Apr 23, 2015

Cody Kennedy Blog Tour

I'm letting these images speak for themselves.

Hello! Welcome!

I am so excited to have author Cody Kennedy visiting my blog today! It has been a long month of touring for him with his book, Slaying Isidore's Dragons, and this is one of the last tour stops—see all the other stops here, every one is FULL of useful information and facts. Especially the first one, the kick-off of this book tour, is near and dear to my heart. Don't miss it.

Today, Cody is going to tell us a bit about research and how to keep track of your findings when you're writing a novel and using quotes, be they copyrighted or not. There is so much more to being an author than meets the eye. Today, he explains what a Prove-up is, and why it is important to document your sources as you go along. Your editor and/or publisher will want to see that your method is good.

Cody is a constant help to so many authors, and he blogs and posts on social media with links with both great information and resources. Or, he simply posts links to inspirational images and thoughtful quotes. At times he posts about something really cool that happened to an author friend of his. As you follow his posts, apart from feeling his enthusiasm, you will soon start to notice that there is strict method to his work. It impresses me no end.

This is going to be a long post, so settle in, get a cup of coffee, and let's give the man a round of applause. He clearly deserves it. And if you click on the images, they should open up in a new window, bigger, and easier to read.

Cody, the floor is yours!


What Is a Prove-up?

Let’s write a story and quote the words and phrases of others! Let’s not. Unless, of course, we’re willing to do it accurately, source the original work, and seek permissions if necessary.

When I write for youth, I like to educate them about things they may not have an opportunity to learn in everyday life. I do this by including bits of history, information about different cultures, and quotes from the literature of others—the latter of which isn’t as easy to do as it sounds.

As much as we may love Dr. Seuss, we can’t simply quote him in our works and be done with it. We must ensure that the quote is properly sourced, accurately quoted, available for use and, if not, to seek appropriate permissions. For me, and because copyright law is complex, the easiest way to determine whether a quote can be used is to determine when permission need not be sought. As such, I look to use quotes that are: 1) in the public domain and require no permission at all; or 2) fall within “fair use” guidelines. If you’re interested in knowing more about “permissions” and “fair use,” check out Jane Friedman’s blog. For purposes of this post, I’m going to speak only about quotes that do not require permissions.

I’m a huge fan of Edgar Allen Poe and love to use his quotes in my works. In that his works are in the public domain, no permissions are needed to use them. However, his trustees are alive and well and look to ensure that his works are accurately quoted. Setting aside, for a moment, that I am loath to misquote an author, it’s important to know how to source and prove up that I am not blithely using a quote that has been bastardized over time and am not attributing it to someone other than the original author! In other words, I must be able to prove up the source of the quote and quote it accurately.

According to Merriam-Webster the definition of prove-up in this context is: to bring proof of one’s right to something. As such, when doing a prove-up for an editor, you are not proving up your right to use a quote. You are proving up who holds the rights to the quotes; and that you are quoting it accurately.

I referenced Humpty Dumpty and quoted Edgar Allen Poe in Omorphi. With respect to Humpty Dumpty, I wrote this dialogue:

“The king’s horses did it. They weren’t in the original rhyme in 1797 and all of a sudden they show up, bang, unannounced, no preamble, no nothing, in the 1870 version. That proves my theory.” and the editor took issue with it.

Who would have thought I would have to prove up Humpty Dumpty? I had to because I referenced the work itself and obscure facts about the work that most people don’t know. The first thing I had to do was prove up the date 1797 and it looked like this:

Yes! I had to go all the way back to the first verse ever published! And it only went downhill from there. Then, I had to prove-up the date at which the horses appeared in the verse! And it looked like this:

And because I’m a glutton for punishment, I didn’t quote one Poe poem in Omorphi. I quoted many. And the prove-ups looked like this:

Yes! Every title and quote had to be sourced and the editor checked every one of them! THEN, the editor took issue with the slight difference in two stanzas. One stanza phrased as a question, the other as an assertion, and I had to prove that up to the editor too! It looked like this:

The prove-ups were somewhat time-consuming. However, in that I had checked the sources before I submitted the story, I had the links handy and it wasn’t hard to respond to the editor. When does it become a nightmare? When you don’t check the source before you submit your story to a publisher. Case in point, the G.K. Chesterton quote at the beginning of Slaying Isidore’s Dragons, which turned out not be a Chesterton quote. Sort of.

Here I was at the 11th hour being charged with the approval of the galley proof for Slaying Isidore’s Dragons and thought I would verify the quote—which none of us had done to date. OMG! I mean, yeah, it’s used in memes all over the place but, coming from the traditional publishing background that I do, and being OCD, I had to check it. And it’s a good thing that I did because I learned the citation for the quote was WRONG! As it turns out, Neil Gaiman had tamed and simplified Chesterton’s quote for his own work, Coraline. So the question then became: Whom am I quoting? The answer was both.

I’d never quoted an author within an author before and I had to look it up. For those who don’t know, we follow the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) in editing standards. However, the CMOS had nothing on quoting an author within an author. Another source, Turabian, did have the guideline and I was able to reference it to prove up how the quote should be cited in the book. It looked like this:

In sum, unless you can prove-up the use of copyrighted material in your work, don’t do it! Take the time to source the material and quote it accurately, and check to ensure you do not need to seek permissions to use it. You will be asked to do a prove-up for your publisher if your editor doesn’t do it for you.

Here is some interesting trivia for you:

All of Shakespeare’s works are in the public domain. If they weren’t, Westside Story and Shakespeare in Love couldn’t have been made.

The descendants of the Marquis de Sade have copyrighted “Marquis de Sade.” Dare I say that I wouldn’t want to seek permission for anything from that family?

The Marilyn Monroe picture series of her standing over a sidewalk steam vent with her dress afluff set landmark US copyright law. It was ruled that, because the pictures were used worldwide for everything from postcards to posters they were, in effect, in the public domain. The pictures themselves became icons and couldn’t be protected under copyright law.

Enjoy Slaying Isidore’s Dragons (and the three hours I put into sourcing Chesterton’s quote)!
Cody Kennedy, April 23, 2015


And now, here is more about Cody's book! 
You know, the one everybody's talking about! 
The book you probably need to read, like, now!


Slaying Isidore’s Dragons, by C. Kennedy


5 Best friends
4 Vicious brothers
3 STD tests
2 Guys in love
1 Car bombing
Nowhere to run

Slaying Isidore’s Dragons follows the burgeoning love of two high school seniors during the worst year of their lives.
Irish born Declan David de Quirke II is the son of two ambassadors, one Irish and one American. He’s come out to his parents but to no one else.
French born Jean-Isidore de Sauveterre is the son of two ambassadors, one Catalan and one Parisian. His four half brothers have been told to cure him of his homosexuality.
Declan and Isidore meet at the beginning of their senior year at a private academy in the United States. Declan is immediately smitten with Isidore and becomes his knight in shining armor. Isidore wants to keep what little is left of his sanity and needs Declan’s love to do it.

5 Weeks of hell
4 Attempts on their lives
3 Law enforcement agencies
2 Dead high school seniors
1 Jealous friend
A love that won’t be denied

One is beaten, one is drugged, one is nearly raped, one has been raped, they are harassed by professors and police, and have fights at school, but none of it compares to running for their lives. When the headmaster’s popular son attempts suicide and someone attempts to assassinate Declan’s mother, they are thrown headlong into chaos, betrayal, conspiracy, allegations of sexual coercion, pornography, even murder. And one of them carries a secret that may get them killed.

5 New family members
4 BFF’s
3 Countries
2 Extraordinary Psychologists
1 Courageous Mother
A new beginning for two young men in love


Did that blurb interest you?
Read the first chapter of Slaying Isidore's Dragons here.


Slaying Isidore’s Dragons released on April 9th, 2015

Add it to your bookshelves on:

Slaying Isidore's Dragons
 is now available in print and ebook at: 


If you are interested in my (Anna's) review of Slaying Isidore's Dragons, here is a link to my review. Be warned. It comes loaded with five gushing stars. 


About Cody Kennedy:
Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Cody doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Cody contemplates such weighty questions as: If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Cody can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary.

Check out more about Cody on his Blog.
Follow Cody on:
Find him on Twitter @CodyKAuthor, and read his free serial story, Fairy.


I would like to end this book tour post with a gushing, dancing, fangirling OMG OMG OMG

for Reese Dante, who made the cover and all the images that accompany this book, and also the book before this one, Omorphi. Amazing skills. Such beautiful work.

A beautiful cover is what makes me stop and want to read the book—get it right and I'm already on your team, author.


Do you want to ask Cody a question? The comment field below is yours!

Thanks for stopping by. See you soon!



  1. WOW so much more to writing a story than I ever imagined. I mean I know you have to be careful not to mis quote but the lengths you go to are way more than I could of imagined. #inaweofauthors

  2. Thank you, Deeze, for appreciating all that we do. We go to great lengths to bring you not only good works, but accurate words. Over the years, I've come to regard the Oxford Archives and Guttenberg as loyal friends. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It's so great to see you following the book tour!

  3. I think it's kind of amazing that today is UN World Book and Copyright Day—what were the odds that even the United Nations would be celebrating Copyrights today? :-)

  4. Wow there is so much you guys have to know! It boggles my mind. Awesome post, Cody.

    1. Hello Sandy! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Cody is quite amazing.

  5. Thank you for educating us to a part of writing that I never really thought about . (Except during those horrendous papers in high school! I went into the science in college so I never had to write one of those again!)

    1. Hi Ree Dee!
      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.
      So much more to being an author than meets the eye!