Showing posts with label Jeffe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeffe. Show all posts

Friday, January 8, 2021

Exercise Envy


Sitting. Not ideal. You've seen the data earlier this week. But you know, when all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail. All I have are sitting desks. So far. I lust after a treadmill desk like Jeffe has. With four adults and too many cats in the house, that ain't happenin' any time soon. Space concerns and all.

Still. In the middle of the raging hellhole that was 2020 (and that 2021 is still flirting with, the hussy) doing something - anything - to look after our health made my family feel a little more in control. Working out at home became THE thing.

Yes. Yoga. Weightlifting - we have free weights and a bench and training in the Weider method. We take 2-3 mile walks (with masks - this is Florida and well - the FL man memes, they do not lie). The dh and I bike. 

These are lovely. They boost mental and physical health. But they're time delimited. There are only so many hours in a day and only an hour a day I can devote to motion for motion's sake. Yet our brains evolved in very different circumstances - when motion WAS the day. Our brains were designed to operate at peak efficiency while we walk. Stroll, really. Take a look at the book The Brain Rules

Read this and see if you don't join me in lusting after a treadmill desk like Jeffe's. 

The spoiler is this: Our brains were designed for us to walk up to twelve miles per day. It keeps our brains oxygenated, boosts connections, etc, etc, it's really good for you, so there. 

All I know is that if I stop moving, I start hurting. Maybe I'll start saving for that treadmill desk.

Friday, June 29, 2018

What She Said

So for my post, can I just link to Jeffe's post and nod vigorously? No? Rats. Okay. Let's come at this another way, then.

Sometimes, mes amis, the world of publishing leaves you very few options. When what you write isn't necessarily the flavor du jour, most trad publishing houses won't look at you cross eyed. If they do, but your sales don't hit a particular benchmark, you may rapidly find yourself unpublished by traditional houses. If that happens, and if you have the self-confidence and spite to pick up your stories, you can go home and learn to become your own publisher.

Or say you've been writing one genre and you want to dip your toes into another - one you aren't necessarily certain you want to immerse yourself into. You write that book and rather than subbing it to agents and editors, you put it up yourself as an experiment. To test the genre waters, so to speak.

Or, maybe, after an eternity of waiting, you recover the rights to a group of stories that were orphaned when your cherished editor left the business (get used to that one, cupcake, it happens on a daily) you finally have the opportunity to finish out the series and relaunch the whole thing at what you consider a much friendlier price point - or with the cover of your dreams. Whatever your entre into DIYing it is.

Just know this. Everything about self-publishing is learnable. Scads of people have been through this wilderness and will gladly point the way. Some people will charge admittance. Many more won't. Author loops are crazy generous with how-to information, software suggestions, cover designer, editor, and copy editor referrals, too. Most of them will discuss the nuanced differences between launching wide versus targeted, too. Here. Let me pass you an aspirin. Author loops are a fire hose. You might need the pain killer.

All of this said, there's no right or wrong answer to the question of going indie or trad or both. There's only what's right for you and your work. If you're a security seeker, go trad. If you're a risk taker and a control freak, go indie. If you see the merits of both, then do all the things. There's really no math to do that will make clear which path is 'best'. It's all judgement call and what sounds like the most fun. Sure. You need a career strategy at some point. Tons of people will coach you through that, too, but as far as I can tell, you end up with a mirror of THEIR strategy rather than one of your own. So you may as well be guided by your own sense of what sounds easy versus hard. If having to format your own book sounds like the third circle of hell because you're a technophobe, you can hire someone to do that work, or you can choose to stick with the trad houses. They'll handle all that fiddly stuff, at the price, however, of having complete control over how your book is presented to the world.

So. Yeah. What Jeffe said. It's all about tradeoffs. You get to choose which ones you'll accept.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Release Day: Prisoner of the Crown by @JeffeKennedy

It's a party here at the SFF Seven Authors' Blog as we celebrate the release of Jeffe's new book kickstarting her Chronicles of Dasnaria High Fantasy series!

**It is NOT a Romance.**

I don't tell you that to discourage you, dear reader. Far from it. I tell you so you are prepared for the type of heart-pounding adventure on which the Chronicles of Darnaria will take you. Afterall, Jeffe is an award-winning Fantasy Romance author; hell, she's won the top prize in Romancelandia for her work, a RITA Award. It's fair to assume her fans, many of whom are our blog readers, would think this new series is all HEA and smexytimes.

That is not this book.

When it comes to rich worldbuilding, nail-biting plot twists, and a heroine discovering her own value and power, well now, this IS that kind of book.



She was raised to be beautiful, nothing more. And then the rules changed…

In icy Dasnaria, rival realm to the Twelve Kingdoms, a woman’s role is to give pleasure, produce heirs, and question nothing. But a plot to overthrow the emperor depends on the fate of his eldest daughter. And the treachery at its heart will change more than one carefully limited life…


Princess Jenna has been raised in supreme luxury—and ignorance. Within the sweet-scented, golden confines of the palace seraglio, she’s never seen the sun, or a man, or even learned her numbers. But she’s been schooled enough in the paths to a woman’s power. When her betrothal is announced, she’s ready to begin the machinations that her mother promises will take Jenna from ornament to queen.

But the man named as Jenna’s husband is no innocent to be cozened or prince to charm. He’s a monster in human form, and the horrors of life under his thumb are clear within moments of her wedding vows. If Jenna is to live, she must somehow break free—and for one born to a soft prison, the way to cold, hard freedom will be a dangerous path indeed…

Read an excerpt here.

BUY IT NOW:   Amazon  |  B&N  |  iBooksKobo

Friday, September 1, 2017

Binge Reading, a Bookworm's Approach to Series

Do you remember as a kid finding a book in the library? It looked great, so you checked it out. Then you started reading. It's a hit out of the park. You LOVE this book. You're right in there with the characters, laughing, crying, fighting -- and then the book ends on a cliffhanger. Then and only then do you realize you have a book that's the first in a series.

Heart fluttering, you rush back to the library. There! On the shelf! More titles by the same author. You search frantically. You come up with books three and four and seven.

Right then. Right there. Your innocent little bookworm heart breaks just a little. And you learn. NEVER start a book without 1. first knowing whether it's part of a series and 2. that you can acquire the rest of the series.

Maybe your life was settled and you grew up in some rarified place where books were as important to your family as they are to you. If you did, you could generally be sure that if you developed an addiction to a series that was still being written (as opposed to one already completed) you'd be able to get a hold of the latest in the series when it finally came out. Those of us without such assurance, at the mercy of library systems without our loyalties to long-running series, learned never to start a series until it was finished and all the books in the series were available.

This is the long way of saying I strongly favor writing stand alone books, which is amusing, because everything I have is part of a series or leaves the door open to being a series. Funny how the world turns, isn't it?

As it happens, at the time that Enemy Within sold, series were THE thing. I'd written the book as a stand alone. Straight up, I admit that I did. And then my editor asked if I could make it a series. I was still so afraid someone would take back that publishing contract, I said that of course I could. So I did. Same thing happened with Nightmare Ink, though I wised up before I wrote that one and I planned it out as a series because I could see the handwriting on the wall. Sure enough. That same editor asked for a series treatment. At least this time around, I was ready for it. And now that I'm writing my series, I love them. I don't want to abandon them any more than I wanted to read the first book in a series I'd never find book number two for when I was a kid.

This isn't to say I don't love reading series. I do. And now that I'm an adult with my own book budget AND Amazon Prime, I can do my very favorite thing in the world: Find a series I love and buy the whole damned thing in one go. Because you binge watch GoT if you want. I'll binge read Jeffe's Twelve Kingdoms, thanks.

I desperately wanted a bookwormish sort of photo to give you. I don't have one. But I do have a little green garden frog who was hanging out in the zinnias yesterday. I have yet to ask what his reading preferences are.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Embracing the Brand

Whelp. After reading Jeffe's excellent post about author brand, it belatedly dawns on me I have one. One I hadn't, to this point, known about, much less embraced.

Crazy Cat Lady.

Seriously. Follow me on Instagram. @marcellaburnard  Have a look at my gallery. Go back through my blog posts. How many cat photos versus photos of literally anything else? Also, who just landed a part time job as a veterinary assistant for a cat-only clinic based solely on a long history of rescue work and learning to give subcutaneous fluids to her own cats? Yeeeeeah.

Not to mention that if you read the reviews of the last book I put out (Damned If He Does) - the very first cat I've written into a story gets mentioned in reviews more than the main characters. I'm seeing a trend here.

But I'm not certain how to capitalize on that, you know? I mean, okay. 10% of everything I make goes to animal rescue (Best Friends and Big Cat Rescue, specifically).  But that's not exactly - I don't know - flashy? Visible? Easily identified?

I could wear sweaters knitted from the fur I've combed from my cats to all my events, but I have concerns about just how many readers would be seriously allergic to me . . .

Wonder if Hatshesput would consent to wear a 'service animal' vest and come to events with me. Without murdering me in my sleep for the affront of making her wear clothes.