum to let them know that we’re not coming. Maybe someone lucky person will be able to use the tour tickets. So I Hope you all have a wonderful weekend holiday weekend or not wherever you are. Hope you get to do some fun things perhaps make some pilgrimages to some illuminating spots.

16:13.66
jeffekennedy
And um, yeah I will talk to you all on Monday you all take care bye bye.

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.