First Cup of Coffee – May 13, 2022




Transcript
00:00.71
jeffekennedy
Good morning, Everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:32.70
jeffekennedy
Delicious.

00:45.25
jeffekennedy
Today is-say it with me boys and girls and other-Friday woohoo and it is Friday May thirteenth Friday the thirteenth it’s a magical time. Magical day and this weekend is a full moon and a full lunar Eclipse. So. It’s a great time to put new things into motion. Ah launch new dreams tie off old stuff take advantage of that element of chaos. To make a turnabout in your life. It’s like the midpoint of the story speaking of which I have completed the revision so far of the ah. Storm princess and the Raven King I’ve got something like 76000 words on it. So in the neighborhood of 20 to 25000 to go to lay down in the next week or 2 really to. Plus a little bit of time to revise those last one hundred pages or so is about what it works out to um, wonder if that’s exactly right? Well wallpark little bit less than 100 pages. Yeah, because it’s the last 25% I passed the act 2 climax and yeah, it’s now racing towards the end I hope.

04:13.77
jeffekennedy
Ah, so um, so yeah I think I’m feeling pretty good about it and that I’ll do my out loud proofing and see how that works I might just sit out here in the grape arbor and read aloud to myself that’ll be entertaining I wonder how long it’ll take I’m planning on spending like. 2 really intense days doing that. Do we think that’s enough maybe I’ll work long days I won’t limit myself to my 3 hours so um right now I’m feeling good about it I have to. I do have to do 3000 words a day to get that done so we’ll see where I am by the end of next week right? And next weekend’s nebula conference. So for nebula conference if you have not. Registered consider it. It’s gonna be an amazing conference The programming is really good I’m really pleased with how it’s come out. It is um, yeah, it’s it’s gonna be great hundred and fifty dollars all online come and join us lots of opportunities to chat and so forth. We also have the sub what auction going on and you can bed on a coffee clutch with me ah come and chat I’ll answer questions talk to you about whatever. Um, and thank you in particular to Meghan Ciana Doidge for giving me some. Talking me out of my tree yesterday with the comment on Instagram I appreciate that Meghan I I was really freaking about trying to get 10 titles up but Meghan gave me some some wise perspective on it doing the rapid release on the fantasy romances and then just. Maybe doing the rest on ah you know, just getting them out there for glomming I did ask the question is do we think people glom wide as much as they do on k you and maybe the answers. Yes. For a while Sorcerous Moons was doing really well on k u or at least well for me. But now it’s dropped off again which means I should probably advertise it right? or do some sort of promotion I also need to port over.

09:44.13
jeffekennedy
Reviews from the old set. But um, yeah, so and and Grace was just Grace and Jennifer Estep both gave. Ah they were not as comforting as Meghan was but um, they’re a little bit more tough love with me. Because they were just like get those books and get them up. Get them up and get them earning Jeffe they were immune to my whining about having to pay for cover costs but Grace had good insight where she said you know, get Ravven to do the covers. For the 3 fantasy rodent ances for covenant of Thorn’s and and Megan pointed out that I really should get those up now because Fae romance is so big right now and then I make change I wonder if I have to change the bcc on those. Have to look at them I know that I can’t use the harlequin copyright anymore or Carina copy you know, logo or anything like I’d want to and I can’t use the covers but I have to look into whether I even want to use if I can use the bcc that they have back cover copy. Um, even if I wanted to do I want to? We don’t know I have to look it this I haven’t looked at these books in forever. Um, Meghan suggested that I could do well revens making a cover for the first book. That I could hire someone to do a line edit of that thick first book to fix whatever is bothering me well you know these have all been professionally edited by really you know that was deb nemo who is a great editor I thought what I would want to change is some of the content and I am considering. Deleting a single scene except I went to write her coffee yesterday and had a wonderful breakfast with ah Jack and Jim my writer buddies Jim Sorensen and J. Barton Mitchell um Jack’s doing that great podcast, Derelict. The story podcast I should link to it. It would be nice of me. It’s I I’ve listened to the first episode. Um, you know I don’t listen to podcasts which I find very ironic since I do this podcast? Alas, so um. A waffley. Oh so Jack and Jim had good insights on it because Jim in particular because he pointed out. He said if you take out that scene. There are going to be people like him who.

15:22.10
jeffekennedy
Will inevitably go back to the original to try to figure out which scene was deleted so I’m only calling attention to it I don’t think he has a legit point there because I would do that too. Ah and then. Jim also made the point that I have to weigh if I’m really thinking about fixing this book. You know is my time better spent is it worth more and sneeze. He said is my time worth more. Minute for minute hour by hour spent fixing this old book or writing a new one to which the answer is obvious my friends. So so I don’t know I don’t know what I’m going to do. But the good news on the covers is Ravvenjust talked to me the other day and because I have a cover a month slot with her for the rest of the year and I’ve been planning to have her do the. Cover for the standalone of familiar winter magic but I think what I’m going to do is hold off on that because if you guys want to read it. You could still read it and fire of the frost and I’m going to have her due for may June and July the 3 covers for covenant of thornness. And then um, my one concern was is I’m going to try to come out with that bonds of magic book number 4 as yet untitled and I’m hoping to have that out by the end of August and my slot with her is the latter half of may. So I was like oh would we be doing the cover the you know the end of August but then I couldn’t do rapid release and all this you know so I was like trying to juggle this and serendipitously enough. My slot is in the early part of August and she said her August is really booked so she might try to move it up anyway. So I’m just going to get her the information for all for those covers and we’ll do bing bang boom and I’ll be forking out a bunch of money. The other thing that’s going on is I mean the good news is good news bad news great news is grey magic is now available on audiobook whoo so that whole series is available on acx the weird and annoying news is that like book 2 bright familiar. They have put grey magic in erotica.

20:56.65
jeffekennedy
Which it’s not erotica I mean it’s that’s hot. It’s sexy. So this is something else I’m going to have to address because I asked them to take bright familiar after erotica and they did not first book is not in erotica so I’m sure that like the Ai tags certain words or something like that i. Doubt that a person’s listening and doing that unless I’m wrong if any of you know how this acx categorization thing works let me know. But I think I’m going to have to like get a person and argue with them about it but I need to do a little research I need to see like where the you know where are they putting. Like Jennifer Armmentrout an Sarah J Maas you know, like where’s book 2 of acotar if that’s not an erotica then my book shouldn’t be an erotica It’s not that I’ve been ding against erotica of course. But since I have written erotica. But it’s um, ah I don’t think that’s what these books are and I’m afraid it’ll mislead people mislead listeners. Um, maybe if I take it out of acx and go wide which I will do. After gray magic has been in there for ninety days but um now that’s irritating. So um, so those things are going on. Doesn’t seem like I have a lot going on it feels that way I mean I guess it’s all good things champagne problems right? Um, yeah, so there was 1 other piece of news I was going to give you guys but I don’t know what it was now. I don’t know. Yeah well for those of you who follow me on like Facebook or Twitter did put up yesterday. Ah, my new chinese proverb where and many people asked me about it. Ah. Mary Robinette commented on my Twitter saying oh no and this raises questions. So it’s like okay yeah, because I said she who puts ice cubes in her pocket will receive a unhappy unpleasant surprise something like that. So why did I put ice cubes in my pocket. It was my jacket pocket I was wearing ah my sifwa jacket actually and so the deal is and I think longtime podcast listeners will remember that I was going through this thing of.

26:16.79
jeffekennedy
How do you keep an orchid alive because I have my trader Joe’s orchid you know like don’t we all have a trader Joe’s orchid at 1 point in our lives or several because we can’t keep the fucking things alive right? And so it’s a challenge. How do you keep your orchids alive and and it’s one. Those ironies because they’re like $5 at trader joe’s so you know it’s like not, it’s not a monetary thing but it’s like this gardening challenge I have not been able to keep the orchids alive but I recently learned you know because everybody’s like well you have to water them just as the small amount or the roots rot and all this. So I discovered somebody told me the the miracle trick is you water them with the ice cubes. So you just put ice cubes in the pot with the orchid and like once a week or whatever twice a week and the way the ice cubes melt it. Feeds the water to the roots at a rate where they can absorb it without rotting and apparently the cold is also good for encouraging a rebloom. So my trader joe’s orchid I have kept alive and it rebloomed um and I think i. Post pictures I was very excited and and the blooms have lasted It’s very happy orchid. So what I do is I don’t have a super regular schedule on watering it. But um, the way our icemakerer works is sometimes does everybody have a fridge icemaker. For those of you who have french icemakers maybe ours is substandard but sometimes it spews ice cubes on the floor. So when ice cubes spew on the floor I take them and I put them in the orchid. Yeah, it’s recycling right? The conservation of water and all of these things. So. Yesterday I was getting another glass of water and I had several things to carry back to my office and there were ice cubes that had spewed onto the floor and I didn’t have enough hands to carry the ice cubes and all my things and it’s not like I’m going to make 2 trips. So I stuck dicekeeps in my pocket because I thought well it’s it’s just from here to there right? you know walk from the kitchen to my office. It’s not far I could have made 2 trips but you know let’s let’s not get crazy here. So inevitably I forgot. By the time I got to my office that I had the ice cubes in my pocket which is a neurophysiological thing have I mentioned that to you guys recently I know I’ve talked about it before but there are legit studies that have shown that our brains respond to us passing through.

31:55.96
jeffekennedy
Portals or gateways and when we go from one room to another. We do an automatic wipe of recent short-term memory. It’s a way of clearing the trash out of our brains because it’s it’s kind of um, it’s a survival thing right. It’s like our brains know that when we go from the kitchen to the office or we go from 1 place to another that we don’t need to retain all of the information about the place we were just in so it does like this little cleansing wipe. So that we can absorb information about the new space that we have moved into it’s it’s protective right? You want to be not thinking about the old space but ready to react to danger in the new space or opportunities in the new space. This is why? Um, we all joke about it and some people worry about it. But this is why very often when you go to get something in the next room you forget why you were there. You forget what you were going for. Ah what you have to do the trick around this. Is like if you decide if you’re in the kitchen and you decide you want to get a pad of paper from your office is just keep thinking about that pad of paper as you pass through the doorway it totally works you guys I do this all the time but I had not been thinking about the ice cubes. As I moved into the next room so there I was in my office and I was working and there was cold drippiness on my leg and I was like why? Ah why is there cold wet water on my leg and I was like ah. Ice cubes. Alas, so um, so yeah I see I feel like things are working out things are positioning. Um. Maybe you hear from agent Sarah on some opportunities and yeah, oh I guess I didn’t finish saying what? Grace’s advice was on the other books on the contemporary bdsm books was she suggested just doing very simple covers for those. And I think that’s probably a really great idea and she even is encouraging me to make my own covers which I never do. But I’m really going to have to go look at the contempt media samorotic stuff. So who’s writing at it anymore.

37:23.59
jeffekennedy
And if anyone knows who’s who are the hot writers I just have not been paying attention. But I’m going to have to go renew some friendships there and find out like the best way to put those books up and see what kind of covers people are doing I’ve been immersed in the fantasy romance stuff for so long that I’m really just out of touch. So yeah, Jack and Jim were riffing on like what kind of simple covers I could do they were like black with a pair of Handcuffs I think they were terribly amused so I may do something like that and just get those up. As to your suggestion Meghan on you know, just having Ravven do all those covers. She won’t do the the contemporary erotic stuff that’s not her stick so she’s she would say no I won’t even bother to ask. But I do have other. Cover artists I could ask to do it I could ask the gal who did the sorcerous moons covers. Um, ah I’m going to be paying so much money for covers. Maybe I will try to do them myself. Grace who refers to herself as Mrs Krabbs is big into saving money and doing. Tiy so I don’t know maybe I’ll use book brush to make the covers see if I feel creative. But for this weekend. It’s gonna be a lot of gardening I think maybe some book cover creation. Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and ah. That you get to do all the things you want to do. We’re supposed to have beautiful weather. No wind I’m going to be outside twenty four seven I got to sit outside last night and have um a brandy and read my book at the fire table and it was so nice. Deb the wind not blowing had the. Windows open all night ah such a relief so you all take care I hope it’s a magical weekend for you and I will talk to you tomorrow? Oh no, not tomorrow. What am I saying I see that’s that tape recording I just went into auto mode I will talk to you on Monday. You all take care bye-bye.

First Cup of Coffee – May 10, 2022




Transcript
00:00.00
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Ah, delicious.

00:20.95
jeffekennedy
My mom said that I sounded perky on yesterday’s podcast which I guess I was I think I am still perky. Um I am in the throes of this book was book. Talking with one of my writer friends last night and she said well you’re doing a lot of brain work. A lot of thinking which is true I am which is you know for those of you listened a lot. No is not my favorite way to do it I prefer to um stream from the subconscious and this one I’m thinking thinking taking and yeah, so the revision is going slowly. I am typically when I revise I can get through about 70 pages a day. That’s my average. So sometimes I do a lot more than that and that’s typically with like 3 hour sprints so you know Twenty Ish pages an hour 20 to 30 and on this revision I’ve just slowed down overall. But on all my things I’m doing 28 pages a day. Ah day. So the revision’s taking a long time I still have a hundred and thirty pages to go I know I’m going to cut them cut some cut them won’t cut them full stop I’m gonna have to cut some words. Because as I suspected an argument that Lena and Ryan have later on is almost verbatim an argument that they have earlier on so I’m going to have to reconcile the two. It’s not that they can’t have essentially and and amusingly enough. The argument is about how they always have the same arguments. So I don’t know maybe it’ll stay sometimes I wish I could be like the minimum viable product people I’m always thinking about that when I’m laboring over a book like this. Ah. Because as I mentioned you know these books don’t sell as well as some my other books. The heirs of magic but they still sell well so I shouldn’t let that stop me somebody tweeted me and said that they were really surprised because these were their favorite books of mine and and this is one of the great truths.

03:06.63
jeffekennedy
Is that the book you’re thinking about writing the book that you’ve already written is somebody’s favorite book I have this one book that was an e-serial to begin with master of the opera modern retelling of phantom of the opera. That it was interesting I don’t think I ended up doing what I originally set out to do and yet I mean it’s a good book. But it’s I don’t know I think it was mispackaged. I I can’t even tell you but anyway almost nobody finds this book or and reads it I get a miniuscule amount I get like I don’t know in royalties I get something like $20 a quarter. But I know at least 1 person who that’s her favorite book of mine and one of her all-time favorite books and she rereads it regularly so and I only know this because she told me right? So just like all the people out there that you don’t know about who reread your book. Over and over and that’s their favorite book. So so that keeps me going on the one side. But then when I know that there are people out there who are just um, basically printing the same book over and over again and I know they do this because they tell me they do this. I think why am I laboring so hard. Why am I worrying so much about Lena and Ryan having the same conversation over and over. But that’s me that’s how I write. That’s what I do.

04:51.74
jeffekennedy
I’ve been rereading this old favorite series of mine and there are many things I still love about it and I know I’ve been Cagey about saying who it is um and there are reasons. Reasons for that but reasons which I shall not divulge. But I’ve been rereading it with an eye towards what makes it? Why do I love it and it’s very much like um, there was a certain strain of series like these for quite a while that did very very well. And some of the authors continue to do will and Wednesday they have is lots and lots of action. Lots of fighting and there’s this scene this is just where I get hung up I get hung up on. When you have like these incredibly powerful virtually immortal beings and they’re having a hard time fighting zombies because you know like your immortal beings have incredible speed incredible strength and the. Zombies can’t be killed but they can be chopped into pieces and they’re like well the pieces will keep coming in. It’s like yeah, but after a certain point the pieces can’t do much to you and so you know like these people who ah like can move in a blur of speed. They can fly they can like tear limbs off like paper that’s kind of strength they have but they’re like getting nawed to death by these zombies and okay the zombies are fast and I know that this is like a suspension of disbelief thing. But. For some reason and this is like my particular thing right? I can’t get past the disbelief. It’s like well how come if you’ve got all of these people who can move at super speed. Why don’t you just like. All of them go move it super speed through the zombies and just like rip them apart because like all you have to do is like go through and rip their legs off first so they can’t keep coming and then go back and chop them up into little pieces and who cares if they keep coming and coming and you could do that for a long time right.

07:28.61
jeffekennedy
This is why I don’t write zombie scenes I know I did kind of undid type creatures in uncharted realms in the final few books, the dare war and I did that entirely for assistant Karine who loves zombies. And they were not even real zombies. So I guess I didn’t do a great job with that either. Ah yeah, sometimes I wish that I could be a writer who thinks less about stuff and that sounds kind of arrogant and awful doesn’t it. But. Now I just get too caught up in wanting to in getting these meticulous details right? 1 of my new ideas and thank you all for saying that it’s perfectly cool that I have many new ideas I appreciate that one of the new ideas I’m toyed with. I’m hoping will be more action. Packed. It’s got an action packed premise. So maybe I can pull that off in that one. Although I did think that errors of magic would be more action packed and I just. Um, who knows who knows what my problem is I I like people having interesting conversations. Ah now. So um, we watched finally the. Final episode of Julia season one last night and it was very interesting to see how they structured that episode for those of you trying to figure out how to write a book that could be either standalone. Or a series right? We always say standalone with series potential is the that is the catch phrase if you’re out there trying to submit a book to traad publishing. Um, that’s how you say standalone book with series potential if you’re trying to figure out how to do that. Watch the 8 episodes of Julia and pay attention to what they did in that final episode because you could really see how they were structuring it to go either direction that either it would be a sweet wrap up. That’s all she wrote or. Extended to season 2 and so there’s from about you can see them laying the groundwork in the first half of the episode but then for the second half of the episode on you could see how all of the scenes could have gone either direction that either it’s gonna be.

10:17.81
jeffekennedy
Another season of Julia which it is hooray or not and I don’t I’m not a screenwriter I don’t know maybe they wrote them and didn’t film them but I wouldn’t be surprised if they hadn’t filmed both sets. Ah, films going each direction because all of the characters. It’s it’s a branch like and so they could either go this way or that way and and it was really well done. It’s fascinating how they tied it up and I enjoyed it very much a delightful delightful show. This is just going to be our adjective. Thank you Laura Darno and we also finished off winning time. The story of the liquors I thought that tied up nicely that one had a very obvious ending because it was the story of. That first season of the lakequor. So it ends with them spoiler alert winning the championship if it’s history. Can there be a spoiler. It’s like the people who go to see titanic and were upset that the boat saying if people died that was also spoiler. So yeah I thought um I liked how winning time ended up that one does not have such an obvious I haven’t looked to see if they’ve got a second season for that one but it doesn’t seem to be as clearly moving on to the next thing. But again that one had a much more natural here’s the story of how the l a wake Lakers went from being a shit team to winning the championship boom done your your plot structures there.

12:07.65
jeffekennedy
Yeah, so for this new series which I am mulling using my skalsy method. It has um, a very high paced premise.

12:26.64
jeffekennedy
I’m actually basing it off of a movie an old movie that is very fast paced and only it would be like a fantasy version of that. It’s such a great idea you guys. It’s such a cool idea but I will not be writing it just yet. Soon once I finish out storm princess on the Raven King and I have got let’s see I was going I hadn’t finished reporting in on that. So I have got almost 74000 words on this book. And as I mentioned the other day I might have screwed myself that instead of having 20000 words to go to finish this out because I was aiming for 95. It’s really looking like it’s gonna be more like 102 from where. Beats are falling out. Unfortunately yeah, so that means I’ve got almost 30000 words to go can she finish it. We shall see this book is gonna have four epilogues. So. For those of you who love this series. You could probably guess what I’m gonna do for epilogues I’m tempted to just go ahead and write to maybe I’ll go ahead and write those. Um, if I get stuck. But I think I can get this done I think I can. I should go through and look at my podcast episodes for like the 3 to 4 weeks before I release a book and I bet I say these same things over and over again I always get to that I think I can point how well. Learn what your process is a Nona right? That’s what we’re trying to do here I was thinking about something I wanted to tell you guys and I had a great segue to it as I was like. Getting ready this morning I was thinking about it and I was thinking oh and then that would be a really good segue into this other thing and now all I could think of is the other thing and not how I was going to segue to it from the writing stuff. And I’m probably not gonna be able to think about it. But I so I’ll just go straight to it. Ah no segue. No nice transition if we were editing. We would go back and add the transition but no transition for you.

15:05.15
jeffekennedy
I was thinking about the things we say to each other and how a lot of times people are very careless in how they talk to each other ah without meaning to it’s oh I know what? damn it. Now if we were doing postproduction I would go back and do this neat little segue. Oh well, here’s your transition because last week I was talking about my author friend who was upset that a reviewer had said that it was not her best effort because she’s like you could say anything about my book. But I always put in my best effort. Ah, she is also not a minimum viable product kind of gal and those people you could maybe safe. Not unless you want to say that they’re putting their best effort into creating a minimum viable product. So I was thinking about that some and thinking that probably the reviewer didn’t mean it necessarily the way it was received. Because it’s one of those catch phrases almost like a cliche phrase. That’s just um, you know it’s not easy to wrote viewbooks. It’s not easy to explain why you liked or did not like a story and sometimes it’s just because. That was not your favorite story but you you know that’s a short review right? So I think people sort of reach for and that’s what makes things cliches is their crutches. They’re these phrases that we sort of have. Laid into our brains like a tape recording that we trot out when it’s the easiest thing to grab and it’s 1 reason why people tend to be awkward in talking to each other about important things. Um, because sometimes words are inadequate. Sometimes it’s just hard to think of what to say hummingbird see if we can get her in there. Nope she’s. Took off again.

17:36.12
jeffekennedy
Or is she up there. She might be up there drinking a well ah you know so call, you’ve read that before in other places and you think oh well, you know it’s not her best effort and. That’s just in place of digging deep and coming up with more stuff to say that’s why cliches are bad in writing because they are these crutches to get us from place to place and they don’t most of the time don’t say anything meaningful. And so it’s in some ways I think it I mean it was upsetting to my friend but which I totally understand. But I think also the reviewer didn’t mean it how it sounded she meant it’s not my favorite effort in many ways and I think we. Say these things to each other not intending it to come across the way it does. We’re just hurrying through things and you know my husband was talking about this yesterday because he has parkinson’s disease and something that he says. Fairly regularly is yo. He’ll be upset by something that somebody says to him like oh well, you know we should do this thing. Let’s you know, but let’s work on this and do this thing and and he’ll say it’s like they don’t understand that I’m sick and how can people not understand that I’m sick. And I can’t do these things and and and it’s hard for me to to find the words to be comforting to him but that was what I was saying I said you know I think that you know like this most recent person who said something to him. About doing something that David just simply doesn’t feel like it can do you know I said he wasn’t thinking about it. He was thinking about all the other stuff that he has to go get done and that was just one of those tape recorded phrases. This is something I learned a long time ago with like high school reunions. Um, the first few like the 5 year and the 10 year my friends would all say the exact same thing they would say oh this has been so great. We should get together more often and they would all exchange contact information and say let’s get together more often. And they did this at like the 5 10 n and the 15 year reunion and finally I started to clue into the fact because nobody ever got in touch with anybody that this was just a way of saying goodbye of being you know, expressing affection and so forth, but it they were empty words.

20:25.19
jeffekennedy
And I think we use empty words with each other a lot and it’s it’s easy to do particularly if you’re conducting an internal monologue. You know like if you’re thinking about your work project or your book that you’re trying to finish or you know worrying about. Something else that you don’t always monitor the words that come out of your mouth and when that happens those tape recording parts of our brains. You know, just sort of insert comforting phrase here and we’re like oh yeah, we should get together sometime not meaning it at all and on that note. You know you guys. We should totally get together sometime and I will talk to you all on Thursday bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – April 22, 2022




Transcript
00:00.89
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Ah. Had to take an extra sip there today is they haven’t done this for a while say it with me: Friday! Whoo, um April Twenty second so it’s 4 twenty two 22 and it’s beautiful morning here. Crab Apple tree is in glorious bloom and I’m realizing. However. That I need something on my little arms because we’re go have wins again today but today and tomorrow shall be the last for the big wins and then we get nice again? Um, but I’m going to go grab a jacket I shall be right back there I put on a pink. To match the crab Apple but you probably can’t see all that well because of the rising sun but um and I grab my notes because I made notes today. Um I think I haven’t given a writing. Update. And a while I’m still working on The Storm Princess and the Raven King I am well past midpoint I’m closing in on scene 5 and I’m at um, little shy 55000 words I I think it’s going fine. It’s funny because lately ah, several people have asked me how the writing is going which I guess people must ask me all the time and I’m just noticing it lately because I actually don’t have a good answer to it I think my head is so caught up with nebula planning and stuff with SFWA. Yeah, I’m actually not I don’t know I’m I’m not um, what is the word I want people. I want to say kvetching and that’s not right? Um I’m not all caught up in the book I’m not having my usual emotional turmoil over writing this book I feel like I’m circling in the book I thought that after the.

02:26.60
jeffekennedy
Break over Easter in Tucson with the family where I didn’t write it all for a few days that I that would be a great time to come back and revise from the beginning and I didn’t feel like doing that I felt like going forward with where I was on the book I keep wanting to turn the laptop but I want you guys to see the crap Apple. You probably don’t care. But. You get to see it anyway. Um yeah I wanted to keep going and and I feel like and I do think I’ve mentioned this before you know this is Rhyian and Lena’s story and they’re kind of caught in something of a vicious circle in their relationship. So I can’t tell how much of this is them circling and how much it’s me circling but to some extent I am oddly sanguine about it. How often do we get to use that word in daily conversation? I am I have a good plan I have time to revise and I realize that I may end up like doing a lot of cutting and streamlining by the time I get to it maybe I won’t I often think that I am and then i. I don’t so so we shall see um but so far I’m feeling fine about the book. Maybe that’s a bad sign. Ah, coffee tastes good I am also am on something of a rabbit hole I don’t know if it counts as a rabbit hole if I’m not lost to it but I’m doing so I started reading something unusual for me. And I do blame Connie Willis. Okay now I am turning the laptop so I can sit back a little bit here because she in her great epigraphs. Do you come epigraphs if it’s just like a little forwardy thing to her stories in the collection Firewatch. She mentioned the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the courtship between her and her husband the poet Robert Browning with stuff that I didn’t know um because before this. I think I knew about them that you know it’s like the result of of this education I don’t know maybe we could scathingly say american public school education which only gives a glancing overview. Also my um.

05:03.53
jeffekennedy
Private Liberal Arts College education get this shallow overview of everything every once while he was like people especially the experts the experts of I put that in their quotes. Ah complain about that sort of thing. And and I always think whatever I think of that word I think of when I was in graduate school and one of my favorite professors had a poster up that said experts don’t know more than anybody else. They’re just better prepared and have slides. Guys it is so fucking true and those are words to live by. So ah how the experts I I think this is a theme with me I I circle back around to things about experts and people knowing stuff and. Putting a lot of pride in what they know anyway, I will admit without hesitation that I had this very um, shallow understanding of the poets Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning which I suspect many of us have. Um, and I can quote the 1 poem. How do I love thee, let me count the ways but I did not know a lot about their courtship I did not know that she was a famous poet before I knew she’d married later in life I didn’t know that she was 40 that he was 9 years younger that he fell in love with her poetry and courted her because of that that she was basically an invalid and a shut-in fascinating things about her family. So I do get interested in biographies. But this was a little bit of a departure for me because I was reading about this while I was at my folks house in Tucson and impulsively bought a couple of books one on Kindle and 1 on paper of all things that are biographies of her and so I’ve been reading this book and. I could actually give you the actual title and I can link to it and be responsible by I’m reading a book called Dared and Done: the Marriage of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning by Julia Marcus and it’s very interesting and I i. Enjoying it a whole bunch. Ah, it really feels like it’s feeding an unasked question. You know how the universe sometimes does that it supplies you stuff that you didn’t know you wanted to think about.

07:48.76
jeffekennedy
And there’s great stuff in this book that I didn’t know I wanted to think about. And and there’s going to be a lot here I think this is going to become a book slash series slash new world someday I try not to teach you guys with secret projects because you complain and I know you complain with? Love. Ah, um, yeah, this just gave me an idea with a capital I so but it’s far down the road I have um I mean I have I caught you guys up on stuff lately doesn’t matter. After I finish storm princess on the Raven King that ties off the heirs of magic series that’ll be done then I’m going to write another book in bonds of magic series for all of you wondering if there are more books after gray magic that’s what I’m writing once I finish this then I have 2 more books planned to write. 1 is one that I started that I think of something like a hundred pages on. Let’s see how many pages I have on that. Maybe it’s not so many I might be um, ah, overly optimistic there. Oh yeah. Well, but sorry at disneeze might be just the one I no, that’s not so bad I have 87 pages on it. 20 a little shy of 24000 words I want to finish writing that book and then I have another new shiny idea that I promised to write. For agent Sarah in the fall for possible submission. Our other thing is still out on submission and she Sarah wrote me an email the other day and actually let me find this because you guys will be interested. And think she won’t mind me sharing this but it’s very interesting industry wise so you know we just don’t have much going on with that secret project that’s been out you know since last fall genre departure and Sarah says she gave me a few updates. There’s really nothing much to say but she said. All submissions are going slow and to give you some perspective I’m currently out with 8 different submissions spanning all genres from historical to sweet contemporary to paranormal Rom -com all are going slow and I think this is more a symptom of publishing at the moment versus your book.

10:24.16
jeffekennedy
People are just hitting bandwidth walls and they need something. Oh oh I’m sorry and until they need something or something heats up. It’s going slow but going to be trying to as my dad would say kick the tires and light. The fires. Resubs and see if we can get some good news. She’s very sweet but and I am hearing this from more people than Sarah um, and it’s interesting even like with nebula planning. You know we have people just dropping out of doing stuff. Um, just. Like suddenly hitting overwhelm I think it’s just where we are bandwidth bandwidth is a real thing for people right now. So this feels like a good time for me to be contemplating new things. So a lot of. Writers talk about and I hear writers say this all the time that they won’t read anything in their genre while they’re writing a particular book which for me because I’m all always writing I don’t that wouldn’t be possible then I would never read in my own genre. But I also think that that’s a. It’s a consideration that’s not that important because and I know I emphasize this all the time that people who plagiarize are doing it on purpose and putting stuff into the stew of your creative mind is. That’s just partly how we refill the well so so I’m reading this stuff about Elizabeth Barrett and kind of storing it away into this stew for this story I want to write. But it’s also giving me interesting. Food for thought and one of them is is that she was as I said famous as a poet. Um, as as an invalid basically a shut in she didn’t leave her room for many many years and there’s. Different stuff about like what was wrong with her but we won’t go into all of that you can go read the book but this fine I mean it’s a great love story and it’s exactly the kind of thing that I write about and that I love in romance. Is that when she fell in love with Robert browning that gave her the impetus to take control of her health and to leave her room for the first time in I think you know in something like a decade and she ended up marrying him and running off you know of.

13:11.56
jeffekennedy
Avoiding her tyrannical father evading escaping running off to italy and lived and she lived there married deliriously happy for 15 years before she died still too young around my age. Ah.

13:30.28
jeffekennedy
And it’s some the part that ah the book that I’m yet getting into now is and it does as the title indicates really focuses on their marriage the book that I got on paper focuses a whole lot on her early life. But she continued to be a prolific poet and wrote a whole lot about the political events going on in italy at the time which is another big lacuna in my public school education that I really didn’t know much about what was going on in the middle eighteen hundreds in italy did you. Um, giving you all the inquiring look maybe it would be a little much to expect and and actually what this book is saying is is that even at the time very few people in England or America knew about the politics of italy and. Where the you know the period in Paris when all the writers were there. You know really made parisian politics very familiar to people Elizabeth was writing about the politics in italy and so was Robert browning but people weren’t interested. They. Just so didn’t care and another fascinating thing is is that once she was married and had a child which isn’t that cool I mean she had a child after she was she was like 41 or 42 I I think it’s interesting because. When I was 36 this gal that I knew I don’t know if I would color a friend but we were sort of it in the same circle but she she asked me one day kind of out of the blue if I had regretted never having children and I was 36 and I It took me aback and I said I didn’t think I’d never had them yet and and she was flustered and was all like oh I didn’t mean and it’s like well why do you ask somebody a question like that for the record I never tried to have children I I always use birth control I never. Woke up one day thinking that I needed to have a baby I kept thinking I might you know like that ticking clock would suddenly go off and I would hear the alarm and I didn’t but I also acquired 2 stepchildren when I was 24 and that kind of sucked up all of my. But little maternal bandwidths I apparently have um douglas either anyway after she was married her poetry got dismissed as being like Robert browning’s wife’s and it sort of.

16:19.90
jeffekennedy
Pens on the era and I found this fascinating because the author says that she refers to as criticism changed as as the critical community and critical in terms of literary criticism. Changed up through the 1950 s when they began to understand that a poem could also be and mean something that her her italian poems about politics were dismissed as being um, cheapened. By being about politics instead of being about like higher things isn’t that interesting and I know I touched on this the other day and Lexi Chantal made a lovely reel about it. Thank you Lexie ah, and. Reacted to it in a blog post on the SFF7 blog about whether or not we try to make our work outlive us whether we try to make it mean something and it was fascinating to me the idea that literary criticism evolves. Also. Which I mean I guess I thought I knew this but it was interesting hearing someone else say it because you guys hear me talk all the time about objecting to people qualifying stuff as whether or not it’s well writtent. Or is it a good book or a bad book and there’s there’s a great meme going around with Stephen King who personally pisses me off because I don’t know why Stephen King decided he got to be on a literary high horse that he gets to. Past judgment on whether or not other people are writing good books but I do think it’s interesting. The idea that how we view creative works changes over time. It makes sense that it does. But I’m molling this idea now that so much can be just what we see in the moment is very different with historical perspective right? Ah and 1 thing that the author who is a woman is talking about is how Elizabeth Barrett was she calls her describes her as being diffident and self-effacing. She was a very modest person even though she started out being hugely more famous than Robert Browning she was also a shutin she had a very very small world and.

19:07.42
jeffekennedy
She had many people who came to visit her and a lively correspondence. But she also just did not have a huge ego and so she would excuse herself saying ah you know I’m only watching this through my window and. You know I’m just as a woman and she used analogies after she married of being a wife and being a mother because of course she did this is going back to what I was talking about the other day with the pipes and how that colors the water that comes out of the pipes. What we are doing who we are at any given time. Is going to influence our creative voice. Well the critics damned her for her for it saying that again that she had made her work less important by using these womanly analogies you know and it’s like well you know fuck. Those guys. It’s just sort of like ah I want to say the more things change the more they stay the same. But I think we’re just still living out this same trajectory. So anyway, those are all the things that I’m thinking about right now. it’s it’s I really ah it’s a I call it a rabbit hole because I had not expected it all to be going in this direction and I’m finding it immensely rewarding and I suppose this is how we deepen our previously shallow educations. One of my favorite professors in college said that. Whole point of a college education is to teach you how to continue to learn for for the rest of your life and I think that is um that that has served me very well I absolutely believe that and this is an example right. I am continuing to learn about ah the politics of italy in the mid eighteen hundreds did you know that they were not a unified nation I didn’t know that and and about Elizabeth Barrett and Robert browning fascinating stuff. Filling that well, it’s really fun all right I’m going to head out I hope you all have a wonderful weekend I hope you find some delightful rabbit holes of your own and I will talk to you all on Monday take care bye bye.

On My Mind: eBook Retailers

 Barnes & Noble is running a pre-order sale for the next couple of days – apparently on any book up for pre-order – though the only book I have up for pre-order right now is THE STORM PRINCESS AND THE RAVEN KING (out May 31!). So, if you’re a Nook reader, you can pre-order THE STORM PRINCESS AND THE RAVEN KING for 25% off from April 20-22 with the code PREORDER25. Order other books, too! Have a Nook party that goes on forever, because the presents will keep arriving for a long time! 

A bunch of us who self-publish – this could be true of trad-pub sales, too, but we can’t see which retailer sales come from on those numbers – have noticed that our sales on B&N have gone way down. I don’t have any exact metrics, but even with new releases, I can see that my payments from B&N are much lower. Several other authors have mentioned it, too, along with a few readers who use Nook saying that it’s super hard to find books on their device. It’s really too bad. Everyone bitches about Amazon’s dominance over the book-buying marketplace, but then the sites that could be providing competition – like B&N, Apple Books, Google Books – seem to be phoning in the effort. The only retailer that seems to be really working at competing with Amazon, and doing a creditable job of it, is Kobo. With the recent merger/acquisition (I’m not sure which it is) of Smashwords and D2D, maybe they’ll up their efforts. We can hope!
And, apparently, that’s what’s on MY mind this week 🙂

 

 

First Cup of Coffee – April 19, 2022




Transcript
00:01.14
jeffekennedy
Um, good morning. Everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee I’m noticing that the cream separated that a bad sign tastes fine.

00:22.21
jeffekennedy
No, maybe not please to stand by all right? sorry about that. Ah, the cream had indeed gone sour does it taste quite as good with the half and half in there turns out that the cream had ah expired on March Seventh who knew and I’ve been drinking it up till last week and it was fine. That’s why I get for only doing little tiny dollops at a time I suppose but apparently left unsupervised for a few days. It went rogue alas. Today is Tuesday oh you know I’ve know this I forgot to put sweetener in it. Okay, we’re having a blooper morning stand by all right I think I’m set now. Ah so much better. All right. Today is Tuesday April Nineteenth and for those of you on video or those of you ah keen to the audio intro I’m back out in the grape arbor um, and so thus. Big chimes again and you know things are greening up out here. The roses are coming up. You might be able to see some daffodils in the background crap Apple tree is starting to bloom. It was so nice being outside in Tucson. That’s why I have been away from the podcast for a few days. And been away visiting my mother who is the one who complains the most if I don’t record a podcast. So um, haven’t had 1 since a week ago tuesday but here I am back in the saddle. It was great being out in the tucson weather flowers blooming everywhere. Yeah, thank you? And yeah, so I thought I really need to make an effort to get out into the grape arbor again which transcript. Really hates that phrase. We’ll see how it did. Um, we’ve had so much wind that they I to throw a bunch of tumbleweeds over the wall because they’ve like blown in and mess things up so clearly I still have I’ve done some garden cleanup I need to do more. Did a little bit at my mom’s house that was fun. Although I’m not sure she appreciated it. She had a um, a volunteer lemon tree coming up where they’d cut 1 down as one does in Tucson I would love to have a volunteer lemon tree.

03:12.19
jeffekennedy
Ah, and she told me to do whatever because it had also it was more like lemon Bush and she said to do whatever I wanted to it so I trimmed out a whole bunch of stuff to create a single trunk to make it give it an upright growth. But I think she was shocked. But anyway I’ve decided um this fall I’m going to keep track of the temperature at which I am driven inside and then pay attention in the spring as soon as those temperatures start to get up ah to that same level to come outside. Um, it is 47 here this morning °f with like a real feel of 53 I still don’t know how they decide that. Um, yeah, so. Good to get out here and to be looking at stuff again and be part of the garden I made notes on the airplane um of things that I wanted to talk about. I probably have too much for a single podcast but that’s good. That’ll keep us going this week I did take the whole time off of writing I got some words. Um, well I take not since Wednesday um I did do sifwell work. Had to be done and and last night I slept like the dead and dreamed tons of selfful stuff. So there. We are my plan had been with The Storm Princess and the Raven King to come back from this and start over revising from the beginning because I’ve passed midpoint and I’m not sure if I will because I kind of do have a feel for the scene where I stopped so I might just try poking at that and seeing if that works and. Save the revising for later. Yeah that’s just sort of a matter of coming back and getting a feel for for where I’m at.

05:26.30
jeffekennedy
I um, have been reading Connie Willis’s short stories I’m not usually a short story reader. Some people love them I to me I think it’s because I love to read novels I love to read long. And a short story. Some people love short stories because they can read it in a single city. My stepsister Hope who I saw over the weekend is going to read this same collection of Connie Willis’s which is called Firewatch after the story that is the first one on the collection called. Fire watch um and a number of her award winning stories are in this and I have read her novels before because did I mention I’m a novel reader for me a short story is. It. It usually leaves me hanging I I feel like I just um, like I’m just learning the world and the characters and syncing in and it’s done I always want more? Um, it was interesting reading a collection of her short stories. Because there was a congruency to it and it let me do one of my favorite things which is to study like her themes and her recurring images and so forth. Um, fire is a thing for her. Not so shockingly. But on one of her stories. She mentioned Fred a stare and I should have grabbed the quote wonder if I should go grab it. Okay I opened it on the Kindle app on my phone which took an extraordinarily long time just for the record. So she said she has little um epigraphs little explanations between her shorts before her short stories which I admire greatly because I never know what to say about my own stuff and i’m. Totally going to I’m glad I have this book on my kindle because I’m gonna borrow from her. Um, yeah, she’s just very smart about what she says so she says Fred Astaire is my hero he used to report to his movie six weeks before filming started. And practice his dance routines wearing out a couple of pairs of of tapshoes and Hermes Pan who claimed he could only dance backwards for the rest of his life. Also he could stand there and look like he had just made it up in the words of almost every one who ever saw him dance.

08:04.52
jeffekennedy
He makes it look easy and what she says after that is that’s what I want to do even though it looks like I’m going to wear out dozens of pairs of shoes before I even come close make it look easy. But I thought that that was really striking about Fred Astair and. My husband David who is a musician from way back. He always talks about the Beatles and how the Beatles played in those German bars for a really long time playing cover songs playing hours and hours every night. And that that brought them together as a band and it’s an example, he uses a lot. Um for the value of practice and while we were at the Jack Williamson lectureship that I was at a few weeks ago yeah I guess a couple weeks ago what is time who am I we the the question came up as it always does um, you know like essentially how do you get better. How do you know when your work is good. how how do you level up? How do you improve your craft How do you um. Get over feeling like your work sucks newbie writers and even experienced writers and ask this sort of question all the time It’s like how do we how do we do this had to change my angle slightly because the sun is coming up I’m running a bit behind this morning. Yeah, although I went to bed early but like I said slept like the dead. So how do we improve and I think this is one of the answers and it’s the answer I always give and it’s not the answer that people necessarily want to hear because. Saying that something just takes a whole lot of time and you just have to keep doing it over and over and over again is not the optimum answer right? It’s not what we want. We want something else. We want the magic pill. We want the here read this book. But I think there’s a huge amount of truth in this that what it takes is a lot a lot of practice and I’ve used the metaphor many times but bringing up here again in case, it’s new to you of running water through pipes and it’s this isn’t mine. Other authors have talked about it that when you first begin writing um your creative pipes are corroded. They’ve been sitting there unused. They’re full of crud and when you first start running water through them and getting the words that come out at the end. The words are cruddy.

10:54.54
jeffekennedy
I mean that’s just how it is. They’re Rusty. They don’t come out very fast. They’re full of all sorts of stuff right? they’re muddy, they’re unclear. But if you keep running water through those pipes eventually those pipes will flush. And it will get rid of all of that crud and soon you will have clear water coming out. What do you do with the cruddy water doorway put it on the you know reuse put it on the garden. Um I think it is one of the at the risk of sounding like I’m shaking my cane. 1 of the great drawbacks of the ease of self-publication these days is that it’s very easy still in the sun here there that’s better and you could see the for Scythia in bloom behind me. Um, ah, what was oh. Ease of self-publication I mean I self-ublish yeah you know, a lot of people do it’s a great thing. It’s wonderful for income. Ah, the great drawback of the ease of self-publication is that you could publish those books. The ones that come out when you’re first running water through the pipes. Um, you know and some of that’s inevitable I was talking with some other authors of the podcast I did withronda we were talking about that whether we would go back and change things in our first books if we could um. There is a point at which you just have to go with it. You know because it’s it’s not gonna be perfect and you know maybe your twentieth book is the one that’s gonna be really good but I do think that you have to resist the urge to publish the first stuff you write and certainly this audience of writers at the Lectureship. We’re kind of shocked to discover that Dorinda has a bunch of trunk books and they asked what that meant and it’s like books that are in our trunk and well never come out I have a couple of unpublished books I’ve one that one day I will maybe rewrite. Ah, it. Could be that the idea was too ambitious for where I was at the time and now I will come back around to it. But the thing is is that we have a tendency to want to preserve everything we write because of the effort that we put into it and. It’s not always the best impulse sometimes that means that you should ah you know not be afraid to put a book in the trunk. So 1 thing I was noticing is um oh hold on a moment here.

13:48.20
jeffekennedy
Was my mom texting me I’ll text you back in a moment mom. She’s awake. Um, so um, excuse me I did a reread those of you who have been following along consistently. Know that I did a reread of the heirs of magic books. So I read the prequel and then the first 3 books in the series and I just finished the one over the weekend as I was heading to Tucson I think I finished it on the plane and then. That was when I started Connie Willis’s stories and read those over the weekend I really do recommend that firewatch collection. It was excellent. Some stories have stood the test of time far better than others and my stepsister hope plans to read it as well and we shall discuss because I’m interested to know what she thinks. Um, and I’ve I’ve talked about that a lot you know how do we know? what’s going to stand the test of time and I know creators artists and so forth who really try to I don’t know game it try to do the thing that will stand the test of time you know and. Ah, be universal on all of this and sometimes I think you just don’t know you don’t know what’s going to stand the test of time and I’m I’m interested to discuss with her the reasons why I think some of these did not whereas others have so but you know all same writer. All at the top of her game. So it was interesting for me reading the third book in airs of magic the one that came right before this the dragon’s daughter in the winter mage. Um I knew people had received it a little differently than the others. And it is a different book and it’s interesting to think about because it’s different in tone than the first 2 and I didn’t do that on purpose. But I think a lot of it had to do with what was going on in my life as I was writing it. And it’s this push pull right? that I was thinking well some people would argue that that was a mistake of mine that I should have made more of an effort to consider the market and design that book. To match the others in the series and to match the market but at the same time I feel like as creators right? We are um as I often say we are not making widgets. Um, if i.

16:33.68
jeffekennedy
Wanted to make widgets I would probably be doing that which I don’t I think that sometimes the stories what comes out when we tell a story is we have to be authentic to that. You know it is what it is. That’s what’s coming out of our subconscious self I reading that book I was recognizing themes. Um, just stuff that was going on and in some ways it’s a. I don’t know maybe a sadder book a little bit darker book. Um, it’s certainly not sad or dark overall but it is not as fun and lighthearted as the others and and there were reasons for that and. You know I think that those things are going to bleed into our work unless we really separate it out. Um I think that um. Yeah, you know we’ve been talking lately. My family was talking about it over the weekend. You know, just how different our world is with social media. So I’m more aware of things that people have said about this particular book because I just see the conversation about it or I catch things. That people don’t say like somebody tweeted me and said that they were surprised that this book didn’t sell as well as some of the others that the first 2 books in this series were their favorites of anything I’d written which is great. Thank you I love I love that but I did notice that she didn’t say the third book and it’s It’s different it’s a different book and I did see one review by accident where somebody had said just skip this one because nothing happens and it anyway and you know reader’s prerogative. Absolutely you know if you feel like that’s the best advice to give then sure give it. Of. Where am I going with this I will I’ll see and I do this as a reader too where I’ll say well I didn’t love this. What is much you know I I wish that the books had stayed the same as books one 2 3 in this series or whatever but you know what.

19:00.13
jeffekennedy
Sometimes what comes out is what comes out and and I don’t think that I can regret that. Ah, some of that has to do with growth as as a creator right? You know it’s that this is the water that came through the pipes at this particular time and the pipes are me. Right? So unless you are an Automaton or able to separate yourself entirely from who you are in your life which I don’t know maybe a sociopath can do that.

19:38.57
jeffekennedy
wren’s that beautiful, beautiful spring song. Um, yeah, that though even if the water running through your pipes is clear of mud and rust and other things lead that come out of whatever kind of pipes you have um. It’s still gonna be flavored by those pipes and that’s that’s part of being a creator and on that note I will sign out I hope that you all are having a wonderful week and I will talk to you all probably Thursday you all take care. Bye-bye.

First Cup of Coffee – April 11, 2022




Transcript
00:00.00
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:13.93
jeffekennedy
But it’s so good today is Monday April something Eleventh April Eleventh and I’m back home. Glad that you all liked the podcast with Darynda last week. Um. She is adorable isn’ said she even if she wouldn’t do the chime dingling. So. It’s funny. Ah I opened up my laptop because I have to have it open to do the video portion of this podcast and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my screen. Looked like maybe there was light shining on it funny but there’s not light shining on it funny and it almost looks like 1 of those old photographs like where you get damage around the edges and so it’s like bright in the middle and then there’s like a little halo around it and then dark at the edges. And I’m like what the fuck is wrong with my screen and then I remember how quickly we forget so on Saturday when I was down in Portales at the Jack Williamson lectureship Saturday morning we did the workshop creative writing workshop. So Connie Willis led it guest of honor Walter John Williams assisted and then they had the rest of us guest authors. Um, what essentially being the peanut gallery in China me chiming in and it was really fun because I’m asked originally I’m like is this something. We’re supposed to go to and they’re like well we would really appreciate it if you would and this is a terrific event because they they paid all my expenses and you guys know how I feel about this if you’ve been listening for a long time. They did it perfectly. Um, they paid for my hotel. They picked up all my meals. And it was um, you treated me with respect even though you know I wasn’t as important as some of the other authors they ah acted like I was and that’s amazing anyway. So we did this creative writing workshop. And we finished up oh like round twelve twelve thirty and Connie Willis said well we’re all going to go out to lunch and so do you want to come I’m like yes, even though I wasn’t hungry because. David Sweeten, Professor Sweeten who is um, the one running the lectureship now down in portalis at it’s at Eastern New Mexico University He had big colachi homemade colaches where he had like set the dough to rise overnight and and.

03:00.21
jeffekennedy
Dear reader I had to so hungry I was unbelievably hungry and I had not had coffee. Um, so at this point for lunch I was not hungry. This did not stop me from eating lunch. But I yeah so. Somehow so like despite the inadvisability of this thing you know so I’m I’m walking around at the lecture ship. You know for a couple of days and I have my pink Fluevog laptop bag that I love very much which is basically just a tote bag here. I’ll show you so see. It’s um, if if you’re not on video sorry you get the same description. It’s pink leather. It’s got some embossing of flowers in the Fluevog style and the best thing about this is that the rope handles go all the way underneath the bag. So at the bottom doesn’t tear out and I thought this quite some years ago five years ago when I was in Denver at the store. Um, because I wanted something that would work better to carry my laptop that I could also put on my shit in when I’m like at conferences. So I also had my wonderful thermis thing which is in the kitchen I won’t go get it that David gave me um for Christmas maybe doesn’t matter. That’s a coffee thing and a water thing and it’s really great because he did research. It’s big. It’s really tough I’ve already dented it still tough and it’s got this is the first time I’d used it just for water and it’s got this screw on top with them. Oh I don’t know what you would call it like a really flexible thingy that goes around the straw. So I can if I tip it over it does it spell. However, this does not mean that water will not leak out so I had you could see where we’re going so I had that in the laptop bag upright you know and I would stick it in there with my laptop and my other things. And really it worked fine. It was not a problem and when I first did I thought oh it was this stupid. You know it’s like you know how you do that? You’re like will I regret this but no, it was fine except when we went to lunch I had put my laptop bag behind the. Seat of the car with my partially open bottle of wine I made sure that didn’t spill but when I came out from lunch somehow probably when I was driving the thermos thing. Yeah I know you’re all country had tipped over and there was like standing water in the bag of my wonder bottom of my wonderful.

05:46.80
jeffekennedy
Waterproof leather bag. Ah, let’s why I was like oh fuck I’ve ruin in my laptop right? So I spend a few minutes taking everything out drying things off dupping out the water. Ah. And I set the laptop up on end in the backseat of the car to dry out and just in case you know and I was just like sort of like sending a prayer to the tech gods that it would um, be okay that it would not be ruined due to my moment of carelessness. You know. Kick yourself like fuck. So I did not turn it on because that’s one of the tricks right? You know it’s like you have to resist turning it on until it dries out completely. So I you know brought it inside I said we have the radiant. Key to in the floors which will be turning off soon. It’s warming up. You know what? I’m still not outside yet though it’s um, it’s 48 I could probably start. It’s always rougher I don’t know for some reason I haven’t wanted to this spring have I so. Didn’t turn on my laptop until I Don know like noon yesterday because I thought okay won I give it a good 24 hours and so I turned it on and did the cross fingers and prayers and I had it hooked up to my big monitor and it came on. Came on just fine and so I thought hooray hooray but I did not open the laptop to see the screen until this morning when clearly I had already forgotten about the the incident so I have a touch screen on this. Which I’ll be kind of bummed if that stops working but it might be just because I had it closed up and now it will drive further the shape of the halo is changing. So maybe it’ll maybe it was just like um humidity. I don’t know I could have screwed this up heavy sigh and so um, that was a lot of talking about my laptop. I don’t have much else to report I did get some words done while I was gone I didn’t get tons but I did after the podcast with we could turn on some of these all right to turn on my progress count. So I could see what I did.

08:28.88
jeffekennedy
I mean at least I kept it moving forward which was my main goal on Thursday before I left I did get my 2000 words that morning Friday actually before I went to dorndda’s I was awake girly in the hotel room of course and so I got um, 440 words before I went recorded the podcast and then after that we didn’t have a whole lot of time before we had to go to the first event and then on Saturday morning I got another 543 words I don’t typically work on Saturdays but you know I was trying to do a little catch up there. So um, it’s funny looking back and forth between the 2 screens which you know I I do I probably shouldn’t but I could see things so much better on the big screen. But. I look at the little screen and there’s this whole weird watermark patina I mean literally a watermark right? and then on the big screen. It’s clear and it’s like oh but wait. So um, it was really fun. It was super fun being at the lectureship. Um I had met Connie Willis a few times before I had attended a reading of hers forever ago when I lived in Laramie she came up for that and um, she was just phenomenal. She was just delightful. To be with um I just I can’t speak highly enough you know and I talk about this sometimes about the difference. Yeah, like some I don’t want to say older. Although you know. Sometimes it can be an age thing but authors who are farther along in their careers. You know more advanced in their careers than than you are have can be very different in how they treat the younger writers I’m putting that near quotes. Um you know and. Writers are people right? People are people and people will people. Um you know and some writers who are like guest of honor at something like that. Um Connie was being master of ceremonies I think and she was longtime friends with. Jack Williams said the science fiction writer who got his bachelors and masters at Eastern New Mexico University and who was a professor there for a very long time and she would go every year for the lectureship and now that he has passed on she still goes and she was really happy. They’ve missed. It.

11:14.62
jeffekennedy
In person part for the last two years of course so this was the first time back in person and everybody wish just so happy to be back together in person but Connie it was just incredibly generous. She really made a point of being kind not just to me but like. To another guest writer who only has ah has a couple of books so far and was not sitting in the very front row peanut gallery for the creative writing workshop but he was sitting more towards the back being a little more retiring and he had said to me they felt like he didn’t have as much to say as some of the authors which that can be a thing when you’re. Newby and Connie would really make a point of saying do you have something out you know and what do you think about this? Ah, she’s it. It takes a real generosity of spirit to be that good to writers and and she was. Kind to me in ways that I particularly noticed when I was talking about like some of the stuff with romance and she took a moment to explain how you know like the genres are about romance and you know she was saying you guys have to understand that for a long time. Science fiction. Was like near the bottom they weren’t nearly as good as literary fiction and then they found out they could look down on fantasy and then fantasy and science fiction both figured out that they could look down on the graphic novelist the comics writer she said until all of a sudden probably Neil Gaman’s fault. It did. Graphic novels ascended and and went out much higher. But then they figured out. Oh they could look down on romance. Um, it’s just really good to have somebody who is being warm and supportive and welcoming that way. As opposed to those who look down their noses and try to make sure that you know that you’re not nearly as good as they are and never will be which you know happens there certainly writers I’ve encountered like that. Um, in fact, it’s funny. I’m trying to decide if I should say this I’m gonna pause while I think about should I say this? Yeah I don’t think it’s gonna hurt anything for me to say this because I’m not gonna give details. But there’s 1 writer who like from the beginning of my career when we were first like at on panels together on that kind of thing. Was terribly unkind to me I mean nasty to me on Panels silence me silencing me on Panels um, someone much much more advanced in their career than I am to the point where like people were coming up to me after the panels say what is their beef with you be like I do not know if this person like.

13:58.62
jeffekennedy
Hated me on site. Well when I was looking at being president now Madam president ah looking at the list of people that could be named Grandmaster I saw this person’s name on the list and I thought ha. Won’t be naming you grandmaster anytime soon or ever ever you know, maybe a different president would but it was to me both a moment of probably ah, what’s the word I want unflattering. It’s not my finest moment people. Ah but i. Did feel a nice little moment of vicious glee over that like can’t stop you being mean to me but and then it’s also I thought stow this memory away Jeffe because it’s really important to remember. Um. That the newbie writers that you may sneer at today. Not that I would snare I try very hard not to but you know you never know who who they’re going to be in 1 year or 10 years or 20 years and maybe someday that person will be the 1 looking at your name on the list and deciding whether or not you should have a career achievement award. Um, it’s worth keeping in mind right? You know they they say that you should be careful of being kind to those that you meet on the way up because you’ll meet them again on the way back down. I think that implies a certain linearity that does not exist because it’s more like all of us are bouncing up and down and up and down. But um, yeah, Connie was just fabulous and she even took a moment to say to everyone that I have liked the worst job in the world being president of SFWA and that everyone should. Appreciate that and the other things she did that and I told this to David and he didn’t think I was quite. It was quite so funny but she has the quickest wit she is just tremendously witty and she had back surgery last year she was she’s your age mom. Ah, and born in Denver born in Denver and 1945 and she had back surgery so she has one of those walkers. You know she doesn’t have to use it all the time but she has it with her and then it has like 1 of those seats in it so that you could turn around and sit on it and so we were all done. On um Friday evening with all of the panels and walking out and we were you know I was coming out with my little group and I saw Connie sitting there on her little walker chair at the edge of the parking lot because her husband had gone on to get the car. You know to say for more of a walk but I yelled out abandoned in the parking lot.

16:54.79
jeffekennedy
And she looked at me and she goes seduced and abandoned in the parking lot!and I don’t know it. It really made me laugh and it was just um, it just felt like such a warm and delightful community. We just had um. I had a fabulous time I hope everyone had a fabulous time. Yeah, so I think I’ll leave it there. Um I need to kind of get back on my stick this week and I have finished reading through. The Sorceress Queen and the Pirate Rogue gosh I love that book I perfectly enjoyed that book the scene on the carriage is so freaking hot. Maybe I shouldn’t say that about something that I wrote but I really enjoyed it and I’ve started in on Dragons Daughter and. Good news is is I have little sticky notes things about that I’m understanding about Rhyian and Salena so getting it all figured out I hope so on that note I’m going to sign off I hope you all have a wonderful Monday that it kicks off the week will and I will talk to you al tomorrow. Take care bye-bye.

First Cup of Coffee – April 1, 2022




Transcript
00:00.31
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Today is say it with me Friday wooo. It’s also April first April fools stay here in the Us. Um. So far I have not seen any fooling I haven’t looked at much I looked at Instagram but I I think I probably say this every year am not a fan of April fools day I’m not a fan of pranks in general of trying to trick people. Um, just not my thing I know some families are much more into it. But for me, it’s um I think there’s a level of cruelty in pranks that is um, just not part of who I am.

01:07.76
jeffekennedy
It’s interesting because I w rid coffee yesterday and had a long conversation with Jim Sorensen and we always have interesting conversations. We were talking about how SFWA’s new membership requirements are. Based on affidavit. It’s based on the honor system which some people object to somebody There’s always somebody objecting to something but part of our reasoning on this is that if somebody wanted to game the system. If they wanted to cheat their way into membership. It’s not that difficult to falsify documentation in this day and age so and interestingly Jim commented that if there were rules that he might be. Tempted to cheat them just because he would feel like he was being clever in circumventing the rules. But if it’s on our system then he feels like he has to abide by it because it’s like oh well, if you expect me to be honorable then I guess I have to. Interesting psychology huh. So um I I wonder if there’s not something connected to that with like whether or not you like to play pranks on people I think some of it’s the getting away. It’s the feeling like you’re clever and that you’ve managed to trick somebody for me. It. Very rarely has to do with actual good humor and the stuff that is actual good humor. We don’t have to have a special day for it right? I did contemplate doing some sort of. April fools podcast today. In fact, I very nearly when I start up Zencastr here I label all of my episodes by date. So I had the you know saw yesterday’s March thirty first twenty twenty two and I was very very tempted to label Today’s March Thirty second 2022 but then my ah my inner data nerd rebelled because it would be incorrect.

03:36.74
jeffekennedy
The other conversation that Jim and I had was about answering questions on Panels and at conferences. Um, and I don’t remember how we got on that topic but we were talking about. When people ask how there are certain questions that come up almost every time in interviews or when you’re on a panel or when you’re doing a q and a and that sort of thing I’m going to pause because I know that i’s something I plan to talk about today if I made a note which I thought I did. And not finding it a well I’ll go I’ll keep on this one and then I might have to look if I still have time I know something kind of important I think I promised someone I would talk about it today if I forget and I brought and you were the one I promised. Ah, remind me and I’ll talk about it. Well maybe not Monday we have to talk about that too. Anyway. So we were talking about answering questions and like there are certain questions that come up over and over again and that are difficult to answer and I was using this as an example that one of them is. Well I so what I was explaining is that one way that I handle that that I’ve come to handle this over time is that I try to answer the content of the question. The what I think the person is really wanting to know but they’ve kind of gone for this very standard. Um. Almost empty question and so the example I was using is the where do you get your ideas people ask where do you get your ideas a whole lot and that I think people aren’t really, they aren’t asking where do you get your ideas that they want to know something else. Basically they want to know. How do they get good ideas and become successful writing them and so I was in the midst of this is sort of a meta explanation I was in the midst of explaining this to Jim when he cut in and said being clever. And said, um, well that Harlan Ellison always said Schenectady New York that he sends off a self-address stamped envelope and they send him back ideas and and I said well that but that’s an asshole answer and that Harlan Ellison it should be pointed out. Was an asshole and Jim said yes, but it’s amusing to the audience and that’s what matters so we got into this big debate about it because I was like I can understand why he thinks performing for the audience and being amusing is like your job when you’re on that kind of thing.

06:28.96
jeffekennedy
But he’s much more in this niche profession of like you know he works on like transformers in Ji Joe so he goes mainly to fan conventions it and he said well do you feel like you have this. Onus or this responsibility to answer people’s questions sincerely and authentically and I said yes, um, but I guess that’s who I am I mean that’s like I’m always trying to give sincere and authentic answers answers for better or worse and i. I said you know I feel like um sure you get a laugh out of saying something like I send off to Schenectady New York for my ideas and you know ha ha ha it’s it’s the equivalent of like an April fools joke. It’s like let me let me make fun of you for and asking this question. Instead of honoring what you are really wanting to know. Um, but this is this is where we fall out and you know and I could see both sides of it. Um I think I’m there to pass long information Jim thinks he’s there to entertain people. Um, so I think the best answer that I’ve ever heard to this one is something that John Scalzi has talked about when I saw him here in Santa Fe because somebody asked where you get your ideas. And he said that he thinks that a better way to address. It is to think in terms of that. Really the question is how do you know? an idea is a good one and and he talked about his method for this that if he gets an idea he sits on it. He doesn’t write it down. He just molds it over. If he still has it the next morning he gives a little bit more thought if he still has it in a week gives it a little more thought and he said and if the idea persists for like six months then it’s a worthwhile idea and he actually invests in it and I find that a really useful both approach. And way of answering that question in an am. Um, authentic and useful way. Um, and and Jim kind of disagreed. But or maybe he didn’t disagree but um. He still thought that it was better to give a funny answer.

08:59.66
jeffekennedy
Or if not better, certainly easier. Um, and I mentioned that this had backfired on me because when I did that interview with Julia Quinn I don’t know if that like went up and got recorded or or what. Was an interesting interview but 1 of the people in the online chat asked where she got her ideas and and I sort of translated that into this. Maybe it’s you know, saying that was the question and but that maybe it was more useful to think of it in these terms of How do you know? It’s a good idea and Julia Quinn completely bamboozled me and she said oh no, she said I’m not one of these writers who has tons of ideas she says I’m the one who’s always sitting there going. What can I write about this time. So so then she actually talked about. what she does to get ideas so that’s what I get for assuming and and maybe that part of the take home messages. You know we’re all different. You know the whole find out what your process is and own it and I’m still looking around for like where I wrote down. But maybe I just didn’t write it down. Whatever it was I was thinking of talking about yesterday. Alas, maybe it will return to my brain eventually. So um, yeah yesterday I did not get my 2000 words. In fact, ah, barely eked out I don’t think Cphon got a thousand you guys. Ah some of it was going to ride her coffee I think I got eight eighty five so I’m actually going to try for 3000 today if I do 3021 ah, have 10000 for the week. So I and then I’ll have the weekend to recupering so we shall see what happens? Um, yeah, we shall see.

11:09.78
jeffekennedy
Yeah, I’m not quite sure why I crashed yesterday I actually was feeling kind of fuzzy I don’t know if it was being off schedule or being fuzzy or what sometimes we don’t know next week is going to be a little different I am um. Going up to Colorado to spend a little bit of time with my husband’s siblings so we are driving up on Sunday and staying there Sunday and Monday nights so I made you a podcast on Monday and Tuesday morning I don’t know I want to try to keep getting my 2000 words and we don’t have to get up and leave early on Tuesday so I’m hoping that I might be able to get words before we hit the rod and drive back but that’ll take priority over podcasting so we’ll just see see how I feel tra la tra lay. And then I am home for a couple of nights and then Thursday afternoon I drive down to beautiful protellus new mexico home of Deronda Jones incidentally I’m going to be at Eastern New Mexico University’s Jack Williamson lectureship talking to students and being part of panels Jack Williamson is a very famous ah old timey science fiction writer. What’s interesting about him is like I never read him and don’t know him don’t know his work really. But apparently he coined. Whole bunch of commonly used science fiction words today. How’s that for a cool legacy Melinda Snodgrass told me that and now I have to find that list of words. Okay, you guys I did the thing where I failed to properly unpause. So now I have to. I’m not sure if I’m repeating words coined by Jack Williamson this is the point this thing I’m trying to get at ah terraforming these are not all in 1 place but um, also genetic engineering ion drive. It turns out that he um got his bachelor’s degree and master of arts from Eastern New Mexico university and Portales so that’s why they did the lectureship for him and I was trying to find I wish they did have them all in 1 place. But. They don’t so anyway I think that’s really cool to have that kind of legacy that um there are all these words that are attributed to you I know um I have a friend who writes fantasy who was credited with coining hydromancy.

14:01.50
jeffekennedy
Using water magic and she was so pleased to be credited with that. So anyway, I won’t keep um, looking for these. Oh here’s another oh psionics. He’s credited with them coming up with the word psionics psi. Um, but I already mentioned genetic engineering. So anyway, that’s really cool should be a fun lectureship. So. I should be able to do a podcast on Thursday but I don’t know if I will on Friday again I’ll have to prioritize getting those words I’m so be a disrupted week. We will see how I do I’m hoping that going for a lower word count will help me. Actually get those words and then we’ll go from there I may have to rethink my schedule. So um, only other news is that yesterday the FIERCE HEARTS anthology came out that was incredibly well received. I will borrow a post from Instagram put it on the photos showing that was number 1 in all the subcategories. Thank you everyone for supporting this anthology to benefit Ukraine that’s just really an incredible amazing thing. Um. I do think it’s funny that like my name is first. Ah, it’s like I don’t know if I’m that high profile you guys but hope hope I could bring you readers I mentioned yesterday that the book contains a sneak peek. The. Prologue in first 2 chapters of the storm princess and the Raven King the book I’m currently attempting to write I’m actually doing okay, um, where am I don’t do that Jeffe but there I like hit the x instead of. Maximize not I mean to duta done to du I’ve got 36000 words so not slouching. Um and that’s kind of fun to write. So um, on that note I think I will go get to writing. I hope that you all have a fabulous weekend I will be patchy here maybe next week but we shall um, it’ll be what it is right? I don’t know how many of you look for me at like a particular time regularly or if you just wait to see it pop up.

16:43.80
jeffekennedy
Probably a mix of wells anyway, um you guys have good time and I will talk to you all sometime next week you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – March 31, 2022




Transcript
00:00.00
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:12.69
jeffekennedy
Very good today is Thursday March thirty first and of the first quarter of 2022 I tell you you guys but whip him by is it just me. None of you have told me if it’s just me so um, yeah, 3 beds down on 2022. Let’s see here so we have exciting news today um today is the release day for I have to check it to make sure we get my details correct Fierce Hearts: subtitle a 2022 charity anthology of romantic, fantasy and fantasy romance. Like right on brand right? Ah for Ukraine so this is a fundraiser put together by the gals at romantic fantasy shelf of Miranda Honfleur and Jessica Fry put a huge amount of work into this and all proceeds go to. Um, sure the details are somewhere I know that they’re being very responsible but it’s going to relief efforts for ukrainian refugees and war victims and it does include a story by me. Um. What it is is the preface and first 2 chapters of the storm princess and the Raven King yes it is a special sneak preview of that novel my work in progress. Um, consistent listeners may recall hear me mention a week or two ago that I’d gone back to revise those first couple chapters just to make sure that it um flowed correctly. Um there may be changes. By the end but that’s now I feel fairly locked in this is a big departure for me because you guys know I don’t like to really share stuff before it’s like done done done but um, important cause and. I didn’t really have anything else to give them. You know like they wanted something about 5000 words and reader I do not write things letter only 5000 words which is ironic because I started out writing short and now I don’t so I even considered giving them like.

03:05.60
jeffekennedy
And old thing I was looking back over stuff I just didn’t have anything that would work so that was what they suggested this work in progress. It’s a couple of chapters basically of ah Salena and Rhyian. With each other There’s a lot of that in this book some of you have mentioned I did mention that I have the preorder links up I recommited um, longtime listeners know that I did have a preorder up I pushed it out twice I couldn’t push it again. Um. And I went ahead and canceled the preorder. So now. Thank you all for preordering again. The preorders are stacking up and I so appreciate that from all of you I announced that the other day that the preorder links were up and a couple people commented that I have been. Teasing you with this romance for a very long time and it’s true I’ve enjoyed the teas I have been accused more than once of being a tease but I feel like in the very best possible way. So so yeah, it’s um. I wanted to play with this kind of thing like if somebody does in a so okay, let me back up. It’s too much allow me to sum up. Um, yeah.

04:35.20
jeffekennedy
Ah, and now I’m gonna lose my trainoffs start. Okay because I started on The Princess Bride.

04:45.18
jeffekennedy
Okay, so I’ve always been someone who doesn’t believe in second chance romance which you guys this is actually a second chance romance is and that it’s like my least favorite trope I don’t like it in books I don’t like it real life. Um. I’m a believer that whatever went wrong in the relationship. The first time to blow it up. The first time is gonna happen again unless somebody really truly changes and so that has been the theme of Salena and Rhyian’s relationship that Ryan did something unforgivable because he was being a little shit and it comes from his fears and his personality flaws. But he broke Salena’s heart and we know this from the prequel novella the long night of the crystalline moon. And throughout the ensuing 3 books or the first 3 books of the series of Heirs of Magic they going back and forth fighting a lot and he wants to get back together and Salena does too really, but she’s. Trying to be smart because she knows he that people don’t change and that Ryan hasn’t changed I’m gonna have to fix these names. But. For that transcript. So that’s what I wanted to play with was how do you show a character really changing and and I wanted this to take a long time because I feel like a great flaw. Of many romances, especially like romcoms movies. Ah, they don’t give the characters time to really truly change change takes time it can happen in a moment or it takes a whole lot of time. And usually when it happens at a moment. It’s as it’s as the result of a whole long time of maturing and reflecting and so that’s what I wanted to show was Rhyian getting his shit together as it were. And so it’s been interesting to write this book. Especially since it’s the culminating book in the fantasy arc as well. So I’m having to resolve all of that at the same time It’s an interesting challenge. The reason why all 4 of these books have.

07:29.24
jeffekennedy
What’s the word I’m blinking on the word I want to say prequel and that’s not it but prologue Jesus I mean I just said it a few minutes ago right? The reason that these books have prologues here I’m breaking my own rules again. Maybe this is life as a creative. We’re forever breaking our own rules I normally don’t like proposals proposals. What is my problem this morning like a little bit of prologues I don’t normally like prologues. Because I feel like if it’s backstory then you need to fold it into the story if it’s actually the beginning of the story then it should be chapter. One. The orchid throne has a prologue. Because my editor asked for it I don’t love it. I’ve talked about this a lot on here I know many of you do like them I know a lot of readers. Skip them which is interesting. So the reason that I put a prologue on book one um The Golden Gryphon and the Bear Prince. Was because the way I’d done the prequel novel villa. It’s segue straight into the events of book one and in book one all of a sudden there are a whole bunch of characters and my lovely writer friend Darynda Jones. Freaked the fuck out when she read it and she said there’s way too many characters way too fast and your readers are going to hate you and it’s too confusing. She said I got confused and I had read the prequel novella so it. It was a um, it was a welcome. Freaking but it was also late in the game she is like oh you know what? if you start it like she wanted me to like start it a couple months later or something like that she is struggling with a revision right now where her editor is asking her to change the opening. She’s like I’m not changing my opening so I should remind her of this very thing that she suggested I change my opening I couldn’t it was too late I was like you know sliding under the wire to get this published anyway I thought she was probably right I considered like postponing publication and. You know all of this I was freaking the fuck out but then I talked to a couple other people and and I think including her and we came up with the idea of doing a prologue that would introduce the 2 main characters.

10:18.91
jeffekennedy
Because all of these books that female and male ming characters have been friends or or their cousins since childhood that if they’ve all grown up together. So this is all basically friends to lovers. And Salena and Rhyian are the only 2 that were actually lovers as teenagers and the rest of them were sort of nurturing these ah quiet desires for each other or as in the case of Zeph not so quiet. Desire. Zeph doesn’t do anything quiet like I just love her I’m I’m rereading that book now because I’m rereading a whole series to remind myself of everything and um I just love the way she pursues asther with such wholehearted. Passion and I know that some readers complained about it because they said well he he says no um, you know and and astors the virgin prince and. Astor says no because he feels like he has to like it’s the honorable thing to do. He doesn’t say no because he doesn’t want to he wants it? Um I know he wants it and I thought I made it clear that he wants it. But it’s been pointed out to me by a number of people that if I had gender flipped this. If it had been the female princess who was a virgin and deliberately clinging to her honor. Ah, while the seductive non-royal that she’s secretly passionate for was. Determinedly seducing her that this has been done many times and it would have been fine I had so much fun flipping that trope. Um, but and and some people love it. But not everybody loved it and I think it’s funny. That’s like Zeph. Being unmaidenly in her determined pursuit of Astar which yes Zeph is no maiden. Ah so anyway I’m getting off track here. So what I ended up doing in that prologue was going back to when Zeph and Astar are teenagers. And a little bit of flirtation play to set up that longing and relationship and so that way I got the reader to focus on the pair of them knowing that they are the main characters of this book. So.

12:59.88
jeffekennedy
Um, so yeah, that’s why so since I had done that with book one I’ve done it for all 4 books and each of the prologues follows that same model where it does a glimpse back to their to their youth and sets up their relationship. And with Salena and Rhyian the prologue shows that fateful incident.

13:28.71
jeffekennedy
Yeah, so um so yeah you can read that in the fierce hearts anthology money goes to a great cause please support that link in the show, notes, etc, etc. And my other news is that the podcast interview I did with Kingdom of Thirst is up on well on the kingdom of thirst podcast I’ll put a link to that as well. In fact, I should well all remember to do that. So go ahead and take a listen Abigail did a great job interviewing me. She says that there are echoes that she couldn’t edit out this is entirely my fault because she told me to use headphones or earbuds and I didn’t because I never use it here. And I I guess this room is a little echoey but I mean this is where I sat to do it but her what she uses her equipment. She uses for the podcast I think it’s just so much more sensitive that it really got a lot of echoes and I should have I just used the computer mind click I use this and I should have switched to my phone. And use the earbuts and so that was entirely my bad I don’t have headphones that I plug into this laptop and I should probably just get some for that kind of thing I don’t like wearing them but I do love my it could do my little ad here. These are my Bose sound sport. Earbuds. We gave a pair of these to my brother-in law for Christmas and it was his birthday yesterday and I sent him a happy birthday and then he also said I love those earbuds by the way so these are the best things they’re little wireless earbuds you loop them behind your neck. It has a. Built in mic and I have very small ears very small ear openings and they just fit in perfectly. They come with a couple of different sizes of things. So anyway, I am I need to use those from now on I’m sorry Abigail. I I I do suck I because she would she even like set me this whole tips and tricks ahead of time and and I did read it but I thought oh I don’t need to do the earbud microphone thing because I never do I even said it in that voice. So I suck I’m sorry but it’s a great interview. Abigail’s a fantastic interviewer she it was great conversation and I think you guys will enjoy it a whole bunch. So on that note I’m going to head out I’ve got writer coffee today and I will talk to you all tomorrow. No fooling.

16:24.51
jeffekennedy
You all take care bye-bye.

Hulk Smash! (the patriarchy)

This week at the SFF Seven we’re discussing what we do in our stories to smash the patriarchy.

My favorite way to crack up patriarchal thinking? Model other kinds of worlds and societies!
See, the insidious thing about living in a patriarchal society is that we absorb that kind of thinking as part of “normal.” We are programmed from the time we are small children to assume that given rules imposed by our society are fundamental truths. Stuff like that females aren’t as physically strong as males and therefore cannot be fighters. Or that females are in sexual peril from males and that this is part of the natural course of life, that females must be protected and observe safety rules to avoid that sexual peril. Or that females are responsible for pregnancy and its consequences.
One of the great aspects of writing alternate world fantasy is that the worldbuilding is an excellent tool for changing up these programmed “truths.” We can create worlds and societies that DON’T believe these things, which then changes all kinds of layers of the lives of females. Personally, I love to write a world where gender doesn’t dictate ability to be a warrior, or a wizard. Or where rape isn’t a given. Or where birth control is magically handled and available to everyone.
Of course, it’s also useful to impose power imbalances, too – and then use those to highlight how injustice works. By seeing familiar power imbalances in new light, we may notice more about our own world. Instead of simply accepting that programming, we can work to change it.

First Cup of Coffee – March 28, 2022




transcript
00:00.00
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:14.42
jeffekennedy
Ah, excellent. Today is Monday March Twenty Eighth last week of March Twenty Twenty two um yeah I had a busy weekend. Um lot of different things mostly like non writing related. If you’re on video you will see I did some office rearranging. It may not be obvious to you mostly? it’ll look like that you have a wider perspective and that’s because I moved a printer cart that was on the far side of my desk. Over to underneath the window on that side the east window because I no longer need to have and it’s this has been the case for a long time I’m no longer limited by the cable on it. It’s a wireless printer which I seldom use anyway. And for some reason last week I started thinking about this more I wanted to be able to see out my window more and put the monitor against blank wall instead of having the monitor block the window. So this way I will be able to see the birds being merry. So as a result I am now farther away from this wall behind me so and you could see my bookshelves so that was something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Got that done this weekend. A lot of little things done like that and it was very beautiful weather especially yesterday and I got out into the garden and big news baby learned to use a chainsaw so one of the things that I have discovered about. Landscape here sort of landscape maintenance and the desert southwest when we moved into the house there had been landscaping done xeriscaping um xeri- not zero- I’ve seen people write it as zeroscaping which is just a level of I’m going to say ignorance that just amuses me I understand why people make the mistake and yet there’s a big difference between xeriscaping and zeroscaping.

02:45.36
jeffekennedy
And now I’m totally gonna have to fix that on the transcript anyway. So there are these yucca that are planted in clumps and so it turns out that yucca over time they sprout new greenery on around the edges. But the center of the clump can die off especially in severe drought like we’ve been having but I think it’s also a factor of age and some of this might have been like original landscaping from when the house was built you know and now we’re um, coming up on I think we passed 25 years anyway actually we’re coming up on 30 years yeah 30 years since the house was built I used to live in a a nineteen oh six house so I always think this is like a brand new house. So. This had been something that I’d been noticing for so the last couple of years was that we had these sort of dead clumps of yunk yucca in the middle with the greenery around the edges but they were kind of being smothered by the old stuff. And I thought okay I need to dig this out and I was talking about this with my friend Megan Mulry who I saw yesterday we we went to see the lost city I’ll talk about that. Ah actually all I could say about is he it was great. Was so great. But I was telling her about my my yucca travials and she was sympathizing because it’s like you know I’m using the big rake the heavy rake you know, sort of digging it in there and inking pulling and some of the dead stuff will come out but then there are these bowls these very deck. Trucks that are at the base of it. You know that are like I don’t know um I’m showing it with my hands I’m trying to think of how to describe that I mean we could just say like ten inches across and they’re surprisingly dance I commented to David that. When I’ve seen things about you know, like the native americans having woven stuff out of yucca if you’ve ever been to an exhibit that has shown that kind of thing where they show all the different stuff. You know the baskets and the you know tunics and all of this stuff that they’ve woven from yucca fibers and I’d always kind of wondered. How do they get that much now I know because it’s like these things are just compressed fibers and you could sort of draw out the fibers and everything I was kind of tempted to play with that and see um a reader I’m not going to. But if I were someone who did spinning and weaving.

05:34.14
jeffekennedy
It would be interesting to play with that stuff. So anyway I had tried like cutting some of it hacking at it now this is gonna work so I asked David to show me how to use the chains up. Yeah. And he helped me some he doesn’t quite have the physical strength or endurance really anymore to do a lot of that because it’s a lot of work even with the chainsaw I you guys my back is sortidated but shoulders are sore um I knocked off around two and went and took a shower because my allergies were also killing me where. Our junipers are just full of pollen and probably hear it my voice like a gust of wind will blow and you’ll just see this huge cloud of pollen flying out of it so I went and showered off all of the pollen and then just. Read for a little while while I before I went to meet me and for the movie but up to the movie. Ah, you know I stood up and I was like oh I stiffened up a little bit during that time. So I got it part of one clump I got at. Very worst clump. So I’m gonna sort of do this by increments. This is one of the things that I am learning to do is not to try to do everything all at once. So now I can get at some of these It’s just kind of it looks messy and unsightly I don’t know. If a lot of stuff I leave if I think it’s part of the natural progression of plants. So I leave stuff over the winter. That’s the other thing I did was I raked up a whole bunch of stuff from over the winter I cleaned out in the secret garden our first just in time for our first daffodil to bloom i. Clean that out Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning our death bill had popped open so crack open the window here. It was almost warm enough to sit outside this morning can move out to the secret garden soon. So I’ll put the. Brand new daffodil on the show notes and let’s see so the lost city lost city of d. It was fabulous but can I say it was fabulous. Um, it was. The exact right amount of homage to romancing the stone and with a blend of new invention. Um, the arc was fabulous character arcs ah.

08:23.85
jeffekennedy
I really loved I mean the the nods to romancing the stone were amazing and and like the very best moments from romancing the stone but then also Sandra Bullock has her character take. Agency in a way that Kathleen Turner’s character didn’t always have and that’s phenomenal and then um, Channing Tatum he’s just great I mean I don’t know that I’ve ever really been a huge fan of Channing Tatum but he um. He brought a a depth to a character that doesn’t have a whole lot of depth. He really just and he’s got this comedic sense. They really played off together. Well apparently they’d considered Ryan Reynolds for the role and I love me some Ryan Reynolds and I thought he was great with Sandra Bullock and the proposal I loved that movie too. But I don’t know Channing Tatum was perfect. Perfect for this role. Ah, he plays her fabo esque cover model. They make one fabio joke in there which was. Ah, good fabo joke as opposed to all the tired fabio jokes and and they they had some interesting things to say about romance and so you tune out if you don’t want any spoilers at all I won’t. Spoiler anything important but I’m going to tell you a little bit about the movie Sandra is obviously a writer and very smart and her she’s a linguist and historian and so she’s written these books about this character who’s an archaeologist. And she’s she’s in mourning because her husband died and she’s also conflicted I want to I don’t want to say completely bitter. She. She doesn’t want. She’s an introvert she doesn’t want to go leave her house. She doesn’t want to go out and do this book tour stuff you know coming up with a plot arrangement for her to be wearing a hot pink sparkly Jumpuit in the jungle is is fabulous I mean it’s just It’s great and for them to have it end up in shreds around her very shapely figure I was looking and Sandra Bullock is 2 years and one month older than I am and she she’s looks amazing I realize this is her job. But.

11:09.57
jeffekennedy
She looks amazing. So um I thought was very funny because when she goes out onto the stage where channing Tatum is also going to appear as her cover model for her books dash. Um, and. You know she doesn’t want to do it anyway and her editor or publicist says I think she’s our editor you know tells her not to use big words which I think is funny because I think I’ve mentioned here that my agent tess asked me not to use big words on occasion. So I mean there was some. There was a nice interplay there of of these things and Sandra Bullock says at 1 point how like her linguistic history books never sold and now she writes schlock and jenning tatham says something to her about that which is great because. He’s also you know obviously beautiful. There is an extended shot of his naked ass gonna tell you guys right? there and and it was it was fine fine with a capital maybe in all caps fine. I’m gonna have to fix that on the transcript too and he’s um, not a super smart guy. He’s not a super intellectual or educated guy and he gets stuff wrong and she corrects him on stuff. But he’s also this very nurturing caring person. Um, and you know they play it for comedic effect. But he’s also just kind of you begin to appreciate him. As along with Sandra as the movie goes on and at one point she says something pretty sharp to him about basically being a brainless model and. And he says something to her later about that you know like not knowing who he is and yes, what he has tried to do and it’s it’s this wonderful mirror of of her. You know that like he he tried to be a serious actor and. Couldn’t make it and but he could make it as this cover model and so that’s what that’s what he’s doing and and he says to her about not to call her book schlock because she you know he said you know talks about.

13:55.66
jeffekennedy
The enormous amount of pleasure that it brings to people and how meaningful it is so it’s just all really well handled. It’s um, the romance is handled in exactly the right way with a certain level of um. I what’s what are the words that I want with delight and affection and respect. But at the same time going in for for the full romance. So yeah. And there’s there’s a really wonderful epiphany at the end about about mourning and about what’s meaningful and yet it’s still funny. so so yeah enthusiastic thumbs up weld done Sandra Willock well done chenning day. Ah. Red Pitt is amazing. He’s in it for a surprisingly short amount of the movie. Ah, but it was great. So um, um, excuse me. So yeah, it was um, it was good weekend. It was productive and was while. Oh and I did something else I did tell during I was running a little behind for no good reason I slept a little long still getting used to that. Um, even though I went to bed plenty early. So also been watching Bridgerton this weekend I through 3 episodes of Bridgerton really loved how they handled in episode 3 the Anthony’s backstory and all of that at Aubrey Hall I thought they’re doing a great job in some ways. Almost better than the books showing his um trauma from watching his father die that is not a spoiler. We know that about Anthony um, and and the way that any hint of that sends him into a panic really well done. And I love love the cow playing Kate and I I like the um you know making Kate and eda be East Indian I think that is a nice um, folding in of diversity I’m I’m perfectly good with it and I think. Kate has just the right amount of self-protective rigidity for the character and dignity a lot of pride and dignity on Friday evening I went to a reception. Um.

16:45.58
jeffekennedy
That was put on by Ucross Foundation Ucrosss foundation does writers residencies and when I was a baby writer sometime back in the mid 90 s I did a residency at ucross for two weeks and I think I mentioned this on the podcast before um, just amazing, just incredible. Couple of weeks of my life. Ah pivotal for me as a writer I would say transformative and just in seeing myself as a writer. So the ucross board usually meets in Santa Fe because the founder. Who originally started the cross foundation raymond planck had a house here in Santa Fe before he died and I believe the board still meets here. They they fly in and they usually bring in some kind of guest. In this case, it was a poet M.L Smoker who I very much enjoyed meeting. She was lovely. And enjoyed her reading very much and they also invite like local fellows people who have been you crossfellowship recipients in the past. So you know free food open bar, interesting conversation with people. Um. It was funny though because I did talk with a few people. It’s a very arty crowd very artsy as you may imagine and when I mentioned they were asking me what I was up to now you know and I said oh well I was mainly writing fantasy novels and that I’m the current president. Science fiction and fantasy writers of America they were just all oh that’s nice, but I may be um, adding the lip curl there but um, yeah, totally not impressed. Not interested so speaking of genre. Related prejudices there. We go so the more things change right? Ah there’s a new director of the foundation and I should have chatted up with him more but you know like what does it matter I think that’s like maybe a thing we do when we. Imagine going to like reunions or to in some ways that was a reunion right? because like they knew me when I was a baby baby writer you know and hadn’t didn’t have my book yet and um, not. You know, just a few publication credits and was working on something totally different which is why they probably admitted me if I’d been working on genre fiction. They probably would not have given me the fellowship which is you know, interesting to contemplate but you always think you know you go back and say look look at all these.

19:34.60
jeffekennedy
Things that I’ve done and then they’re like totally not impressed. I was like okay well you know everybody’s got their um goal posts. You know like we’re all playing on different fields with different goal posts that. Meaningful to us and I think that’s what’s important is that the goalposts we’re shooting for are meaningful to ourselves if you are always aiming for the goalposts that are meaningful to other people I think you will not be happy. So on that note I’m going to go. Work on the storm princess and the Raven King I’ve been rereading the eras of magic books so far so reread the long night of the crystalline moon and I’m partway through the golden griffin and the bear prince which is good because I’m encountering details that i. Need to incorporate so that’s my project right? Now you all have a wonderful Monday hope it kicks off a fantastic week and I will talk to you all tomorrow take care bye bye.