This week at the SFF Seven, we’re discussing collaborations – if we’ve done them and what our dream collabs would be.
I’ve never (quite) collaborated with another writer on actually composing a story. I added in that “quite” because my friend, Jim Sorenson, and I did start writing a book together. However, even though we wrote several chapters, our mutual agent (Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency) didn’t ever love what we came up with. Getting our voices to gel together was a challenge. We’ve talked about going back to the project, which I’d love to do someday. It’s definitely a different way of working though!
The collaborations I do regularly are anthologies! My bestie Grace Draven and I love to put together anthologies, either of stories from just the two of us, or with more writers. Our next project is THE WATERS AND THE WILD, an anthology that will include fae novellas from Grace, Dana Marton, Maria Vale, and myself. It will be out in late April, with a special print edition available for Apollycon attendees, and then available in ebook and regular print form after that. I’m very much looking forward to what everyone comes up with!
If I could collaborate with any writer, living or dead, it would’ve been Anne McCaffrey. I was too late to meet her and too slow in coming to writing fantasy to be one of the several writers privileged to write in her worlds. I would’ve LOVED to do that and, in one of the sliding doors versions of my life, I believe it totally happened.
I’m back from WorldCon in Chicago! Reporting on the convention – awesome – and how lovely Chicago was, along with thoughts on ballet and appearing effortless. Now l’m buckling down to finish SHADOW WIZARD!
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Delicious.
Ah, today is Tuesday September Sixth and I am back I am back from my travels back here in the grape arbor as you can see if you are on video and um, yeah. Nice to be home. Um, travels were good though. Um, just came back from world con and Chicago which was fabulous. It was um, personally my best world con ever I very much enjoyed it. It was um the the layout was amazing because it was all in the single hotel all of the events and everything we’re all in the one hotel where most everyone was staying and that is just. Infinitely preferable to me. Ah these other world concept I’ve gone to Dublin Kansas City and San Jose they were all um in like convention center type things that were separate from the hotel. And in Dublin because the hotel was fairly expensive. We stayed at an airbnb that was a considerable distance. Um from the events of the convention and while I really like the place we stayed in. It’s just a totally different con experience.
Um, if you’re not staying where the convention is occurring when you have to deliberately go to the convention space to do things people tend to go there and leave whereas at the hotel you get to see people on their way to stuff so you see people much more. Also this was like our first at least for me and for many people first big convention since pandemic. So even though I had been to Bubonicon ah the weekend before and Jack Williamson lectureship in the spring. Even though I’ve done a few other things. This was the first big one and the first time that I had physically seen so many people and it was it was just a delight. It was really great to be able to hang out in the bar and talk to people again. Oh and Apollycon, I forgot that one Apollycon was different because we didn’t have a lot of author hangout time. Um, and this was great. Just lots of um, lots of talk. There are just.
Conversations that only happen in person and interactions that only happen in person and we kept talking about that throughout the entire convention about how meaningful that was just to be able to interact with people in person again. Saw lots of old friends. So lots of people that I have um like talked to online in the last few years it was interesting for me that this was the big first big convention I’d been to since I’ve been president of SFWA and um.
And it it was Nice. You know one thing that was really lovely and a lot of you all out there make this effort to but a lot of people came up to thank me for the work I’m doing which was immensely gratifying very Interestingly. Several people made a point of coming up to me and saying commenting on how very smooth my presidency has been and then adding that they know that that means that we’ve been handling a whole lot of stuff behind the scenes because things are never that smooth. And you know that’s that’s really gratifying too because that means that hard work doesn’t go unnoticed right? You know it’s one of those things you know like the ballet dancer who’s um, aesthetic whose whose whole effort whose goal. Is to appear to be graceful and to float and to be effortless. Ah meanwhile her tendons are screaming. Her toes are about to give way. Um, she’s sweating bullets but the audience sees the fairy Princess. Ah, and so it was really lovely to have people who appreciated both things who thought that the ballet was looking fantastic but also appreciated all of the sweating of bullets that had gone on in the background I had um a great.
Coffee with Catherine Asaro and she was ah she came and found me at my table talk and asked if and which was like second to last day and asked if I could have dinner or something like that and we ended up doing like schedule tetris to find. Ah, time to meet up and um I wasn’t sure what she wanted and Catherine Asaro if you don’t know has been around for quite a long time. She’s a former president of SFWA one of the um I think is at 8 or 9 I actually wrote it down.
Well, it turns out I only wrote down the number of grand masters there have been nine female grandmasters I think Mercedes Lackey makes 10 I need to update my numbers. But ah I’m I’m pretty sure this number sticks in my head but that I am the eighth female president of SFWA since 1965 so um, and Katherine Asaro is 1 of them and she was telling me something that I didn’t know it turned out. She didn’t really want anything in particular she wanted to tell me with a great job. She thought I was doing.
Um, the recognizing the ballet ah and she and and we just kind of gossiped I kind of told her stuff. It’s nice to talk to a former president because I can gossip about some things and they’ll keep it to themselves. You know it’s like oh this is what was going on behind the scenes. They can appreciate it. I also had some great conversations with Mary Robinette Kowal similar stuff and um, sorry I was just thinking about something Mary Robinette was telling me that I need to remember.
So but 1 thing that Catherine told me that I hadn’t known was that she was the one to appoint and McCaffrey Grandmaster and that was I hadn’t known that and and it’s so cool because as many of you know if you’ve been listening for a long time. Ah. And McCaffrey was is and will forever be 1 of my great heroes and it remains a um, a great sorrow to me that I never got to meet her but you know it’s like what is that? um one degree of separation is it 1 or 2 ah, you know. Knowing knowing people who knew her and McCaffrey was really my gateway gateway drug to fantasy and yeah, so and it was interesting to hear Catherine talk about that back in the day. Ah, there had been pushback on appointing and McCaffrey Grandmaster and you know and she said of course nobody would say exactly that they thought it was too girly but that that was the the subtext and.
Yeah, you know it’s um, it was just really good to to make that contact and talk with people. So yeah, we had a SFWA meet and greet. We did not have the suite this year people kept asking. Did we have one? no but we did have a. Ah, short meet and greet in the bar and yeah and I was on a bunch of programming sold some books at my signing table I’m like never again going to do a signing table without. The ability to sign books because none of the world con booksellers and there were a lot down in the dealers’ room. Um none of them carried my books I saw Jennifer Estep’s books though, sent her a photo of those. But yeah, not one of them had my books. And and this is actually partly my fault – mea culpa – that we could have emailed this um dealer’s email address and asked them to carry books. So maybe I’ll do that next time certainly what be next year next year’s world con is in. Chengdu China year after that is Glasgow year after that is Seattle ah I don’t know if I’ll go to Glasgow maybe um I saw that Dublin had put in a bid for another one. It would depend on if Glasgow would be this deal of.
Well, there were so many things wrong with Dublin those terribly terribly small meeting spaces that they you couldn’t get into any of the panels programming. So I don’t know if Glasgow would be the same deal but we’ll see two years down the road I’m not going to think about it now. So that’s my last convention for the year except for I guess I shouldn’t say it’s it’s penultimate convention except for a world fantasy con in New Orleans at first week of November which I’m very much looking forward to I will be. Ah, rooming with Kelly Robson her wife isn’t attending so Kelly and I will share a room that was that would be great I did get to see both Kelly and Alyx at WorldCon spent some time with them drinking wine that was.
Wonderful also ah went out for an amazing dinner Greek food inspired Greek which was so good. Ah, which you know makes me now understand how a lot of the other Greek food I’ve had is definitely uninspired.
I was on some excellent panels moderated some excellent panels. Ah right now it’s all kind of a blur ah stayed up too late talking to people in the bar as is my want.
Um, yeah, oh and also this was very cool. Um, the one of the great things about the location was it was the Chicago. Oh Hyatt Regency downtown and it was right on the riverfront and. Chicago this downtown was just amazingly beautiful. They have done so much to make it gorgeous and so you could go down and walk along that riverfront and I walked all the way down to the lake which wasn’t very far saw the marina and navy pier and all of those things. Um, they had the architectural boat tours leaving from like right in front of the hotel and I really wanted to go on one I went on 1 in like 2015 at RT we like took a cab downtown to take the architectural boat tour and it’s just one of the best things ever and I really wanted to do that. And just ran out of time 1 thing for me about being at conventions and I think I’ve mentioned this before you know, a lot of people go out and do touring around and see the city and that sort of thing and I always feel like I’m at the convention to talk to people that that’s my reason to be there and so. Going on the architectural boat tour wasn’t talking to people but I did get to go on a long walk along the riverfront um almost every morning all but 1 morning and then um, the final morning I got to walk all the way down to.
A beach one of my friends – Alex, a different Alex – had found this beach and so we went down on Sunday morning and went swimming and that was really great. Ah it was um. Yeah, it’s so cool the way lake shore drive divides downtown from the lake and they had closed lake shore drive. It was Sunday morning of labor day weekend and there were all of these bicyclists going up and down lake shore drive. They’d closed it traffic and that was so neat to see. Um. And it was kind of a stormy morning but we had timed it well before it started to rain and so we went swimming and then I walked back in time to clean up and see ah it was funny because I know I have this phrase from my mother. But I I used it twice ah to different response I should tell the story in order. So I had said to to Kelly ah, when I met her very early for breakfast one morning. Ah like. Six forty five she picked me up at six forty five and we went to this place at 7 that opened at 7 which is the um only morning I didn’t walk because of that and but we both had stop later that morning so it was like you know go have breakfast and so we can get back and I said okay well I’m not going to be cute.
And she said untrue and I was like well I’m not going to be fixed up for the day yet and and I’d said something similar to my friend Alex when we went swimming because I said well ah he kept track of how long it took to walk down there which I really appreciate it and I said well I’ve just padded you know, allowed enough time to to get cute and he said you are cute and I was like yeah so maybe I need a different phrase for me. It always means you know cute-ing up is like doing the makeup and hair thing right? getting. Putting the nice clothes on ah and I know but that my mom says that that we always say that you know like oh well I were going to be cute for this? Ah so so that was all was all good I’m sure I have thoughts. Ah, right now. My brain is still a little empty I flew back late Sunday night it was a little bit of a um, you know, grueling drive back after landing I was a little tired but got up yesterday morning did not podcast I just didn’t have. That much energy. But I did get some words written I have to finish shadow wizard this week people um I’m I’m actually in okay is shape on it. I’ve got about 17000 words to go but I really want to maybe get to the end.
This week there goes um, waffling on my determination right? The thing is let’s let me tell you about the thing. So let’s see I am at 72000 words 72,155 I’m guessing it’s going to come out around 89K um I’ve only got a few chapters left which is interesting because I haven’t gone back to revise from the beginning right? Longtime listeners will know that usually by now I have ah I would have done that and I haven’t which is interesting interesting to me. Process always changes. So I think I’m going to write pretty much all the way to the end. Um, but I don’t need to necessarily hit that 89 k because then I’m going to go back and revise from the beginning and as always I will undoubtedly add so I need um. About a week six working days to revise I’ve gone wood. Ah um, and then a few days to do my out loud proofing for the final pass to get it uploaded by.
What’s my drop dead date to upload.
Um, to to down September Twenty fifth so right now I feel like I’m in okay shape twenty days nineteen days um a little bit less because I I need a a day to format so three weeks think I can get this done. Um I’m thinking of ending it in a slightly different way. Ah, which I don’t feel like I could talk to you all about and get feedback because it might be too spoilery I might ask Carien I think I got a mosquito but on my forehead did i. Alas, so um, so yeah, just that’s the big focus now finishing this book and if I had another thought there that I may have lost to the mosquito bite. Um, yeah, it’s been an interesting book to write. There’s a lot of lot of layers to this 1 layers like a parfait. Ah yeah, so that that was about all I did yesterday I also took. Ah, nowp slept for like two and a half hours which I’m not typically a napper but it was funny because I finished writing it was like I got a little over a thousand words and which I thought was pretty good for my empty brain and then ate lunch spend a little time with David chatting and then.
Lay down slept for two and a half hours and I woke up at like a quarter to 5 which so I was like oh I napped all the way till happy hour so it felt like um Regency lady I’ve been reading more Lisa Kleypas and so that’s a. How that felt so um, on that note I’m going to see if I can have a more productive day today and oh ah, next week September Thirteenth bookbub featured deal. For Dark Wizard and it’s going to be free, free download to sort of goose goose the sales ahead of shadow wizard coming out so tell your friends tell your friends your family told them to read it and then buy the rest of the series right. And be ready for jadron and Cellie’s story all right hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday ah tomorrow I’ll be blogging at the SFF Seven so I won’t be here but I’ll be back on Thursday you all take care. Okay bye bye.
And it would help if like I can actually activate the button goodbye.
More on time management and my delightful discovery on managing my To-Do List with less – even no! – mental and emotional anguish. Also a bit on finding errors in books as young reader and what I learned from them.
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.
Um, today is Thursday August eighteenth um closing in on the end of August it’s a lovely rainy ish morning. We got some rainy rainy in the night. So. It’s a little. Damp and cool out here this morning I was going to come out and light the mosquito candle to sort of fume me gate before I came out here but I forgot so I see them hovering about wonder if it would help to light it now. Or shall we just stick it out as what comes and lands on me I suppose I better light it I’ll be right back all right? Probably a good thing I did that because as soon as I came out here about 5 of them swarmed my head. And 1 already bit my ankle. So I knew they were thick this morning because they were gathering on my bathroom screen as I was getting ready because ah mosquitoes are attracted to light I don’t know if you all knew that but mosquitoes follow light and they will come in towards the cities and stuff. Um, and they will light candles wet. So one of the wicks just went out. They’ll ah gather on the screen outside the window. Don’t go into the light Carol Anne
Well 1 wick is going anyway. So here we are then um, let’s see so I’ve Writer Coffee today. We’ll be heading for that.
And lots of stuff to do lots of stuff to do both today and tomorrow busy days tomorrow evening flying to Tucson oh my allergies are going too.
Paused just in time to spare you the explosive sneeze. Ah so um, so yeah, yesterday was good day I got a lot done I got everything done on my to do list.
So I mentioned on Tuesday that um, there are so many mosquitoes hovering around here I mentioned on Tuesday that ah that my friend Megan had been talking to me about a new way of doing to do lists.
So For those of you who have listened to me for a long Time. You know that I am a hater of Mosquitoes actually do Mosquitoes are like the only living creature I will gleefully kill trying to light this other. Wake again.
I think it’s not going to happen now at lights and goes out. Oh well. Um to do lists so those of you who know me well know I love my spreadsheets and I I do still love my spreadsheets. And in fact, one of the things Megan was talking about was like that this guy whose name I forget but I linked to in the last podcast and I’ll link to again recommends like a physical to do list so you could cross things off I get just as much joy from deleting and taking it off so I have a to do list. That’s um, a series of running columns that with dates on it. Um, my current to do list. Well I could tell you because I’ve got it up. It’s one of the first things I open in the morning go away ski to.
Okay, there sorry folks, not wanting to show me well this doesn’t seem right? Oh there we go. Okay, that was it was being funny. There’s something about this touch screen the way it does things. It like splits stuff out in a way that I don’t love. So ah, yeah, it mine goes out through I think it’s set for light end of the year we don’t need to spend a bunch of time looking at this. I think I have it going out to like January. Yeah December Twenty third oh no past that why is this doing this It’s been so weird all right now we’ve spent so much time on this that I need to look wonder if this is like being out on the internet. I don’t love that Microsoft office makes you be online I’ve got it scrolling out for like through March April ah, ah, okay, it doesn’t matter ah easily through April um.
And I have certain things that I put on it every day. Um that I haven’t um, sort of scrolled out um in an order to try to get some balance to my days where you you all know I’m a fan of working incrementally. Ah, so I work I try to move things forward a little bit every day so like I work on finances every day I would try to do like half an hour on that I try to spend like an hour on Sifwa and then stop it doesn’t always work out that way. But. You know so I have it divided out into things like um like the podcast is on there or the blog. Um business ah household things like that or if I’m teaching a class I need to remember to like go in and deal with. The class that day so ah mosquitoes mosquitoes. So um, it’s I’m always.
You know I do think that everything is an editorative process. So I’m always refining how I’m doing things and with the to-do list I mentioned this on Tuesday that you know there are those things that just slide down that I always move. From one day to the next as I don’t get to them and the thing that Megan said to me that was such a revelation was to keep an ongoing list but move it off of that daily list so that you don’t have this feeling of failure when. You move those things to the next day and the next day and the next which is really what I was doing and I was ending up with like especially under business or something like that I would have like 20 things and I knew I wasn’t going to get to all of them. In one day I knew that wasn’t even possible. But I knew that I would be able to um, maybe get to them. You know I always had this idea. Well you know like if I have time. This is why I’m gonna get to them and I had them arranged in order of priority. Well that meant the ones at the bottom of the list were just. Like some of them had been moving. You know from day to day to day since the beginning of the year easily possibly before and it did have more of a mental and emotional impact on me than I realized because.
Taking those things off of my list created this immense sense of lightness and relief. So now I have my ongoing list that’s on another worksheet and I have to figure out um a method or a schedule to. Go to that ongoing list and bring the things over to my current list. But so I’ve been putting since since I returned so just um, well really tuesday and yesterday but still I put. On my list for that day. Only the things that I thought I could get done that day and needed to get done that day and it and I did I got them all done and it was wonderful. It felt great. So. I’m going to try to keep doing that so I have quite a bit of um Erin stuff and so forth to do today and tomorrow because as I said we’re flying to Tucson tomorrow night. So I have things to do to get ready for that. Um, birthdays my aunt’s birthday. My stepdad’s birthday. Ah so and writer coffee I mentioned that yoga I’m going to try to go to inperson yoga this afternoon I’m committed to go.
Um, we will see tomorrow if I make it but I really really want to go in pro person yoga today. So I’ve kind of got my schedule figured out for that. So ah, there’s like I don’t there’s so many mosquitoes around I just can’t even.
They must have really burgeoned in the night. Ah so let’s see what else? Yeah I mean this just really has made a difference and I think that um what I need to do is like.
On the weekend or on Friday go through my ongoing list and put things on the list for the following week because one of the goals is to try to not move things from one day to the next to try to have it be only on that day and then ah. This one just dive-bombed me there.
You know have only on that day. What you think you can get done I have considered not having lists at all. Um, but too many things drop through the cracks if I do that? Yeah so I think. This will work I’m excited for this? Um I’m excited to see how it works on a weekend when I’m not traveling as I am for the next three weekends in a row. But after that if I have only a couple things on the weekend that I really need to get done. Then I will um yeah I’ll see I’ll see how that works and maybe that’ll help free up my weekend somewhat I oh I was I just about say oh you may have noticed when I mentioned my to do list I don’t have writing on there. Um. There are certain things and maybe this is telling that I do every day that are not on the list exercising getting my words in I think because those are givens those are just part of my routine. They’re part of what I do first thing in the morning I don’t have other things on there like eating something so tickling my face now there was a time in my life when I had myself so scheduled that I did have on there.
Like eating and sleeping grooming when I was really trying to get maximalia fishing efficient at my time but um, no now I only have the things that I want to try to move forward every day.
So um, so yeah, I’m really excited about how that’s working. It’s amazing to clear out the list for the day and then I delete that column at the end of the day when I’m done and shut down the computer then I’ve done for the day if it’s great.
Um, so I found one of the things that was on my list yesterday was to pick up my office which really needed to happen because it drives me crazy when my office is all messed up and I did get that done and I found. A note from a while back on something I had meant to mention and that was um and I can’t remember what made me think of it originally, but it was a. An interesting insight I was thinking about errors in books inevitably There are some and I was just thinking about when I was younger particularly when I was a very young reader and really starting to pick out and glom books on my own. And I remember in particular um, reading him McCaffrey’s dragons of pern books and finding mistakes I remember finding a continuity mistake and I nearly wrote to her about it. And now I’m glad I didn’t because it’s like now I know that authors hear about their continuity mistakes all the time and but I was so surprised that there was this mistake like where she um called a character 1 thing in 1 book and then something else in the next book.
Um, and then the other thing that was so interesting to me is like when they would do that teaser chapter at the end of the book and when I would get the actual book. Some of the words were changed. It wasn’t the same and.
And I was astounded by that and and I was young at this point. Um, probably I don’t know 1112? um and really starting to maybe I was learning at school some but also just starting to really analyze stuff with a critical eye. Really. Thinking about the text I was reading and putting it in context of the world and what those character those those mistakes revealed to me was this epiphany now I understand scrambled eggs I suddenly realized. That authors are human beings and I realize that this sounds kind of silly right? but you know of course authors are human beings. But that was I’ve realized now that many people never do quite realize that um you know that whole Kresley Cole thing. When I talked about you know someone dealing with health and family issues and how hard it it is to be creative dead and it’s like my most listen to podcast listen to podcast ever because um. Somebody like shared it to a bunch of Kresley Cole fans who were frustrated. She hadn’t come out with the next book which I believe she’s come out with since but several people commented to me. That’s how I figured it out like where were all these listens coming from and they said oh you know that they’d never really thought of it that way and and I understand because.
When you love books when you discover books they are these magical things and realizing that somebody created them and that that person is a human being who has health issues and who you know may be unhappy. You know that they’re not like. Some angel who just emanates books discovering that Anne McCaffrey my idol had made mistakes gave me great insight seeing how she changed those. Teaser chapters into the final version of the book gave me insight too on how a person might change things and she didn’t always change things the way I liked them? um. I did have some of that syndrome where we liked the first wave that we see things and tend to wet ourselves to that. Um, but I don’t know she also smoothed it in a way that um.
That’s hard to explain but it gave me lots of insight into our process and I was fascinated by that so I had wanted to mention that. And I don’t think I have a whole lot else to say today. Um yeah, all of my news happened on Tuesday yesterday was good day I am past 60000 words on shadow wizard. So that’s coming along well excited for that. Thank you for all the pre-orders on that one I hope that you all love this book and ah I think on that note I’m just gonna go get to work getting hour done before I go to ride coffee and I will talk to you? All you all take care. Bye bye.
So much so that I missed posting for the last two weeks – and I’m posting late in the day today. Madness!
This is my brilliant (one hopes) catch-up post.
In book news, I got the rights reverted on the ten (10!) books I did for Carina Press. I started with my first dark fantasy romance trilogy, Covenant of Thorns, which meant new covers and new back cover copy (BCC). Done and done, times three. (What about the other seven books, you ask? I’M WORKING ON IT, OKAY?) I’ll be re-releasing these three books over the next several months.
When I walked out on my awful boyfriend, wishing to be somewhere—anywhere—else, I never expected to wake up in Faerie. And, as a scientist, I find it even harder to believe that I now seem to be a sorceress.
A pretty crappy sorceress, it turns out, because every thought that crosses my mind becomes suddenly and frighteningly real—including the black dog that has long haunted my nightmares.
Now I’m a captive, a pawn for the fae lord, Rogue, and the feral and treacherous Faerie court, all vying to control me and the vast powers I don’t understand. Worse, Rogue, the closest thing I have to a friend in this place, is intent on seducing me. He’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen, enthralling, tempting, and lethally dangerous. He’s as devastatingly clever as he is alluring, and he tricks me into promising him my firstborn child, which he intends to sire…
I don’t dare give into him. I may not have the willpower to resist him. He’s my only protection against those who would destroy me
Unless I can learn to use my magic.
Exciting milestone, to be re-releasing these!
As for the actual topics I’m supposed to address:
What do you see in your crystal ball for publishing? Will the Big 5 become the Big 4 and what would that trickle down cause throughout the industry?
I doubt that the merger that would make the Big 5 become the Big 4 will be approved. Even if it does, there are still other publishing houses that aren’t the “big” ones. Also, traditional publishing is only one part of the market and one that’s no longer at the forefront of everything. I think there’s value to trad publishing still, but I also think most authors will become hybrid, since we want to be able to pay our bills.
Dear Hollywood: Which of your works would you most like to see made into a movie or miniseries What makes it stand out above the rest?
My Twelve Kingdoms and Uncharted Realms series. I really want to see these books as an ongoing miniseries, primarily because I’d love to write the other POVs that are going on simultaneously with the 1st Person POV of these books.
Your gateway drug: the book that made you love SFF
DRAGONSONG by Anne McCaffrey. I found it in my school library in 5th grade and it opened up a whole new world to me. Possibly also the first time I glommed an author’s backlist.
Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is the item from your books you most want to own and why. In mulling this topic, I’ve come to an interesting realization: I rarely have interesting “items” in my books. But let me tell you what I *do* have and long for! Come on over.