First Cup of Coffee – May 13, 2022

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


Today is-say it with me boys and girls and other-Friday woohoo and it is Friday May thirteenth Friday the thirteenth it’s a magical time. Magical day and this weekend is a full moon and a full lunar Eclipse. So. It’s a great time to put new things into motion. Ah launch new dreams tie off old stuff take advantage of that element of chaos. To make a turnabout in your life. It’s like the midpoint of the story speaking of which I have completed the revision so far of the ah. Storm princess and the Raven King I’ve got something like 76000 words on it. So in the neighborhood of 20 to 25000 to go to lay down in the next week or 2 really to. Plus a little bit of time to revise those last one hundred pages or so is about what it works out to um, wonder if that’s exactly right? Well wallpark little bit less than 100 pages. Yeah, because it’s the last 25% I passed the act 2 climax and yeah, it’s now racing towards the end I hope.

Ah, so um, so yeah I think I’m feeling pretty good about it and that I’ll do my out loud proofing and see how that works I might just sit out here in the grape arbor and read aloud to myself that’ll be entertaining I wonder how long it’ll take I’m planning on spending like. 2 really intense days doing that. Do we think that’s enough maybe I’ll work long days I won’t limit myself to my 3 hours so um right now I’m feeling good about it I have to. I do have to do 3000 words a day to get that done so we’ll see where I am by the end of next week right? And next weekend’s nebula conference. So for nebula conference if you have not. Registered consider it. It’s gonna be an amazing conference The programming is really good I’m really pleased with how it’s come out. It is um, yeah, it’s it’s gonna be great hundred and fifty dollars all online come and join us lots of opportunities to chat and so forth. We also have the sub what auction going on and you can bed on a coffee clutch with me ah come and chat I’ll answer questions talk to you about whatever. Um, and thank you in particular to Meghan Ciana Doidge for giving me some. Talking me out of my tree yesterday with the comment on Instagram I appreciate that Meghan I I was really freaking about trying to get 10 titles up but Meghan gave me some some wise perspective on it doing the rapid release on the fantasy romances and then just. Maybe doing the rest on ah you know, just getting them out there for glomming I did ask the question is do we think people glom wide as much as they do on k you and maybe the answers. Yes. For a while Sorcerous Moons was doing really well on k u or at least well for me. But now it’s dropped off again which means I should probably advertise it right? or do some sort of promotion I also need to port over.

Reviews from the old set. But um, yeah, so and and Grace was just Grace and Jennifer Estep both gave. Ah they were not as comforting as Meghan was but um, they’re a little bit more tough love with me. Because they were just like get those books and get them up. Get them up and get them earning Jeffe they were immune to my whining about having to pay for cover costs but Grace had good insight where she said you know, get Ravven to do the covers. For the 3 fantasy rodent ances for covenant of Thorn’s and and Megan pointed out that I really should get those up now because Fae romance is so big right now and then I make change I wonder if I have to change the bcc on those. Have to look at them I know that I can’t use the harlequin copyright anymore or Carina copy you know, logo or anything like I’d want to and I can’t use the covers but I have to look into whether I even want to use if I can use the bcc that they have back cover copy. Um, even if I wanted to do I want to? We don’t know I have to look it this I haven’t looked at these books in forever. Um, Meghan suggested that I could do well revens making a cover for the first book. That I could hire someone to do a line edit of that thick first book to fix whatever is bothering me well you know these have all been professionally edited by really you know that was deb nemo who is a great editor I thought what I would want to change is some of the content and I am considering. Deleting a single scene except I went to write her coffee yesterday and had a wonderful breakfast with ah Jack and Jim my writer buddies Jim Sorensen and J. Barton Mitchell um Jack’s doing that great podcast, Derelict. The story podcast I should link to it. It would be nice of me. It’s I I’ve listened to the first episode. Um, you know I don’t listen to podcasts which I find very ironic since I do this podcast? Alas, so um. A waffley. Oh so Jack and Jim had good insights on it because Jim in particular because he pointed out. He said if you take out that scene. There are going to be people like him who.

Will inevitably go back to the original to try to figure out which scene was deleted so I’m only calling attention to it I don’t think he has a legit point there because I would do that too. Ah and then. Jim also made the point that I have to weigh if I’m really thinking about fixing this book. You know is my time better spent is it worth more and sneeze. He said is my time worth more. Minute for minute hour by hour spent fixing this old book or writing a new one to which the answer is obvious my friends. So so I don’t know I don’t know what I’m going to do. But the good news on the covers is Ravvenjust talked to me the other day and because I have a cover a month slot with her for the rest of the year and I’ve been planning to have her do the. Cover for the standalone of familiar winter magic but I think what I’m going to do is hold off on that because if you guys want to read it. You could still read it and fire of the frost and I’m going to have her due for may June and July the 3 covers for covenant of thornness. And then um, my one concern was is I’m going to try to come out with that bonds of magic book number 4 as yet untitled and I’m hoping to have that out by the end of August and my slot with her is the latter half of may. So I was like oh would we be doing the cover the you know the end of August but then I couldn’t do rapid release and all this you know so I was like trying to juggle this and serendipitously enough. My slot is in the early part of August and she said her August is really booked so she might try to move it up anyway. So I’m just going to get her the information for all for those covers and we’ll do bing bang boom and I’ll be forking out a bunch of money. The other thing that’s going on is I mean the good news is good news bad news great news is grey magic is now available on audiobook whoo so that whole series is available on acx the weird and annoying news is that like book 2 bright familiar. They have put grey magic in erotica.

Which it’s not erotica I mean it’s that’s hot. It’s sexy. So this is something else I’m going to have to address because I asked them to take bright familiar after erotica and they did not first book is not in erotica so I’m sure that like the Ai tags certain words or something like that i. Doubt that a person’s listening and doing that unless I’m wrong if any of you know how this acx categorization thing works let me know. But I think I’m going to have to like get a person and argue with them about it but I need to do a little research I need to see like where the you know where are they putting. Like Jennifer Armmentrout an Sarah J Maas you know, like where’s book 2 of acotar if that’s not an erotica then my book shouldn’t be an erotica It’s not that I’ve been ding against erotica of course. But since I have written erotica. But it’s um, ah I don’t think that’s what these books are and I’m afraid it’ll mislead people mislead listeners. Um, maybe if I take it out of acx and go wide which I will do. After gray magic has been in there for ninety days but um now that’s irritating. So um, so those things are going on. Doesn’t seem like I have a lot going on it feels that way I mean I guess it’s all good things champagne problems right? Um, yeah, so there was 1 other piece of news I was going to give you guys but I don’t know what it was now. I don’t know. Yeah well for those of you who follow me on like Facebook or Twitter did put up yesterday. Ah, my new chinese proverb where and many people asked me about it. Ah. Mary Robinette commented on my Twitter saying oh no and this raises questions. So it’s like okay yeah, because I said she who puts ice cubes in her pocket will receive a unhappy unpleasant surprise something like that. So why did I put ice cubes in my pocket. It was my jacket pocket I was wearing ah my sifwa jacket actually and so the deal is and I think longtime podcast listeners will remember that I was going through this thing of.

How do you keep an orchid alive because I have my trader Joe’s orchid you know like don’t we all have a trader Joe’s orchid at 1 point in our lives or several because we can’t keep the fucking things alive right? And so it’s a challenge. How do you keep your orchids alive and and it’s one. Those ironies because they’re like $5 at trader joe’s so you know it’s like not, it’s not a monetary thing but it’s like this gardening challenge I have not been able to keep the orchids alive but I recently learned you know because everybody’s like well you have to water them just as the small amount or the roots rot and all this. So I discovered somebody told me the the miracle trick is you water them with the ice cubes. So you just put ice cubes in the pot with the orchid and like once a week or whatever twice a week and the way the ice cubes melt it. Feeds the water to the roots at a rate where they can absorb it without rotting and apparently the cold is also good for encouraging a rebloom. So my trader joe’s orchid I have kept alive and it rebloomed um and I think i. Post pictures I was very excited and and the blooms have lasted It’s very happy orchid. So what I do is I don’t have a super regular schedule on watering it. But um, the way our icemakerer works is sometimes does everybody have a fridge icemaker. For those of you who have french icemakers maybe ours is substandard but sometimes it spews ice cubes on the floor. So when ice cubes spew on the floor I take them and I put them in the orchid. Yeah, it’s recycling right? The conservation of water and all of these things. So. Yesterday I was getting another glass of water and I had several things to carry back to my office and there were ice cubes that had spewed onto the floor and I didn’t have enough hands to carry the ice cubes and all my things and it’s not like I’m going to make 2 trips. So I stuck dicekeeps in my pocket because I thought well it’s it’s just from here to there right? you know walk from the kitchen to my office. It’s not far I could have made 2 trips but you know let’s let’s not get crazy here. So inevitably I forgot. By the time I got to my office that I had the ice cubes in my pocket which is a neurophysiological thing have I mentioned that to you guys recently I know I’ve talked about it before but there are legit studies that have shown that our brains respond to us passing through.

Portals or gateways and when we go from one room to another. We do an automatic wipe of recent short-term memory. It’s a way of clearing the trash out of our brains because it’s it’s kind of um, it’s a survival thing right. It’s like our brains know that when we go from the kitchen to the office or we go from 1 place to another that we don’t need to retain all of the information about the place we were just in so it does like this little cleansing wipe. So that we can absorb information about the new space that we have moved into it’s it’s protective right? You want to be not thinking about the old space but ready to react to danger in the new space or opportunities in the new space. This is why? Um, we all joke about it and some people worry about it. But this is why very often when you go to get something in the next room you forget why you were there. You forget what you were going for. Ah what you have to do the trick around this. Is like if you decide if you’re in the kitchen and you decide you want to get a pad of paper from your office is just keep thinking about that pad of paper as you pass through the doorway it totally works you guys I do this all the time but I had not been thinking about the ice cubes. As I moved into the next room so there I was in my office and I was working and there was cold drippiness on my leg and I was like why? Ah why is there cold wet water on my leg and I was like ah. Ice cubes. Alas, so um, so yeah I see I feel like things are working out things are positioning. Um. Maybe you hear from agent Sarah on some opportunities and yeah, oh I guess I didn’t finish saying what? Grace’s advice was on the other books on the contemporary bdsm books was she suggested just doing very simple covers for those. And I think that’s probably a really great idea and she even is encouraging me to make my own covers which I never do. But I’m really going to have to go look at the contempt media samorotic stuff. So who’s writing at it anymore.

And if anyone knows who’s who are the hot writers I just have not been paying attention. But I’m going to have to go renew some friendships there and find out like the best way to put those books up and see what kind of covers people are doing I’ve been immersed in the fantasy romance stuff for so long that I’m really just out of touch. So yeah, Jack and Jim were riffing on like what kind of simple covers I could do they were like black with a pair of Handcuffs I think they were terribly amused so I may do something like that and just get those up. As to your suggestion Meghan on you know, just having Ravven do all those covers. She won’t do the the contemporary erotic stuff that’s not her stick so she’s she would say no I won’t even bother to ask. But I do have other. Cover artists I could ask to do it I could ask the gal who did the sorcerous moons covers. Um, ah I’m going to be paying so much money for covers. Maybe I will try to do them myself. Grace who refers to herself as Mrs Krabbs is big into saving money and doing. Tiy so I don’t know maybe I’ll use book brush to make the covers see if I feel creative. But for this weekend. It’s gonna be a lot of gardening I think maybe some book cover creation. Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and ah. That you get to do all the things you want to do. We’re supposed to have beautiful weather. No wind I’m going to be outside twenty four seven I got to sit outside last night and have um a brandy and read my book at the fire table and it was so nice. Deb the wind not blowing had the. Windows open all night ah such a relief so you all take care I hope it’s a magical weekend for you and I will talk to you tomorrow? Oh no, not tomorrow. What am I saying I see that’s that tape recording I just went into auto mode I will talk to you on Monday. You all take care bye-bye.

Writing Sprints and Author Jokes

Lately I’ve been sprinting with buddy Darynda Jones every day. We hop on a Zoom meeting and do three one-hour writing sprints, with 20-20 minute breaks in between. Well, that’s what I do – she keeps going because she’s under deadline and going for 5-7K per day. Doing this together started as a way to help her with accountability, but I’ve been really benefiting from it, too. Knowing I have to “meet “with her at 9am and again after break, keeps me on schedule also.

Plus it’s really fun to share what we accomplished and ask each other questions. We try to keep the chatting to a minimum, so we stay on track with the work, but sometimes it’s pretty amusing

She posted this conversation to Facebook and it made me laugh. She’s, of course, very funny and good at polishing a joke – so she makes me sound good – but this was a funny conversation. Thought I’d share it here. 🙂

Transcript, if you can’t read the image:


ME: I lost a scene.

JEFFE: A what?

ME: An entire scene. I lost it.

JEFFE: Where did you see it last?

ME: Right here in my document.

JEFFE: Did you leave it in the bathroom?

ME: I don’t think so.

JEFFE: Did you take it off to wash dishes?

ME: I’m on deadline. I haven’t washed dishes in weeks.

JEFFE: I don’t know what to tell you. You’re just going to have to retrace your steps.

ME: *whimpers*

San Diego Comic Con and Cross-Promo Etiquette

Evening thunderstorms in Santa Fe make for gorgeous sunsets!

I’m super excited making plans with Grace (Darling) Draven for San Diego Comic Con. She was originally coming along as my guest, hoping to keep a low profile and just enjoy some girl time. Now her publisher found out she’s going, so I get to go to the Penguin-Random House party as her guest. We’ve also made plans to meet up with our readers who don’t have passes to the Con itself. For anyone interested in the San Diego area, Grace and I will be at the Marriott Marquis pool bar by 8pm on Friday, July 19. We’ll hang there until 10pm, when it closes. I think some intrepid fans have a plan to get there early and snag a seating nook. It might be mobbed, but we’ll be there! We’re both traveling light, so we won’t have much stuff with us, but we’ll be happy to sign books, swag, underwear (I really did this once – clean and unused, however) that you bring. We’ll also be at our leisure to chat, discuss, and answer questions. Sorry to make you all come down to the Comic Con crush, but that’s how we could fit this in.

I’ll also be on a panel and signing at the TOR booth with giveaways of THE ORCHID THRONE. Details here.  

It’s going to be so fun!

The last few days on my podcast, First Cup of Coffee with Jeffe Kennedy, I’ve been talking about the difference between marketing and promotion, and also social etiquette for asking for cross-promotion with other authors. If you listened there, I’m going to say pretty much the same thing here. I tried doing transcriptions of the podcast, for those of you who don’t like to listen to stuff, but it takes me close to an hour to correct a 20-minute podcast. Plus it costs me .10 cents/minute. I did add a donation button on the podcast, to help supplement the costs, but that’s just way too much time. So I’m going to make an effort to discuss important stuff (not cat wrangling, hummingbirds and notes on the weather – regular features of the podcast) here on the blog, too.

What happened to set me off was I received an email addressed to “Dear Author Friends” that then apologized for the mass email, blamed social awkwardness for it, and then proceeded to deliver a slick publicity package for her new series, asking me to share pre-prepared quotes, memes, etc.

It came to my semi-secret email, the one I reserve for friends and business folks like my agent and editors, and I had no idea who this author was. Not a friend, that’s for sure.

I did search of my Outlook items and found her. We were on a panel together two years ago – and I used that “good” email address for discussions about the panel. She harvested my email address, put it in this list of “author friends” and gave it to a publicity person who put this email together for her. Some of my real author friends who looked at the letter recognized some of the language as being canned.

So here’s a hint, for anyone thinking about doing something similar. Yeah, maybe some of those people you blitzed will post your promo for you. But for many of us, that’s just a really good way to piss off your author community. If you can’t take the time to contact me directly and personally – and there are a LOT of ways on social media to reach me or my assistant – then why will I spend my time, or pay for my assistant’s time, to help you?

Also, I don’t care who you are. If you take someone’s email address from a business correspondence and use it to send a mass email to promote your book? You, my so-not-a-friend, are an email spammer. There’s a special circle of hell for spammers.

I often cite cross-promotion with other authors as my favorite kind of promotion. It’s also by far the most effective. Witness what a great team Grace and I are, as above. But please notice that Grace and I are FRIENDS. I want her to succeed and she wants the same for me. We share a lot of readers, and that’s awesome. We also share mutual regard and sincere good wishes for each other. That’s what networking is about. Grace and I first “met” online because of our readers cross-recommending us. We had coffee at a con and became friends. (That infamous coffee date ended up lasting three hours because we clicked. That doesn’t always happen, but sometimes it does.) Using the network of your author friends should be entirely predicated on FRIENDSHIP, which means a reciprocal relationship. I’m not talking quid pro quo or bean-counting. I’m talking about good will, about sincere regard and good wishes.

Not spam.