First Cup of Coffee – July 17, 2023

For lovers of The Mark of the Tala, I’m asking a question. Otherwise I’m talking about POV choices, how to decide, and rewriting from different POVs. Also, I’m teaching a Worldbuilding class in Portland August 4!

First Cup of Coffee – June 10, 2022

A bit about how to write back cover copy (BCC), otherwise known as blurbs, and why there’s confusion. Also several kinds of good news for me, plus the fabulous effect of gushing reader recommendations.

Good morning, everyone! Gracious. This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic romantic fantasy and I’ve lost my first cup of coffee here. We go I was shifting around. Looking for the correct spot to be in. Um today is say it with me Friday woo June tenth yeah good day. I’m still running a bit behind today. Not as much as I was yesterday but um, taking it easy, not pushing too hard. We went for a walk this morning and I did my run so that was great and feeling good feeling good I um. Hope you all are feeling good.

I have things eating plants in my garden which is annoying me though. Alas, maybe time for the purge of the rodentia. So um, so yeah I got the book. Uploaded yesterday. It’s ready to go release on Monday woohoo. Thank you. Everyone for all those preorders. They’ve really been going up the last few days now that you know that I’m actually going to finish the series hope you all like it. Um, yeah, so it was good to get that done I had kind of a different day yesterday I did a lot of businessy things did writer coffee um got this podcast up late as as predicted. But I got it up and ended up not going to in-person yoga unfortunately because I had a few things I had to get done. Um, and I’ve still got to finish a few of them today writing that new backcover copy for the covenant of Thorn’s books I need to just plow through it I did look I did peek. At the bcc on the first one and this is one of those weird terminology things because the traditional publishers call it the back cover copy or the bcc but sometimes even with other authors I’ll say bcc and they don’t know what I mean. Um. So it’s clearly industry jargon of limited usefulness and a lot of people call it the blurb and I recall doing that as um, when I was purely a reader when I would you know be looking at stuff and I would say oh you know the blurb. Blurb on the back of the book. But we also talk about the thing on the front. That’s like the pimping from other authors is the blurb right? You know we’re you know, like the during the jones says this is the best book I’ve ever read. We also called out the blurb so it gets confusing. But any rate I need to write those I did do some other stuff for corine so that we could get out the next dispatch from Jeffe’s closet and we’ll do the cover reveal for the Covenant of Thorn’s books in there lizard going by on the wall. Doing his dominance display for me. They do this little thing that looks like pushups and go up. It’s very cute. That’s it. That’s all right? I’m not gonna get your territory so and another cool thing happened yesterday. So I do have this? um.

Google Search set up for my name and it it’s of limited usefulness but I get it usually picks up this podcast. It sends me stuff. That’s just mentions I used to do very early on I did like mentions for my book titles. But that ended up being like. Totally not useful. Ah, one thing I learned is that oneword titles are really hard for search engine optimization. They’re really cool and I did them at first but they actually suck for people being able to find your books. And so you’ll like that first book I did with Corina Press Back in the day sapphire which I now have rights back to and need to upload. One thing at a time. Um I used to have a Google search for that because it was early days and I you know I wanted to go in. About my books that people heard and so I had it set up for just sapphire and then got garbage results and I had it sapphire plus Kennedy and then I started getting all these weird Google alerts for mentions of like. Jewelry sapphire jewelry and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis that was like everything I would get so finally I just ditched that one but this one brings me um, you know, fairly useful stuff and every everyone’s well it gives us gold gives me gold. So I saw this yesterday. Um, that’s a Reddit’s read that this gal put up a couple of days ago and it’s just so cool I have to share it with you ah, because she said I have found my fantasy romance white whale dark wizard by Jeffe Kennedy and she put it under gush slash recommendation. She says the further I read the more checks on my perfect fantasy romance check-list were ticked off I had to tell some one so my white whale book was an adult fantasy romance with dark themes political intrigue and great smut scenes. The premise was to be in a magical world where the hero and heroine have to be magically bonded for reasons. And either one or both of them don’t want the bond preferably with a heroine who is strong but in a smart cunning way. Not a feisty way and with a hero who is powerful and dominant without being an arrogant arsehole hard checklist 1 I didn’t think I could get all of but dark wizard fulfilled it. And she says the blurb the blurb gives a great feel for the book. However, from reading it, you might think the hero is going to be obsessed with revenge and treat the heroine like crap a common trope but that is not the case he is such a sweetheart to her. He didn’t grow up in high society like her so he sees the horrible laws of the convocation.

The government for what they are he sees how unjustly familiars like the heroine are treated and wants to change things. He also respects her knowledge mallet magic and politics. The reason he needed her in the first place to restore his house yet. He is also scary and powerful when needed. And is dominant in the bedroom. So my ideal hero I think that lizard must be down in the leaves. There’s something scrabbling round in there I read the 3 books released so far in four days that is how much I loved this series. Fair warning though, the series is not finished but each book ends in a happily for now. No major cliffhaners and 1 of the really nice things too is like the first comment on there is um, she said jeffe is also a lovely person and somebody else chimed in and said 100% she is amazing. Which thank you? You guys? That’s just warms my heart so I’m I was just thrilled to see that and then lots of comments on there with people saying souls going to read this now. And you guys would not believe my um sales jumped hugely for that book I mean massively just today because I hadn’t been looking at them because I as you know if you’ve been listening. You know I’ve been busy so I went looked at at Amazon and. Yeah, my sales hugely jumped hugely yesterday and or usuallyly two days ago after she posted that and then even more yesterday. So thank you thank you readers who gush like that that makes all the difference in the world and it’s. The kind of thing that you just can’t engineer right? and so this kind of goes back to some of the stuff I was talking about. Um I don’t know yesterday or Tuesday you know like about wanting to create a new book platform that makes this kind of thing happen I think. Understandably authors are wanting to make this kind of thing happen because it’s so great for getting books out there and getting books into the the hands of the readers who will love them I mean that’s that’s what we really want or at least it’s what I want I think um, some authors are happy to get. Just anyone to read them. But I always am looking to get them to the readers who who will love them and I thought it was funny because this the the op that’s what we say on Reddit because we are hip and cool. The original poster.

She replied in some of the comments saying that um that she was surprised when she went to goodreads to see that I was not a more popular author it was something like that it it she didn’t mean it mean right? but it was um. So then they were talking about some of my other series saying that they had just discovered me um, somebody else said they’d just gone on a big run of my books. Maybe it wasn’t the O p.

Maybe it doesn’t matter exactly what she said I won’t go through this this whole thread.

Here I am going through the whole thread. It’s just nice reading all the happy comments. Um, anyway, yeah there there was this reference to like why haven’t I heard of her before I like I don’t know. But um i. It’s always a mystery right? So but it made me happy make me happy of day. You know it’s just um, done. That’s it’s just amazing getting that kind of thing. Um. But you know you can’t you I feel like internet marketers are always trying to create this sort of thing because it does have such a huge impact you know so they’re always trying to do this thing where they like access influencers and get influencers to recommend stuff and gush about stuff and. Maybe this is you know it goes way older because you know it’s like um room the oldversals remember those I’m not a doctor but I play one on Tv and I recommend um, you know it’s that ah someone that you trust. Recommending a thing even if it’s just you trust them because they’re a celebrity you recognize you like the character that they play or or that sincere gushing that I love love love to sing it. It ticked all of my boxes. Um, Grace and I when we recommend books to each other. We often talk about catnip you know oh this is your catnap. So I understand the temptation to try to create this for everybody. But. You know because it’s so awesome when it happens but part of why it’s awesome is because it is unforced and spontaneous and um, people recognize that people recognize the the honest gushing recommendation. It is funny. If you go to that thread and I will link to it. Um, ah hang on I had something in my eye there. Um, and now the flo thought has fled the plot. What was I going to say chich.

This one I wish I could rewind hold on now I thought of it sometimes I just need a minute right? have to pause and think ah one of the other things that’s funny about that thread is that somebody else commented popped in there and so. Recommended a totally different author and series and the op was all thanks for the wreck and you could kind of hear in her tone being like but I didn’t ask for recommendations I was here to talk about this book that I love and recommended it to other and recommend it to other people. I didn’t want your recommendation and the recommendation is for these books that are actually do not tick the do not tick the boxes. That’s one of the funny things because the person. Um, let’s see if I could find oh yeah, they said um. I’m a picky reader and really enjoyed it and it seems to align with what you’re looking for. But um, I’ve read that book and reader it does not ah so I mean I liked it I liked it. Fine. It’s a classic. Um. But it’s it’s a phenomenon assistant Carien and I talk about a lot how people just want to be able to recommend a book. They want to be able to recommend something anything and and this particular book is like sixteen years old which is you know, nothing wrong with that. But at the same time It’s like yeah, but by now most people will have I mean there’s going to be some exceptions but most people who wanted to read it will will have read it. Um, green green mentioned that it has been sitting in her tbr pile. Um. Pretty much since it came out ah or actually it’s a different one by that same author that she said that has been in her has been a tbr orphan as we say the books that go into your 2 b red pile and then languish their little orphans because. We somehow never pick them up and you know it’s like after a certain point you know, maybe you’ve read the thing. Maybe you haven’t whatever I also got some. It’s funny I’ll go like for a long time with like. Feel like is anybody out there reading my books I hear nothing and then things will happen all at once but I got a note from my first agency the one that sold ah my original Twelve kingdoms books and they said that my publisher Kensington.

Had renewed the serial rights on The Mark of the Tala and and and she said my agent. She’s the head of the agency now. So she just like handles financial stuff on those books for me and Laurie McLean at at fus. She’s great and. Laurie said um she said this is really a great thing for a book as long in the tooth as The Mark of the Tala which I thought was kind of funny and that came out in 2014 so and and i. I asked her I said well what does this mean and I forwarded it to my current agent Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost literary to give her equal billing and I said what does it mean which is funny because at this point in my career. It’s not often that I come across some kind of right sale. That I have no idea what it means and so Sarah said it’s probably for something like radish that the first serial is before publication and the second serial is after but Laurie McLean said something slightly different. She said oh well, it’s probably for. Being excerpted into a book or textbook and which would be really cool. So Laurie is checking to see what it is and I mean it’s it’s like $40 you guys. It’s like it’s not like a so lot of money. But um, it is cool and one thing that Sarah said was. You know that is great although not promising for getting rights backs and I ah I was like I am just never going to get rights back on those books because they they continue to sell and that’s one of the criteria for rights or version is like if they’re no longer in print if they’re no longer for sale. If if the sales aren’t reaching a certain threshold so you know it’s one of those good bad things. You know it’s great that they continue to sell um never getting those rights back but you know since I just got the rights back on ten books I’m busy for a little while so one of my. Big projects for today is to write the new backc cover copy blurb for the covenant thorns books I have to do 3 of them and it’s just not a fun task and I ran out of bandwidth yesterday I started one and if you want tips on doing that. Um. I only have a couple one of them is that you focus on who’s the character. What do they want? Why can’t they have it and you could do it for both characters. In this case, it’s first person point of view. So I’ll write it in that first person point of view and you try to kind of capture the same tone and feel of the book.

And then one way that I do it is I just like write it all out first and then tweak it I just sort of like try to get it all down and then fix it ah because otherwise you could just spend forever on it and then I’m going to start going through rogues spawn and. Doing a bit of editing I’d like to get that done today and Monday before I go on this trip and I still haven’t asked if I can talk about where I’m going and what I’m doing. So um I will have to do that today as well. So um, yeah. Should be a fun weekend should be pretty laid back I hope you all are looking forward to a weekend full of all the things you want or empty of the things that you don’t want and I will talk to you all on Monday take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – May 17, 2022

Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. What do you think should I just say that I should probably like stick to None thing. This is the story of my. Writing life that I don’t stick to None thing today is Tuesday may none outside again. Beautiful morning running a little bit later this morning because the man suggested a walk then we took a walk. It was lovely. He needs to exercise more so I was like yeah I’ll take a walk with you I was seeing what you can see of my gardening stuff there. Got a little bit nicer background now see I’ve got my moved my plants outside I don’t think I mentioned that yesterday because I sort of got off on this whole rant about details details shmi tells right? Um, yeah, so. Ifinally moved all the plants outside decide that the terrible winds were done with and so it was time to do that isaac I also didn’t mention that we had a really nice time on Sunday because I wanted to go to the nursery get a few more plants I got that nice orange poppy see that. Pretty I got a pink poppy too. For some reason I have trouble growing poppies here I don’t know why I don’t know if it’s too dry. They don’t over winter I’ve also realized belatedly because I do not keep a chart spreadsheet of my garden, Alexia. People really do that I am not see okay tangent. But and I’ve mentioned this before that my friend telling me many years ago that she had read that people who have uber organized lives tend to have very messy gardens. And people with messier lives have very organized gardens I am the first she told me about it because she was so incredibly amused that this was like me in a nutshell because it’s like yes and I’ve always been this way. I’m the meticulous volcano right? Leo Virgo Cusp and my life is very calm and neat and ritualized and organized I like it that way I like it peaceful no drama. No um, you know what.

Best I can do it no unexpected things but my garden is chaos which I like it that way and she was so amused that this is like exactly who I am I like the absolute. You put my picture next to it. So anyway, I was realizing as I was planting some new stuff that none of my echanasia over winter I have planted I got really serious about it and I think maybe I didn’t notice last year. Maybe I forgot. I can’t remember which year it was but I’ve planted I bet none a connection purple comb flower various stages bear root full plant none of them over winner. So I don’t know our winners are very dry. So maybe they dry out too much. Maybe they get munched by the go fars, you know and people laugh when I say I don’t know how to categorize my podcast is it. A fitness podcast is it a writing podcast is it a. Gardening podcast I don’t know.

That was funny like little rock dropped or something ghost. At a dream the other night that I attended my own funeral guys ever had that kind of dream. First time I’ve ever had it. It was funny because I was with my friends and I was going to something else or thought I was going to something else and we were going to this huge auditorium. And there were all of these people here and they had my picture up on you know, like the poster on the easel like they do for memorial services and stuff and um, like little. You know the little pamphlets that they give out at funerals and there were a lot of people there I mean it was a big auditorium and I was like why are there so many people here at my funeral and I don’t know most of them. What does it mean. I was just really kind of funny and it was I wasn’t sad. In fact, I kept thinking they’re all could be really surprised when they find out I’m not dead. Um, so. So that was a tangent and I shouldn’t have gotten on the tantret because now I’ve forgotten what I was going to say not knowing how to categorize my podcast. What did I start out with sorry you guys. It’s like the final two weeks of finishing the book. Plus the nebula conference what brilliant timing on my part and by this I mean it was not brilliant timing I did. Okay yesterday I didn’t get None words but I got enough to keep on track and I’ve got. None words 80400 so I’m getting close. Um, especially since I figure in the neighborhood of um, None to None are going to be my 4 epilogues.

Dang I could we wish I remember what I was starting out say going to the garden center. We had fun who knows. But anyway it was fun going to the garden center and it was fun that David went with me. He doesn’t always feel like going out and doing stuff but he felt like doing that and then we went to whole foods something else. We never do because we wanted to look for some good fresh fish and Sunday morning is really time good time. Go shopping at whole foods. And yes, it was expensive even with the prime discount but we did get some really good fresh fish in fresh cherries. There was a lady ahead of me in line who had gotten the same cherries we had in those none cherries that we’ve seen this season. And we’ve gotten 2 bags of it without looking at the price and it turned out they were like $15 a bag. Ah $8 a pound none a pound um and £2 in a bag. So yeah, those were expensive cherries. But the lady in line ahead of me was questioning how much she’d been charged for the cherries and they said oh but there’s seven ninety nine a pound and she said no, they’re supposed to be none of pound and she whipped out her phone and she was showing the ad and. I’ll tell you what this kfuffle took a long time to settle. Ah and I mean we were good. It was gorgeous day. We were having fun out doing our Sunday shopping and she kept apologizing to me and I was like no no worries at all I said we bought some too so you’re you know, doing a service for me and I said it drives me crazy. When it’s a different price on the bin versus at the register or in an ad you know because I think a lot of people don’t pay attention.

So we did that and then David suggested we go out to breakfast so we went out to breakfast and that was lovely too and then I came back and planted my plants and that was fun. So yeah I think um. Started into that whole chaos. Oh I guess the whole point was that I I don’t know what happened to the echhanasia things just don’t come back and then I forget about them until like years later when I’m like but wonder what happened to my whole plan to plant a bunch of Ehanesia and make more ihanneia tincture. So this time I um I was complaining to David when we were at the nursery that I couldn’t couldn’t seem to get poppies to grow here and he said why not they should you grew them and learn me and I’m like I know I don’t know what it is know and maybe our son’s too intense I don’t know. And he said well maybe you should try planting them in a different place and which was sort of like oh well gully g whiz maybe I will do that because there’s this one part of the garden that is a little bit of a barren wasteland. It’s very sandy. There. It’s I don’t know. I’m not sure why but things do not thrive there and I keep planting new stuff there because it is the barren wasteland but now I’m realizing that I’m also maybe dooming things to die. So I planted the poppies over here to see if I could get them to grow. There had to move the computer a little bit because the sun is coming so um, what else do I have to say I know I was thinking about things and I was going to write them down and then I did not being bad and wrong. I think I’m going to scoot over here. So I’m not leaning okay, that’s better. It’s whoops have to do this angle a little bit there. Ah the sunshine angle this time of day. So nicer view for me. Not so nice for you. If you’re on video which I don’t you know I don’t look at my stats much but that’s a whole nother whole nother discussion. So let’s see. Yeah I’ve just been thinking hard about the book. How to finish the book. Um and reading.

Still doing this read of this series and picking up these other novellas and something that I am considering doing is and I had this long conversation with Grace on Saturday because I think she should consider doing it too. But. A lot of people have asked me about writing from rafe’s point of view from the mark of the talla and he is the only one that I’ve never really written. Well there’s a couple I haven’t written from Raeve’s point of view I’ve not written from marsalll’s point of view 0 point of view careen or crawl. Um, would be hard to write from Karl’s point of view but I had always thought with the None kingdoms books that especially when I was younger and more idealistic than I am now. That I would eventually get my Hbo of me and miniseries. But that series this is what we all think right and I thought that when I got my Hbo miniseries for the Twelve kingdoms one of the things I would do is I would go in and I would write the intervening storylines like what was going on with the people who are not on the page since those books are written from none person point of view of whoever’s book. It is so like the first book. It’s all from Andi’s point of view and but there are other things going on. Ah you know because that’s the thing about first person point of view. So I love first personson point of view because it’s very intimate but also it imposes a certain kind of discipline because the story can only take place where the None person narrator. Is observing so you only know what they hear about so there are all these other so things going on in other parts of you know the world other characters and so forth that Andy only learns about right? We only know about it because she learns about it. So I had always thought you know it would be really cool to write these other storylines and that I would do that I wasn’t planning to be the screenwriter. But I thought I’d write these other storylines I mean it still could happen. You know people get these shows or that um you know like Patricia Briggs is getting ah.

a show for Mercy Thompson and when did those books come out.

So sorry about that it wasn’t letting me pause. So the none book in the mercy thompson series is moon called and that came out in 2006 you know so 16 years she’s just now getting her series. So anyway, I was thinking recently why wait although it’s not like I’m running out of stuff to write but would it be interesting to rewrite those 3 Twelve kingdoms books at least from the hero’s point of view. I know this is kind of in vogue right now but partly because it’s in vogue. It’s um, it’s an interesting way to regenerate interest in a series I think and I’m observing my own reader behavior. Going to this series which you guys could totally guess what it is at this point. Um, but I’m not going to confirm nor deny since I’ve been complaining about it. I also love it I mean that’s the thing is I really love this series and so it’s been educational to go back and reread. And I know something I was going to say earlier because yesterday I was talking about how I thought that I had not finished that um, whatever it was book None and now I’m on book None something like that. Um. I I have totally I thought maybe I would have to buy book 6 because I thought I fell off the series but I had book None on my Kindle and and it’s familiar. So it’s like did I just like not finish book None and skip to book None or what it’s before I was tracking. Which books I read so now I’m just really curious. What went on but I didn’t remember easily the second half of that book 5 so I don’t know what I did so anyway I um. Starting to think about other things and I can’t do that and talk at the same time I’m thinking about that it could be fun and interesting to redo at least rewrite Mark the Tala from Rayfe’s point of view. Um, because what I’m doing with this series is like I said I’m going back and I’m buying the novellas I didn’t get and I’m probably going to buy whichever book will find out where did I fall off this series for real because I’ll probably end up buying the rest of the books. Um.

And it has been a great way to get me thinking about this series again. So I think that there’s something to be said for that. Um, there are readers who will say that it’s a cop out. Ah, and yeah. I mean yeah, but it’s also like a good way to pay the mortgage and also provide fan service because I know people ask me about Rayfe’s point of view all the time I don’t get it so much for the others other than my assistant Carien campaigning for Zyr’s point of view and I don’t know Carien – would you be happy if I rewrote um, what is it? the arrows of the heart if I rewrote that from Zyr’s point of view or does it feel like too much the same story. She wants her Zyr novella she wants. Um. She is none? That’s all there is to it but you know I did those novellas from Ash’s point of view and Harlan’s point of view and I’m my forgetting any I don’t know. See that’s the thing you start to forget your own books too. Anyway, it’s not like I’m running out of stuff to do but um I think that that could be fun. Um, so what else I told you got great magics out in audio book I told you that. Sorcerous Moons is on KU with the new covers I told you that that I’m getting new covers for covenant of thorns that were very excited. Oh and I was going to follow up on this because I had a conversation with Carien – Assistant Carien who has read all my books which is one of her wonderful qualities I talked to her about deleting that scene that I’ve been talking about in Rogue’s Pawn in covenant of thorns and she agreed it should be deleted. She said that? yeah she thought it didn’t match the tone of the rest of the book. So there. We are um and and Megan Ciana Doidge who listens in comments sometimes said made a very good point that just because Jim and I would go back and look to see what had been changed does not mean that the normal reader will do that. I fully am aware that I am not a normal reader if I ever was I stopped a long time ago being a writer reader is different reading what that editor bring analytical bring. So.

I am going to delete that scene and then I it was funny because Carien and I were chatting like on Google chat and I said well if anything occurs to you in the other books that should be changed. Let me know and she’s like well actually there is something. And it was something that had never occurred to me that um that she thought I needed to clarify and clean up I was like oh all, right? and opinions. So any of you out there who loved covenant of thorns. Um. If you think that there’s stuff that needs to be tweaked or clarified etc. Here’s your chance and and thank you all for the advice that you have been passing along and I appreciate the support and on that note I’m going to go get to work. And I will talk to you all on Thursday you all take care bye bye.

The Mark of the Tala: The Musical

Our topic this week at the SFF Seven is “Your book as a musical: which book would you choose to have made into a musical and which composer/lyricist/songwriter would you have score it?” Come on over for more.


THE FATE OF THE TALA is out in the world!! You can order it on all the retailers. If you preordered (or still want to order!) a signed print copy, I’ll be sending those out by February 14. (I should have them by February 13, so it could happen!) A nice Valentine for us all. Once I send those, I’ll get the print versions uploaded on the retailers, too.

Also, as a super fun thing – if you subscribe to Pikko’s House Book Lovers Box this month, a limited number of subscribers will get the first book that started it all, THE MARK OF THE TALA, for free!!



The exciting conclusion of the story begun in The Mark of the Tala

An Uneasy Marriage,

An Unholy Alliance.

The tales tell of three sisters, daughters of the high king. The eldest, a valiant warrior-woman, conquered her inner demons to become the high queen. The youngest, and most beautiful outlived her Prince Charming and found a strength beyond surface loveliness.

And the other one, Andi? The introverted, awkward middle princess is now the Sorceress Queen, Andromeda—and she stands at the precipice of a devastating war.

As the undead powers of Deyrr gather their forces, their High Priestess focuses on Andi, undermining her at every turn. At the magical barrier that protects the Thirteen Kingdoms from annihilation, the massive Dasnarian navy assembles, ready to pounce the moment Andi’s strength fails. And, though her sisters and friends gather around her, Andi finds that her husband, Rayfe, plagued with fears over her pregnancy, has withdrawn, growing ever more distant.

Fighting battles on too many fronts, Andi can’t afford to weaken, as she’s all that stands between all that’s good in the world and purest evil.

For Andi, the time to grow into her true power has come. . .