First Cup of Coffee – November 22, 2022

Last podcast for a couple of weeks as I’m headed on vacay/writing retreat. Talking about connections in our lives, Buddhism, David Bowie, Taylor Swift, expectations on creators and a bit on BANDITS.



First Cup of Coffee – November 21, 2022

THE LONG NIGHT OF THE RADIANT STAR is out today! I’m burbling about that, controlled chaos, the importance of female friendships, and also story structure and applying screenwriting tricks to writing novels.



Paying It Forward Without Breaking the Bandwidth

THE LONG NIGHT OF THE RADIANT STAR – Jak and Stella’s midwinter holiday wedding – is out now!

Did anyone give you truly sound advice?

Did you have a mentor and if so how do you pay it forward without getting buried by requests?

I’ve been truly blessed in having numerous mentors and lovely, gracious people willing to give me advice. The one I’ll single out today is SFWA Past-President, Nebula-Award winner, and wonderful author of science fiction, sf mysteries, fantasy, and near future thrillers, Catherine Asaro. When I was shopping my first fantasy romance novel, sometime around 2008/2009, Catherine did me the huge favor of reading the book for me. I kept getting enthusiasm from agents and editors, and full manuscript requests, but they all came back with “no,” saying they didn’t know what to with the book or how to market it. I’d run out of ideas for how to revise the book so it would sell.

Catherine read it and said – the first person to say this to me – that the only “problem” was that I was writing cross-genre. She told me the story was good and that I was a good writer (things I desperately needed to hear), but that if I kept writing this fantasy + romance cross-genre, it would be like wading through hip-deep snow to succeed with it. She also told me she thought it was worth doing.

She was right on both counts.

As for paying it forward… I do that as much as I can. I volunteer to mentor through SFWA and other fundraisers. I offer advice in various arenas where I think people genuinely want to hear it. (Few things are more frustrating to me than putting energy into offering advice to people who don’t listen.) I have my podcast, First Cup of Coffee with Jeffe Kennedy, where I talk about writing and publishing (and other random thoughts). All of these venues allow me to control how much bandwidth I devote to mentoring others. In truth, I started my Author Coaching side business entirely so I’d have a way to charge money for my time and energy, when the bandwidth wasn’t enough.

That said, if you catch me in person at a con, I’m always happy to chat over an adult beverage. Offerings of chocolate are also acceptable!

First Cup of Coffee – November 18, 2022

The novella is done! I’m reviewing my productivity over the last year and discussing the next projects. I’m also mulling writing retreats, why we go on them, and what I hope to get out of the one I’m going to.



First Cup of Coffee – November 17, 2022

Some background on the difference between Back Cover Copy (BCC) and blurbs, how BCC remains the property of a publisher, even if rights are reverted, and what is a big NO to a publisher trying to retain.



First Cup of Coffee – November 15, 2022

Talking to my future biographer about my freakitude on guarding my writing time, writing retreats, and more harping on how the writing process cannot be conflated with the reading experience.



First Cup of Coffee – November 14, 2022

Thoughts on the Twitter debacle and how I don’t think newsletters are the answer (still). Also, my new landscapes, why I surround myself with certain kinds of images and why they are NOT my framed book covers.



First Cup of Coffee – November 11, 2022

I’m back to regular (mostly) podcasting, catching you all up on my activities, talking a bit about voice – how to recognize it and what it means – and asking for input on this midwinter holiday fantasy romance novella.



First Cup of Coffee – November 8, 2022

I’m urging you to vote today – and to vote Democrat! Also a shout out to Nicole Peeler, Director of the Pop Fic MFA program at Seton Hill, and thoughts on Bejeweled by Taylor Swift and what it means to shimmer.



First Cup of Coffee – November 1, 2022

A very special #NaNoWriMo episode today. I discuss the greatest benefit of doing NaNoWriMo, the pitfalls, and how to approach this process like an exercise training program so you gain the greatest benefit!