First Cup of Coffee – March 22, 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 but I left the spoon in it’s a good thing that I noticed that. Before I sipped today is who knows Tuesday March Twenty second I could show you guys this little spoon for those of you on video. It’s um, make sure it’s the right way up. It wasn’t I think people used to collect these things. But anyway it says um Denver engraved. It’s a little like a little baby silver spoon I like it because I could do just a little dollop of cream I’m pretty sure it’s real silver and it’s got a um indian head. I would say native american head but this is clearly like fantasy indian somebody’s conception of the thematic ah ideal of Denver was this ah I don’t know. I mean it’s really kind of funny because if you could see him on video like there’s ah, an ear piercing and a necklace that looks considerably more maori than any native american who lived anywhere in the Colorado area. Definitely an artist’s fantasy. But then in the bowl of the spoon it says Denver and so I kind of like it. It’s it’s a nice little petite spoon I should probably sell it melt it down for silver just because it’s a little bit heinous with the fantasy indian chief on there but um. I like it I was some I think my grandmother’s might have been what if my great aunts. There were a lot of Maiden Aunts among the Kennedy family.

02:06.52
jeffekennedy
So um, today is a special day because I know something that I rarely know about my own podcast but today is episode 700 whoo ah, a little while back I was trying to figure out how many episodes I’d recorded and I believe Laura Darnell was very helpful with that and telling me exactly how many there were I got a little confused even though I do keep it on the spreadsheet of course um some of them were like 2 parters. Mostly through my own technological ineptitude. So but now I figure out a better way to keep track and I believe that today is officially 700 so kind of cool and and I even made a note to myself to remember it. And say something. Other people know like how many episodes they’ve had I do not well clearly I do know more precisely I should say that um, when I first started doing this lo these what five years ago honey how time flies. Um I started keeping track by seasons. Um, so I did um season one you know and and then where I started season 2 I started over so season 2 episode 1 whereas other people do it numerically which is probably wiser and I did not keep track of dates for that first season I had 80 episodes in that first season and I know I started like sometime around July. Probably look at it on buzz sprout. But do we care that much. So anyway I should probably like put the years on these that would be helpful so this is season 5 so we know it’s been five years and this is 2022 last time I check. I’m just gonna tap these in here right now. Sorry if this is boring.

04:26.31
jeffekennedy
Yeah, so season 1 was 2018

04:35.29
jeffekennedy
Pretty amazing. How so. I was just noticing I keep track of that on my goals spreadsheet because I have a spreadsheet for everything and as no say ah I have not updated these goals in a while. Um right. I have goals for 2019 2020 and then clearly I did not do it for 2021 and 2022 so I guess I must have moved on to other things but I should probably like. Revisit that and see which things I’ve already done and which things I need to do always good. Okay, there now. My spreadsheet’s a little bit neater for at least today I get to do. On the kingdom of thirst podcast today being interviewed on that so that’ll be fun and it’s um, cold and snowy morning here in Santa Fe more snow. It’s nice. So yesterday we got quite a bit of rain it rained whilst allll the day i. Did get my sweet pea seeds planted before the rain started so that’s that’s ideal that’s like the ah the gardener’s nirvana right is if you can get things planted right before a gentle soaking rain and the sweet pea seeds are great. That’s part of why you can plant them early because they can withstand the frost. So um, yes I saw again Laura Darnell who often comments on stuff was nice to hear from her she um, had not been familiar with sweet pease. How is this possible. Ah, you know like I said I follow I was talking about this yesterday anyway, you know I follow my grandmother again my grandmother with the anus indian spoon I follow her gardening advice. My mom often says that the green thumb skipped a generation that I have my grandmother’s. Gardening ability my grandmother beautiful garden but my grandmother would plant sweet peace seeds in Denver on St Patrick’s day and so I do the same or more or less st patrick’s day is the trigger and I don’t know she did it exactly on.

07:03.64
jeffekennedy
And soak the seeds and buttermilk overnight like she does. But boy you know all, but you know my even my mom complaining that she did not have ah a very good garden. She I always thought she had a great garden and my aunt. Um, they we always had sweet pe. And and my mom would cut the sweet piece and bring them inside and they are. They’re so fragrant. They’re beautiful and they’re fragrant and um, they bloom for most of the summer so so yes if you are not familiar with sweetpeas. Go get you some I’m Laura I hope that you will share some photos of yours. My mom can’t grow them in Tucson. It’s just way too hot as but you know in Laramie Wyoming they were great and I don’t know. Kansas City maybe they’ll do better in like the spring and the fall might get a little hot for them in the muggy part of summer since Kansas City really does that muggy part of summer. So um. Yesterday was good day. Got my um 2000 words we got the Jeep into the mechanic have to do a little bit of work on it but it should be certified for David David to drive it for lyft and uber today. And he already has a scheduled ride for tomorrow. Did you guys know that lyft is doing a real scheduled ride thing. Um, it’s it’s really pretty cool because you know how like on uber it offers you the scheduled ride option. But then it’s not. They don’t actually schedule a ride for you. They just like send out a call for a car at that time because uber is so freaking wedded to that algorithm they do not want to budge off the algorithm. So this is something that has cropped up in the last couple of months where lyft has asked. David sent him a message through the app and asked him if he would like to accept a scheduled ride for this address at this time on this date and he can opt in or not and then the first time we were like what is this? What is this strange creature and. It was someone in our neighborhood who needed a ride to the albuquerque airport. So the at once he confirmed we’re like okay try it. Why not once he confirmed then it said okay you know be online on the app like 15 minutes before this time.

09:52.81
jeffekennedy
And he did and then it directed him to the pickup and and he drove the person down to Albuquerque so it’s it’s a real kind of scheduling and it’s it’s great and he’s gotten one for like you got a request for like may fifteenth. Um, so. You can you can actually plan ahead and I think it’s just so smart of lyft to be doing that because it’s what we all want you know uber keeps trying to force us to bend to their their algorithm I think they think that they’re going to be Amazon and may and enslave us to the algorithm. But. What they don’t realize is that the reason that we become enslaved to the Amazon algorithm is because Amazon makes seems really really easy for the consumer. They give us exactly what we want in exactly the way we want it. Ah. And uber is not doing that they they want their algorithm to work and they want us to you know be and trained to it but something like that like actually being able to schedule a ride and have a car show up. And exactly the time you want it to show up. Um, uber doesn’t want to do that. So interesting. So sir David’s already got a ride scheduled for tomorrow so he’ll be back in action. We still don’t have word on the camera. Ah apparently Usaa was taking down to their. Approved storage facility in Albuquerque which is an hour away and this is new. This is new because we’ve had Usa a for a long time but you know they’ve gone public now and things are different. Things are changing which is unfortunate because I don’t I try not to resist change for resisting changes sake but some of these changes to sa a I feel like are not positive.

12:13.11
jeffekennedy
Then also it adds time so we shall um we shall see apparently whether or not the car is totaled is still in question I mean obviously it’s in question but different people have weighed in Darynda’s husband owns. Um. Body shop and he looked at the photo and said he doesn’t think the car is totaled so he said unless there’s damage. You can’t see which is possible. So so why she’ll find out and. Got my nails done yesterday I went with yellow mom isn’t that funny I was kind of thinking yellow anyway, my mom and I were talking about how we’re like into yellow all of a sudden I think this is like how fashion trends happen I always think of William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition. Predicting the trends before they become a trend is yellow. The next trend you heard it here first on first cup of coffee. So um, yeah, otherwise I’m I’m feeling like. And maybe I say this all the time my business to do list is very long at this point and some of it’s because I’ve broken things out into smaller tasks. Ah but like i. Need to upload the audiobook for bright familiar I have to register for a couple of conferences I still owe spreadsheets to someone because I was crunching her. You know like how she does her writing over the course of the year um I’ve got to set up a preorder of. Gotta put some books on ingram because I didn’t do it. Yeah, bright familiar and gray magic I didn’t put on inggram and I’m just gonna have to bite the bullet and do it um make a preorder list for a polyon I had to update a bunch of books and I need to reupload them I go. Ah, the faro gal gals a blog post for March and now we are March Twenty second I really got to get that done. So I’ve still got figure out a plus marketing I like I don’t know what is time who am I but. I don’t understand why I’m like not well I guess I do kind of understand why I’m not getting to all these things but it’s annoying me that I’m not getting to all these things I should look at my at those goals right? Um, which.

14:54.58
jeffekennedy
I Do have these different categories like revivifying the to do list minimizing the tasks that float for a long time god. That’s an ongoing thing so I won’t examine this list but maybe that was meant I need to um I need to figure out ways to get to some of this. Stuff that maybe you know maybe it’s partly being president of sfwa that like those hours that I would spend doing business-y things I’m spending a lot of that on SFWA things.

15:32.64
jeffekennedy
So um, what else because I wrote down those things to talk about. Maybe I don’t have much else to talk about. Yeah, maybe I don’t it’s interesting talking to people about conferences I’m sorry we’re not doing nebula conference in person. Ah the board felt very strongly that it was too much of a financial risk. I wanted to do it but I wasn’t gonna go against what the rest of the board wanted and it made things easier in a lot of ways. Ah but I was texting yesterday with Mary Robinette Kowal and. For for a funny. It was actually very funny because someone asked a question in the sifwa slack that had to do with last year’s conference like how long the panels were going to be up and because we’d kept the recorded panels up in the nebula airship. And somebody they asked how long are they going to stay up because they hadn’t finished watching all of them and I was like oh that’s a really good question even I do not know the answer but let me talk to the team and find out what everyone is thinking because I was a part of the events team last year and and. Then this text pops up for Mary Robinette and and she answers the question she says um, let’s see if I can find it here. Well she said we told. So she just texts me out of the blue and says we told panelists that we would leave nebula panels up for 1 year and I was like and I said god is that you and she said verily it was I and it turned out that she. Had notifications set on that channel and so it had she didn’t even remember she had had it because I know she doesn’t monitor slack closely and so she’d gotten a notification on it and answered the question for me and it was just it was just a funny thing. You know like. It goes in here and comes out there. So then we text it back and forth for a little bit and I was catching her up on just she’s very good about checking in with me on whether or not I’m being aggravated by being president and then she asks me for background stuff on some of the.

18:16.39
jeffekennedy
Ah, stuff that we’re dealing with and it’s um, it’s very kind of her. It’s very supportive of her. We one of the things that we have in so well which is a semi-official role is the role of past president and the past president I mean we have lots of past presidents. But we have. Usually each president designates 1 person to be their past president advisor and she is that for me and she’s good about checking in with me and just like doing the are you taking care of yourself thing because 1 thing about having been president before is you know that some of it can be aggravating and stressful. So at any rate I said well um, you know if we get to see each other in person again. We can do a a long drinking binge and I think it’s gonna be I told her I think I think I’m gonna go to chicon at the end of August. Um, world con in Chicago but I think that’s the next time so but at least there will be that time so that’s one of the things I have to do is register for that conference and I’m gonna register for world fantasy convention which is in New Orleans and November so I’m committing. And committing to things du but Don it’s exciting all right I’m going to go and get going on my things I’m gonna try to get some of this shit off of my to do list but this is my resolve wish me luck. And I will talk to you all on Thursday you all take him bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – March 8, 2022




Transcript
00:00.60
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:16.40
jeffekennedy
It’s not bad I’m going off lattes again I decided that I was disrupting the sixteen eight fasting alas and sharp viewers will notice I did not yet fix my chimes that came apart in my hands yesterday. Ah, get to that. So today is Tuesday March Eighth snowy day here in Santa Fe revving a very snowy spring which is great. That’s great. Lots of snow on the mountains which boats well for. Water reserves come summer. So yeah, it’s supposed to be snowy all week and it’s very pretty very picturesque. Good cozy day to be inside to write. Um I am delighted to report that I got writing done yesterday. Woo. I got my 3000 words I got it got them even in a reasonable amount of time. Um, 2 hours two and a half hours basically get my 2000 words 3041 um, 3 hours and a three and a half hours total elapse time ah put a relief. So um, yeah I apparently just needed the rest. So yeah. Um, you know cross fingers knock on wood. But um, it flowed reasonably well yesterday. So hopefully I can get keep getting back into the groove the groove as it were.

02:14.67
jeffekennedy
I am a little sleepy this morning though. Well but I’m still on my first cup of coffee. So um, so yeah, yesterday was productive that way. Um, and then it kind of got away from me. But whatever, somebody asked me 1 of the many emails I sent out on Sunday and reply to people 1 person asked me how inbox 0 had gone and I said inbox 0 achieved the problem with inbox 0 is that it does not last and. When I looked on yesterday afternoon I was like back up to 46 emails fortunately, a whole lot of them were people see seeing me on things and so I did not need to um, did not need to worry about them other than to file them. I file all my emails so yesterday um I did stop into a couple of the chats and checked in with people and stuff and so hi lizette and Stephanie. Asked me a question about because I shared some of my progress counts spreadsheets which you guys know are scary. Um, and I shared my gamp charts that I used to plan releases I used to use the gant charts I didn’t have a lot of time to explain because I did need to run out but i. Used to use the gantt charts to plan more of my drafting and revising I used to have them all plotted out on that. Um, for for those who don’t know a Gantt chart is basically it’s one those ones with the horizontal bars and it just shows you. Timelines of stuff now it shows where things are overlapping so when I first started making gantt charts I did make them for like drafting revising overlapping stuff of I used to have in. And want to say a more intense schedule but that’s probably not true. Um, it was a different kind of intensity look of the little wayward curl sticking up there because I had a lot of traad books going on at the same time. And I was for a little while there I was working with 3 different publishers and so stuff would come in from them that was you know they all like would want their one week turnaround or two month turnaround or you know what have you and so I would have to.

05:05.36
jeffekennedy
Stop working on what I was doing and switch over to the thing that had the most pressing deadline. Whatever just come in the nice thing about doing largely self publishing at this point and right now I’m out of contract and. But agent’s trying to fix that but you know I kind of like know she’s like I know you want to be back under your contract I’m like do I though know that I really do um there. There’s good and bad. There are things that are great about tried publishing. Getting a whole trunk of money up front is good having a team working with you is good, um, having other people worry about stuff like covers and the back cover copy and all of that stuff. That’s good. Um, but I definitely ah have a much more even paced life when I am primarily self- publishing because I I decide what I’m working on at any given time. They don’t have to be pulled into anybody else’s timeline or schedule. So anyway and I do use gantt charts to plan out releases to get a sense of how regularly my book releases are coming out and I have instead gone to mapping out. By day. Um I only showed you guys this really small part of my spreadsheets because I have this enormous excel workbook in which I plot out pretty much my entire life and what I’m doing at any given time. But this is not what you asked me what they asked me was and I wrote down your questions so I would know is how do you deal with having multiple series at once and the concern was is that. If they start a second series and they’re already feeling overwhelmed which is a thing and scared that they’ll enjoy another one so much more that they’ll forget about the other and then never finish any of the series. So how do you do all of this. Because I do show on my spreadsheet that I showed them a piece of all of the different series and books that I have working on and I have them in different groupings right? So um, you know like.

07:44.80
jeffekennedy
I have in my court in someone else’s court in the pipeline which needs doing on submission planned tabled potential. Um, there may not be a lot of difference between planned and potential. But. I also have one that’s interstitial. Oh I know what that was and that’s kind of gone away I think I’m I’m not doing the interstitial stuff. It was like that was like projects I was trying to work on like intermittently between other projects and that did not work for me I’m I’ll tell you what. I don’t know if it counts as a secret is this a bug or a feature. We don’t know. Um I I work on 1 thing at a time I and I do really well at that. That’s why I think it kind of counts as a feature. Ah 1 thing about me is that I’m good at concentrating and i. Do best if I concentrate on 1 thing and just work on that 1 thing and keep the whole book in my mind and that’s one way when people ask me how I’m able to write books as quickly as I do I think that’s 1 reason because I just work on that I don’t piddle around. Like I used to have this friend who used to like watch movies while she was writing and stuff and I was like how can you do that I can’t even listen to music while I’m writing I want it silent but that’s because for me bug or feature i. Don’t like any kind of destruction I want to immerse fully in that one book. So I would say that’s one trick to balancing multiple series is that whichever book you are working on you just think about that book. You don’t think about anything else you don’t think about the other series. So I did do this layering last year of releasing the bonds of magic books and the errors of magic books unrelated except that they’re both of magic that was a mistake. Um. Um, the only one who ever mentions it though I should probably stop mentioning you so I would release one book and then work on the next and I I interwove those 2 series the releases for them. Um, and I feel like it worked pretty well. I used to I think part of this is because I started out doing it this way because as I mentioned I was working for like 3 different publishers at the same time I was writing contemporary erotic romance and epic fantasy romance at the same time.

10:30.61
jeffekennedy
And 1 thing I discovered was that switching between the 2 worked really well is kind of a palette cleanser for my brain. So I would finish a big epic fantasy romance and then I would write an erotic contemporary romance which yes felt very different to write. And and I think I’m trying to figure out how to phrase this for me the contemporary romances the erotic romances always felt much easier to write part of that’s because I like writing sex scenes. Um. I think they’re also in some way simpler now arguably I’m not as good at this because those books have never sold as well. So it could be that I like am not putting the effort into them that I could be I always wonder that’s like oh maybe I should be writing them differently that they you know that they feel easy. Maybe I’m not working hard enough to be I’ve written one in a long time. So now. It’s hard to say so um I just thought of something hold on. Okay, sorry about that I am going to. Try to get rights for reversion on some of those old books and I was just thinking about something I needed to remember to do along those lines. Yeah I was gonna start talking about that. But I won’t because I’m gonna stay on topic for Lisa to and Stephanie. See how devoted I am so multiple series. Um, so I think that’s one way to look at it and I think even still even though both bonds and bonds of magic and errors of magic are epic fantasy romances. There’s. Enough difference between the world that it does work in a way to finish one obviously take my breather since I clearly needed a little bit of time to decompress and refill the well and then start in on the. Book in another series because it’s it does work. Well so one thing Deronda Jones and I talk about a whole lot is that we we have this this dream I dreamed a dream of. Writing an entire series like a trilogy probably we wouldn’t try to do more than a trilogy to write all 3 books at once one after the other um, revise them all at once be able to go back and tweak book one to match. Whatever.

13:18.64
jeffekennedy
Book 3 ends up being and not have that the breakup of time in there. The main reason we don’t do that. Actually the only reason we don’t do that is money because you really have to be swimming pretty well. A good income to take that long off between releases right? Whether it’s for your traditional publisher or self-p publishing but that’s the that’s the ideal is to be able to do it that way and then I wonder. Would we really like it. We’ve never gotten to do that. So maybe it wouldn’t work so now focusing back on on the question scared that you’ll enjoy one so much more than you’ll forget about the other this is a thing it really is um. And I think it’s inevitable also regardless of enjoying one more than the other like I really enjoy the airs of magic books I have a lot of fun writing them It’s it’s fun getting back into writing this one I’m also glad it’s the last one because this series hasn’t sold as well. As bonds of magic by like like 20% of sales for errors of magic compared to bonds of magic I mean it’s it’s remarkable the difference and that was something that. Megan Sienna Deutsche and I were talking about because I did ask her I’m like is did I do something weird on these books. Another friend of mine told me that she thought maybe the titles weren’t right and she’s not someone who self-publishes and she doesn’t know a lot about bookmark and she only tre publishes and then it’s more on the artistic. Literature is hard and she’s like well maybe the titles don’t convey enough tension because it implies the two are equal so like right now I’m writing the storm princess on the Raven King you know she’s like maybe it needs to imply more conflict I’m like I don’t think that’s it. But I’m got a second opinion for Megan. And she had some good suggestions for just how I can set up the you know marketing the complete series there. There is a very distinct arc and errors of magic that is set up from the very beginning daddy is um, it’s not going to be. Finished being told until the end and there are readers who will wait until they know that’s going to end because they know we do this you guys they know that we start a series and then we get bored and we go running after the new shiny plot bunny which is a mixed metaphor but who cares and that we may not finish it.

15:59.70
jeffekennedy
So 1 thing that happened to me is sorcess moons. My six book series which I am is going into audio now and I am putting new covers on I have a new cover felon and swo and I’m waiting on the rest. Should probably start rereleasing these soon but I don’t have all the new covers and I’ve been going back and forth should I like just start releasing book one and then release the books as I get the covers or should I wait till I have all 6 feel free to weigh in. So. What happened with sorceers Moons was I originally thought it was gonna be a trilogy. It wasn’t I always do this. My series are longer than I think they’ll be I also this was the first series that I selfpublished from the very beginning and so I didn’t entirely. Plan out what I was doing I didn’t have I wasn’t working with a tread editor who was sort of guiding my steps on it I didn’t have a contract where I had like book 1 2 3 so that you know that I I ran wild with that freedom. So I ended up writing the first 4 books and then. A traditional publishing contract got in the way I got I sold 2 3 book deals at the same time rebel base and st martins and I ended up putting off writing those books 5 and 6 for a fucking year. You guys an entire year. Before I got back to writing book five and it was a problem and I confess freely that if I did not have a lot of readers saying when are you finishing this series I probably would not have so. That is a consideration. Um, if you don’t have the readers clamoring for you to finish the series then you might not do it. Another example cautionary tale as these contemporary romances that I wrote missed connections. Really love those books last dance with the prince since last christmas and it’s about 5 girls living together after college young women. And yeah I totally planned on books four and five in that series and those books if not sold well and. Every once a while somebody will ask me now. It’s been long enough that like nobody asks me anymore. But every once while someone would ask me saying are you gonna write books 4 and 5 in this and I only recently earn out these are self- publishled too I only recently earned out my investment on those books.

18:51.54
jeffekennedy
So at least now I’m making money on this series. Ah not much but so I’ve like 0 incentive to finish it and I don’t sell well in contemporary romance. So I don’t know well ever finish it. Maybe not so the reader pressure helps. It was really really hard for me to go back and finish books 5 and 6 of sorceress moons not only getting my head back in the world but I had written so many books in that interim that I had changed as a writer and so how I approached the story. And how I thought about it characterization world building everything I’d I kind of moved past what I was doing in that series. So I would say be very wary of taking a long break between books in a series because. The odds that you will not come back to It are very high. Yeah and so Stephanie said what if I can’t make my brain behave and I mean some of that’s the writing habit some of that’s being ritualized and I think that having my schedules and my charts and so forth. Make a difference there because like I’ve known that storm princess and the Raven King was coming next for a long time I had that set up with my cover artist. The covers already. Um, put on the show notes today because I haven’t shared that widely yet because I got the cover right? as gray magic was coming out and it was It’s hard to promo a couple of things at once and I’m trying to get better at staggering my my promo. So. I don’t know does that answer the question gals. Um I think really having a schedule. That’s why I love excel you know I’ve got my dates figured I know releases. Um, it’s not something you can control but having people. Really wanting that next book makes a difference I would say with series keep them short. You know plan short series to begin with until you know you can commit to longer ones ah like with bonds of magic I was really planning to do 3 but then that world is so big that by the time I was writing book two and people were loving it so much that I realized I needed to expand that and keep it going and and I’m loving it so much so all right? So those are thoughts ask me more questions. Sorry i.

21:37.68
jeffekennedy
Be on typing all this out but it was much easier to talk it out. So um, hope you all have a fabulous Tuesday and a fabulous Wednesday too because I will be back to talk to you all on Thursday morning take care bye bye.