First Cup of Coffee – December 4, 2023

Some pitfalls to watch for in contracts with traditional publishing and literary agencies. Also author finances and taxes, why owning your process doesn’t mean loving it, and why experienced authors find it hard to teach.

First Cup of Coffee – September 22, 2023

About my tumultuous week and how wonderful Mary Robinette Kowal is. Also, by request, an explanation of what AI is and isn’t, and what it has to do with writing stories and creating art.

Trusting the Creative Process

Happy Summer Solstice, all!

This week at the SFF Seven, we’re talking about our greatest writing challenge and how we manage it.

In some ways, this is a moving target for me, because it seems that – like clockwork – each book presents its own challenge. With 64 published titles under my belt, I feel like I should have this process down and there shouldn’t be surprises.

No such luck.

What I have to constantly remind myself is that the creative process is its own creature. It’s this connection to something beyond ourselves and thus is not within our control. Particularly for a writer like myself – I am incapable of pre-plotting and write for discovery, relying entirely on intuition – letting go of that desire to control is critical. It can also be difficult, especially when I’m trying to write to a particular idea or market.

For example, I recently wrote one-hundred pages of a book for my agent, according to a very particular comp. Let’s call it Ghost meets Out of Africa. (That is NOT it, but that’s one of my all-time favorite fictional comps. Points if you can name the movie it’s from.) In thinking about this project, I consulted my friend, Melinda Snodgrass, incredibly talented novelist and screenwriter who counts among her credits the Star Trek: Next Generation episode The Measure of a Man. I asked her how closely I should follow the beats of Ghost, if at all. She gave me an incredulous look and asked why, when I had a hugely successful story blueprint right there, I would do anything but follow those beats?

So, I tried.

Turns out that, not only am I incapable of pre-plotting, I also can’t follow an outline to save my life. I struggled to write that book. Having the story laid out in essence should have made it easier. Instead it made it 1,000x worse. For me. Because that’s not my process. Once I abandoned that outline (sorry, Melinda) and followed my intuition, the words began flowing.

That’s the major challenge for me: remembering to trust the process. Particulars change with every book. This principle endures.

First Cup of Coffee – May 19, 2023

A roundup of my travels and socializing: Nebula Conference, the Santa Fe International Literary Festival, New Mexico Writers, literary snobbery, tail-sniffing, and repping genre writers who keep the industry going!

First Cup of Coffee – April 25, 2022

Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

Ah, dreamy sigh for the deliciousness. Those of you acutely observant either on video or listening to the sounds of the chime will note that I’m back inside today. It’s a stormy morning here in Santa Fe not precipitation. Alas. But um, a cold wind blowing. Ah today is Monday April Twenty Fifth it’s the perfect date. Um, all you need is a light jacket. Ah, hopefully that’ll be us this afternoon you I’m sure all of you get that. Maybe not my mom but ah, you know what can you do. Ah I had a great weekend. Um, did get to get out in the garden hung up my hanging plants. You can’t see them on the video. It’s to glare e f. It’s not gonna happen. But. Yeah, got my hanging plants hung up just in time for them to be blasted by the cold wind. But I’m sure they’ll be fine. It’ll be fine. Everything is fine I got some other ones planted I put together a couple of hanging baskets of my own. We’ll see how they turn out. I did go out and check on them see if I could sit outside and I thought oh it’s not gonna be pleasant been scraping tumbleweeds out of the property. So Friday we got this wind that was. Unreal I mean they’ve been given us the high wind warnings by afternoon we had ah the alert go off on our phones saying warning us of dust storms that you know if we were traveling that the visibility could go down to 0 in like no time at all. We were having like seventy mile an hour seventy five mile and our gusts and the wind roared all night long it was it was something people so I’ll put a photo on the show notes. But the ah. Tumble weeds I was bitching about the tumbleweeds last week there they’re everywhere I had already cleaned up a bunch from like under the juniorni per out front and that kind of thing tons under there now but they had mounted up in front of our garage. You know like the old. Um I don’t know.

You know if you grew up reading Laura Ingalls Wilder like I did or that sort of thing but you you know instead of having snow piled up to the eaves of our house so that we have to dig our way out with tumbleweeds piled up in front of the garage and I had did like. Get out there and drag them out of the way just to get the car out of the garage. It was um and was something and on Saturday I saw some of the writer people Melinda Snodgrass did a plot break with us done at beastly books. And Melinda has lived here all her life I’ve just been here like 13 years but I asked Melinda because she lives not far from me just like we’re we’re both sort of in the same outskirts of Santa Fe area she’s a little bit more outskirty than I am. But I asked her I said knew the wind had to be bad at her house too and she was and she said it was the worst she’d ever experienced in all her time here. Good thing. There’s no such thing as global climate change right? Otherwise we’d be concerned. Ah, um. Total aside for those of you who you probably were not you probably were not worried about my laptop screen but it is gradually drying out it dried out someone I was in Tucson and there’s like only a couple little spots left. It’s mostly good now i’t been meaning to mention that. There’s like 1 that’s like right if I do this of your own video I could put it like right over my face and then it looks like I have some sort of skin condition. But if I don’t do that. It’s sort of like the ah the thing with the doctor you know it’s like you know, stop doing that it hurts when I do this. Then don’t do that. Ah, so um, yeah, been cleaning out tumbleweeds I told David that for the first time really ever I understand now why people want to burn stuff because. There’s like what can you do with all of these tumbleweeds except set them free again. I wish the ha would hire like a big wood chipper and put it in the community parking lot and so that we could just haul all our tumbleweeds there chop them up. That’s it’s so tempting to set a match to the fuckers.

Except then we would be we would have big problems but I understand now why people want to do it? Um, yeah, so so had a great time. Got I was pretty efficient on Saturday got the laundry done got some chores done around the house. And then in some nebula meeting stuff and then headed out in the afternoon and ran a few errands and then met up with the writer folks for the plot break talked to Grace Draven on the phone for a while and that was really nice to get to talk to her. She had so some good news career wise so that’s nice because she’s been having a hard time with dealing with family stuff. So it’s funny when we have these conversations we our conversations are this mix of personal family and career. But it was nice to get to have a ah long conversation with her and yeah and just debate stuff. You know we were we? Um, we rubb her neck on other authors and and judge them. Ah quietly to each other. Um, but it’s always interesting to look at what other people are doing and do it it helps reaffirm our own guidelines for what we’re trying to do and 1 conclusion I came to I’ve been sort of mulling 1 question. And I’m trying to think of how to phrase this because I don’t want to to give you guys the exact details. But ultimately I came around to well I don’t know why my writing is perceived this way and someone else’s writing is perceived that way. And then I kind of circled around on it and said but you know why am I even thinking about this because even if I could figure it out. It’s not like I’m going to change what I’m doing and and I come back to this over and over again and I’ve even got this little. Well I’ve got it stuck on here pretty well on my monitor but it’s a Georgia O’Keeffe quote and she says if you can believe in what you are and keep to your line that is the most one can do in with life and I really do believe that. Ah, you know it’s. Tempting tempting when you look at maybe something else being ah more widely regarded you know more popular selling better um, having a better reputation that you think oh should I should I be trying to do something more like that.

And of course there’s always the drive to improve to to grow and to do better and are those things in line with each other or are they going in different directions and what I ended up circling around to on this was. I’m not going to try to write like somebody else does even if I could I couldn’t do that all I can do is believe in what my what I am and keep to my line and I think that’s that’s.

That’s just part of you have to grow and develop in your own way but you can’t be someone else and we were ah looking at another author who is trying very very hard to look like somebody else and and. And she’s not the only one it’s tempting. You know everybody wants to be as hugely successful as some of the big authors some of the big popular authors right now and but imitating them isn’t gonna get. Anywhere something that I don’t do and it may be effective marketing. It probably is effective marketing grace and I were acknowledging that it probably is and at the same time we will just hate it is when people have perfect for fans of. Sarah J Maas and that’s always like the same 3 authors you know, perfect for fans of these books and it’s like well ah, what maybe it’s perfect for fans of your books guys. Ah I ah, um, shake my cane at you can I shake I’ll shake my ah. Permission wand here shaking the permission wand ah Scott the same as shaking a cane. But um, yeah, be yourself right? like you if. If you want to do a cover that’s more in line with the subgenre now I just did this rebranding for sorceress moons books they’ll start releasing on Friday I am’m trying a new a few new marketing things on those I’m gonna put them in kindle unlimited ah but I want to signal to readers that I think these books fit in that genre but I am not going to tell you that you know perfect for fans of throne of glass. You know first of all, okay, Mea Culpa I’m going to say it right out here. Um I hate a throne of glass I tried to read it. I read about half of it and nearly threw it against the wall because I found it insipid and stupid I know a lot of people. Love it. I’m sorry yeah and and it’s one of those ones that like people say oh well, it gets better after the next book and it’s like yeah I’m not gonna spend any more of my life reading about this. Girl who’s supposed to be an assassin. she’s supposed to be a trained assassin and she’s like the stupidest assassin on the face of the earth who never does actual assassin things there. There’s my unpopular opinion and I know a lot of people. Love it.

And it’s a great premise. It was a really wonderful premise and I I read it. You know as part of genre research. Ah there are other books are wildly popular that I think are abysmally stupid and I never ever ever. I shouldn’t say never ever ever. But I I feel like at this moment I can say with confidence that I’m not going to compare my books to those because I don’t I think I write better books on that. Yes or not as popular, but so anyway it’s it’s back to that same thing. And I know I talk about this a lot. But um, don’t try to write like somebody don’t try to make your book be a clone of somebody else’s so anyway, it was fun talking Grace always grounding for me. Do that with her and I’ve got I cleaned off my desk I had like all this crap you know how it like slowly grows I like a really clean desk so I’m very happy that my desk is now clean, but I’ve got a couple of stickies. So I’m gonna throw this one in here. Um, I thought I was gonna talk more about it. But I was you know last week or the week before I talked about generation x stuff. So I think maybe this is a Genx thing. But when I see on a I don’t know any of these social media sites. When I’m trying to find something or look at something in particular and they have the thing like look at what’s trending it’s like is it just me that I am automatically suspicious of anything that’s trending this is not a feature for me. It’s a bug It’s like if it’s trending I don’t want to know about it because. That’s like mass mind shit I’m I’m in a feisty mood this morning aren’t I I mean when you guys see stuff that’s trending do you go to magpie to it I know that’s what they want us to do I think this is like a gen x thing Megan tell me sit since we are. Fellow Gen Xes um so then my other sticky note I was well I want to finish what I was saying about melynda. Um, she’s so smart and it’s really fun to hang out with her and for those of you not familiar with Melinda Snodgrass um she has written. You know she wrote for star trek the next generation she was the show run showrunner for the third season she wrote the episode the measure of a man where they did the trial for whether or not data was human I think is was the question.

Um, she’s also written on other shows the profiler ah stuff like that. She’s writing on a new show. It was fun because after we did the plot break stuff which I’d like to go and listen to that’s how I got into this I was explaining to grace. That I don’t go to get my own work critique because I have feelings about that. But I like meeting with this group because I really like hearing how melynda approaches plotting she has such a different approach to it than I do so this is part of how I want to learn and grow because. I may not be able to do it like she does I’m tempted to try it with one of my upcoming books to have her do plot break with me and just see if I can do it but 1 of her things is is she she has to know the ending she wants to know the ending so that she can figure out everything. Leading up to that and she’s very firm in her opinions and which I adore about her. But I think is funny sometimes too because sometimes I just totally don’t agree with her. Um, but she puts things with such conviction I I admire that. Ah. But she’s like you have to know the ending otherwise you never end anything and it’s like I finish stuff all the time. Ah, but I never know the ending till I get there but there is one book that I do kind of that I’m one of my upcoming projects for the fall I do kind of know the ending of it. And I’m going to get her to ah maybe do plot break with me on it. We’ll see. We’ll see what happens it maybe I don’t know I might drive us both crazy. Yeah, we’ll find out but um, yeah so I was telling grace how interesting it is. Just to go through that mental process and it was very stimulating for me refilling the well and and now I have all of these ideas of things that I want to do and and she’s funny I may never get around to my sticky note here because I have other things to say. I did ask her a question because 1 of my upcoming projects is very much inspired by a particular movie and and I love her that she didn’t ask me what it was I said basically it’s an alternate fantasy world version of of a big movie. And she well she did say well if it’s Casablanca and I said it’s not Casablanca ah they all love casab blanca. It’s like the perfect moving perfect story. Ah they were going on about it at the Jack Williamson lecture ship too and I guess at tous toolbox they have a casa blanca viewing night.

Where people um are forced to watch it and then they analyze why it works so well I know I saw it a long time ago when I was younger and I keep thinking she watch it again. But I don’t I don’t know maybe I’d appreciate it better this time anyway. Um. Yeah, I’m clearly never going to get to the stick keynote so it’s just gonna have to live on my desk today. Um I asked her is it. You know this is what I want to do I said if you were going to do this if you knew not me would you. Try to plot the book according to the exact beats of the movie or would you just allow that beat to be the inspiration and and get away from the movie and she kind of cocked her head at me in a funny way and she’s like I would even take the movie of course she said that’s. That’s how you do good work is you find the right template and you use it. So I’ve never done this before but I’m I’m intrigued so I have these 2 potential projects that I could try to plot break with her and I would find very interesting to. Know just try stretch myself a little bit that way I’m having all these stretchy feelings as those of you who have been participating in the podcast for a long time having coffee with me for some time now. Um. That you know like I’m wanting to go into multiple povs which I know should not be as big a deal as it feels to me but it does and I think it’s it’s breaking out of that romance structure is what feels like such a big deal. Um. And I kind of want to do that for the next bonds of magic book once I finish this one? Um I found out interesting things about the book that I’m writing I’m enjoying that and let’s see oh but I know that there’s something I’m supposed to tell you guys. Also. Have to go look at my um to do list because I know I noted it on there something I’m supposed to publicize as a responsible author. Oh yeah, um I have I’m going to start putting the link in the show notes. But I do have a. List of ah but bla for the polyon convention in July I have a preorder link and it’s only it’s a good to like the first week of June or something like that. But if you want to preorder print books for me to have their.

For you to purchase and sign and so forth. You can do that and I’ve been meaning to say things about it but I need to put it out there a little bit more um and then sorceres moons rebranding. Coming the end of this week exciting. Yeah so um, there’s my 20 minutes further stickies tomorrow I hope you all had a great weekend to hope you are feeling. Like stretching and growing in all the most positive ways and I hope that April Twenty fifth is indeed the perfect date for you and I will talk to you all tomorrow take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – February 4, 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 today is Friday um, February fourth I knew that why did I look I knew what it was but look anyway. Um yeah, chill me here. And Santa Fe this morning we were in the negative digits when we woke up, but my our outdoor thermometer is showing ° now but the sun’s shining on it. Everything here is about sunshine people tend to be confused that it’s cold in New Mexico but we are high altitude. Um, my house is at about 6 60 8 hundred feet and we get snow and we have mountains and it’s not all hot desert quite a lot of New Mexico Northern New Mexico is like foot pills and mountains. It’s always surprising to me that people don’t know that. But of course there are people who also think that it’s Mexico so there you have it? Ah so happy that it’s Friday um I ended up not going to the dinner last night I wasn’t feeling great I was feeling a little. Rundown on headache and you know in this new world. It’s like well if I feel not wonderful if I feel ever so slightly sick like my glance felt a little sore and I thought well I don’t want to give covid to george r um, so. I stayed home. Also it was really cold out and I was um, you know I’ve become a wimp I’ve become a deliberate wimp after living in Wyoming for 20 years when we. Forged through all kinds of terrible weather when we dealt with um, you know, drove through white out on black ice. Um everything I mean basically living where we especially where we did in Wyoming but I think it’s true of a lot of Wyoming. You know if you let the winter weather stop you. It’s going to stop you from doing anything at all, you know you go out like two or three months of the year so you know you get really tough about it. But it’s not fun. David and I often talk about the sort of the Wyoming. What’s I want to say aesthetic and that’s the wrong word. Um credo manifesto value.

More maybe it’s a more of this um of being tough. You know like you’re very tough and you put up with all of the difficulties of the weather and not having some things not having conveniences and it’s ah it’s a measure of character that you. Put up with all of this stuff and and people kind of compete with each other for like how terrible something is. It’s like oh you know let’s live. They’re like oh I just came up this road with black ice and it was white out and I couldn’t see. I was having to drive by the delineator posts which are the posts along the side of the road. You know that have the little reflectors on them I have driven by the delineator posts more than once because you can’t see the edge of the road or the line on the road. So you’re marking. You know hoping you don’t go off the road in between delineator posts. That’s why they’re there and so oh I had to drive by delineator post to get there and someone else be like oh well that’s nothing I had to go over Togwotee pass and you know blah blah blah blah blah it’s um, it’s a weird kind of competition for who’s overcoming the most. Difficulty. So when we moved to Santa Fe it was just ah, almost an indescribable relief to live somewhere that was not so harsh where the ground. You know, like even if it’s ° here and ° in Laramie Wyoming it’s a totally different ° because the ground stays where we’re here and all of our house plants started growing larger I mean it’s just um, just amazing. But we have snow occasionally. But rarely enough that like when it is really bitter weather which you know last night there was a wind chill advisory out I don’t think they ever give maybe they do maybe they do now but like in Wyoming they didn’t give wind chill advisories because you were just gonna tough it out but you know like here they give a. Ah, windchill advisory and that’s like why go out why leave my house if I don’t have to I don’t want to so funny funny stuff so let’s see um so yesterday yeah I don’t know what was my deal yesterday. Um I did not get my 3000 words reader. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth I got 578 words although I did see somebody else proposing a challenge saying um, who wants to you know, try to get at least 500 words today.

And I and it made me feel better because I thought well at least I already got 500 words so I got um it was a very slow first hour of writing 530 words and then the second hour I got 48 words and I admit I did start dorkking around because I just um, either the manuscript is pushing back or I was tired or both. But anyway I hit something of a wall I meant 86000 words I’m guessing this manuscript is gonna be 106000 so um, I’m gonna see what happens today I’m gonna poke at it I am at a penultimate climactic scene. Obviously if I’m at 86000 words I’ve still got that I’m expecting 106000 we can do that math right. About 20000 words to go and I just have to have it done by February eighteenth so my cheerleaders are all like you can do this. You’ve got this I do need some time to revise it. So. So yeah, I’m I’m kind of at my climactic action scene and. Ah I don’t know how they’re gonna do it I don’t know how they’re gonna do the thing they need to do I kind of know what happens after this I’ve got an idea for a number of things that will resolve after this and even Darynda was saying you know it’s too bad. You don’t write out of order. And and I said you know I was even considering that I was feeling stuck enough that I was considering maybe I will skip this scene get to the outcome write the rest of it and then come back and figure out how I get to the outcome. But I think I’d have to rewrite it. I think I’d end up rewriting too much of it because too much changes as I write. Do you know and like the emotional arts changes. That’s that’s 1 reason why I don’t write ahead because it just um, it doesn’t blend later. So. Thinking hard about that and I think I I don’t know it feels like um you know it’s this interesting. It’s probably not interesting to watch me sit here and gaze off into space. But I’ve sort of been um, doing this for about the past. Not quite 24 hours but 22 hours mulling over this There’s something that needs to happen in this scene and and I may be overthinking because I feel like it needs to be more actiony you know, like yesterday.

And I’m sorry I didn’t talk to about it till the end of the podcast but I find it very interesting watch I’ve completed the first season of the expanse which adapts about the first half of leviathan wakes. Except to make sure to put my s on the right part I don’t know why I want it to be leviathan’s wake does not mean the same thing maybe Leviathan’s wake should have been like the last book but tying Daniel didn’t ask me and it would have confused everybody. It’s a terrible idea Jacky um. In the wake of the leviathan will be my next book. Dear Leviathan is not asleep. Ah, okay, so so yeah I I guess I’m feeling I’m really noting the ways in which the. Dance series amped up the action and the tension making things much more 1 thing after another and I know some of that is the visual medium because and and people say oh, it’s such an exciting show. And I’m not someone who normally looks for excitement. Um, but oh by the way you know it’s I’m I’m almost certain I’m right about season when ending halfway through Leviathan wakes they did take in some stuff from. Later books in the series like I was reading this in the trivia anyway, um I am Db Trivia is my friend so they took some stuff and characters from the second season and added them in ah to because it was like context that was only revealed in internal monologue. And good for them. They did not resort to the much loathed voiceover I really do not like the voiceover as a of solution I’m not sure anyone does sometimes I suppose it can be done well. But for the most part it’s like and then. I wrote you know ers was thinking this I don’t know it was it was neat to see the visualization of stuff that occurred only in internal monologue like um, Holden’s family and I do like the addition of alma of the ambassador. Um I’m not sure exactly what her. Don’t remember what her title is but it does give that perspective of earth and I think it does help connect people to give them a frame of reference since we are currently earthbound as a species. So.

But I’ve I’ve know that where it season one ended was I noted that it was midpoint in the book as I was reading because I thought it was an interesting choice for midpoint. That’s the author brain doesn’t to quite kick off and I almost always notice midpoint of the book I notice. The first 25% is what they’ve put is the climax and what stakes they’ve set by then and then I noticed the midpoint those are the 2 things that no matter how caught up I am I always noticed that part and it’s always interesting to me when neither one is notable I was like oh but. Leviathan wakes midpoint was like okay this is turning point in the story I know that they also worked with Melinda Snodgrass who is really great at 18 react structure and does plot breaks according to it so she’s going to have a little session for us. In a couple of weeks and I’m very interested to learn from her. So yeah I guess I’m I’m thinking because I feel like this needs to be a more action-y scene that I’m making it because I always I don’t know why I always try to make things be Maybe it’s because of who I am as a person you know it’s like I always try to I always do the Taoist approach email the what? ah you know, asking myself. What am I really trying to win here but in fiction. There is a real stake and something that they’re trying to win and I think I know need to I know what needs to happen. It’s just funny. You know you would think that it’s like okay I think it needs to be boom boom boom point five five action action. This is what I need to write and then when I try to write it. It just goes new. Ah, ah you think I could just make myself type the words. But for some reason it just doesn’t work that way I guess maybe because spinning the story is more than typing words. There’s a take home message for you. You guys can that can be my tagline so anyway um yeah so I’m teaching the workshop tomorrow I mentioned that yesterday there is a link to register in the show notes. Um, transcript is working so I’ll do that I noticed that um on my free trial of this pro version of it that there’s like things I can do. There’s like an intro and outro or I could do like dramatic piano.

Or drums. Oh It doesn’t let me do it while I’m Recording. Ah or I could do the ballpark the drums not funny I feel like this is not on brand for Me. Could do Traumatic piano.

So anyway, maybe who knows if I do the pro version. Maybe I will actually become more pro. The transcript is probably worth it right? $20 month yeah ah but but pop up. So I’m forging on right when I go back and revise I tighten up the tension too. I I tend to add in more conflict and more ticking clocks. So I don’t know if I’ll talk about that in the workshop tomorrow. We’ll be live streamed a couple people will be there live on site but otherwise it will be live streamed I will try to answer questions. It’s kind of funny because I do have a talk planned but then Twigg. The beastly books manager. He’s so funny I could tell you like what he texted me I mean I’m just there for like it’s an hour long talk right? and then have an hour for questions and stuff just in case and um. He says I’d love to hear about your process examples who you read for information for inspiration how you got started etc. These are simply suggestions and I fully trust your expertise on how you want it to flow and it’s like well I can talk about all of that stuff. But it’s actually not the topic of the workshop I could. Spend a long time talking about all of those things. So anyway, um I will try to start out with that frame of talking about how you weave romance into sf f and then if you have questions out there. You can let me know ahead of time I’ll say. If I can incorporate it along with twigs long list of things and yeah, yeah should be fun I have a very busy day tomorrow I have like wall to wall meetings tomorrow culminating in this workshop. So. Will attempt to be full of perqutute. Um and we’ll see how I do I’m moving this book forward. Yeah, all right? So let’s see do I have anything else to report to you guys I think I don’t um. Ah, can’t tell you that things are looking up for Grace and her husband he should be discharged from the hospital today and they have a plan going forward. So the the worst crisis is over at this point cross our fingers.

Grace is very hopeful that this will not happen again. I’m hoping that for her too because she needs to get some sleep and retro books not necessarily. You know in that order. So if you listen to this grace darling. We are all thinking of you. You know that because I’ve been talking to her but ah. Other people are as well. So and wishing best Mr Draven so um so yeah I hope you all have a wonderful weekend I hope it is both restful and productive in whatever proportion you need that to be and. I will talk to you all on Monday you all take care bye bye.

A Spoilery Story About the Ending of THE FIERY CROWN

A reminder that tomorrow night is my rescheduled event at Mysterious Galaxy. Come on by and hang out!

For those of you who listened to the Beastly Books interview with Melinda Snodgrass for the release of THE FIERY CROWN – and if you didn’t, you can watch it here – you’ll know that we discussed the ending. (Also, Beastly Books is a great Indie Bookstore where you can buy signed books from me.) Melinda asked me why I ended the book where I did, instead of where she thought I would. I explained that I did waffle on the ending, and my editor ultimately weighed in and I went with her suggestion. After we stopped recording, I asked Melinda where she thought I would end it – and it was an even worse point than I’d contemplated! Then she told me how she’d frame the closing shot in the screenplay. (Melinda started out writing for Star Trek: The Next Generation and still writes a lot for Hollywood, along with her excellent novels.) And, damn people – I want this woman to write the treatment for the miniseries! Because it’s such a cool idea, I wanted to share it.

But, obviously, this spoils the ending. Read on forewarned and so forth.






Okay, so!

What I waffled on was, I very nearly had Con go back to the citadel after delivering Lia’s corpse to the boat. He’d go on his suicide mission and Lia would awaken on The Last Resort thinking him dead. Very Romeo and Juliet – which, tragedy, I know – and because I had book three to fix it all again, right? But Editor Jennie said, weeeeellllll…. since it’s a Romance, we need a happy ending in this book, too. Since I wasn’t committed to my tragic R&J ending, I agreed.

But Melinda!

SHE thought I would’ve ended it when Lia dies! That’s where she’d end the season, she said, with a closing shot of the orchid ring on Lia’s finger withering away as she dies on the wizard’s slab.

There’s a reason this woman is besties with George RR Martin!

Also, I can totally picture this closing shot and how I’d be bouncing out of my chair about the ending of Season 2 and how I had to wait forever for Season 3. Clearly she also knows her business.

What do you all think of these alternate endings? Would you have come after me for either of those? 😀