First Cup of Coffee – September 9, 2022

A bit on audiobooks and the relativities of going exclusive with Audible vs. wide – and *how* to go wide if you do that. Also some (bad) news on the midwinter holiday fantasy romance anthology and a question for you all.

First Cup of Coffee – February 3, 2022


Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Oh and I didn’t even sip from it because I started thinking. Ah, excellent today is Thursday February Third Twenty Twenty Two 2 3 two zero to 2 hope you’ll are working on those manifestations right Um. Love goes out to Grace darling this morning. She posted a Facebook that she’s dealing with medical emergency with Mr Draven and so far things are are okay-ish but sending her good thoughts and sending him. But that’s. I did talk to her last night and this morning. So um, she’s holding up. She’s holding up but she could use support. Um, so here we are. Thank you all for the kind messages about the transcript. I believe that it’s recording the transcript again today I don’t see it doing it I’m gonna pause. Well, it’ll be an experiment. It seemed to me like last time it showed me that it was going to do the transcript but maybe it just doesn’t automatically I may have to toggle the settings. So all in all, it wasn’t too painful. Um I did edit 2 things. First of all, it spelled Jeffe J E F F Y I noticed that the um auto captioning on Instagram does the same fucking thing. It’s not Jeffe with a y like family circus. Jeffe with an e thank you? What was the other thing. Oh it didn’t handle the numbers well because when I said something about it being 2 2 2022 it did like um T O O T O and then I don’t know it it barfed it up. So I had to fix that other than that I didn’t really read it. It exported it allowed me to export to text and I changed the text wrap. Um and for using the formatting and text editor and then I just pasted it into the blog post. So um.

So Yeah I know a few people read it and and seemed Happy. So Apparently it was at least Semi-coherent. It doesn’t add as many periods as I think there should be so something about the pacing of my speaking. Does weird things with grammar which is not surprising to me at all because like grammar is just so not my thing which is probably surprising because I I do write very clean I should be specific. Punctuation is not my thing. Um. I Do not have strong opinion opinions about Commas Periods Semicolons colons most of them I do know how to use most of them I choose not to I know some people have like a passionate a love affair with semicolons I don’t understand. How you can have emotions about punctuation Frankly I like to sneeze there That’s God punishing me for not having emotions about punctuation Apparently Commas Commas I Actually do not believe there are real rules about commas people try to make up rules about Commas. I Think that’s why people and love the Oxford Comma because it’s like a Comma rule that they understand It’s my opinion I know that a lot of people don’t agree with me but it’s like all the other Comma rules seem to me optional because it’s always like well except and when and. Some people say you just put a comment in whenever you would have a natural break when speaking and other people say no, that would be wrong. Um, like I said I don’t care I almost never argue commas with copy editors unless it’s a situation where I really want that. Brief break before the next phrase.

So um, what else What’s going on. Got my three thousand yesterday it was really nice because I got a thousand before I met up with Duranda we start meeting up again. Um, she’s logging through that book you guys. She’s working away on it. Oh I did successfully um, move the release date for gray magic it is set now for February Twenty Eighth I can’t move it again or Amazon will come to my house and. Take away my cats and paint a big scarlet letter of some sort I was trying to be with either there but I I don’t know what letter it would be. It would be like um shirker or something a scarlet s on my garage. It’s funny because and and I’ve mentioned this but Amazon is the. Only retailer that punishes us for not for moving our release state when we have a preorder and they’re like to main turn or good customer experience. So they’ve backed off on the strictness of it so they let me move the release state for gray magic to February Twenty Eight and I did get the scolding notice saying we let you do it. You pushed it again. Oops you did it again and but we are not going to punish you this time. But if you do it again. You won’t be able to do pre-orders for a year and you’ll lose your pre-orders which is. Point that dund is in and she says um that she does not care because she’s not gonna do any preorders for which I don’t blame her for some people you guys I just looked at this and like it stopped recording again and I have no idea. When it stopped I’m gonna have to like glue my eyes to this countdown I don’t know if there’s I don’t even know what I did this time. It’s weird it’s weird I don’t know why it’s doing this and I I have no idea. Where I was what I was saying um so we’ll just bullet point. The recap here. Ah I wish it was an easy way for me to look back at what I was doing without like having to stop and splice. But I can’t. Um, anyway, you’ll hear me talking about it but storm princess I’ll set that new release date I realize for gray magic I have to still do the description and get the tagline to revven.

Because the cover’s still temporary. You know it’s just funny. You know like all of these little things. All of this businessy stuff. It’s been great for me to finish my words earlier in the day because then I have the whole afternoon to do business and that makes a huge difference. Today. However, reader will not be 1 of those days because I overslept I slept till six thirty and so I have not written any words yesterday before I met Duran I think I said this already but I already got a thousand before I talked to her and so then I was done. Um. By like noon which is ideal. Yeah I was done by 1130 and that’s just um, checking make sure the clock is still going. Um, that’s just the best. Oh if I could do that every day I would be very happy. Um. But so it goes not doing rider coffee today because we’re doing rer coffee dinner this evening. Also we got a fair amount of snow and it’s very cold. So everybody’s tucking in this morning. Oh. And then the other thing is is I do have a link now to the workshop that I’ll be teaching on Saturday I’ll be teaching it at beastly books here in Santa Fe but they’re limiting the attendance to 6 in person people. Um. And I think I said this before but because I don’t like talking to an empty screen. It’s the worst I really like to if I’m teaching I have to be able to see pay faces and okay I’m pausing I wonder if my previous pause was when I sneezed and I forgot to unpasuse. Or it didn’t quite unpause. You know how like if you’re in a Zoom meeting and sometimes it like mutes without you realizing it because there’s the keystrokes I didn’t move the keyboard today I should have but we won’t keep pausing I’m getting too free with that pause button. Ah, but anyway the workshop will be streamed online live so it’s going to be at 3 p M mountain time on Saturday February fifth so if you want to um, join the in and watch it live then you can ask questions and stuff. And I am talking about writing cross on romance or crush on yeah romance with you know sff so I will try to I just got that link yesterday late yesterday I was gonna put it in the blog post by I didn get them time so please um, share share with your friends.

It’s free and could be a lot of fun. It’s always more fun if there’s more people there. So um, I’m going to make myself 1 more note getting free with that pause button resume fun. I swear I have got I’m not gonna pause this time but I will tell you guys on my to do list I have 1 2 3 4 pause 13 141516 17 eighteen I have 18 items under business. I categorize my to- do list in an an attempt to balance my day I don’t know how well it works. Um I have some things I put timing on I try to keep sifus stuff to 30 minutes to an hour a day um it doesn’t always work out that way I try to do like an hour on finances every day and then I have doing the blog post and pointing. You know when posting it and then I have appointments and and business. And then household I also have a household and then promo which I really need to I always end up like moving I’m supposed to spend 30 minutes on promo every day not counting podcast promo and I haven’t been doing that and I really need to um. Really need to get that a plus marketing figured out on Amazon I have like Tiktok videos to watch on how to do tiktok not participate in pick Tiktok. It’s um, yeah, just sometimes feels like more more than I can get to. However, the good news is is I got. All of the royalties crunched for January paid all the bills yesterday got those funds dispersed. So that’s always a good thing. Get all that stuff sent out but that is 1 thing about my unplugging on Sundays I could tell it’s really good for me. But. It’s like a lot of times on Sundays I was doing all that business catching up and but and I ended up having so many meetings on Saturdays now that I’m not getting all of that business stuff done on Saturdays but you know like last Sunday I didn’t go online at all and i. Went down to tomayall with my friend Katie Laden and we did spa and lunch and it was all very relaxing but it was like there were a lot of things on my to-do list that didn’t get done how how do you how do you handle that you know right.

I guess you face the fact that some things on your list aren’t going to get done. Um I sometimes feel like I need a second assistant because Assistant Karine is very busy and so she hasn’t been able to get to everything anybody want to do anyone want to figure out Amazon fucking a plus marketing for me. That would be awesome who would pay you I would pay you anyway, let’s see what else Um, but but bu boom but boom I think I was not paused for very long because there hasn’t been that much elapsed time. Have a sifwa board meeting this afternoon. Um go sif what hasn’t been too bad but I I feel like I’m getting behind on that stuff too. But I don’t know. Got to prioritize the writing of the books right? That’s just just how how it goes. Um, that’s 1 thing that I’m thinking about with this new project Sarah was asking me about timing about it and I was like okay fortunately.

Fortunately I think that um if if all goes well it should be lucrative. It should be worth my time so that will be ah hopefully I mean that’s sort of that that will be the go. No go at this point I think is whether or not. They agree to what Sarah suggests we ask for because it will take a fair chunk of my time and if that happens then we will come up with a code name and and I need to talk with Sarah about how open I should be about. Um, um, and with this other gal with how open I should be about what I’m working on because we know I’m a blabber mouth right? I’d like have to talk about what I’m working on.

Dinner tonight I mentioned with the writer coffee people. It’s going to be with George R Martin will be there and there’s a gal in town whose name I’ve forgotten but I will know it tomorrow and I will tell you guys about dinner. So that should be fun even though it does mean leaving my house in the cold and snow sacrifices must be made so okay, well I guess I don’t have tons of stuff to say today and I do have tense to do so I think I will hop off. Slightly early apologize for like bloopers again, what is with this week I blame all the twos the twos and threes what do you think I mean well the first one was on January thirty first but clearly something is like. Going backwards or forwards retrograde or andterot grade or dorsal grade. Oh I should mention that um I have been watching the expanse and you know what? and this is a whole huge topic. So maybe I’m not leaving quite yet but it’s been very interesting to see ah a good instruction in storytelling. To see how the screenwriters adapted the book to the series and if you are interested in tightening your stories and amping up tension conflict and action. What I suggest you do is read Leviathan’s wake no I always want to do that leviathan’s wake it’s leviathan wakes by James I say Cory Ty Frank and Daniel Abraham read the book. It’s it’s a it’s a book worth reading. Ah. I could quibble some choices but you know we can always quibble some choices they did a great job writing this book it very interesting to me one of the things I objected to about the book is they went with this kind of noir tone and it takes place in the belt which is like a very blue collar place of that. Asteroid belt around Jupiter and saturn sort of in those outer planets maybe just around saturn and lots of miners and workers and that sort of thing and they call them the belters. So. It’s a really wealth out out world and very interesting that way.

But because I think it’s because of the duwar theme There’s like tons of references to prostitution and it’s always female, always female prostitution and I think it’s because like they have this very noirre detective and so they’re like sort of ran with that theme. But very interestingly in the adaptation to the series. Um day they took out a lot of that there are occasional references to sex workers. But it’s handled in a much more I don’t want to say woke. But. It’s handled much better and there’s references to both male and female sex workers and even a moment where which I aim why wouldn’t anybody tell me how adorable Amos is love that actor where he says it’s honest work. It’s good work and it pays better than other work and I thought oh yeah, but my point and I did have 1 all evidence to the contrary is that it’s fascinating to see I think I do think you should read the book first because then it’s really interesting to see. What they did putting it on the screen. 1 thing they did was they condensed characters and I noticed this happens quite a bit I think that happened with a song of ice and fire becoming game of thrones and I think it’s a good lesson for writers. It’s. You know why did you bring in this new character when you could have used this other character and that’s what this existing character especially secondary characters. In fact, almost entirely secondary characters. So it’s fascinating to see how the show did that. Also. It’s really interesting to see the ways in which the show created tension where there was not tension in the books. So like within the initial Crew Holden’s crew is pretty much a happy crew to begin with but the show. Has initial tensions there and I think it’s to keep that conflict and interest going to to make it exciting I’m learning a lot from it because I tend to want things to be happy in my books and I don’t introduce tension between characters as much as. Like these screenwriters do so definitely worth studying that kind of thing besides which it’s a really well done show and fascinating to fascinating to see very enjoyable so all right.

On that note I’m really gonna go start getting some my shit done I Hope you all are getting your shit done too and I will talk to you all tomorrow morning you all take care Bye bye.

A Glimpse of Dark Wizard

This week at the SFF Seven, we’re sharing our scariest book or scene. No, mine isn’t from DARK WIZARD, although I love how creeptastic that image is. The thing is, I can’t yet share what I think is the scariest thing I’ve ever written.

See, I never think of myself as writing all that scary. James is the horror writerKAK delves into the twisted psyche. Usually I see my books as being occasionally dark, but not all that creepy. Readers may disagree. But in general I’m kind of a fragile flower. I don’t like being scared. I don’t watch or read horror. I’m the one who leaves the room during the scary scenes in a movie, or – far worse! – the gory ones. You guys know me – I’ll write all the sex scenes and I advocate for closed-door violence.

Why can’t that be a thing?

But this New Thing I’ve written, the Sekrit Project, is pretty scary. It’s tense and twisted and… I already told you I can’t share it yet!

Yeah, I hate violence, but I love a tease.

So, though it’s not all that scary, and because I couldn’t resist using this creepy image with DARK WIZARD, I’ll share an unsettling scene from that book. Enjoy!


Having to deal with the inn, the askance stares at his appearance, the averted gazes when they took in his wizard-black eyes, the shocked ones at his white hair—all of it broke him out of his circular thoughts. He tipped the stable girl well to walk Vale cool, rub the gelding down thoroughly, and give him an extra portion of feed. And he tipped the boy in the pub well to bring himself an extra portion of feed, also. Gabriel sat alone in a shadowy corner, using a simple moon spell to reflect curiosity away from himself.

He was more tired than he’d realized, feeling sleepier by the moment as warm food settled into his stomach. He wasn’t used to winter’s bite. And he’d pushed hard to reach House Elal, thinking he’d have days of rest after the wedding. Sopping up the last of the rich mushroom gravy with the excellent fresh bread, Gabriel settled back to savor the rest of his wine—an excellent, robust Elal red, though not as good as Veronica’s special reserve—and watch the room.

Thus, he was in the perfect position to see the hunters arrive.

He knew them for inhuman even before they fully entered the busy tavern. The air seemed to bend before their passage, adjusting to the presence of that which should not exist in this world. There were six of them, slinking into the room like an amalgam of a jackal and a weasel in vaguely human shape, arching like hounds to sniff the surfaces they passed. Nobody else seemed aware of them, so Gabriel made sure to look past the hunters also, focusing on the minstrel blithely singing a song nearby, exhorting the crowd for coins.

He needn’t have bothered, for one of the hunters lifted its snout in the air as if scenting something interesting and fastened one eye on Gabriel. It slunk in his direction, pausing to steal a handful of coin from the oblivious minstrel’s tip basket. It tossed one on the table before Gabriel, an insolent sneer on its distorted face.

“Wissard,” it hissed, revealing inhumanly sharp teeth—several rows of them.

“Hunter,” Gabriel returned. He readied himself, though his water and moon magic seemed unequal to dealing with a creature like this. The books in the House Phel library, at least the legible ones, were short on spells for martial application. Under the table, he loosened his sword in its scabbard, a far more reliable defense.

“You know what I am. Good. I ssseek a familiar, on behalf of the Convocation. Have you ssscented one?” It pushed the coin toward him with a sharp, curving claw.

“This place reeks of sweat and ale,” Gabriel replied. “I’m sure any good familiar would turn tail and hide in their room.”

The hunter sniffed the air all the while Gabriel spoke, barely listening. “You have no familiar.”

“Unfortunately, no. I am but a minor wizard.” Gabriel drew more moon reflections around himself, just in case any of his power leaked through. On the advantage side of being a moon-based water wizard, it was a quiet magic, and often overlooked.

The hunter fixed one ochre eye on him—the length of its snout making looking forward with both eyes at once impossible—and made an unpleasant choking sound. Laughter? “Why are you here, wissard?”

Gabriel gestured at his cleaned plate. “Best mushroom gravy in all of Elal.”

The hunter eyed him for another excruciatingly long few moments. Without another word, it slunk out again, its cohorts streaming to join it, pouring out the door again like smoke. Gabriel blew out a breath, quaffed his wine, and went to his room for the night—dropping the coin, plus a few more, back in the minstrel’s basket.