First Cup of Coffee – March 27, 2023

Can you miss something you never had? Also thoughts on creative crisis, how I always hit a point where I think the book I’m writing is TERRIBLE, and upcoming plans for my mentoring/coaching Patreon and Discord community!



First Cup of Coffee – January 10, 2023

Superpowers, immortality, and whether we’d keep everyone alive forever if we could. Also the movie She Said, reflections on the naughty Tumblr I used to have and how the #metoo movement changed so many things for me.



The Drive to Develop a Writing Practice

Look for the cover reveal for SHADOW WIZARD, book one in Renegades of Magic, the new trilogy continuing the Bonds of Magic epic tale! I’m getting the preorders set up today and plan to do the cover reveal on Instagram tomorrow, August 11, 2022. Members of my private Facebook group, Jeffe’s Closet, may get a sneak peek 😉

This week at the SFF Seven, we’re asking: how has your writing practice changed over time?

It’s interesting because the topic-suggester framed it as “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” – my college French demanded I get the saying correct – which is a French saying that acknowledges that the more things change, the more they stay the same. In other words, that surface details may alter over time, but the essence of the thing, the recognizable cycle of events, is fundamentally inalterable. Often it’s applied to history. So this suggests that our writing practice may change over time, but it also stays the same. Is this this case?

I’m saying no, at least for me. My writing practice has changed considerably since my newbie days. I was reflecting recently that, as a teen and young woman, I didn’t really know how to apply myself to improving at a task. This largely came from the fact that, in school all the way through high school, I could get by without really trying. I had a good auditory and visual memory, and I tested well, so I didn’t need to work hard to get A’s. (Except in math, which I thought I wasn’t good at, even though they put me in accelerated math classes. Turns out I likely wasn’t good at it because I didn’t like math, so I didn’t listen in class. Oops.) In college and grad school, a number of professors began riding me to apply myself, to study and do the practice problems. I kind of tried to – especially when I had to retake Immunology for my biology major and really didn’t want to have to retake second semester of organic chemistry – but there was a major problem: I didn’t know how to study.

I remember thinking I needed to learn how to study, but I was mostly flailing about. It was only when I had novel deadlines to meet that I got very good at refining my ability to work in concentrated ways, incrementally, day after day. I don’t often think of messages I’d like to give to my younger self, but I now wish I could advise that college student, that graduate student, to develop the habit of working for a couple of hours every morning. This is my best brain time. If I had done that in school, if I had spent just that much time working practice problems and reviewing the material, I likely would have done much better.

Of course, then I might have ended up as a research scientist after all, when I’m so happy as a novelist. Maybe it took working on something I truly cared about to inspire me to develop the practice to do it. Que sera, sera!

 

 

Loved Dark Wizard? Bright Familiar Coming Soon!

So exciting that Dark Wizard has over 100 reviews on Amazon! Thank you all for taking the time to rate and review. I’m hard at work on the sequel, Bright Familiar, which is set for release on July 9. Preorder available on the below retailers or via my website store. Meanwhile, the cover reveal is coming Friday!! Newsletter subscribers will get first eyeballs on the gorgeous cover, and members of my private FB group, Jeffe’s Closet, will get a sneak peek tomorrow. There may also be a snippet from the book in progress. It’s not too late to subscribe to either or both! I can promise that both are very low-key in pinging for attention.

 

One Stop Shopping

Exciting news here in Jeffeland! I’m delighted to announce that my website store is *finally* up and running! After ditching my previous negligent and irresponsible web designer, I’m working with an absolutely fantastic and professional company, Overmountain Studios. They have been just incredible – and less expensive, go figure. Yeah, I had to essentially start over and they built me a new website from the ground up, but it’s GORGEOUS, loads so much better, is far more secure, and is so much easier to use it’s unreal.

Reader, I am thrilled.

I think you’ll find it’s much easier to find books and series. You can see books sorted by genre, find out the reading order, search by keyword. It’s so sexy!

As for the store, this is my attempt to liberate myself somewhat from being dependent on internet retailers. All of my self-published books are available as ebooks from the store. The beta testers say the system is super easy and works great. When you buy my books from my site, all of the money goes to me, as opposed to the 30% (or more!) that a site like Amazon takes. I know it’s not quite a slick as buying from those retailers because you will have to download the book to your device and then send it to your preferred eReader or app. We have instructions if you need them! That extra effort on your part means a great deal to me, and is a way to help support me as an author. Really, though, buying my books is awesome of you in the first place and I’m grateful no matter how you do it.

Coming next, we’ll have paper copies available for purchase – of as many of my books, trad and indie, as I can round up – that I can personalize and sign, and send to you. We’ll also have fun merchandise! Harlan bookmarks, anyone?

Right now, my novella THE DRAGONS OF SUMMER, which is a finalist in the RITA® Awards, is available on the website only. This is the standalone novella that previously appeared in the SEASONS OF SORCERY anthology. If you have that book, then you already have this same novella. Minus the man candy cover, though. 😉 There will be a print version of that novella available soon.

Thanks to all the Jeffe’s Closet folks who helped test the site, and all of you who gave feedback on the previous site! And, as always, thank you for your wonderful support.

 

Screaming Love and More for You

At the SFF Seven this week, we’re discussing author fan groups – whether we have them, like them, how they work, and we’re interested in what the readers think about them. Do you belong to any fan groups and what do you like about them, which are your favorites and why? Come on over to weigh in!