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A Time and Place for Everything

The last post I wrote, I briefly told you about Nic meeting Todd McCaffrey which led to her being picked up by CK Publishing. So here is the rest of the story.

A few caveats before we get into it, this happened in Nov 2021, I have CRS (Can’t Remember Stuff), and I claim artistic license. So, while a few details might be off – the gist of the story is true.

There we were, in the Jeep, driving down a goat path erroneously called a road, when Nic says, “Hold my beer and hang on”…. Wait - wrong story.

There we were at “20 Books for 50K Vegas” which is a conference / workshop for old, new, and aspiring writers geared toward helping them break into the world of being a professional author. Nic and I were walking down a hallway, when all of a sudden, she breaks off our conversation and goes all “fangirl”. Now if you know Nic, she is sorta shy and doesn’t really initiate conversation unless she knows the person, once she knows you – all bets are off. Anyway, Nic is being all fangirl and walks up to a group of people I’ve never seen before and she introduces me to Todd McCaffrey. He then introduces her to the folks he’s talking to. “This is Nic, the girl who learned English from Dragons.” He went on to explain that Nic had introduced herself to him at the end of one his panels and told him that between him and his mother (Anne McCaffey), Nic had learned English.

When Nic was still in Germany, she had taken English in school. She knew enough to hold a conversation but wasn’t fluent. Then she met some American friends that introduced her to Dungeons and Dragons, and her inner nerd was awoken. Dragons captured her imagination. Anyway one of those Americans, who will remain nameless and blameless, who was certainly not trying to impress this young, beautiful, charming German woman, loaned her a couple of books from the “Dragon Riders of Pern” series. As I said before, Nic had learned Oxford English in school as a mandatory class. She already had plans for her career that didn’t involve a lot of English, so she put enough effort in the class to pass. But now she had a world of Dragons to read about. But the Pern series was a bit hard for her, even though she would read the book with a German to English dictionary to help, it slowed down the reading to the point it wasn’t enjoyable. After the poor waif explained her plight, the charming American suggested the Dragonlance series might be a bit easier. And it was. After reading the ENTIRE Dragonlance series, she returned to the world of Pern, without the German to English dictionary this time. That’s the story behind Nic’s tagline “Learned English from Dragons.”

Back to the main point of this story. A little later, Nic is in an area the conference had set aside for folks to gather and talk/network/hangout. Mr. McCaffery sees her and calls her over to the table he is sitting at with a group of folks. After introducing her in the way that became his standard, “This is Nic, the lady that learned English from dragons” he introduces the people at the table. Among those there were Bill Webb and Kevin Steverson. As is the norm at the convention, the conversation turns to “what do you write, are you published, how are sales, etc.” When it was Nic’s turn, she told them that she had two books on AmazonTM and was working on the third one in the series. The books weren’t doing well in sales, but all the reviews were great – average of 4.7 stars. Kevin thought the lack of sales was probably due to her missing something in the marketing and advertising area. Between the two gents, they told her that they worked for and published through an independent publisher called Chris Kennedy Publishing (CKP). One them, I think it was Bill Webb, asked Nic if she had a copy of one of the books he could read. Let’s see – an accomplished author (Bill Webb with the Last Brigade Universe and Kevin Steverson with the Salvage System universe – shameless plug, both good series, go read them) and “officers” in CKP ask for a copy of your book….Nic does the correct thing and says “Why certainly, here you go.”

The next day, they have an “Authors Alley” where authors and publishers set up tables showing off and selling their books. Nic didn’t have a table, with just two books out it wasn’t cost effective, so she volunteered to help Mr. McCaffrey at his table, who was running a one man show. No “fangirling” involved – honestly. During the event, Nic takes a break and is wandering around when she sees Mr. Webb, and he calls her over. Now Mr. Webb is standing in front of an author set up consisting of two eight foot long tables full of books with a banner hanging on the wall behind them with “Chris Kennedy Publishing” in big bold print. Mr. Webb looks at one of the guys behind the table and says, “This in Nic Plume, that author Kevin and I was telling you about. Nic, this is Chris Kennedy.” After a bit of conversation, Mr. Kennedy asks if Nic could send him a copy of her manuscript. Nic agrees, they exchange contact info and off we go. The conference ends, Nic and I get back on the road and after a couple weeks the whole thing fades to the background.

During all the events above, it also came to light that CKP was trying to expand their book sales to the international market by republishing their books in different languages with Germany being on top of the list. Nic was hired on to be a proofreader, the last step in the translation process. So Nic was eyeball deep in proofreading the Four Horsemen and Salvage System series, plus writing her story plus writing a couple short stories for a Last Brigade series anthology she had been asked to write. Because she hadn’t heard anything about her books, the idea of republishing them under CKP had fallen off the radar screen. Then she gets an email from Chris Kennedy, he thinks it’s a great book and would she be interested in republishing it under the CKP banner. After a bit of negotiation, the contract was signed and here we are. Book 1 and Book 2 are out and book 3 comes out Sept 2023. Book 1 has been translated to German, book 2 is in the final stages of translation.

I think that catches y’all up on that piece of life.

Keep the rubber side down.

C. Bit

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