The ROGUE FAMILIAR audiobook is out now! I'm talking about Jacqueline Carey's CASSIEL'S SERVANT, how it compares to KUSHIEL'S DART, and on making choices about where to begin a story.
ROGUE FAMILIAR out now! https://jeffekennedy.com/rogue-familiar The Audiobook is also out here https://www.audible.com/pd/Rogue-Familiar-Audiobook/B0CB1Y9B7Q?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-357495&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_357495_rh_us
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Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I'm here with my first cup of coffee.
Ah, paradise Today is ah it's Monday isn't that July tenth. Um, yeah, so here we are into lie right? I hope you all are doing well I have exciting notes. Ah. That I should have mentioned Friday and forgot ah but the Rogue Familiar audiobook is live and out in the wild roker. Um, it is on audible for the time being which I know I know um, but audible. You know we'll do that deal if you give them the first three months exclusive they give you a much higher royalty rate and it's worth it to help recoup my money. My audiobook narrator the delightful Deborah Baulm asked me if I would be interested in doing like a series of interviews with her. So. That could be upcoming that would be really fun. So yes, um I will have the link in the show notes or you can go to my website look at Rogue Familiar and yeah, audible link there. Um, and if you are an audiobook. Reviewer out there or want to be I do have some free download codes so contact me you can comment on the podcast or you can write to the website contact form. My assistant gets those and.
Her name is Carien C A R I E N Carien and tell her that you would like to review she is um she is my no Dragon. So Just so you know she will want to know like where you review or where you post. But if you do that. Would love that if you would do so.
Ah, so ah, yeah, great to have that done. You know it's interesting when you self- publish books that you know it's this multi-stage process and it feels like getting the audio book out there for me is like the last stage other incredibly. Well-organed authors like I don't know Jennifer Estep she and I have totally different ways of working. Um, but she makes sure that her audiobook is ready to go on release date for the rest so she is um, a good kitty but she also like. Finishers her books way way ahead of release date and it drives her crazy that I'm like finishing a book that I intend to release in a couple of weeks so um that's true. Friendship isn't it where you drive each other crazy.
Ah, doing well on ONEIRA still coming along how I don't have my numbers who dare we pause? let's try. Well not a lot of change since Friday if you listened on Friday. Ah. Because I don't write on the weekend. So. There's not a lot of change from Friday to Monday I passed 71000 words if all goes well if all goes really really well I'll be done with the draft this week ah I did not have a brilliant day on. Friday if you didn't listen to the podcast on Friday on Wednesday I got my second shingles vaccine which completely knocked me out for Thursday and I've talked to a couple other people and they are like oh yeah, it kills you for the entire day so be warned. Um.
And then Friday I was better but I was slow I was back to doing my slow hours. So it is what it is I still got decent progress on Friday and I just accepted it for what it was and then I'm hoping to get. 3 k today and then this afternoon I fly to Tucson to go help my mom out and so we'll see I'm really hoping to get some words in while I'm there but to to finish this actually. Is it doable even if I got three k per day. Um.
Oh let's see here. Let's do a little bit of calculating because that would be 15000. It would be right close because I'm guessing that this book is gonna be about 87000 words so we'll see oh I'll get it up there. It could be I can get it up to sketch in the ending. So then I can revise while we're road tripping. Um, it's kind of funny because I didn't turn on my computer the entire weekend I didn't plan it that way but it worked out that way. Ah. And it was great. Aggressively filling the well right? I love how people are picking up on this aggressively filling the well on Saturday morning I went to empowered flow yoga with my favorite yoga teacher who is finally back. She was dealing with cancer. And had to go through chemotherapy and then it was a long time before she could do in-person classes again and I hate doing zoom yoga I just yeah I don't like doing it through the screen and so you know she was oblivious to my needs clearly but it was so nice. See her and she was so happy to see me and we hugged and it was a fabulous class and yeah, so it was great and now my friend me and may go with me next Saturday so I'm excited about that because I come back on friday.
Ah, yeah, so so then I came back from yoga I went ransome errands while I was in the city while I was in town ran errands and so forth and came back and did some tours around the house and I got all. Um. 1 of the things I wanted to do and if you're on video you can see the crab Apple tree behind me I posted photos to social media too but doesn't it look beautiful that looks beautiful so much space within the branches. Well this is because there had been one branch that I've been noticing as I sit here in my grape arbor. Reading noticing that the that there was a dead branch and I thought ah I should go clear out this dead branch. So I got out of the branch cutter tool and discovered I needed a sauce I went back I got a saw I it was one of those jobs where I ended up with like 4 different tools by the time I was done. But once I got up in there and started clearing out like the 1 dead branch I started seeing that there were more and more and more so if there's got to be a name for jobs like that right? you know like where they you know? changing 1 thing reveals the more things that need to be done. So I ended up spending a couple of hours and scratched the hell out of myself. Those branches were so dry and prickly but it was so rewarding it looks so great. So by the time I finished doing that. Ah I was.
Like I'm gonna rework myself and I was hungry and so I we ordered pizza and I had some beer and sat in the grape arbor and from like three o'clock on I just ended up sitting in the grape arbor and reading. And all that time I kept thinking oh well I could turn on the computer to do x y z I also did some other gardening things and I thought oh why turn it on I'm not gonna turn it on I can turn it on tomorrow so then on Sunday yesterday we went to abacu we went fishing. We had kind of a delayed start and. Never turned on my computer because I thought we were gonna go and so I was reading and waiting for everyone to be ready to go and then everyone being my husband and so then we kind of left late and. Oh. It was a funny date because we had this delayed departure because part of it was because the cat wouldn't come in That's why I say everyone we couldn't find the one cap as a way to wait until we found him mosquitos ah, so then when we get up to. Espaniola which is sort of a town not sort of it is a town to the north of Santa Fe and you go through Espaniola to get to Abiquiu and there is I mean it's like there is only 1 true path. There is one highway that goes through there unless you go down and.
And really go around. But anyway when we were in town. It turned out it was like espanola days and they were having the big carnival and a parade a parade where did they decide to have this parade. Yes, that's right on the one highway. That you can take to go north and south through espaniola if you're familiar. That's the road they had it on that it closed off for this incredibly long parade for a town that size and so I kept trying to wend my way around to the side streets thinking surely. I can get around to the top and the last side street that was like at the top of you know that? um, that being articulate describing this. Do you know what? I mean like otherwise there's like Hills and wilderness right? No roads. And so the last road to get up to the highway and they had the parade like just sort of looping down through there. So there was literally no way unless we had gone way back down and up and around and it was like now I'll just be patient I mean my facsimile of patience and I will sit there and I will watch. So we kind of watched the parade which I probably should have been more cheerful about watching but um, anyway, so we got up to Abiquiu it was great. A nice stay at the lake got to set my floaty chair reading my book I keep referring to this book I'm reading and I'm going to talk about it. Um.
Eventually? Ah, so so yeah and then we came back and I took care of a few things that I needed to do still at the house and then I was like I'm just gonna have a cold beer and yeah, that was that was kind of it for our evening. So I ended up never turning my computer on hopefully I won't regret that choice. Hopefully nobody was really looking for me. Although if people really need to find me they know how? um so the book I'm reading CASSIEL'S SERVANT. By Jacqueline Carey if you are a Jacqueline Carey fan then you have been waiting for this book like I have been waiting for this book for years ever since she announced she was doing this ah some background Jacqueline Carey wrote the book Kushiel's Dart that came out in I think the early 90 s I could find out the exact date but I won't pause to do it. Ah, she wrote that trilogy. Um Kushiel's Dart Kushiel's Chosen Kushiel's Avatar and then followed it up with the next generation with the trilogy that are Imriel's books. She's written some other books in that world but that original trilogy is um, you know it's cannon. It is.
Bedrock for a lot of people. It was a gateway drug for many people I have love love love that book I have read it twice I mean 2 and a three quarters times I mean I've you know what? I mean all the way through twice. Um. And it's these are long, long books too. So like outlander long if you've read Gabaldon which I I don't know she might be slightly more famous, probably more famous because of the show. Anyway. So what Jacqueline Carey decided to do is the same thing that some other authors have been doing recently and I have talked about on this podcast where she so Kushiel's Dart is written from the heroine's first person point of view Phedre and in the book. There is the hero is Joscelin Verruil who is a priest of Cassiel thus Cassiel's servant he is the perfect companion. He has essentially a paladin and he is the one who is oath-sworn to protect Phedre who is a courtesan and spy and so what she's I to do is she's essentially written the exact story of Kushiel's Dart but from Joscelin's point of view and I think.
I was not alone and when she announced she was oh excuse me see I got so excited I was like oh hell yes yes I want Joscelin's story and I am ah devouring this book I'm more than halfway through I started at Friday and I am more than halfway through the. Yeah, 500 pages in trade paper but paperback size and it's very interesting because and you may have heard me talk about it on this podcast that you know as times change. Oh gonna sneeze and as sneezes cub right? who.
That might not be the only one there we go Thank you I know I I know all of you say bless you out there? ah or your version of it. So.
And sneezes made me lose my train of thought oh so 1 thing about Kushiel's Dart that it has been low these thirty years since it came out and reading tastes change and I've talked about this a lot when I talk about beginnings. Ah. Especially if you are someone who say began reading life you know loving a book like Kushiel's Dart and thinking I want to write a book like this and then you write a book like this and people will tell you you can't start here. You can't start a book this way and you're like but look Kushiel's Dart did it and it's. Ah, bestselling book and changed a generation and all of this It's like yeah, but no ah because things change and 1 marker of this is that when modern readers try to read Kushiel's Dart which often happens because it's widely recommended.
We'll bounce off of it and they will say I tried reading this book and nothing happened and I kept reading and reading and nothing happened and that's part of what prompted my recent full reread was to find the page where you should begin. Oh. I think shall I risk pausing I really feel like I need to be able to tell you exactly which page all right. We'll try it hold on so far. So good. Okay, so here's Kushiel's Dart and you could see how thick it is if you are on video. This is a mass market paperback. And it's 912 pages and if you're on video you will see I have a little pink sticky note in here because I went and I figured out where the story actually begins according to current sensibilities and it is chapter 27 page 250 and what I've taken to doing for people who bounce off ah from trying to read these first two hundred and fifty pages of backstory is I tell them begin at chapter 27 on page 250 now purists and I know you're out there and I know you're going to comment and feel free to comment I know that there's a lot of great stuff in those first 250 pages I have read them more than once and I absolutely agree I love those first two hundred and fifty pages there's a whole lot of world building.
There's a lot of important ah parts of Phedre's character development. What makes her into the person she is ah and it is backstory. It is the story begins I will argue and I can make a good argument for it on. Chapter 27 the book begins when Phedre is about I'm not sure if it even begins when she's ten years old I think she's younger than that when it begins she begins her training as. Ah, cortesan at at 10 so and I also brought out here's Cassiel's Servant so that great cover. There's Joscelin on the cover. Um, and this is trade paperback and it is 500 and 20 pages 515 pages in the big trade paper back size and I'm more than halfway page three zero seven. so and I'm very much enjoying it but I was really interested to see where she decided to begin. Jocelyn's story and I knew that she wanted to do the parallel. Ah you know, but when we have Joscelin's point of view. We also got his life and it she did decide to begin it with him being.
10 years old and I thought would I have made that same choice and I'm not sure I would have obviously Jacqueline Carey is an amazing author and I worship her but I can't help thinking about these things right? um.
It's really interesting reading about his training and all of that. But in both cases, the story really kicks in when the 2 of them meet ah and that's just the nature of the story and I feel like sometimes. Writers who are primarily you know like Jacqueline Carey is more of a fantasy writer. I don't know if she would cop to writing romance at all. Never talk to her about that. But these this book these books really are about an epic love affair and it's kind of. They are opposites right? She is a courtesan she is trained in the arts of love and he is a celibate priest warrior priest and so you know it's one of those things where once they. Begin their love affair. You know everybody's like oh well, you know the gods are having a joke with you because they're like the 2 people who should never be together and it's part of what makes their relationship. Awesome um, and I'm not sure if um, I'm i'm. I'm loving the book I will not yeah absolutely loving the book gobbling it up I am not sure that she has made Joscelin into as vivid a character as Phedre maybe it's not possible. Phedre is larger than life. She will.
Go down in literary history as one of the great heroines of all time but Joscelin's not as vivid to me as even imreel in the subsequent books. Ah I think that maybe it was difficult for her and this is just me analyzing as another writer. I think it was difficult for her to find the person inside of the archetype for Joscelin. Um I would have liked it more if she I would have liked it if she had leaned more into his conflicted sexuality.
And I know I've seen from various interviews with her or um and like I said I've never met her as much as I would like to ah that she has made these comments about how these books because one of the things about Phedre is that she is what's called an anguiseette.
That she takes pleasure from pain right? She's basically a sexual submissive and ah um, excuse me I get choked up thinking about it. Ah, that's part of what makes her. So effective as a character through the books is that people underestimate her all the time because she is this sexual submissive. It makes her the perfect spy and she's also an incredibly strong human being like she ends up being the strongest and bravest. Human being capable of facing the most horrific things. Um, and there's a ah line that emerges in the series that which yields is not weak I think I got that right? So anyway. Ah. There is a whole lot that makes Phaedra's character arc fascinating is that um people regard her as being a plaything you know she gets hired out by rich people to be their sexual plaything and.
And she's but she has this indomitable spirit and and she's you know like was sold by her parents when she was very young. She lost the man who adopted her she she has this incredible arc. In fact I really feel like in this trilogy by the third book. The her arc is. Is astounding I just think it's so brilliantly done. Um, so I kind of wonder if Jacqueline Carey did not want to lean into that on Joscelin because she didn't want to get into that sexuality as much. Um, oh and that's why I started to say before is that she has made these remarks about that. It just figures that her books that are about essentially you know fetishism kinky sex that those are the ones that have sold the best I don't think it's because of the sex I think it's because. Phedre is such an amazing character and it's such an incredibly well done world with the mythology I think Joscelin should be much more conflicted about celibacy. She kind of put it in there I think it needs more meat as it were. That's for you Kat if you're listening I'm going to start using that I hope you don't mind um more meat on that that that sense of his sexuality and longing falling in love with Phedre. So um.
And I don't know I I was I started out talking about this and I've gone long today about you know, choosing where to start? Um, maybe you know choosing to start with him being ten years old is the obvious parallel. And I could see if you're making the mirror book that that's where you start? Um, it is a hundred and I mean it's a long book and where I'm for a long book. So maybe that's fine. Um, it is page to to do.
Ah, hundred and fifteen chapter 16 when he meets Phedre. So I mean she did bring it up by by half right? But I'm not sure that that training gives us everything we need for a story. Um, but all that said loving the book. You could see I like if you're on video that I like got it lake water on it and stuff but this isn't this is an arc I meant to say that at the outset this is an uncorrected proof advance reading copy that i. Have not a whole lot of power in the world. But I do have a tiny bit of power and I used that tiny bit of power to wrgo myself and arc because I did not want to wait for the release date. So ah, but yes, we're all excited for this book I should have told you that there are spoilers. Ah, put that in the the blur be thing. Um and they're not big spoilers. So right? after all, it's a book that's been written before how many spoilers can there be all right? Um I am off to get some work done. Ah. I don't know if I'll podcast on Friday I'll try to and I will talk to you all? Well maybe Friday if not Friday Monday and a blog on Wednesday you all take care bye bye.