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 – September 23, 2022

I’m running on fumes a bit, but I’m nearly done with this book! Ruminating on choosing titles from earlier in the alphabet, picking Dedications when you’ve written a lot of books, and good news from Amazon!

Circles of Community – How Writer Friends Keep Me Going

A gratifying milestone for me – DARK WIZARD has passed 500 ratings on Amazon! And with a 4.3 overall average, too. I’m so thrilled by all the love this book and series has received.

I’ve been busy writing SHADOW WIZARD, the next book in this world (coming 9/29! available for preorder now), and so missed my usual Wednesday blog post. I’m making that up today, because I really did want to address this week’s topic at the SFF Seven. We’re talking about Writing Community and asking: do you have a writing community and if so (online, phone calls, zoom, in person) how do your interactions refill your creative well?

I’m so deeply grateful for my writing community! I have many different ones, from one-on-one friendships to large, professional organizations. Here’s a smattering of them and how they refill that well.



Just yesterday I had one of my monthly hour+ phone calls with writer bestie Grace Draven. We’ve been doing this for a couple of years now. Aside from our other messaging via text and FB messenger, and quick calls, we set aside time to have longer conversations about our business strategy. These talks help us both clarify our priorities.

I get on Zoom daily with another writer bestie, Darynda Jones. We typically do three one-hour writing sprints with some chatting in between. Having that company while writing (even though we mute while actually working) gives me a sense of companionship, and the daily discussions of our writing keep us invigorated. We can also bounce ideas off of each other, from “what’s the word I’m trying to think of?” to “Help me solve this plot problem!”

I also have other writer besties I communicate with via email or social media, people I can call upon for insight or emergency beta reads. We don’t necessarily talk on a regular schedule, but knowing they’re out there is priceless.


Small Groups

I’m part of various smaller communities, from a private author group on Facebook, to a Fantasy Romance Discord, to the much larger Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA) Discord. I love to dip in and out of these groups, answering questions and asking them, too. They’re fun and fantastic resources.


Professional Organizations

I already mentioned SFWA. As the current president of the organization, I get to interact with all kinds of creators, from newbie writers to names on the spines of books on my shelf. Getting to email with Neil Gaiman, have coffee with Catherine Asaro, or chat for a few hours with Jane Yolen are thrills I never quite get over. Feeling like a part of that larger community is validating for me on a critical level. I believe more in myself and in my work for having those associations.



I just returned from WorldCon in Chicago – my first big conference since the COVID pandemic – and it brought home to me how wonderful these gatherings are. Conferences bring in so many different members of the reading, writing, and creating community that the cross-section of conversation is incredibly stimulating. More than the programming, just getting to be around other people who love the same stuff and sharing that excitement refills my creative well like nothing else. One of the great revelations of the pandemic for me was how much social stimulation I gain from conferences. I value them like never before.

I value all of my writing communities, and am so grateful for each and every one of you!

First Cup of Coffee – September 12, 2022

Telling some stories about WorldCon that illustrate the power and efficacy of networking – and how that’s really making friends with people. While we never stop pitching, it does get easier and friendlier.

First Cup of Coffee – September 6, 2022

I’m back from WorldCon in Chicago! Reporting on the convention – awesome – and how lovely Chicago was, along with thoughts on ballet and appearing effortless. Now l’m buckling down to finish SHADOW WIZARD!

Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Delicious.

Ah, today is Tuesday September Sixth and I am back I am back from my travels back here in the grape arbor as you can see if you are on video and um, yeah. Nice to be home. Um, travels were good though. Um, just came back from world con and Chicago which was fabulous. It was um, personally my best world con ever I very much enjoyed it. It was um the the layout was amazing because it was all in the single hotel all of the events and everything we’re all in the one hotel where most everyone was staying and that is just. Infinitely preferable to me. Ah these other world concept I’ve gone to Dublin Kansas City and San Jose they were all um in like convention center type things that were separate from the hotel. And in Dublin because the hotel was fairly expensive. We stayed at an airbnb that was a considerable distance. Um from the events of the convention and while I really like the place we stayed in. It’s just a totally different con experience.

Um, if you’re not staying where the convention is occurring when you have to deliberately go to the convention space to do things people tend to go there and leave whereas at the hotel you get to see people on their way to stuff so you see people much more. Also this was like our first at least for me and for many people first big convention since pandemic. So even though I had been to Bubonicon ah the weekend before and Jack Williamson lectureship in the spring. Even though I’ve done a few other things. This was the first big one and the first time that I had physically seen so many people and it was it was just a delight. It was really great to be able to hang out in the bar and talk to people again. Oh and Apollycon, I forgot that one Apollycon was different because we didn’t have a lot of author hangout time. Um, and this was great. Just lots of um, lots of talk. There are just.

Conversations that only happen in person and interactions that only happen in person and we kept talking about that throughout the entire convention about how meaningful that was just to be able to interact with people in person again. Saw lots of old friends. So lots of people that I have um like talked to online in the last few years it was interesting for me that this was the big first big convention I’d been to since I’ve been president of SFWA and um.

And it it was Nice. You know one thing that was really lovely and a lot of you all out there make this effort to but a lot of people came up to thank me for the work I’m doing which was immensely gratifying very Interestingly. Several people made a point of coming up to me and saying commenting on how very smooth my presidency has been and then adding that they know that that means that we’ve been handling a whole lot of stuff behind the scenes because things are never that smooth. And you know that’s that’s really gratifying too because that means that hard work doesn’t go unnoticed right? You know it’s one of those things you know like the ballet dancer who’s um, aesthetic whose whose whole effort whose goal. Is to appear to be graceful and to float and to be effortless. Ah meanwhile her tendons are screaming. Her toes are about to give way. Um, she’s sweating bullets but the audience sees the fairy Princess. Ah, and so it was really lovely to have people who appreciated both things who thought that the ballet was looking fantastic but also appreciated all of the sweating of bullets that had gone on in the background I had um a great.

Coffee with Catherine Asaro and she was ah she came and found me at my table talk and asked if and which was like second to last day and asked if I could have dinner or something like that and we ended up doing like schedule tetris to find. Ah, time to meet up and um I wasn’t sure what she wanted and Catherine Asaro if you don’t know has been around for quite a long time. She’s a former president of SFWA one of the um I think is at 8 or 9 I actually wrote it down.

Well, it turns out I only wrote down the number of grand masters there have been nine female grandmasters I think Mercedes Lackey makes 10 I need to update my numbers. But ah I’m I’m pretty sure this number sticks in my head but that I am the eighth female president of SFWA since 1965 so um, and Katherine Asaro is 1 of them and she was telling me something that I didn’t know it turned out. She didn’t really want anything in particular she wanted to tell me with a great job. She thought I was doing.

Um, the recognizing the ballet ah and she and and we just kind of gossiped I kind of told her stuff. It’s nice to talk to a former president because I can gossip about some things and they’ll keep it to themselves. You know it’s like oh this is what was going on behind the scenes. They can appreciate it. I also had some great conversations with Mary Robinette Kowal similar stuff and um, sorry I was just thinking about something Mary Robinette was telling me that I need to remember.

So but 1 thing that Catherine told me that I hadn’t known was that she was the one to appoint and McCaffrey Grandmaster and that was I hadn’t known that and and it’s so cool because as many of you know if you’ve been listening for a long time. Ah. And McCaffrey was is and will forever be 1 of my great heroes and it remains a um, a great sorrow to me that I never got to meet her but you know it’s like what is that? um one degree of separation is it 1 or 2 ah, you know. Knowing knowing people who knew her and McCaffrey was really my gateway gateway drug to fantasy and yeah, so and it was interesting to hear Catherine talk about that back in the day. Ah, there had been pushback on appointing and McCaffrey Grandmaster and you know and she said of course nobody would say exactly that they thought it was too girly but that that was the the subtext and.

Yeah, you know it’s um, it was just really good to to make that contact and talk with people. So yeah, we had a SFWA meet and greet. We did not have the suite this year people kept asking. Did we have one? no but we did have a. Ah, short meet and greet in the bar and yeah and I was on a bunch of programming sold some books at my signing table I’m like never again going to do a signing table without. The ability to sign books because none of the world con booksellers and there were a lot down in the dealers’ room. Um none of them carried my books I saw Jennifer Estep’s books though, sent her a photo of those. But yeah, not one of them had my books. And and this is actually partly my fault – mea culpa – that we could have emailed this um dealer’s email address and asked them to carry books. So maybe I’ll do that next time certainly what be next year next year’s world con is in. Chengdu China year after that is Glasgow year after that is Seattle ah I don’t know if I’ll go to Glasgow maybe um I saw that Dublin had put in a bid for another one. It would depend on if Glasgow would be this deal of.

Well, there were so many things wrong with Dublin those terribly terribly small meeting spaces that they you couldn’t get into any of the panels programming. So I don’t know if Glasgow would be the same deal but we’ll see two years down the road I’m not going to think about it now. So that’s my last convention for the year except for I guess I shouldn’t say it’s it’s penultimate convention except for a world fantasy con in New Orleans at first week of November which I’m very much looking forward to I will be. Ah, rooming with Kelly Robson her wife isn’t attending so Kelly and I will share a room that was that would be great I did get to see both Kelly and Alyx at WorldCon spent some time with them drinking wine that was.

Wonderful also ah went out for an amazing dinner Greek food inspired Greek which was so good. Ah, which you know makes me now understand how a lot of the other Greek food I’ve had is definitely uninspired.

I was on some excellent panels moderated some excellent panels. Ah right now it’s all kind of a blur ah stayed up too late talking to people in the bar as is my want.

Um, yeah, oh and also this was very cool. Um, the one of the great things about the location was it was the Chicago. Oh Hyatt Regency downtown and it was right on the riverfront and. Chicago this downtown was just amazingly beautiful. They have done so much to make it gorgeous and so you could go down and walk along that riverfront and I walked all the way down to the lake which wasn’t very far saw the marina and navy pier and all of those things. Um, they had the architectural boat tours leaving from like right in front of the hotel and I really wanted to go on one I went on 1 in like 2015 at RT we like took a cab downtown to take the architectural boat tour and it’s just one of the best things ever and I really wanted to do that. And just ran out of time 1 thing for me about being at conventions and I think I’ve mentioned this before you know, a lot of people go out and do touring around and see the city and that sort of thing and I always feel like I’m at the convention to talk to people that that’s my reason to be there and so. Going on the architectural boat tour wasn’t talking to people but I did get to go on a long walk along the riverfront um almost every morning all but 1 morning and then um, the final morning I got to walk all the way down to.

A beach one of my friends – Alex, a different Alex – had found this beach and so we went down on Sunday morning and went swimming and that was really great. Ah it was um. Yeah, it’s so cool the way lake shore drive divides downtown from the lake and they had closed lake shore drive. It was Sunday morning of labor day weekend and there were all of these bicyclists going up and down lake shore drive. They’d closed it traffic and that was so neat to see. Um. And it was kind of a stormy morning but we had timed it well before it started to rain and so we went swimming and then I walked back in time to clean up and see ah it was funny because I know I have this phrase from my mother. But I I used it twice ah to different response I should tell the story in order. So I had said to to Kelly ah, when I met her very early for breakfast one morning. Ah like. Six forty five she picked me up at six forty five and we went to this place at 7 that opened at 7 which is the um only morning I didn’t walk because of that and but we both had stop later that morning so it was like you know go have breakfast and so we can get back and I said okay well I’m not going to be cute.

And she said untrue and I was like well I’m not going to be fixed up for the day yet and and I’d said something similar to my friend Alex when we went swimming because I said well ah he kept track of how long it took to walk down there which I really appreciate it and I said well I’ve just padded you know, allowed enough time to to get cute and he said you are cute and I was like yeah so maybe I need a different phrase for me. It always means you know cute-ing up is like doing the makeup and hair thing right? getting. Putting the nice clothes on ah and I know but that my mom says that that we always say that you know like oh well I were going to be cute for this? Ah so so that was all was all good I’m sure I have thoughts. Ah, right now. My brain is still a little empty I flew back late Sunday night it was a little bit of a um, you know, grueling drive back after landing I was a little tired but got up yesterday morning did not podcast I just didn’t have. That much energy. But I did get some words written I have to finish shadow wizard this week people um I’m I’m actually in okay is shape on it. I’ve got about 17000 words to go but I really want to maybe get to the end.

This week there goes um, waffling on my determination right? The thing is let’s let me tell you about the thing. So let’s see I am at 72000 words 72,155 I’m guessing it’s going to come out around 89K um I’ve only got a few chapters left which is interesting because I haven’t gone back to revise from the beginning right? Longtime listeners will know that usually by now I have ah I would have done that and I haven’t which is interesting interesting to me. Process always changes. So I think I’m going to write pretty much all the way to the end. Um, but I don’t need to necessarily hit that 89 k because then I’m going to go back and revise from the beginning and as always I will undoubtedly add so I need um. About a week six working days to revise I’ve gone wood. Ah um, and then a few days to do my out loud proofing for the final pass to get it uploaded by.

What’s my drop dead date to upload.

Um, to to down September Twenty fifth so right now I feel like I’m in okay shape twenty days nineteen days um a little bit less because I I need a a day to format so three weeks think I can get this done. Um I’m thinking of ending it in a slightly different way. Ah, which I don’t feel like I could talk to you all about and get feedback because it might be too spoilery I might ask Carien I think I got a mosquito but on my forehead did i. Alas, so um, so yeah, just that’s the big focus now finishing this book and if I had another thought there that I may have lost to the mosquito bite. Um, yeah, it’s been an interesting book to write. There’s a lot of lot of layers to this 1 layers like a parfait. Ah yeah, so that that was about all I did yesterday I also took. Ah, nowp slept for like two and a half hours which I’m not typically a napper but it was funny because I finished writing it was like I got a little over a thousand words and which I thought was pretty good for my empty brain and then ate lunch spend a little time with David chatting and then.

Lay down slept for two and a half hours and I woke up at like a quarter to 5 which so I was like oh I napped all the way till happy hour so it felt like um Regency lady I’ve been reading more Lisa Kleypas and so that’s a. How that felt so um, on that note I’m going to see if I can have a more productive day today and oh ah, next week September Thirteenth bookbub featured deal. For Dark Wizard and it’s going to be free, free download to sort of goose goose the sales ahead of shadow wizard coming out so tell your friends tell your friends your family told them to read it and then buy the rest of the series right. And be ready for jadron and Cellie’s story all right hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday ah tomorrow I’ll be blogging at the SFF Seven so I won’t be here but I’ll be back on Thursday you all take care. Okay bye bye.

And it would help if like I can actually activate the button goodbye.

First Cup of Coffee – July 18, 2022

About my new fountain! Also weekend busyness which included much running around, loading of heavy bags of rocks, fighting with software and printers (oh joy), and moving things a couple steps forward.

Good morning, Everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Ah, that’s good. Delicious! Oh hold on I’ve got my phone on buzz just in case because the man is taking ah my car in to have it serviced for me. And know I don’t have to tell you to hold on but I can’t get over. Maybe it’s part of the verisimilitude of us having a chat over coffee. Please forgive me while I check my phone. It was just my mother only my mother who is fine now she says she’s back to normal. Ah, feeling good. She has to wear her mask for one more day and then she’s free of that so that’s great isn’t it and I haven’t said today is Monday July eighteenth so yeah um David is very kindly taking my car in to have the oil changed and have it checked because tomorrow we are driving it down to rio doso to in of the mountain gods for his birthday week. His birthday is Thursday I think his siblings fly in tonight. So this is one of those things where he and I differ but he’s like Mr maintain the car I’m like put gas on the car and make it go. Ah. When we go on a trip. He always wants the mechanic to check over the car to make sure it’s all right for a road trip it’s like yeah it’s 3 hours but ah here he’s been right many times so I cancede the point. Um, and I do agree that um, checking for problems is far better than having it like break down on the road. So um, been busy, busy busy. So I think I’ve ever told you all. Um, about having the fountain installed my brand new fountain I will post a photo of it. Um, they installed it a week ago friday and it was we took lots and lots of pictures. It was fascinating to watch I didn’t post any of them. Um.

Partly, mostly because I got busy and then it’s like ah I don’t know if I want to post all those pictures some people who are better at social media than I am share more that which I find ironic because I’ll like tell you anything but it’s like do I want to post all these pictures. I don’t necessarily want my am. Yeah, all that stuff out, but it was amazing to watch them. Do it of 4 guys dug the hole and then they maybe I did talk about some of this oh hummingbirds over my head. I am like a frank howl painting it gave her fresh you or her gave it fresh ah with them. Let’s call hummybirds them I gave them a fresh juice yesterday last night. Yes, very happy. So yeah, got that installed and the way it works I don’t know if I’ve ever explained I I don’t know if I told you guys all right? I’m just going to you all I’m going to tell it again. They dug the hole. And then they lined it with like a felt blanket and then a big rubber flexible tarp and then they put and they’ve framed it in with 4 by 4 and then used um steel eye beams that go across. Because the rock I chose is like £1800 and then they brought in this thing that they called the stinger and they brought it in and it carried the rock out and it went it set down and they were really wonderful if if you’re a longtime listener. You know that I was angsting about this. Um, that they you know I they were so nice. They were so accommodating. They were amazing and so all my angst was for naught as it so often is ah you know and so they were very patient and wonderful about. You know, positioning the rock making sure it was exactly the angle that I wanted it at I was like a little more this way and they were. They were so nice about it and I mean I could see why because you know £1800 rock once it’s down you want to leave it down and um. And then they you know, put water in the pit and they put well before they put the rock down. They put 2 layers of grate a larger grate and then a finer grate on top and then set the rock on that.

Pumps down underneath and it pumps water up through the top of the rock and it fountains down it goes back into the bottom. So what I didn’t realize um I guess we just never discussed. It is. They’re supposed to be rocks on top. So it looks like the water’s just falling into rocks. And really, it’s falling to the great right? I think it’s such a cool idea. We’re having a little bit of a hummingbird war. Oh and the wren is chiming in. So they didn’t put the rocks down. It was just a great and so um and I just didn’t have time to deal with it all last week. It was such a busy week so on Saturday morning. I woke up fairly early and ah got my phone and went back to bed and was lying there reading and playing with my phone and I started looking up where I could get rocks and David woke up and I said you know I think. I want to just get up and go and get these rocks early I forgot I’ve been planning to go to yoga oops I really need to get back in that habit and I know I’ve been saying that for months and months possibly a year which reminds me I need to sit up straight. Ah. So we went and bought rocks and it’s it’s an it’s an uninteresting saga so I will not give you the blow by blow. But we ended up going to a couple different places and finding someone to ah lug the 30 pound bags of rocks. Um, to load them until the cart forest proved to be impossible. So I just did it. Um, because I’m strong like bull and.

It was a workout actually I’m good I feel pretty good but we got 10 bags of 30 pound bags of rocks and I on saturday saturday I did a few things I was I felt very productive but it was um I don’t know. It. It was productive I got the laundry done I did 2 loads of dishes because it had been such a busy week that like every dish in the house was dirty as I think my mother would say so I ran the dishwasher twice and i. Arranged the rocks around the fountain and I got all of that landscaping done and I think it looks awesome and I’m so happy with it. It’s um, it’s a real delight so and then I cleaned up my office. Which ended up being a little ironic because I dealt with the entire chaos of my office and got it all cleared out very happily I think I mentioned to you all before that drives me. That’s if my office is in chaos. So I got it all organized. This is all saturday. And then um, finished up like around 5 and drinks wine. It’s been hot here. Um not as hot as it is other places but we’ve been up into the low 90 s which is hot for us. So we’ve been running there conditioning. I don’t much like air conditioning. That’s why I make a face if you’re on video so then on sunday one of these things that I had to deal with was getting stuff out for the sfw. A. Finalists? Um, yes, belatedly in fact, one set of things that I’m sending out is from a year ago and so I had 2 air tables full of finalists and their addresses which. We’re not in an easy mode to put into labels but I had my mailing labels I used to do this all the time for work and so this is part of my theme of like how technology moves without you they change stuff. Um I used to be so good at mail merge I could just but boom get all this done. And I spent all this time on word sunday morning because I thought I need to make sure I have enough labels I want to make you know because I was going to go run errands. So I thought okay I need to get labels done first I spent like.

Oh I gotta check my phone again. I think this is probably not my mother hold on it was just my reminder on the jack oil change which David remembered better than I did he remembers all things car. So. Um I I spent way longer than I should have on those fucking labels and I ended up I like couldn’t even figure out how to make it go into a new page. Ah I’m sure there’s a way. And there used to be a way but um, and then I couldn’t get them to print because I finally figured out it just took me longer than it should have because we have new internet I had to actually go to the printer itself and change the wi-fi connection on the printer to connect it to our network for wireless printing. I tried all like all from the other direction, but it’s all done now. It’s all set then I went out to run errands and got the remaining supplies for the nebula finalist treat boxes and Vitamins David asked me to get. And then I went to bed bath and beyond and got some birthday presents for David and then I went to target to get one of the birthday presents that they were so no longer carried at bed bath and beyond. It was very interesting bed bath and beyond had greatly reduced stock. And when I went to target they also had greatly reduced stock. So I think this is what a lot of these um fly big box stores are going towards is um. Not have it because they had so much backlog there for a while when all the container ships finally arrived right? So I know that bed bath and beyond has a much area feel more space. Maybe they have less stock and so they’re rearranging to make it look better. So anyway. They were like oh yeah, we used to carry that we don’t anymore. So then I went to target and found some helper people I mean at least I found people to help me. Um and they they said oh but we’re all sold out. We do carry it but we’re all sold out at this location. So then I went to lows and. It was kind of um well David does watch this podcast anyway, it’s one of those extender grabber things which I didn’t even know what to call it but you know like you have the handle and it has a little grippy thing at the end and he wanted one of those we used to have one in it broke and so.

Asking at 3 different stores for you know these people and I said I don’t know what to call it and they’re all like ah you know and of course they can all search on their phones because they all have that inventory app on their phones now and they said well I just put in grabber. So I found it at lows if you need one. It’s in the cleaning supplies. Go figure I couldn’t forget what category they’d put these things in so I did find one um it was really hot. I had the topped out on the convertible which was perhaps unwise because I think I got a little hot and then I was meeting Emily Ma who is our editorial director for sfwa I’m doing the letters now so that I have to go through and correct where it says Sifwa. On the transcript but it is more correctly. Sifwa not sfwa.

I’m religious to to see how that transcript handles him so she was supposed to come over to to help me assemble the treat boxes and I texted her and said can we make can we push to 2:30 and she said fine because I stopped at Starbucks I really wanted my trin to. Unsweetened passion tea. Love those things. So refreshing. So cool. So I went and got that if you eat all of the unripe grapes. There won’t be any ripe grapes I’m talking to the curvebuilt thrasher and they are working very very hard to. Feed their nestlings on the front porch but I noticed the other day that they were taking the unripe grapes to the babies which you know fine, but this is we’re going to get denuded of grapes feeding these thrasher babies. I know it doesn’t matter. So yeah, and then I got home and I bear I didn’t even have time to eat which may have also been a. Because Emily and I plunged right into I made myself an apple and some hummus but then like it sat there and languished because I kept making my hands dirty and we were trying to put these treat boxes together and then there was like confusion I don’t it was ridiculously difficult to do. Like how many did we need and who were they going to and oh my fucking god I just can’t even tell you so we got it mostly done I didn’t get everything done on it that I wanted to it turned out I had the wrong kind of mailing um envelopes. The certificate blah blah bless so I didn’t even need all of those labels that I made and we are leaving tomorrow morning for end of the mountain god so it’s just gonna have to wait till I get back at the end of the week but I’m a couple steps a number of steps closer to. That done. The good news is is that last week I did have a 10000 word week on shadow wizard that’s good news for me anyway, um, a little over 10000 I think – I’m 10, 057 None words so good momentum on that book I’ve been listening to I finished listening to the bright familiar audio book and now I am almost done with the Gey Magic audiobook so

Feel like I’ve got a good grip on the story. So I’m kind of waffling at this point with going down to end of the mountain gods with David and his siblings should I try to write I’ve been planning to write next week I go to Apollycon. Um. Ah, pretty excited because my agent ah Sarah Younger of Nancy Yost literary agency is going to be there. She figured out that like 5 of her clients are going to be at this conference and she decided to come so that’s going to be kind of cool. Be nice to see her I’ve not seen her since July of 2019? Um, so yeah, that’ll be really great. So I am hoping to be able to continue to write through a polygon which I should be able to because. Of the the timing of events ah should allow me to get my words in in the morning. So right now I’m waffling on should I try to keep writing this week I had been planning to they tend to stay up all night in the casino which I’m an early bird so and ah I don’t. I can I can only like play the slots for like an hour and then I get bored. Um, ah so but then I feel kind of antisocial too. But I you know like go to bed and I wake up early and they all sleep until like ten or eleven so I could do it. Um, but I’m also toying with should I take a vacation but then I’ll lose my momentum on the book. So I’m really waffling on all of this. We’ll see how today goes I’m hoping to write tomorrow morning before I leave. Um. I’m trying to decide whether or not to do the podcast I know that my mother votes yes, do the podcast. Um I don’t know but I think I’m going to play it by ear. Maybe I will do some podcast interviews at a polyon. You could get Sarah to do podcasts with me that could be fun and I’m rubing with Jennifer Eaststep would you all like to hear an interview with Jennifer Estep ah other authors I will be hanging out with there are Leslie Penelope Amanda Boucher Lexie Ryan Chelsea Mueller um probably forgetting people.

Not that I don’t love them It’s just that my brain is ah I’ll tell you what trying to figure out these labels but it’s because I had 2 different years right? and some finalists overlapped like they were finalists in both years. So I knew I have 2 sets of certificates to send out. But I could send 2 certificates in one ah envelope for people who overlap the 2 years and then I had another set of this year’s finalists were getting wilter certificate and a treat box but those can’t go the same thing so I don’t know that the logistics fried my brain for no good reason at all. Um I I would approach it differently this time I probably ah this is a theme lightly right? I was probably overthinking it and I’m still going to have to make more labels because I know I messed up the amusing thing about social media though was that when I was putting these labels together. There were at least 2 people or well there were 2 people and there could be more but that I knew had moved just because they talked about on social media and so I was able to tag them and say hey I noticed I think I saw that you moved do you have a new address. So anyway, um, such are the trevials a daily life right? Um, we should all be like the hummingbirds ah fighting over the peters. Ah, it’s not a romantic. Analogy. Is it all right? So I’m just going to see how I feel tomorrow find out what the timing is going to be on us meeting up I’ve got to prioritize getting words mom so maybe podcast tomorrow maybe not and regardless I will talk to you all again. Someday you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – June 2, 2022

Updates in general – THE STORM PRINCESS AND THE RAVEN KING is done except for the epilogues! which I’m really enjoying writing because they’re great touch-backs to the original Twelve Kingdoms trilogy. And other stuff…

Good morning, everyone. This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Um, delicious. If you’re on video. You’ll see that it’s a little bit breezy here this morning today this Thursday June second six two 2022 for some reason the transcript. Has trouble with numbers. Um, so I’m trying to enunciate them better. We’ll see if that helps. So yeah, it’s um, a coolish morning I am outside and we make it rain today. Which would be most welcome. Ah definitely has that? Um, it feels like being on the pacific northwest coast or even Southern California or San Diego you know a? ah. Cool beach day. It’s some just amazing. How distinct that moist specificific air is when it makes its sway over to us.

So, things are going well yesterday was a good day. A good writing day I did finish the actual story woo I finished the actual book. Um, climactic scene and all of that. I felt like I had not stuck the landing on it. Um, and I I don’t know I felt like I that there’s this inning there that I could find that was remaining elusive but Carien read it and she likes it. She thinks it’s great. She had only like one suggestion for expansion. So we’ll see I still need to go back and revise about the last. Well it was 83 pages that I wrote now it’s going to be more because I can sort of tell you guys where I’m at. I am at Ninety Thousand five hundred and five words which astute listeners astute and regular listeners will recognize as being well beyond my estimate but we knew those epilogues were going to be long right? I finished the first epilogue and it is almost 3K words they may all be. About 3,000 words but Carien loves it so far I’m actually really loving writing them. So yesterday I wrote 3,226 words. That’s what I did in my 3 hours and when I get to the point of. Revising yeah see now I’m up to 91 pages that I’m going to have to revise. Although I think that the epilogues will revise pretty fast but it’s fun. It’s really fun because um I don’t want to spoiler anything for you guys. But. I don’t feel like this is a spoiler because it’s expected. But if you want to know nothing cover your ears for a minute because the none epilogue is our intrepid heroes returning to castle Ordnung and so I get to have a scene with. Ursula and it’s um, it was just really fun to write an extended scene with Ursula again heroine of Talon of the hawk the high queen I hear Jackson inside wanting to come out shall. We let him come out. He’s been good lately. I’ve been letting him go free inside the sacred garden hold on no that wasn’t him must have been hearing things the um house across the way and where our houses are spaced out pretty distant but over that way has um.

Children I know two small children and one of them when she is running around and playing sounds very much like a cat to me I think it’s partly distance. But you know that? ah. But says something that I hear that as a cat I’m sure Jackson was happily inside extracting treats from his puzzle box that’s been a a great thing have um genie mom to think for that one. And she’s also been featuring the bonds of magic audio books on her listen up review site. So I appreciate that. Thank you Jen although I don’t think she listens to this podcast so she won’t know that I thanked her. I was amused with myself yesterday in the blog posts that I wrote which ended up being a fairly log blog post too. But I felt like I had things to say and telling that story and looking up Brianne Merritt my my old nemesis who never knew she was my nemesis and was my nemesis for no good reason. Other than that I was jealous I was a young and jealous 18 year old alas not always the wise and zen woman you see before you now or. Here before you now. Ah I am saying that ironically I hope you know that. So um, let’s see so yeah, epilogues are going to be long but I am getting through them. Um. My friend Kelly Robson who checks in with me every day on writing stuff and ask me if I thought I was going to be done yesterday I was like no way. But I finished the first epilogue got part way through the second I got like. five pages into the second and the first one was ten pages. So yeah I kind of know where this one’s going so we’ll see um and then I’ve got two more after that maybe by tomorrow I don’t know. Going to write her coffee this morning and buy flowers for the wedding for Megan’s wedding so that’s exciting and I feel like I should be talking about more writing and industry stuff and my mind is a blank.

But in a good way. Um I was maybe supposed to do something for SFWA yesterday. There’s this author coalition call that occurs on the first Wednesday of the month so now that it’s June. It was yesterday and it’s at 11am my time and I I probably mentioned this before but a lot of the people on the call. Just do not seem like they have anywhere else to be because I spend a really long time talking about stuff and I feel like I am a. 1 of my failings as a human being is that I am impatient and I have to reign in my impatience. It is a constant struggle for me, you guys to rein in my impatience. But. It’s um I think it’s because I tend to do things pretty fast and in concentrated ways and when other people don’t do that. It robs me wrong. You know like the um, the grocery store clerk who like. Vaguely checks out your stuff and stops to talk to people and gets distracted and then you know some something goes on over there and they’re like oh ha ha ha ha and you’re like could you just fucking scan my groceries or at least I’m like that I don’t say that i. I rein in my impatience. So. But yeah, um, I’m not subjected to many meetings that I don’t control anymore which is great for me right? That’s one of the great benefits of having the ah career that I have at this point I love. Not having to attend meetings um you know like you do in corporate life all of the meetings that I attend are almost all so like None of the meetings that I have now are all things that I am invested in hearing about. They’re either about my favorite subjects me my books and my career. Um, you know so meetings with like my agent or my editors or things like that or they are SFWA meetings. Wow I felt like hair in my face. Flowing around from that breeze I think I washed it this morning and I can’t do anything was it.

So some randomness for you. But so like this call I do feel like it’s good. We have somebody else. Michael Capobianco who is a long time and very able volunteer at attends those calls anyway. But. I attended once a couple months ago because I had a specific issue bring to bring up to the other writers organizations and Capo as he is fondly known said that SFWA has two seats on this call and that he thought it would be great for the SFWA president to attend and I think it’s a great idea too. But when it comes to the execution yesterday I was I was writing hot I’ve got to finish freaking this book I didn’t say that well did I got to finish this freaking book freaking finish this book. Um, and. I just did not want to stop to be on this call. So I I was bad and I elected to not do it I’ve been doing more of these things in this last week or so and I think it’s just because I really needed to like taking. Entire days off of checking my sifwa email I I do think it is self- preservervation and I am we’re technically on hiatus to recover from the conference and so forth. So I was like you know what? I’m just going to be on hiatus and. Focus on the writing so that felt good. Um I need to finish paying bills and yesterday I finished early enough that I spent a couple of hours balancing the finances and I’m still crunching royalties. I have to finish crunching for Amazon and for my website sales and then pay bills. So I may get that done today. But the other thing I’m doing today big excitement in my world is I am going to in-person yoga with my favorite yoga teacher first time since. Pandemic. Um, she’s been doing like Zoom yoga I’ve mentioned that a number of times on here and doing recorded sessions by Vimeo and I have found I just do not like the combination of screen time in yoga it like makes it be not yoga for me. So she’s doing these classes that are simultaneous virtual and in person I think this is the future right? We’re all doing this right? The the hybrid options. So but I get to go. She’s opened a new yoga studio with another guyhoo I really like and I’m gonna go do freaking.

in-person yoga. So yes, mother I will be going into town and back twice today. She’s been laughing at me that how much I’m going into town because you know for so long I almost went nowhere but um so it works out. On Thursdays with it being writer coffee day and yoga day because this is the yin yoga class that I really like at four o’clock and as I mentioned I was chastised by the massage therapist for not maintaining my own flexibility. So. I need to get with that birds are so happy this morning I don’t know if you can hear them in the background but they’re just chipping away so pleased at having this moisture in the air. It really brightens them up. Dear, big excitement in my world was. We had our septic septic tank emptied yesterday and got it’s it’s kind of absurd how you can be proud of these things but got an a plus rating on our maintenance of the septic tank. So I did not. Know that it makes a difference if you use a disposal because this guy who’s ah I mean he was really like a classic cowboy type even had a cowboy hat dressed like a cowboy talked like a cowboy but he was great. He was efficient and very sweet. He accidentally ran over. Of our cactus um sort of we have like this center thing which we call the center thing I don’t know if there’s a name for it. But you know like our driveway goes around the center thing and we have a bunch of cactus planet in there and he ran over one of part of one of them with those big tires and he felt really bad about you. Brought me out there to see it and he’s like I try to be careful but I can’t always feel and there really is not much of a lip there and and he tried and he wanted to knock a hundred dollars off of the price and I felt I felt bad about that I was like oh I don’t think it was a hundred dollar cactus and in fact it’s one that we. Planted with a paddle from another cactus cactus are ridiculously easy to plant and propagate if you are interested. Here’s our botany section first cup of coffee. All you have to do is take one of the paddles use um tongs like kitchen tongs. But you know like if you have a neighbor with a cactus or you see a cactus somewhere where someone won’t mind you can just take a paddle like from the bottom you just take that and you lay it on the ground them done I’m serious and and they will root themselves. You know, put it in a hot spot.

Hot dry spot. But then so this ah and and it’s too bad because it was blooming all these beautiful pink flowers. But um, he is like well I I feel bad about that. So I I’ll give you a discount and he said you know it’s was like $300 to have the septic tank. Um. Cleaned and everything and he said let’s just make it 200 so I wrote the check for 250 because I thought yeah and he did great work if I still took some of it the the discount discount for my squash cactus. But anyway he said that we didn’t have a crust in there but we won’t think too hard about the crust but he said um, you must not have a garbage disposal and I sorry to answer and he looked at me and he said or you don’t use it very much and I said I do not use it very much. Um. First of all, it doesn’t work great and second of all we compost a lot but he said yeah if you use the garbage disposal a lot that really affects the septic tank and you get this crust in there who knew you know it’s like you buy a house with a septic tank and they do not. Give you instructions you could see the birds zooming around behind me. They’re very active. So yes, I’m it’s always good news to know that your septic tank is in good condition. I’m always hearing it seems like about people having septic disasters everybody out here is on a septic tink. My mom said she didn’t know I was on septic and it’s like um you know live eight miles outside of santa fe depending on which way the crow is flying and we are not on seur where. We are our own water system and everybody has septic. So um, let’s see those have been random thoughts right? What else? Oh I’ve got almost all 3 covers for the covenant of thorns books they’re going to be super cool. You guys this concept I just love it and we’re just going ahead and doing all 3 because she sent me all these options for the first one after I you know I told you I got that sort of like um shiver of delight at seeing one that was a like really different kind of concept. And so when I said I want this one and she said oh that’s my favorite too which I always feel like is good sign if the artist loves that one best then? you’re onto something right? So then she sent me a whole bunch of choices and I was like I loved them all and I made Darynda look at them and she loved them all.

But I picked out 3 that I think worked great for the progression of the trilogy and so we’re just going ahead and doing that So that’s awesome Huh You guys are gonna love him all right? Well I think that’s it for me. So um, yeah I’m gonna go do my thing. You go do your thing I Hope it’s a great thing and I will talk to you all tomorrow bye-bye.

First Cup of Coffee – May 24, 2022

On rewarding ourselves for hard work, getting the thing you want, even if it’s frivolous. Also, I’m delaying the release of THE STORM PRINCESS AND THE RAVEN KING – sorry! – but not by much.

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

It’s actually my second cup of coffee today is Tuesday may 24th so right I to double check who’s trying to give you guys like a little bit of scenery. Um, later this morning because this is actually the second podcast I’ve recorded I recorded the first one and then the more I thought about it the more I thought I’m not ready to talk about all of that publicly. So I it’s the lost podcast recording and. This is the second one for the day.

Ah so I apologize for no podcast yesterday rest assured my mother already gave me a guilt trip about it and I was just wiped out yesterday I was exhausted nebula conference was fabulous. And exhausting and trying at times there were a lot of things that were wonderful about it. There were some things that were very difficult about it. Um. And I very much appreciate everybody who has reached out and offered support. Overwhelmingly people have been really supportive and you all are awesome I appreciate that? Ah, the nebula conference went very well. All things considered. We did not look like the Airmeet interface at all. In fact, everyone was looking forward to being able to set it on fire once the weekend was done our um own created system had been much better for previous years. So next year looking forward to doing a hybrid conference seeing a lot of people in person and we will come up with a different system for the conference. None thing that was funny about air meat was that if you were. Logged into the system. There were I mean it was very pretty It looked nice. But if you were in there and a panel hole started. It would suck you into the panel which we began to refer to as wormholing it was we turned out to be prescient. Because those of you who have been able to watch the nebula awards ceremony. It was live streamed. It was recorded. It’ll be available if it’s not already. Um I loved the nebula award ceremony Kate Ristau um knocked it all the park she deserves so much kudus kudus. I know somebody who used to pronounce it kudus and there I accidentally said it that way. Kudos for all of her amazingly hard work ably assisted by LD Lewis who handled the technical direction Kate just pulled it together amazingly and. So for those of you who saw it you saw that we had recordings from Neil Gaiman coming in as a time traveler and with references to wormholing. so so yeah the wormholing thing where even if you were like at.

None of the virtual tables and having conversations with somebody you got worm holed into their into ah the panel or into office hours which were supposed to be private that was really charming at none where it was supposed to be like a one on one thing and you’d get 50 people. Sucked in there and when we came back to Airmeet and asked them to fix the problem that they seemed to believe it was a feature and not a bug that this is like oh but this is how you get participants to your panels. It’s like no the other charming. Not charming thing about it. Was that it would wormhole you into whichever panel started first. So even people who had particular panels for that time slot like saved on their schedule. Um, it would still wormhole you into which everyone started first. It was an abysmal system. Um. We are um, conference project manager Kathleen Monin who also did an incredible job. She was compiling a document of all of our technical problems that I can’t remember exactly but she had it entitled something like. The flaming garbage wreck that is air meat so we are not pleased with Airmeet. We paid a fair amount of money to use that flaming garbage wreck. Ah, but our staff was amazing. Kate Baker, Terra Lemay, Becca Gomez Farrell all rocked it people put in a huge amount of work. Um, and it was you know yeah exhilarating and at times we got very emotional. Some difficult decisions had to be made and now we are in recovery mode. So on Friday I finally decided when I ended up getting sucked into some things early on in the conference. Realized that I was just not going to be able to get storm princess and the Raven King uploaded by Friday this Friday so I apologize to all of you who have been waiting on this book I appreciate your patience I’m sorry I pushed it out two weeks um new release state is June thirteenth to all of you who preordered you would have gotten the notice from Amazon if you preordered on Amazon um, it probably won’t take me that long to finish knock on wood. But i.

Thought well if I was gonna push it out I might as well give myself a little bit of leeway. So 1 thing I can do is once it’s done I can just push it live right? then early. Ah or I can just wait for the for June thirteenth what do you guys vote for let me know what you think. I not sure it manners. Yeah cool breeze where it’s not supposed to be very warm to do. It’s gorgeous this morning but we’re maybe gonna get rain today which would be nice. So um. Assistant Carien did read storm princess so far and she really loves it really loves Ryan’s redemption arc so that’s awesome and I am close to finishing I really am I think I was just tired. Um. Just get to that. Um, creatively drained point right? and so I’m probably going to ease in today by starting my out loud proofing and then finish it off. Um, so yeah, I’m I’m getting back to it. Yesterday I just did nothing I thought I was gonna work yesterday but I was just so wrung out and completely drained from the conference and all that happened so I just took a day off. And I went and of all things went shopping David and I went shopping for this rock fountain that I have been watching and when I get it I did buy 1 when I get it installed I will share pictures of it. My mom asked me to share a picture I was like oh I forgot to take None at the shop. Um, but they’re really cool because they’re natural rock and you dig a basin down in the ground and then there’s a grate that goes on top of it with smaller rocks on top of the grate. So the water spills down over the rock and goes back down into the basin to be recirculated so it really saves on water and there’s a lot more water um, stored inside so you don’t risk burning out the pumps. Ah. With the wind. We’ve been having my other fountain the wind keeps blowing the water out of the fountain and then my pup dries out overnight. Alas, so those of you who have been listening to the podcast for a long time know that? ah.

Ah, my mind just went temporarily blank there. What do you know? What do we know about me. Um I don’t know oh that I’m a big believer in rewards that when we’ve been doing a whole lot of work going to a tremendous effort. That it’s very much important to to reward our subconscious selves to give ourselves a treat the benefit of something that is desired and so. We went shopping for this fountain. Finally I’ve been wanting one for probably 10 years at least and I’ve been saving up for it. It’s gonna cost a little more than what I wanted but you know how you can do the thing where there’s the thing that you really really want. And tell me which you want what you really really want. Um, you have this thing that you want and it’s more expensive than what you want to spend or what you feel like you could spend so you get the the quasi thing you get like the next. Quality down or several qualities down or smaller or not so much and then it’s not quite satisfying because you always think about the thing you know it’s like well I really wish I would have had this one that I didn’t settle for this one I was. Seeing someone sharing over the weekend. Terry Pratchett’s theory of poverty. It’s probably not his but this is what he wrote up in a book about the poor man who buys the that a good pair of boots costs $50 and that but the man only makes $38 a month and so it’s very difficult for him to pay $50 so instead he buys the $10 pair of boots but those wear out in a year so in a year he has to buy the $10 pair of boots again and. And it’s nicely written it. You know it’s from ah None of his books and it goes you know into the downsides of the shoddy pair of boots that wears out but the person who can afford to buy the $50 boots can wear them for None ears and never never wears them out or you know wears them out only after a very long time and so in the end they spend less money because they can afford to pay more upfront and this is a way that we talk about that. It’s very expensive to be poor.

And that’s not a perfect analogy for what I’m doing because obviously this is a frivolous purchase. This is not something that I need to make it to work or to keep a roof over our heads but it is um, it’s a special tree and and it was. Felt important to me to reward myself for for hard work and I am wanting to reward the people that that worked with me on this too. So I’m have that in in place ongoing. So. Um. So yeah, um, sort of getting back into the groove now and she’ll be able to get this book finished off and starting the next one is my plan quite a lot happening. In June next big thing for me is my friend Megan getting married in less than 2 weeks and I need to get my act together on the flowers for them.

And let’s see. Yeah I I do need to make a plan there and then hopefully I’ll get that fountain installed in like the next week they said so that’ll be exciting I won’t maybe we’ll do a special. Podcast by the fountain. How exciting is that you know don’t say that we don’t have fun here at none cup of coffee.

So let’s see what else. Um, this is why I did not do a podcast yesterday because I am I feel so much better today and my brain is still feeling pretty empty. So I can’t even remember. Much in the way of specifics from the conference over the weekend. Um, there was just a lot of really great programming and I learned a lot from people my own panels went great and yeah, there were just a lot of magical things about it. And I’m very much looking forward to doing the hybrid version next year and yeah, so I think that what I will do is go ahead and get in and get to work and yeah. I hope that you all have a wonderful Tuesday that your week is going well and I will talk to you all on Thursday take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – May 20, 2022

Exciting events for me today and this weekend – I get to interview Mercedes Lackey! – and more and extended thoughts on building an author platform, what’s most important, and being aware of how others do it.

Ah, good morning. Everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

Didn’t mean to make that extra loud clang. Ah, but you know what day it is say it with me Friday woo Friday may um, something who knows may none yeah. None nebula weekend yay kicked off with some mentoring last night that was really fun. And um, yeah yesterday was my mom and stepdad’s wedding anniversary fifteenth wedding anniversary of congratulations cannot believe it’s been fifteen years that going to that wedding feels like yesterday and yeah, so they were going to celebrate last night but then turns out that stepdad Dave has an infection in his leg still from that accident. So we had to be on antibiotics. So my David had a good idea. Um, and we had door dash send them dessert from the bakery so that they at least got to have a little treat I thought that was such a great idea feel free to use that. Um, um, so let’s see other things I’ve got I don’t think I even opened up where I am on the let me do that. It’s not going as fast as I want it to. But None is is good I have somewhere in the neighborhood of None None or None words to go? Um, none of you even responded. To me yesterday saying I was going to kill all the characters off. Apparently you guys just like didn’t take me seriously I’m gonna do it I swear ah I almost don’t have to kill them off because they’re all about dead right now. Wouldn’t take much really? So if I’m figuring on that about the last ten thousand words are going to be the epilogues which is what I’m hoping for that means I have like None to None words to save the world.

We’ll just see we’ll just see what happens a nebula conference panels are starting Today. No hummer and there’s one I want to watch at 10 my time I’m on 1 at 2 30 you could still register if you want to. Um, be part of the conference programming is great. Lots of good stuff happening tonight I get to interview mercedes Lackey Grand Master very excited about that little hummingbird. So panel at two thirty is about combating misogyny and romance Cecilia Tannis our moderator so that should be great looking forward to that looking forward to doing this reception and interview tonight. Lots of good stuff going on tomorrow award ceremony tomorrow night um I sent the trailer to my friend Megan Mori who is getting married in a couple of weeks that I have to deal with flowers for her wedding which. I really want to do I just um, need to do some dealing on that trying to figure out the best way to do that I know what I want to do I’m just trying to figure out the best acquisition method. So um, yeah. I get to see her next Wednesday she texted this morning and we will go um, scope out the site so I can make my nefarious plans. Ah, and then she will buy me a drink afterwards because she’s awesome vaway I sent her the. Yeah bu award ceremony trailer because she has been um, sort of my what do I want to say not objective ear. But um, she’s the person who is like. That I can tell things too that I could tell the secret things to because she’s not involved right? So you know like when you have an Nda and you don’t disclose stuff. You can’t disclose to you know anyone that where it’s gonna go anywhere but you know. Between her and I it’s the cone of silence on many many things so she knew what I went through and so I sent her the trailer and she said I have 3 words with for you and she did them in a separate text each line Neil fucking gayman amen amen sister

so um so yeah right now I’m in that kind of weird limbo state of getting this conference done feeling a little tired getting this book done. Looking very much forward to havingbbing the conference behind us as much as I’m looking forward to having the conference and then I will see what happens. Um, as far as getting this book out getting it finished. Ah what I’m hoping is. That I can like get that ending down today and I don’t know if I’ll work on it any over the weekend I’ll see how I feel see if it’s better for me to decompress or not. But if I can get the ending finished out between today and tomorrow. Or tomorrow Monday and then to a couple of long to sound running out of time month I really need to get that ending done today. Don’t I so that I can then have a couple of days to do my really pound words on those epilogues. Fortunately I know pretty much what those epilogues are going to be I just need to get them done and then have a little time to revise and improve not a lot of time to prove. Maybe I should push this release date I have to figure out what is the last day that I can push that release date.

I’m torn on that it would make things easier if I pushed the release date give me a little bit more time to get this proofing done in everything. Um, but then I also feel like maybe I can do it so I’ll figure out what is my. Drop dead day to push that release date and then you know if I do push it’ll be like by a week nothing big so um enough about me. What do you think about me. ah ah I did want to talk a little bit about author pal. Platform stuff because I blogged about it on Wednesday and received quite a few notes about it with people saying that they really needed to hear that so I thought I would talk about it a little bit more on here. Hummingbirds do not worry about platforms and I feel like I said should switch by hanging baskets because this one is so much happier than this one and this one’s really getting battered by the wind is it that I just need to move it in some but it’s symmetrical the way it is. I don’t know or I can move it over there so author platforms not hanging baskets. Ah so. For those of you who did not read the blog post. Although I’ll try remember to link to it if you’re interested. It comes from the term author platform comes from the early 90 s when. The internet was kicking into gear and people really started looking in terms of sales platforms on the internet and and reach and in the beginning author platform really applied to nonfiction books. It was in order to sell a nonfiction book you kind of wanted an author who was a perceived expert in the field a celebrity. Ah you know what? I’m saying um, had a following this. That’s part of why this is related to the early days of the internet because. People gain these followings. It was sort of like um Instagram influencers only with blogging and the early bloggers would gain these followings you know and and I remember you know like there were ones that I would follow every day like um, dous.

Don’t even know what she’s doing now haven’t looked at her blog in a long time but they gained these huge followings they had these enormous platform. Well so you have to think about things in terms of the New York people and especially the agents. And editors especially the young and hungry ones who are looking at building their careers and being able to sell the house and the salespeople on publishing a book and. 1 of the things that they want and sometimes I will see um agents in particular um will have in their submission materials tell me about your author platform tell me about your social media platform because what they really want. Is these people who already have none or hundreds of none or none followers already that they can target this book towards and you be say to yourself if you are a I don’t even want to say savvy. Um, but if you are following this line of thought to its logical conclusion and it is something that the newbie authors ask all the time is like well if I am a debut author and I have not yet done anything. How am I supposed to have a platform of readers already and. Is it that what the publishing house should be doing well my child this is one of the things that changed with the internet was these publishing houses figured out that they didn’t necessarily have to do all of that expensive and. Splashing of coffee up for the on themselves. That’s why get for getting worked up that they realized that they could make the authors do this especially because they did have authors coming to them with substantive platforms already right? so. It it really was a major change and and how how the business went about selling books because now they could sell books through social media and they really wanted authors who already had social media platforms. Well. You you can see the catch 22 here right? Ah and so that became the push for many authors to begin establishing their social media presence. You know, have your website have your Facebook page have your Twitter following ah before you even sell that debut book.

Because to back up a little bit on what platform is if you are not a celebrity or an Instagram influencer or a noted expert in dog feces bull feces. Ah, then what does it mean for you to have a platform. What what it is is. It’s your reach. It is ah who you can and let me get the exact definition here hang on. Okay I found it. And this is not me this is Jane Friedman’s definition which I believe I paraphrased but I linked to her article on it. She has a really great write up on author platform. It’s in the blog post if you go to that you’ll find it. But um. I am finding hint finding it. Okay, so an author platform is an ability to sell books because of who you are and who you can reach all right? So who you are may not necessarily. Be anything right? If you are not a noted expert in bovine feces. Male bovine feces. Ah, but who you can reach is a different thing now a lot of New York would love to have the person who comes with their ready-made. 0 followers. Whatever but do you have to have this no and the point that I was making in my blog post is the way for fiction authors to reach people is through their stories. And so the best way that you can build your author platform is by writing more writing more books writing more stories ah getting that work out there. That’s the most That’s why that’s why everybody says and I’ve been hearing this for decades now. Eep. And it is true that the very best way to market a book is to write the next book. Ah if you can write a series because writing sequels is great for marketing that none book but the more books you write. And I’m going to add this I didn’t say this in the blog post but this is why I’m always emphasizing craft and improvement over marketing efforts write better books get better at what you’re doing and as you get better. You will reach.

More readers as you write the things that move you you will reach the people who are moved by the things that you write. You don’t have to change up the marketing things as much as you need to get those stories out there that will actually reach people that’s. Ah, different kind of reach than the salespeople and marketing people are thinking about but that’s because they are sellers of widgets not creators of stories so something to think about. The other thing to keep in mind is that there are other ways to create reach and that is networking in the community being of service to people being helpful to people. Ah, but also the. The success people know this right? This is not a secret that the more you can build your platform your reach the more it will bleed into everything that you are doing So This is why there are. Members of the writing community who claim to do things out of the goodness of their hearts ah and present company accepted because I really do do things out of the goodness of my heart Actually, that’s not true I mean I wouldn’t do this podcast. Only. The goodness of my heart or only because my mother requires it I do it in part to increase my reach right? It’s It’s a way for me to do that. That’s why we do our social media things right? And that’s why it’s important to do the ones that you enjoy because. The more that you come across authentically the better it is but like somebody who for example, puts on a huge conference for self-published writers and says I don’t make any money off of this. Um, I’m only doing this to help out other self-published writers. Well great, but you know what else they’re doing is they’re increasing their reach even if somebody is not making money off of a thing. It’s because they’re investing in the platform. That will enable them to make money later. So a lot of um I don’t know the success community will will employ that kind of language where they will attempt to legitimize themselves by saying that.

They don’t charge for doing a thing that they’re not making money off of it and you know, okay, great, but just because someone isn’t making direct money off of a thing does not mean that they’re not benefiting from the thing. So and I’m not saying that they shouldn’t benefit for it from it but be aware of that because there are those who will do any and everything to draw attention to themselves and including bad behavior. Because in a way that’s why they say that there’s no such thing as bad publicity which isn’t really true, but there is a kernel of truth in that because the more people who know who you are the broader your reach. Bigger your platform so on that note I am gonna go in and get to work I hope that you all have a wonderful Friday a wonderful weekend if I see you at nebula conference say hi to me. It’s totally online but there’s lots of virtual chat rooms and that sort of thing. And I will talk to you all on Monday you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – May 9, 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’s Monday may ninth and death sorry for the incredibly awkward intro I’m so in a slightly different position and I realized I couldn’t quite crane back to reach the chimes. Alas. If you’re on video you might be able to see behind me this light might not be great. But I have my clematis is blooming beautiful pink blossoms. Yay.

Yeah, so everything’s bright and shiny here a little bit cool breeze blowing this morning but um, getting the cool in supposed to warm up later today wind again today. Alas, the wind. Um, hummingbird battle little Hummer um I don’t remember what I was going to say the hummingbird distracted me what’s something to say it. What was it. Who knows it’s gone thinks bird.

But so yeah, like all thoughts have fled my head I’m trying to think of what’s going on here wendy oh I know what it was I’ll share it on the show notes I posted it to social media before but I think social media hates me have you guys been noticing this. Like I post stuff to Facebook and Twitter like even pictures and original content with no links all the things I’m supposed to do and like I get likes but nobody’s commenting maybe nobody has bandwidth to comment. Maybe we’re all just so fricking fed up with everything that’s going on. Um. Like trying to relying on law from the seventeen hundreds to inact current law I haven’t ranted about that on here I feel like we’ve all heard enough elsewhere anyway. It was the um fire incident report from the fire that’s up near Las Vegas New Mexico about an hour north of here I was looking at it just to see because they they may have to add back to weight the city of Las Vegas New Mexico not Las Vegas Nevada but still the fires coming real close and they’re. Having to evacuate people from the surrounding towns. So in a way. It’s not funny. So it’s one of these funny, not funny things but I was looking at the report and it said that the drought exasperated by the high winds and warm temperatures I think that maybe not everybody who saw it got why I thought it was so funny because it should be exacerbated. Not exasperated. Um and I thought was really funny. Who knew a drought could become as exasperated as we feel so um, yeah I don’t know take humor where you can a lot of people have had to evacuate. It’s really not wonderful. Alas. Um I had a good weekend felt like a busy weekend I I had 3 SFWA meetings on Saturday publications team nebula planning board meeting. So ah. That sort of took up the middle of my day before that I just hung out though and read.

Um, I’ve been debating about whether or not to talk about what I’m reading because I am oh see even if I hint about it. You guys will guess. And I just don’t know if I want to say anything on here I know that’s coy if I shouldn’t bring it up at all I’m gonna set that aside and think about if you’re on video you might see my cool new barette this is exciting stuff right? Look it’s like a a phoenix or a heron. Got in at a local story here in Santa Fe so um I don’t often buy myself little treats like that and that was a nice nice little gifty for myself. It’s important to reward ourselves I don’t know if I’ve talked about that in a long time when you’re. Especially when you’re working your creative self very hard and wanting to um you know make the money to buy like groceries um paid mortgage and rent or all of those sorts of things I had a um, a. Ah, decent, wake up call yesterday I was um, insensitive to some newer writers in a way that I really tried not to be and it didn’t occur to me but 1 of the girls was saying that she hadn’t been able to find any good writer conferences in Florida and I said well what about NINC? Novelist incorporated which has their conference in St Petersburg and she was like what that’s 20 minutes away from me and she ran off to get it and then she set back a picture of her face when she read the membership qualifications for NINC because ah. Desert Ravens are busy this morning too. Ah because you have to be a member of NINC to register for the conference and and I’m a member and it was it was like a no big deal for me to become a member. But the membership qualifications are steep. She’s like I just published my first book I have nothing yet and it’s um, they they are they are steep There’re lots steepers than so than SFWA’s. But NINC was formed by kind of a spinoff group from rwa that felt like there were too many um wannabes in the organization and so they made it steep because they wanted it to be.

Like writers who were more advanced in their career and so I did say to these cows I said you know it took me a long time to to and I forget I do forget how much water is under the bridge for me. You know, maybe that’s part of the champagne problems. You know you get to a point where you you’re focused on what you’re you know eyes forward what you’re trying to achieve next what you’re trying to do and you don’t always or at least I don’t. Always take that moment to look back at how very far I’ve come and and I think it that’s ah it’s a good reminder for me, you know that those um those membership qualifications were easy for me to make they’re not easy for everybody. Especially when you’re first starting out but it it that reminds me of a conversation that we’ve been having at SFWA and and I feel like it’s okay for me to talk about this because I’ve been talking about it openly with a bunch of people but there is um in. I can’t maybe I’ve even talked about it on the podcast before forgive me forgive me if I’ve forgotten. Um I should say I did spend a couple of hours revising on the book yesterday I’m getting a little bit worried about finishing it on time. This is probably also right on schedule and. Yeah, so my brain is really focused on the book which is like really great that I’m like trying to finish this book at the same time that nebula conference is ah coming to a peak but everybody else is doing way more work than me at this point so that’s pretty awesome.

So yeah, there’s an interesting thing in the science fiction and fantasy community where they talk about um, being a professional writer which is very important. That’s part of our mission I’m totally behind that and then they talk about stuff being fan based. And it’s interesting to me that the science fiction and fantasy community. Really they talk about fan run conventions fan awards the romance community doesn’t talk about fans in the same way even though like the Rt convention was all about readers. And there are other conventions that are reader conventions but we don’t say fan in and the same way that science fiction and fantasy community does and there is occasionally someone will say things. In Sifwa like we want this to be a professional panel. Not something that seems more fan based and and 1 of the frequent. Um. Disparaging remarks made about Rw a that confused me for a long time was they would say well Rw a allows fans to be members. They don’t it’s not a professional organization like Siffa is because they allow fans in and I was like everybody in our w a is I mean you. You want to be a writer That’s why you join.

So this finally struck me the other day. It was like you know when you enter a community and you um, don’t always know the jargon and 1 thing about sifway is that it’s an old enough organization that there is arcane lingo. And there is a lot of stuff that are like unwritten rules and ever since I’ve been on the board I’ve I’ve been the force for no unwritten rules and there are other people who are fortunately on my same team with this but it’s like um if it frankly in in my world. If a rule is not written down It’s not a rule. You can’t expect people to abide by unwritten rules if it’s such a god damn fucking important rule write it down. You can see why everybody loves me. Um.

So we’ve we’ve run into this before where we’ve had like people violate unwritten rules and then everybody’s like oh censure them. They’re bad and wrong because they broke this this rule I’m like how were they supposed to know it was a rule and they’re like well everybody knows. I don’t know. It’s like this insular community thing part of the things we’re working to change and it has changed a whole lot just in in my type. Um, but so this like suddenly the lingo was illuminated for me an epiphany. Now I understand scrambled eggs! If you don’t get that joke you haven’t been listening to this podcast long enough. Ah, um, if you want me to you can ping me and I’ll explain it. But. It yeah I will explain in here. Um, but I was testing my theory out with someone else. I said you know this has occurred to me that when people say in SFWA say that something is fan-based as opposed to professional they’re referring to aspiring writers. As opposed to established writers and and she looked at me and she’s like well yes why god so that’s why when they were like hurling this accusation at RWA a allowing fans in what they mean is that they rwa has no bar for membership. And if you’re an aspiring writer with no cred whatsoever. You can join so somehow I don’t know it would be wouldn’t you sociologists out there I would love for you to retrace this history of how this became a thing of calling. People who want to become writers fans I mean in some ways I could see the trajectory right? because all writers start out as enthusiastic readers right. So okay, I’m gonna touch on this thing that I’m reading. Ah I don’t I don’t want to annoy certain people is my hesitation here. Um, somebody yesterday when I we were talking about something else entirely. But when I was chatting with some of these girls.

To answer entertain me that they always make me happy and they um, we’re talking about something I’m not even gonna I’m gonna dance around it as much as possible tippay tap. And I said um yeah, and I said I try to keep my mouth shut about that and this other girl said um well that she had she had gotten in trouble with with somebody for saying something and you know and she said that she was you know afraid for her career that they could really hurt her career. And I said well I’m not afraid but I do try to keep my mouth shut on some things because I am aware you know and they said well if we you know unless people like you tell us, then? how are we supposed to know and I’m like yeah I know I try to walk this line but sometimes I just. Give my opinion and say yeah I don’t think that you need to be involved with that. Ah, and then I do my little zipper face. Um I am aware that my babblings here are anywhere that in so that I am. Even though I say opinions my own that I do also representative what to some extent and I don’t want anybody to think that. My opinions are Sifwa’s opinions and so I I try to be careful. Also I’m careful about what I say on record and I said that to these scos and it’s hard because it’s been pandemic but you know I said you know it’s a standing thing. Buy me a drink you even wouldn’t have to buy me a drink because odds are I’d already have one at the bar. Um, and I will tell you in person anything you want to know it’s just I don’t want stuff in print where somebody can come back and say you know did you slam this person. You know? because even though I’d say well I think they deserve it. Um, some things are with it. Some things aren’t so so anyway I’m doing a reread of a series that I read first. It’s it’s pretty extraordinary. Really this was one of the first books I ever bought on my brand new kindle back in the day and I’m not going to give a year so you guys can’t sleuth out what I’m reading but um because I know how y’all are, but and I loved this book.

Love this book and I love this series until I felt like the series kind of went off the rails so that could be any number of series right? Um, but yeah I I remember I got that Kindle for Christmas from my mother. They were very expensive then. And thank you mom and I bought 3 books and this was one of them. You know, bought them on my kindle you guys it was like ah the angels were singing. It was the best thing and 1 of the best things was is that at the end of this book I had to read the next book and I could read it immediately and all your kids out there who don’t know what it was like when we didn’t have remote controls. Um, there were so many times when you. Had to wait so long to get the next book in the series and and not because it wasn’t out because you couldn’t find it anywhere. Um, you know doing things like in our library alone. There was no online ordering of any sort dinosaurs roamed the earth you had to watch out so that you didn’t get. Eaten by the tyrannosaurus rex on the way to the newsstand you know you could ask your local bookstore to order it but sometimes they couldn’t get it sometimes they wouldn’t get it if it was romance sometimes they would be like yeah um, so. So it was a miraculous thing. Ah and I’m sure younger people get really sick of older people waxing on about the amaze mean amazing things about technology. But I think I’ve told you guys this that i. Said to my grandson he was doing something on his phone and I said you know there was a time when we only used those to make phone calls and he goes ah I know everybody tells me that was like you okay, fine kid that’s but it’s true. Ah. But yeah, being able to buy that second book was yeah angels wept so now I’m rereading the series and it’s just interesting to read it with my lens now because when I first read that I was not writing fiction or I was just. Beginning to dabble in fiction. And yeah, it’s it’s interesting to reread it? Um, yeah, and that’s all I’m going to say at this point I’m not Goingnna talk about what my trigger was to start reading this or other thoughts. Maybe I will later.

And no know um did I have a point in bringing that up now who knows who knows Jeffe do you have a point about anything question and well so let’s see god so this week’s going to be intense working on this book. Getting it done. Um, the revision going fine. That’s weird. Ah this is a weird book doesn’t do I say this every single time don’t I um, but yeah, this is a different kind of book. I don’t even know what more to say about it than that I mean the revision is going fine but I keep worrying that I don’t even know what I’m worried about on it. It’s just um. Not following the trajectory that I expected I ah somebody asked if my last week I made the reference to the Groundhog day loop no I’m not doing that with lean on right I had I almost wish I had it’s too late now. Because that would have been an entertaining thing to do but no, it’s more that they they’re making incremental progress but it is you know how when you’re trying to figure out a relationship like that. You know you just do a lot of retreading and falling back into bad habits. So anyway, it’s moving forward I’m I’m making progress on this revision I think I have something like a hundred pages still to revise and then. Maybe be longer. That’s this is my concern is it’s looking like instead of being the 95000 words I wanted right now the beats are looking more like 102K fuck me. So yeah I could always push the date out I could. You know, extend the release date by a week but I really want this release in may get that money in may um, maybe that’s not as that important we shall’ll see so anyway I’m gonna go get to work instead of babbling on about it. Hope you guys are ready to kick off your Monday have a good week and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow take care bye bye.