Celebrating the release today of WINGS UNFURLED by Rebecca Gomez Farrell and A HARD DAY FOR A HANGOVER by Miss Darynda Jones! Otherwise I’m talking about being gentle with ourselves and what that means.
Celebrating the release today of WINGS UNFURLED by Rebecca Gomez Farrell and A HARD DAY FOR A HANGOVER by Miss Darynda Jones! Otherwise I’m talking about being gentle with ourselves and what that means.
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.
But it’s so good today is Monday April something Eleventh April Eleventh and I’m back home. Glad that you all liked the podcast with Darynda last week. Um. She is adorable isn’ said she even if she wouldn’t do the chime dingling. So. It’s funny. Ah I opened up my laptop because I have to have it open to do the video portion of this podcast and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my screen. Looked like maybe there was light shining on it funny but there’s not light shining on it funny and it almost looks like 1 of those old photographs like where you get damage around the edges and so it’s like bright in the middle and then there’s like a little halo around it and then dark at the edges. And I’m like what the fuck is wrong with my screen and then I remember how quickly we forget so on Saturday when I was down in Portales at the Jack Williamson lectureship Saturday morning we did the workshop creative writing workshop. So Connie Willis led it guest of honor Walter John Williams assisted and then they had the rest of us guest authors. Um, what essentially being the peanut gallery in China me chiming in and it was really fun because I’m asked originally I’m like is this something. We’re supposed to go to and they’re like well we would really appreciate it if you would and this is a terrific event because they they paid all my expenses and you guys know how I feel about this if you’ve been listening for a long time. They did it perfectly. Um, they paid for my hotel. They picked up all my meals. And it was um, you treated me with respect even though you know I wasn’t as important as some of the other authors they ah acted like I was and that’s amazing anyway. So we did this creative writing workshop. And we finished up oh like round twelve twelve thirty and Connie Willis said well we’re all going to go out to lunch and so do you want to come I’m like yes, even though I wasn’t hungry because. David Sweeten, Professor Sweeten who is um, the one running the lectureship now down in portalis at it’s at Eastern New Mexico University He had big colachi homemade colaches where he had like set the dough to rise overnight and and.
Dear reader I had to so hungry I was unbelievably hungry and I had not had coffee. Um, so at this point for lunch I was not hungry. This did not stop me from eating lunch. But I yeah so. Somehow so like despite the inadvisability of this thing you know so I’m I’m walking around at the lecture ship. You know for a couple of days and I have my pink Fluevog laptop bag that I love very much which is basically just a tote bag here. I’ll show you so see. It’s um, if if you’re not on video sorry you get the same description. It’s pink leather. It’s got some embossing of flowers in the Fluevog style and the best thing about this is that the rope handles go all the way underneath the bag. So at the bottom doesn’t tear out and I thought this quite some years ago five years ago when I was in Denver at the store. Um, because I wanted something that would work better to carry my laptop that I could also put on my shit in when I’m like at conferences. So I also had my wonderful thermis thing which is in the kitchen I won’t go get it that David gave me um for Christmas maybe doesn’t matter. That’s a coffee thing and a water thing and it’s really great because he did research. It’s big. It’s really tough I’ve already dented it still tough and it’s got this is the first time I’d used it just for water and it’s got this screw on top with them. Oh I don’t know what you would call it like a really flexible thingy that goes around the straw. So I can if I tip it over it does it spell. However, this does not mean that water will not leak out so I had you could see where we’re going so I had that in the laptop bag upright you know and I would stick it in there with my laptop and my other things. And really it worked fine. It was not a problem and when I first did I thought oh it was this stupid. You know it’s like you know how you do that? You’re like will I regret this but no, it was fine except when we went to lunch I had put my laptop bag behind the. Seat of the car with my partially open bottle of wine I made sure that didn’t spill but when I came out from lunch somehow probably when I was driving the thermos thing. Yeah I know you’re all country had tipped over and there was like standing water in the bag of my wonder bottom of my wonderful.
Waterproof leather bag. Ah, let’s why I was like oh fuck I’ve ruin in my laptop right? So I spend a few minutes taking everything out drying things off dupping out the water. Ah. And I set the laptop up on end in the backseat of the car to dry out and just in case you know and I was just like sort of like sending a prayer to the tech gods that it would um, be okay that it would not be ruined due to my moment of carelessness. You know. Kick yourself like fuck. So I did not turn it on because that’s one of the tricks right? You know it’s like you have to resist turning it on until it dries out completely. So I you know brought it inside I said we have the radiant. Key to in the floors which will be turning off soon. It’s warming up. You know what? I’m still not outside yet though it’s um, it’s 48 I could probably start. It’s always rougher I don’t know for some reason I haven’t wanted to this spring have I so. Didn’t turn on my laptop until I Don know like noon yesterday because I thought okay won I give it a good 24 hours and so I turned it on and did the cross fingers and prayers and I had it hooked up to my big monitor and it came on. Came on just fine and so I thought hooray hooray but I did not open the laptop to see the screen until this morning when clearly I had already forgotten about the the incident so I have a touch screen on this. Which I’ll be kind of bummed if that stops working but it might be just because I had it closed up and now it will drive further the shape of the halo is changing. So maybe it’ll maybe it was just like um humidity. I don’t know I could have screwed this up heavy sigh and so um, that was a lot of talking about my laptop. I don’t have much else to report I did get some words done while I was gone I didn’t get tons but I did after the podcast with we could turn on some of these all right to turn on my progress count. So I could see what I did.
I mean at least I kept it moving forward which was my main goal on Thursday before I left I did get my 2000 words that morning Friday actually before I went to dorndda’s I was awake girly in the hotel room of course and so I got um, 440 words before I went recorded the podcast and then after that we didn’t have a whole lot of time before we had to go to the first event and then on Saturday morning I got another 543 words I don’t typically work on Saturdays but you know I was trying to do a little catch up there. So um, it’s funny looking back and forth between the 2 screens which you know I I do I probably shouldn’t but I could see things so much better on the big screen. But. I look at the little screen and there’s this whole weird watermark patina I mean literally a watermark right? and then on the big screen. It’s clear and it’s like oh but wait. So um, it was really fun. It was super fun being at the lectureship. Um I had met Connie Willis a few times before I had attended a reading of hers forever ago when I lived in Laramie she came up for that and um, she was just phenomenal. She was just delightful. To be with um I just I can’t speak highly enough you know and I talk about this sometimes about the difference. Yeah, like some I don’t want to say older. Although you know. Sometimes it can be an age thing but authors who are farther along in their careers. You know more advanced in their careers than than you are have can be very different in how they treat the younger writers I’m putting that near quotes. Um you know and. Writers are people right? People are people and people will people. Um you know and some writers who are like guest of honor at something like that. Um Connie was being master of ceremonies I think and she was longtime friends with. Jack Williams said the science fiction writer who got his bachelors and masters at Eastern New Mexico University and who was a professor there for a very long time and she would go every year for the lectureship and now that he has passed on she still goes and she was really happy. They’ve missed. It.
In person part for the last two years of course so this was the first time back in person and everybody wish just so happy to be back together in person but Connie it was just incredibly generous. She really made a point of being kind not just to me but like. To another guest writer who only has ah has a couple of books so far and was not sitting in the very front row peanut gallery for the creative writing workshop but he was sitting more towards the back being a little more retiring and he had said to me they felt like he didn’t have as much to say as some of the authors which that can be a thing when you’re. Newby and Connie would really make a point of saying do you have something out you know and what do you think about this? Ah, she’s it. It takes a real generosity of spirit to be that good to writers and and she was. Kind to me in ways that I particularly noticed when I was talking about like some of the stuff with romance and she took a moment to explain how you know like the genres are about romance and you know she was saying you guys have to understand that for a long time. Science fiction. Was like near the bottom they weren’t nearly as good as literary fiction and then they found out they could look down on fantasy and then fantasy and science fiction both figured out that they could look down on the graphic novelist the comics writer she said until all of a sudden probably Neil Gaman’s fault. It did. Graphic novels ascended and and went out much higher. But then they figured out. Oh they could look down on romance. Um, it’s just really good to have somebody who is being warm and supportive and welcoming that way. As opposed to those who look down their noses and try to make sure that you know that you’re not nearly as good as they are and never will be which you know happens there certainly writers I’ve encountered like that. Um, in fact, it’s funny. I’m trying to decide if I should say this I’m gonna pause while I think about should I say this? Yeah I don’t think it’s gonna hurt anything for me to say this because I’m not gonna give details. But there’s 1 writer who like from the beginning of my career when we were first like at on panels together on that kind of thing. Was terribly unkind to me I mean nasty to me on Panels silence me silencing me on Panels um, someone much much more advanced in their career than I am to the point where like people were coming up to me after the panels say what is their beef with you be like I do not know if this person like.
Hated me on site. Well when I was looking at being president now Madam president ah looking at the list of people that could be named Grandmaster I saw this person’s name on the list and I thought ha. Won’t be naming you grandmaster anytime soon or ever ever you know, maybe a different president would but it was to me both a moment of probably ah, what’s the word I want unflattering. It’s not my finest moment people. Ah but i. Did feel a nice little moment of vicious glee over that like can’t stop you being mean to me but and then it’s also I thought stow this memory away Jeffe because it’s really important to remember. Um. That the newbie writers that you may sneer at today. Not that I would snare I try very hard not to but you know you never know who who they’re going to be in 1 year or 10 years or 20 years and maybe someday that person will be the 1 looking at your name on the list and deciding whether or not you should have a career achievement award. Um, it’s worth keeping in mind right? You know they they say that you should be careful of being kind to those that you meet on the way up because you’ll meet them again on the way back down. I think that implies a certain linearity that does not exist because it’s more like all of us are bouncing up and down and up and down. But um, yeah, Connie was just fabulous and she even took a moment to say to everyone that I have liked the worst job in the world being president of SFWA and that everyone should. Appreciate that and the other things she did that and I told this to David and he didn’t think I was quite. It was quite so funny but she has the quickest wit she is just tremendously witty and she had back surgery last year she was she’s your age mom. Ah, and born in Denver born in Denver and 1945 and she had back surgery so she has one of those walkers. You know she doesn’t have to use it all the time but she has it with her and then it has like 1 of those seats in it so that you could turn around and sit on it and so we were all done. On um Friday evening with all of the panels and walking out and we were you know I was coming out with my little group and I saw Connie sitting there on her little walker chair at the edge of the parking lot because her husband had gone on to get the car. You know to say for more of a walk but I yelled out abandoned in the parking lot.
And she looked at me and she goes seduced and abandoned in the parking lot!and I don’t know it. It really made me laugh and it was just um, it just felt like such a warm and delightful community. We just had um. I had a fabulous time I hope everyone had a fabulous time. Yeah, so I think I’ll leave it there. Um I need to kind of get back on my stick this week and I have finished reading through. The Sorceress Queen and the Pirate Rogue gosh I love that book I perfectly enjoyed that book the scene on the carriage is so freaking hot. Maybe I shouldn’t say that about something that I wrote but I really enjoyed it and I’ve started in on Dragons Daughter and. Good news is is I have little sticky notes things about that I’m understanding about Rhyian and Salena so getting it all figured out I hope so on that note I’m going to sign off I hope you all have a wonderful Monday that it kicks off the week will and I will talk to you al tomorrow. Take care bye-bye.
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee and with the fabulous Darynda Jones author of oh ah, you up the thing. Ah paranormal mystery. Young adult straight mystery yeah lots of things I tried to get her to do a trime for you guys and she was like I it it has to be like dy me do delivery. So I am here in. Fabulous portalis and at the home of Doinda Jones and she’s already started making it into a museum. You guys. So like when you tour where Doundda Jones lived and created her works There’s like the dog gates against the guest bedrooms and it’s just like visiting the sacred bedroom of Abraham Lincoln yeah and yes Jane Austen Jane ahusten there. You go here, you go um. And so I stopped at the hydration station on the way from the hotel and got my rather I said like grande-ish size but this feels very would you like I got an americano because it’s like because if I get an espresso. It’s like not enough to keep drinking right. This whole because Dorinda does a lot of the same ah intermittent fasting that I do so she understands we understand each other. Yes, we do so this has like you know enough that I could sit on that for a while and she had stevia for me and. And then a tiny tiny bit of c cream just to like cut that edge right? So what are you drinking? you have your I am also drinking americano but I have sugar you have sugar I actually picked sugar and and show them your fabulous cup. Winter so you have to describe it because some people are only on audio. Oh okay, so it is a very sparkly dairy sparkly travel mug with the winter soldier star that he has on his shoulder and then the back has the words. That the you could say to him that would control him that heck that he had to break they had to break and the in the so do we not dare say them out dare say them out loud but right you want to control him with yeah I mean who wouldn’t so dear listener Doinda has a thing.
Before Sebastian stands I do she stands I stands the same. Those things you didn’t need to know right? right? Probably feel my so and I’m trying to figure out why am I so much whiter than Torenda I mean am I that. We’re sort of sitting side by side and I feel like I look very white in this light. That’s very pale, pretty very pretty well. Well thank you so we’re doing the Jack Williamson lectureship and we went and did that thing last night. Listen to Connie Willis interview Walter John Williams and then went to dinner afterwards that was fun. Yeah, did you learn anything I learned a lot about Walter that I didn’t oh yeah and in his career this very interesting, very interesting. He’s he’s had a very long and. Up and down roller coaster career which it seems like all writers to right? right? Yeah yeah, but yes, it was very interesting and I also went to so Connie Willis’s daughter is a criminalist in San Jose California so I went to that yesterday afternoon and listened to her talk and that was. Ah I learned so much about her daily. You know what does a criminalist do and daily life and and the the stuff that they do in the lab and the different types of evidence. It was very cool. So are you gonna weave any of this into Absolutely yeah, you just don’t know how or where yet right? exactly she gave some really good tips on ways that they found criminals that you know that I have not seen there was 1 in particular that I have not seen in the book yet. So I’m like I’ll be using that. So can you share are you is it secret. It’s it’s well it involves a fitbit put it that way they use technology a lot phones fitbits anything. They can get their hands on and she said whatever you do it doesn’t matter if you delete it. It’s still gonna be in your phone so they have caught many a criminal. By getting their phones and restoring recovering deleted pictures and that sort of thing because so just because you you think it’s deleted. It’s not and computers are the same It’s never really gone. So it’s true that that’s like Facebook and Amazon and all of that they like.
Save everything forever. Yep yep, it’s there forever. So if you commit a crime don’t take pictures. Don’t take pictures and don’t wear your fitbit and don’t wear your and. Ah, ah and I want you guys to know I had to connect with Darynda’s wireless in order to do this podcast and you know how like there’s the joke out there where people say oh you should name your your wireless network like Fbi Surveillance fan so that you can like make your neighbors paranoid. Guess what during this wireless network is called but it is because you just couldn’t resist I couldn’t resist this is sunny I just found it. Funny. It’s been that for oh gosh probably 10 years and I won’t tell you were her wi-fi password just in case. But it’s on brand also so I feel like I have to level up to met to match like your level of being on brand my commitment your commitment to the brand. Ah.
So so what are you working on these days during actually let’s talk about I want I know you’re working on several things but let’s talk about your revisions on the third book the sunshine yes because I think a lot of people. You know, a lot of writers listens to the podcast as well as readers and but there’s always this perception speaking of like up and down and that kind of thing that like you know what is this your sixteenth published book. No, this will be 26 26 how did I lose track. Well, that’s because you’ve got the self post you I had the different stuff. Yeah, yeah, yeah, all the. And a young adult that was a long time ago. Oh I was a trilogy and yeah, so yeah, yeah, so so yeah, 26 books now and you’re working with your wonderful editor at St Martin’s but it’s been It hasn’t been a path strewn with rose petals. No, but. So. It’s so funny because I got very used to my first editor was Jennifer Inerlin who is now the president of St Martin’s and she’s busy and she’s busy and so I went to another editor so I got used to Jennifer’s editing style and she had a certain way and she would just write. She wouldn’t do line edits. She would write me up. An editorial letter and you know we were good and it’s kind of like a marriage. Yeah, you get really in sync with a particular view. So and and so I was very used to that then I went to another editor for 1 book and I wasn’t edited at all and I was like no. I’m not no book is perfect I mean they just isn’t I don’t care who you are your book’s not perfect and so I you know voiced my concerns to my agent and so she taught to Jennifer and now I have ah another editor and I’ve had her for 3 books now Alexander Seahlster and she’s amazing. Um, but we do there are things that she thinks of that I just wouldn’t think of and and it’s very interesting. It’s been very interesting and things. Like word choices that I wouldn’t have thought of like I couldn’t use should I say this is it okay to say I think it is because and because it’s interesting how and and yesterday I talked a whole lot oop sorry I thought I muted to my mother um hi mom. Ah now you know what? a. Whenever I’m saying oh there’s my mother awake and texting me. Okay there we go um and now I lost my train of thought so what’s oh because I was talking yesterday about being generation x right? and you know and things change and you try to be good about being aware and not becoming.
That grandfather where everyone says you know in my day my day I know what we called it and it’s like well yes grandpa is a racist but you know that was the time he grew up and you don’t want to be that person right? But at the same time stuff changes rapidly you know and like what feels like. An okay word to use even a year or two ago is now people are like oh wait a minute. Yeah you so use it and so I was really surprised at 2 of the words that she took out and I didn’t even tell you my bizarre story about writer coffee. So okay, so she had me take off thug and hoodlum. Hoodlum I got because that’s clearly hood. You know racist that sort of thing but thug I was like why thug. So I go to writer’s coffee last Saturday and lo and behold what are they talking about. Thugs the word thug which comes from faugy. Yes, yeah I did not know this at all I didn’t bring it up I thought I thought this is a sign from god ah god are you listening or you know like or the technology on your smart. This is true. Yes, it. It’s all out there and. Yeah, and how it came as ah, the british used said as propaganda against indian gods and nice or East India yeah yeah and yeah I didn’t even know that I was like oh well, no I get it and all those. Yeah, although still, it’s um, you know some of these words are so old and I don’t know but you know’s you you don’t want to hurt anybody. So it’s good to learn these things and take them out but then it’s like um, you know trying to lense these things from your vocabulary can just be just very interesting experience. Yes, so I so I have to tell you guys that duringda’s table has cup holders. You see this I can like set this into the the little cup holder. You would think that’s what it is. You know what? it actually is. It’s this is like for gaming or something that this is poker. It is for those little. Ashtrays all way back in the day they would put these little disgusting likes and clearly we don’t have them but we do have the the poker and I was noting that I was fidgeting with this that the poker things. I just thought it was a really pretty table. We used to have game night. We didn’t we never played poker but we used to do game night. So it’s it’s a beautiful table I mean do you know what what it this no I don’t I think it’s all fake. It was not that expense really I don’t know this looks um that has very nice woodgraen. Yeah.
It’s pretty though I just thought it was pretty. It is pretty. It is pretty and it has cup holders. I mean it’s kept up seriously yes, according to my grandkids those are cup holders too. So okay, though that that’s probably says a lot about my mental age right? There? No I actually when I bought it I thought they were cup holders. Did you all I did and then somebody told you yeah somebody was like no those were for those little extras. Oh learning every day learn stuff every day. Okay, so so you ended up having to take words out and then it’s just you know revising people often ask about the process of revising this and so. How would you describe your process I should have tried to ask it with a straight face joined that jones how do you describe your revision process. Ah gosh I I don’t know I just go through the notes and so Alex my new editor she does line edits as well as some editoria. And editorial letter and so I just did the line edits first and went through everything and tried to fix everything and again things that I wouldn’t even have thought of and um and then went to the letter and. What’s my process I don’t know I was curious. Do you like begin at the beginning of the book or do you well with the line edits I do right? just go straight through those try to get those done as much as possible. Um, and i. For the most part I try to accept everything because I figure. Well if it just threw her out of the story or whatever. Um, every once in a while I’ll be like I’m gonna keep that you know instead to fight for your joke. yeah yeah I do fight for my choice because that’s a thing. Like like I have a lot of jokes and and she will take out some and you were known for for your humor. Yeah, and so and every once in a while I’ll be like oh I got to put that one back in I’m sorry sorry I just like it. You can’t kill that darling kill that darling. But. Um, yeah, and and it’s funny. We were talking about how editors um you know like they’ll be reading something and maybe they have to go off and do something else or go to a meeting or they go have lunch or they you know sleep get a phone call or get a phone call. Whatever and they come back to it and it’s kind of like It’s almost like they kind of forgot what was going on to force and because sometimes the the notes will be really out of the blue and you’re like what Linda come I always wanted that when and sometimes like beta readers will do that too because they’ll be like well but you never said.
You know, like why he had the thing or something where did the thing come from and you’re and go back and you’re like here it is on page 10 right? where I say why he has the thing. Yes, yeah, it’s like maybe they just and and you look at it and you think well do I need to add to it. Do I need to explain? yes. Here’s why he has yeah to make it more sadly address something to get be a attention. Yeah, exactly? Yeah, but but sometimes you know it can be hard I I try to tell people this that it can be a real challenge to. No matter where you are in your career knowing which critique to take right and we were talking about this sum to last night about people telling you how to fix it? Yes, so a lot of times it’s like an editor or a beta reader whenever they’ll know something’s wrong not quite right not necessarily wrong but not quite right something didn’t hit him and then they might offer a way to fix it but a lot of times that’s that doesn’t fix it. That’s it’s that’s not the right way to do it. So you’ll like go back and you’ll think oh, but if I add this line to paragraphs before then that makes more sense so you you have to figure out the best way to fix it. It’s like they know something’s not quite right, but they don’t know what and sometimes they can’t even describe it right? right? right? because they’ll say well I just. Don’t sympathize with this character you know and and I think it’s because because he his hair is the wrong color. Yep, that’s that’s like a stupid example, but and you’re like no no no I know it’s not the hair color that’s bothering you but something is making you feel unsympathetic. Yes, yeah. Yeah, exactly exactly it’s so it’s like this detective exactly you have to really and that’s why to me revisions take so long because you have to sit there and kind of think about. Okay, what is the real problem here. You have to try to get in your reader’s head or whatever and try to figure out that’s that’s one of the hardest parts isn’t it to try to. Because you have the book up here right? and so you know exactly and it’s like how do I get it to what they know exactly and then even then you know readers make things their own right? right? Oh absolutely It’s it’s always um, interesting to see how some. Readers interpret the books right? Yeah I talked some in you and I chatted some about um Jennifer L. Armintrout’s most recent book and the whole kerfuffle around that you know and all of those readers saying that you know they were upset about.
I don’t even know what it was but like something did we talk about this. Maybe it was what someone else did you? you know like this one that just came out in her. It was like the war of 2 queens. Oh so yeah, no, we didn’t talk about that. no I was thinking yeah yeah did you follow that at all no oh well no onefuffle oh yeah well all of these readers or some readers. Some very loud voice readers unlike book talk got very very upset saying that I don’t know it had something to do with like that there was some kind of emotional infidelity and they were really upset with her and calling it the deal breaker and and Jennifer said in like 1 of her reader groups that they were reading it wrong. And and they got very upset. You know you can’t tell me how to read and all this which true. Yes, yes, but then some other people who read the book said but actually they were reading it wrong. But so it’s like interesting. Yeah, interesting. But I mean that is a thing you just can’t it I mean do you think there is a thing where readers are rating it wrong because you can go both ways on this. Well it but also to me if there’s more than you know. more than 1 person. yeah more than 1 person got this impression. Yeah, then I don’t I don’t can you read a book wrong I mean certainly we get like reviews where people like get actual details wrong right? You know like exactly the names. Yes, or. Or they’ll say things like you know I hated the part where she killed the dog and you’re like but actually she didn’t kill the dog but that is absolutely yeah, something went wrong. There. There was some discondent but but yeah, readers. And and it’s interesting if you go back and read something that you read a long time ago. Have you done that? yeah and you know like something you read when you were like a teenager or oh yeah, any say anything leaked to mind and done that well ah I hate talking bad. So. I am you can fudge the details. Okay, okay, well, okay, we’ll do that so I am a huge very particular vampire series fan. Well, that was absolutely huge. Um and I remember when I read the first one I read the first one on it. First came out and I left it I loved everything about it and and for the most part and everybody kept talking about how badly written it was and this is the book I think it is to start with a t yes, that’s okay and they kept talking about how badly written it was and I was like really.
Well and I was still new I was still writing I wasn’t published yet or anything and I didn’t get it and so you know now after having I think it was probably about two years ago I decided to reread it and I was like wow it. It really is better. still a good book. you know it was still a good book it was an enthralling book. Yes, and I still loved it and I still love it and I love her and I love what she did. Um, you know I she got hundreds of thousands of teenagers to read. Yes, who then became our readers. Yes, yes, yes, who had never read a book in their lives. I met many of them and then went on to love all things jealousy. Yes yes, so we are. That’s interesting because I have not gone back and read that but I I was really floored I had a very difficult time getting into it again and um, yeah. And well you had’t told me that yeah and I was like I feel bad I mean I a lot of people say there aren’t there’s books are not badly written right? and I I have set that I’ve said that on record on as well yes yeah well that I said that people do not read 800 pages of. Bad writing right? So it’s it’s not actual bad writing it’s something else. Yes, it’s um, that it doesn’t fit a particular aesthetic or style yeah style. Yeah, so what? So what was. What what about it? Would you say was badly written I would hit you wrong because now you’ve got this editor brain. Yeah exactly and I just it feel like it was written which this was her first published book right? and it was the first book who among us would not go back. Right? change. Absolutely our first publish but it was a first book. You know? And yeah, yeah, I just would you change things in your first post oh absolutely yeah oh I would change so much I can’t even yeah I I never read my books. I would change stomachma I cringe I’ve I’ve thought about that and I don’t know if you and I have talked about it but you know like my first published book was or you like full novel was rogues pawn. The first fantasy romance and covenant at thornance that Carina did and we’re trying to get rights back now and so now I’m wrestling with that. It’s like if I get my rights back and I self-publish it do I do you want to go back through it. You know because part of me really does yeah, but also I think it might be such a gargantuan effort right? that we.
It’s not worth that you and and put that kind of time into it when you could be yeah when I could write new things. Yes, producing new work. Yeah, yeah, exactly I don’t know would you? Oh that’s such a good question if I got the rights back to first grave first grave I would change little things little things like word choice. Yes, word choices I feel like Charlie I was trying to in that first book I feel like I tried too hard because and and in some ways you’ve talked about and I’m interrupting you. You’ve talked about that like in the early days you would go in and layer in the humor. Yes, in a way that you now just do as an organic part of the writing exact. But then it was much more deliberate. Yes, like joke deliberate. Yeah and I was trying to write funny beef people kept telling me that I write funny. So I thought okay well I’m gonna do this I’m gonna you know work I’m gonna write funny god god damn funny on purpose. I wasn’t doing it on her and um, yeah I I and I feel like I just I tried too hard and I overdid it and I and Charlie comes across to me, especially early in the book. It’s very unsympathetic because she’s um. When you write humor. You can’t be little. You can’t belitle other people and I don’t know because then it just becomes cruel. It’s Chris cruel. Yeah and I don’t know that she was necessarily doing that but it it almost is that’s on that edge there to where it was just a bit much and I would change that. I would I think I would go back and change it I haven’t looked at that book of mine I take that there’s a lot of problems with it structurally yes, see that would be way more massive a bigger undertaking and I don’t know that I would do that I saw. Somebody recently recently like last year or something like that reading it because this is part of it is like when people discover your work now they go back and the like back less them. Yes, bless you? you? Yes, thank you but they go and read your entire backlist and I I kind of cringe because I’m like. Go all the way back exactly? Um, but I saw somebody like you know, showed up in my tweet search. You know where they mentioned it. They didn’t tag me it. It was totally my fault that I looked but they were talking about oh reading coil thorns by Jobby Kennedy so excited and then. But she was talking about how it like she got whiplash going back and forth between the whimsy and the horrific aspects of it and it’s like I think I didn’t balance it well I didn’t know what I was doing right? right? right? So learning and yeah.
And I I wanted those things in it. But I think yeah, it’s um, it’s that refinement it’s getting the blend right and right now yeah so yeah, absolutely so that’s probably enough time. Do you have anything else. You want to say no. No nothing to say nothing and we’re gonna try get a little work done before we go off to the readings I already got some writing done this did you? Yes, it’s you I know such a good I makes you look bad. Well 1 thing that Walter was saying last night when Condy was asking him about. You know process someone does he write and all of this and he’s like that he writes like 500 words a day and does it like at 1 in the morning and he just works for a couple hours and otherwise he pretty much like naps and naps and eats and and eats and I was like how do I get this writer’s life. She asked what his favorite part of being a writer was and he said the hours and it was like this does not match my life but I but doesn’t match your why I just’s like what we’re doing it fucking wrong. We’re doing very wrong, very very wrong. Walter’s got the right idea I guess he also has like. The enormous backlist and is as his riches that he lives off. Yes, yeah, still where we have to figure this out. Yeah, we’re to work on that with all right? So we’re gonna go work on that. Um, lovely seeing you all I forgot to say that it was Friday we forgot to do the chair dance. I didn’t even say what the date was so let’s do it now today is April Eighth and it is you’re gonna say it with me do the chair dance. What is thisjule. It’s Friday it’s like Friday they ah so you are the wonderful weekend. And I will talk to you all on Monday yall take care bye bye.
Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is our three favorite… anything!
Since I’m down to the last few days of coordinating the upcoming FIRE OF THE FROST midwinter holiday fantasy romance anthology, I’m thinking about my three favorite aspects of putting together this annual project.
The anthology releases next week on December 22, 2021 and you can still preorder it for the special sale price! The price goes up on release day.
Working with My Friends
I always say one of the perks of being an author is getting to be friends with your favorite authors! While I love chatting with them online, putting together these group projects is the most fun. We get to collaborate in the best of ways. This year, working with Darynda Jones, Grace Draven, and Amanda Bouchet has been a real treat.
Getting to Read the Stories
Did I mention these friends are all authors I love??? I just finished Amanda’s delightful Of Fate and Fire, and am diving into Grace’s The King of Hel. I can’t wait to read Darynda’s foray into fantasy, A Wynter Fyre.
Sharing the Cross-Promo
What makes this project so great, too, is that we share the promotion and cross-pollinate with our readers. It’s super fun to see readers say “I discovered this author through your anthology!” It’s a celebration of each other and something lovely to share with our readers.
Only a week away!
This week at the SFF Seven we’re doing a little winter holiday self-promo! Many of you know we had to push back the release of FIRE OF THE FROST, but it’s coming soooooon! We are on target to release on December 22. So if you are someone who celebrates Christmas, this should hit your eReader just in time to relax and enjoy some holiday downtime.
And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, there’s lots of midwinter, romantic holiday goodness for you, too! Only Amanda’s story is literally Christmas. Everyone else’s is a fantasy midwinter holiday. Mine includes a magical sleigh race and elemental festive lights. It’s a story that takes place in the Bonds of Magic world, roughly after DARK WIZARD and semi-concurrent with BRIGHT FAMILIAR. It takes place at Convocation Academy and you just miiiiigght see some of the characters in GREY MAGIC.
The delay means you have just that much longer to preorder the anthology for the special preorder price, before it goes up on release day.
Here’s the official (still in progress) blurb:
A midwinter holiday fantasy romance anthology…
From Darynda Jones, a standalone novella set in a world where vampyres are hunted for sport. The only thing standing between them and total annihilation is Winter, a warrior bred to save them from extinction. Forbidden to fall in love, Winter cares only about her oaths… until she meets the devilish prince of the underworld.
Of Fate and Fire by Amanda Bouchet
The Kingmaker Chronicles meets modern-day New York City! Piers, an exiled warrior from Thalyria, finds himself in the Big Apple just before the holidays. The world and everything in it might be utterly foreign to him, but that won’t stop Piers from helping to complete a vital mission for Athena and protect Sophie, a French teacher from Connecticut who’s suddenly knee-deep in inexplicable phenomena, danger, and henchmen after an Olympian treasure that should never have ended up in her hands—or remained on Earth after the Greek gods abandoned it.
The King of Hel by Grace Draven
A novella-length expansion of a stand-alone short story in which a cursed mage-king from a frozen kingdom is obligated to marry a woman of high-ranking nobility but meets his soulmate in a lowly scribe.
Familiar Winter Magic by Jeffe Kennedy
It’s holiday time at Convocation Academy, but best friends Han and Iliana are finding it hard to celebrate. As a familiar, Iliana is facing her assignment to a life of servitude to a wizard, very soon. And Han… despite being tested by the oracle daily, he is still uncategorized. As Iliana and Han face being separated forever, they at last find the courage—or desperation—to break the rules and acknowledge their deeper feelings for each other. But it will take more than true love to save them from the laws of the Convocation…
And here’s a little snippet from my story, Familiar Winter Magic:
Once the races finished, Iliana let Han talk her into more dancing. With the excellent whiskey warming her blood, not to mention the heady glow of Han’s undivided attention, she could hardly resist. She loved him so much and he was right: this was their last Founding Festival together. Rather than try to hold him at arm’s length, in anticipation of their imminent parting, she decided to enjoy his company while she could.
Han at his most charming was impossible to refuse. Which would be a major problem when he manifested as a wizard, but she wouldn’t think about that tonight. Since it was a holiday, the thought-seekers gave everyone a break—and were celebrating themselves. The festival was a rare excuse for everyone to loosen up.
A little bit tipsy, the lights and dancing making her feel giddy, she danced with Han until she was so warm she had to shed her cloak. Among his many skills, Han was also an excellent dancer—far better than she, but he was so skilled that he made his partner look good—and they found themselves more than once in a circle of cheering spectators as he whirled her through the vigorous dances.
Then the music slowed, and she fanned herself, blowing out a breath, and headed off the dance floor. Han caught her hand. “Hey, where are you going?” Expertly he twirled her under his arm, then snugged her close, a hand on the small of her back as he led her through the dreamy rhythm.
Iliana braced one hand on Han’s chest, his heart thumping rapidly beneath her fingertips, his blue eyes lambent in the starry light. “We never dance the slow dances,” she breathed.
“A grievous lapse of judgment on my part,” he murmured, gaze traveling over her face. “You feel perfect in my arms, lovely Iliana. I want you here forever.”
She tore her gaze from his heartbreakingly beautiful face, focusing on his throat instead. That wasn’t much help, as his skin begged to be kissed and nibbled. “I don’t understand what’s changed between us, why you’re being so…”
“Seductive?” he suggested in a warm purr. “Devastatingly handsome and charming?”
Snorting, she made a face at him. “Aggressive. And annoyingly persistent.”