Great week for me! Talking about being up front with my new editor on how I *can't* write an outline, a bit about knife-throwing and learning to relish failure as much as success, and the monsoon rains of autumn.
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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.
Delicious, kind of a chilly morning here in Santa Fe oh and I should start with today is say it with me. It is Friday woo September Fifteenth and yeah, um, crisp. We have finally started getting the monsoon rains um very late in this season now I've got Killian out here with me and he's thinking about going over the wall see being good. No, he's coming back. What a good boy.
We'll see if he behaves he's been um, interdited from the secret garden for a few days because he started going over the wall which is not allowed for a young cat like him. Ah yeah, so so we've finally been getting rain after. Months of almost nothing. It's just been delightful. We got an inch at our house from ah like two days worth we got more rain last night at the garden. So happy and flourishing and I'm so pleased with myself I am I feel like not an attentive gardener I love gardening but I'm not someone who is like constantly at it and doing all of the right things like all of this oil amendment things that I should be doing ah but. On Monday afternoon before these rains started in I did so manage to scatter fertilizer all over the garden which was perfect timy because you don't want to put out fertilizer when it's hot and dry right? because it'll burn the plants. So right before this drenching rain was perfect timing and I I never have perfect timing so lately. Ah, my timing is good I feel like I am I am one with the Tao and in ah in a rewarding way. 1 can be 1 with the dow and ah in a non-rewarding way. It's.
Sort of the knife throwing analogy right? I've talked about that before for those who haven't heard me talk about it the the short version is is that with knife throwing you learn to be as excited about missing the target as hitting the target because. It's all about the process. It's about the journey. It's about attempting to do the thing and it's a great lesson in what failure means the proportionality of failure. The the negative connotation that we assign to the concept of failure. Ah, not sticking the knife in the target simply means you didn't stick the knife on the target and it attempting to have this same feeling of thrill is when you do stick the knife in the Target is an interesting exercise. Ah. Helps to kind of subvert that programming that somehow not doing the thing you set out to do is negative is something to be upset about as opposed to something to celebrate because you tried to do the thing right. so um so anyway yeah I was very pleased with myself. The garden just loves all the rain now I'm kind of wondering oh I see where he went I know it's distracting when I have the cat out here with me.
Apologies for that. So um, so yeah, rain um, and it's cooled down a lot so we definitely have an autumnal feel. Oh I was going to say about the Monsoon rains. Um, you know Monsoon refers to a season. And specifically it refers to the weather phenomenon where the dew point the temperature at which moisture spontaneously forms from the atmosphere when the dew point reaches the temperature and so you can actually look at this on the. The weather graphs if you set them up correctly that you can see the dew point coming up and hitting that temperature like in midafternoon the 2 coincide there's Killian behind me if you're on video showing his speed showing how fast he can race around. But a good t be good. Well he started to go for the wall and I stopped him so that's good. Um, yes, so it's been a good week for me going back and forth with my agent and my new editor. We'll make a formal announcement about the book deal. It sounds like in a couple of weeks so I'm sorry to be a little cagey still until then I'm more forthcoming than many people are at this stage so I don't know.
Happy with the information you've gotten. Um I've also been so it's been fun. Um, we've been talking about next steps we've been talking about book 2
It was kind of funny because my new editor. Ah all right? Those of you astute listeners out. There may have guessed that that sound of frustration was in fact Killian. Going over the wall I had to go chase him down now he's in disgrace again. Oh so anyway, so my editor was asking about book two because it's a book 2 deal or strike that reverse it a 2 book deal and. I think I mentioned this Monday but whatever. Ah, she had originally said that she didn't necessarily want book 2 to be a strict follow on to book one that we could talk about that if I wanted it to be that way but very interestingly she said that. If you do that if the book 2 is a direct sequel to book one then you tie the success of book 2 to book one and I find that interesting because we've been having a lot of conversations about whether traditional publishers want series or not. Clearly readers want series that's big in indie publishing ah having direct follow-ons I very often in my books have the sequel pickup immediately after the ah previous book ended.
I Don't like time jumps in general. But yeah, there has been this feel of ah and it's sort of an enduring conversation. It's like can you sell a standalone book. Ah do publishers. Prefer sequels or or series or do they actually shy away from them and I think that's very interesting that there's I love that my editor expressed such a strong feeling that that she wants book 2 to be as successful as book. One. Um.
That she wants that as much as she loves book one as it and is investing in it that she also has high hopes for book 2 which I feel like doesn't always happen. Um and it could be an experience thing. This editor is highly placed.
So she's the most highly placed editor of well that's not true. I was good because I worked with Angela James at Carina Press and she was editorial director at the time but this is a big 5 so probably fair to say she's the most highly placed editor I've worked with. And so she might have a little bit more of ah of a strategy. Ah but something that happens especially like when books get orphaned and that sort of thing by various. Um, what happens in various places.
It happens to various authors that um, ah, especially a younger, maybe less experienced editor will buy a book be enthusiastic about it but then lose enthusiasm over time, especially if like the book doesn't sell as well. So they thought it would. Or if something new shiny pops up. Ah so it's nice to know that there's this investment in having the second book do as well as the first or Better. Um.
So but it was kind of funny because she said she was talking about you know like plans for what we would do going forward getting me notes on book one and when we turn that around we're looking at June Twenty Twenty Five release date and she wants to start talking about book two so that we can have the check a book come out. You know within? ah. You know, like she said so we can get on an annual basis would be nice if they wanted 1 book a year from me cross her fingers for that. So a lot of that will depend of course on how these books do but amusingly something she said in this email was um. We could start talking pitches for ideas of book 2 as I'm thinking of them and then start putting together ideas for an outline and I was like oh oh that's where we go won woa that's like oh I need to be honest with her. So I wrote back. And agent Sarah had not yet replied to this loop because she was out with a migraine I thought well I better just be up front with my editor so she knows and I said so about the outline thing that's like cannot do them I just. Such a far and gardenner pantser ri for discovery that I wish I could tell you that I could make an outline and it it just ain't going to happen I cannot do it and I was hoping that usually in the past when I've said this to editors they're like oh.
Well, we'll work on it or you know we could put together a rough outline and and I I feel like it's it's hard for me to transmit that it's like my brain just doesn't do it I just if you have to have an outline from me. I'm gonna write the fricking book and then make an outline because I just can't think about what the story is until I have that outline ready. So i' outline ready that's I'm I'm kind of worrying about the volume today. Because I belatedly noticed that it's not registering very strongly even though I did adjust the microphone before I began and I wanted to give a shout out to Jon Barr at Eastern New Mexico University Professor of screenwriting there I hope I got that correct. Who had told me at bubonicon that sometimes this podcast is too quiet and tagged me on Facebook recently saying I'd fixed the problem I hope it's truly fixed. Ah yeah. It's it's a weird thing between my microphone setting and Zencastr so well. Anyway, I'm already 12 minutes in so I'd need to just focus on what I'm talking about um outlines it's hard for me to transmit that my brain just doesn't.
Think in terms of the outline before I write the story. That's how that's just how I write and and you all know that my mantra is figure out what your process is and own it. The the caveat there is that a downside of selling to tread is that they have. Ah, corporate structure. They have a way of doing things and that doesn't always accommodate weirdnesses of process.
Fortunately, she wrote back and said pantsers are valid and we'll figure it out and we can talk in terms of ideas and once we get something solid then I can move forward so I was starting to think about ideas yesterday I had writer coffee. Jim Sorenson came up. He brought me flowers to congratulate me for the book deal which was really sweet. He had been very helpful on reading oirra on a flight to England yeah, and sent me notes a fairly fast turnaround and it was immensely helpful. So it was interesting because he was not in favor of a direct follow on sequel either because he said he feels like the story is told and that's how I feel too and I know I'm teasing you all with how this story will turn out I've been getting your messages and. You know, just have to wait to read it but 1 of my other friends who I think would have written this story very differently I know she would have because she had made suggestions along those lines like how she would have done it quite differently than I have. And it was useful feedback but it was also like yeah I'm not going to do that. But she said that she thought that as a reader she would be disappointed if the sequel was not a direct follow on. But it's interesting so far she's the only person who said that.
And you know I you all know longtime listeners that o'nera came to me as you'll kind of you know I said dropped on me from out of the sky and I had a sense of. That it was 1 complete story that I was going to tell that it's not my usual thing of having multiple sequels ah within well this does have kind of ah an arc in the overall world and that's probably what I'll be thinking about.
So anyway, um, all the conversations are very happy. Everybody's so excited about this book. It's really wonderful. There have been some discussions on a couple of the different discords that I am on where we've been talking about very specifically. People wanted me to talk about hybrid publishing being both indie and trad and that was on a server where it's primarily indie authors who are very suspicious of traditional publishing and um. Tend to focus on the horror stories. Um, there's certainly an aspect of indie publishing that how do I want to phrase this well where there's a chip on the shoulder of um I reject traditional publishing you know. Because they rejected me or before they can reject me and when I talk about why I traditionally publish still why I wanted this deal. You know there's still a lot of things that traditional publishing can do for authors. Print distribution being 1 but also this sense of team excitement is huge. Ah, it's really great to have a bunch of people excited about this. Ah we did retain foreign rights for this book. So the.
My agency has been working on ah pitches for foreign rights deals. They're already taking early meetings ahead of Frankfurt book fair frankfurt book fair happens in October in Germany and it's kind of d big foreign rights. Sales gathering. So yeah, they're already taking meetings ahead of this and so agent Sarah had asked me to put together a bio for the identity for this book. Um. We are doing this book under a pseudonym. Ah but it will be transparent I think I've mentioned that so it'll be you know Jeffie Kennedy writing as ah and largely. It is to. Transmit that this book is a little bit of a departure that it is the genre departure and it occurred to me today as I was saying my usual author of epic fantasy romance that this book is not fantasy. Romance. It's. Oh I don't know what they're going to call it I should talk to them about that. But I may have to change my opening I know I futs with it sometimes author of all the things fantasy I might just have to go with like I don't know.
Let me know if you could think of a clever phrase author of fantasy and I don't know we'll think about it we have time. So um.
Yeah, so it's just been a really fun week I am getting back into writing twisted magic I am ramping up again allowing myself some time to build back up but I've had a good week I've I'm not back up to 3000 words a day I want to get there. But I've written 8000 words so far this week so I'm hitting over 2000 a day on average. We'll see how today goes but it is my highest word count week already not counting Today's words since July so that's pretty good. Ramping up again. That's pretty good training. You know some of that was because I was doing a lot of editing in August but then also and that was like Mid-july too. So like July and August and this part of September you know travel editing traveling etc. Ah. All the things. So. So yeah, I'm I'm trying to be patient with myself I am pretty much on schedule for releasing twisted magic on October thirtieth although it's starting to get a little uncomfortably tight. So we'll just see how it goes but. Yeah, getting there. So um, on that note I think I shall go in and get to work I hope you all had a great week I hope you have an amazing weekend and that you're enjoying the beautiful autumnal weather or if you're in the southern hemisphere.
Spring weather right? and I will talk to you all on Monday you all take care bye bye.