Can’t stand coffee . . .

Work is moving forward, back on Grace again.  It has the feeling of a hand in a glove, if you will forgive the analogy.  Not much to say so I’m going to drop a few more questions from that unused interview since a few of them answer questions I’ve been asked by you, the readers, from time to time.

What sort of things influence you into naming settings and characters from your books as they are named?

Naming settings and characters is one of my favorite things about being a writer, and I once told an audience that I became an author just so I could name more than my two children.

Names are important, and I put a lot of care into choosing them, often using baby-name sites, the social security’s list of names and their popularity over the decades, or simply pulling them from my favorite movies or books.  The sound a name makes over my tongue is taken into consideration, or whether a name ends in a vowel (softening it) or a consonant (giving the character a no-nonsense feel.  I work hard at having no two characters names beginning with the same consonant, though sometimes it’s hard to avoid.

One of my pet peeves is a name with hyphens, apostrophes, or too many syllables, and I use them only when I want to draw attention to the uniqueness of the character or point out how silly they are.  My favorite names are those that are short and utterly recognizable, though my ultimate favorite name right now breaks all my rules–Ku’Sox Sha-Ku’ru, which very loosely translates to Left Hand of the Sun in Pawnee.  I could not resist.

What’s your greatest comfort food?

Hands down, my favorite comfort food is pasta with butter and Parmesan cheese.

Who is your favorite cartoon character? Which cartoon character is most like you?

My favorite cartoon character is Samurai Jack because he can save an entire civilization without saying a word.  He is truly a stranger in a strange land. The conception of the artwork is amazing as well.  Which cartoon character is most like me?  Ahhh, I’m going with Buttercup from the Powerpuff girls on this one.

Out of all the books you’ve written, what character do you most relate to?

I often do Meyer-Briggs personality workups on my main characters to help me grasp their reactions faster, and it came as no surprise to me whom I share a personality profile with.  I often tell people that I swear like my pixy Jenks, plot like my vampire Ivy, and try to live my life as open and honest as Rachel, meaning full throttle and with no regrets apart from when my mouth gets in the way of common sense.  I could now add that I like to wear skull shoelaces like Madison.

 Who do you enjoy writing about more Rachel Morgan or Madison Avery? What makes them so special?

I like writing Rachel Morgan because she is the girl next door and totally approachable, both on the page for the reader, and for me when I write her.  She’s fun, and her friends are as complex as she is.

I like writing Madison because though younger, she makes smarter decisions than Rachel and has the determination to dream big and the raw innocence and determination to expect those dreams to come true.  She is ever optimistic.

A day writing Rachel Morgan is generally more interesting than Madison, but I think that’s due to her world being more evolved rather than any fault of the characters themselves.  Having nine books on the shelf puts more toys in the toy box to play with when it comes to Rachel, and I’ve enjoyed being able to slow down and tell a story at the pace it needs to be told.

 Will you tell your readers something about yourself that not many people know?

I’ve been fortunate to be able to keep in contact with my readers on a daily basis for a long time, and some of them know me pretty well, but it might surprise them to know that I have two dusty black belts, can successfully throw a pot on a wheel, and stuff a bird, (as in taxidermy), that I love to fish, (troll, bobber, or fly) and I can’t stand coffee.


Filed under Drama Box

72 responses to “Can’t stand coffee . . .

  1. Jenn

    Good Morning, Kim!
    I hope you survived those big storms that came through over the weekend. I was at an outdoor party for the really big one on Saturday lol It quickly became a garage party 🙂

    I love reading these question & answers that you are putting up. I can look back & see that you have those 2 black belts in how you describe some of the hand to hand scenes. I have to say that I don’t like hot coffee, but I actually don’t mind cold coffee as long as it is sweet enough. I’m also a tea drinker lol.

    Oh, I’m also glad that you are having fun with Grace!

    • Hi Jen. Survived, yes. Still putting the yard back together. -laugh-

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the interview. It was killing me having spent an entire day on it, and never seeing it out there.

  2. James R. Fox

    Hi Ms. Kim-I’d try the new pasta idea,but my Dr comes to the house every monthand yell about the amount of ordinary pasta I eat whenit’s there end of the month and I’m choosing between buying food or medicine,like all us geezers.Oh,and did anybody tell you the difference between a gaffer and a geezer? a gaffer see a sweet young thing,and smiles remembering his youth. A geezer sees a sweet young thing and smiles,but can’t remember why.

  3. Chelikins

    lol.. guess what I had for dinner tonight before reading your post! Kim you rock!! 😉

  4. OMG you know how taxidermy… TOTALLY awesome.. lol.. (when i was in 9th grade, for about half the school year,i went to a highschool in Maine that at the time was the only highschool in the USA that had a taxidermy club( it may still be the only one but i dont know honestly and that was a while ago so others may offer that now too, or they may have stopped offering it if the teacher retired, i dont know).. i always kind of looked at it as a way of helping atleast the memory of that animal live on in a way, and most of the animals people in the club worked on were donated to museums, and the dead animals were given to the school by local park rangers and fish and game officers who found them freshly dead when out in the woods most of the time. .. one student even ended up stuffing a hummingbird .

    i’ve never heard of Samurai Jack but then again i’ve never been one who watched much tv…

    oh and i think its really cool about the black belts, i wonder if that gives you an advantage over other authors who dont when you are writing about the fight scenes? i wonder is it easier for you to describe the moves and actions in the fight scenes in the books because you are skilled enough to to much of it yourself? .. i’ll have to pay more attention to those parts next time i re-read your books to see if i can notice a difference between how you and others of my favorite authors write out those scenes and see if you have more details on how it feels to be doing the various fight moves (physically speaking for the characters not emotionally)… i could see it really giving you an advantage like if rachel were injured or aching from something in a fight if you had had a similar injury or had taken the same kinds of kicks or punches or impacts in the past when sparring…. hmmmm i’ll have to pay attention to that stuff in the next book…

    • James R. Fox

      Hi donna-It’s Jim From Warren-Remember the fight in BW where Ivy does a cross-wrist block and plants the knife in the villan’s kidney? Ms Kim posted a video she sent to the pencilists showing how she does it when another author threatenes her with a knife, The video covered the whole thing and starred Ms.Kim and Thing 2,who looks a lot like his mom. she has it posted in one of her advance posts on the individual pages she put up as a prize,so this is not a spoiler.

    • ctannstarr

      James, I remember that video. Very cool. 🙂

    • Hi Donna. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have a bit of knowledge in what can be done!

  5. Uhh, Kim, it’s on!! New Coldplay album coming! October 24!! Mylo Xyloto. Does the crazy, happy dance!!!


  6. Coffee is like writing genres, if you don’t like it you don’t like, but if you love it you can’t live without it. And what many people have said is true: “it is an art”. You have to get the right color, the right texture and the right amount of everything. Once the brew hits the cup, you must enjoy the scent; then sip your first slowly… my mouth just watered. I usually don’t drink coffee in the afternoon, but I’m going to make myself a cup right now. French vanilla, mace and sugar; no milk 😉

    • James R. Fox

      Hi Magaly-It’s Jim from Warren.My cat Smudge and I never drank alot of coffee because of the oil in it(Which is why God invented the paper coffee filter.) Now that we are old(I’m 71 and Smudge is 14 1/2) we can’t stand it at all, good flavor of good coffee not withstanding.Propery brewed black or purple tea has just as much flavor and cafeine and no the flavonids known to protect against cancer(very impt to ladies with all the free estrogen and free estrogen-like contaminents in the water) and if you need more encouragement,look up the SCAR Project sponsored by Life Magazine.Most ladies are in Ms Kim’s age group but several total mastectomies are shown by models in their 20’s) So I hope Rach and Ivy switch to good tea fast,they have to stay untill Rachel figures out how to save Ivy’s soul in a blood bank jar or something,and put it back for her second death.Youvé heard the old Marvin Gaye-Tammy Turell song” Än’t No Mountain High Enough”(to keep me from you), but then you young people didn’t live in the ’60’s when men were men,women were women, and song were songs!( This does assume that Ms kim has created inderlanders as subject to cancer,since there are no bio cures now,and the brat pack has it). *Go team Ivy*

    • I love coffee. Have been drinking it since I was a child (it is a common practice in my culture). I love tea too. I’m enjoying a lovely orange, lavender and anise brew at the moment. The women in my family are coffee and tea drinkers. My great grandma lived 102 years, my grandma 108 and my mother is threatening to live forever 😀

    • James R. Fox

      Hi Magoly-Jim from Warren-Hooray on your mom,mines 96 and just had to go to assisted living last month,her eyes are so bad she was falling. Moms for ever! They are the ones who know us completely, and love us anyway.

    • Oh Jim, so sorry about your mom’s eyes. Blindness is one of my biggest fears right after Alzheimer’s (I used to be terrified about not been able to read, but I guess the availability of audio books has made that less of a fear). I pray she finds many friends at her new home.

    • James, sorry to hear it. Glad she’s still with you. My mom is battling cancer so I’ve been a basket case about it for almost six years. The most recent surgery required the removal of a mass in her throat. Her voice changed. It’s like a strange person is answering the phone. She used to sing all the time. I haven’t heard her sing since… (sigh)

    • Mmmm, sounds good. Magley. I’m going to make a pot of tea.

  7. ctannstarr

    I love irony. Are Ivy and Rache gonna be tea drinkers any time soon? (LOL) 😉

    This is fabulous!!! Keep ’em coming, Kim. I love learning new stuff about you. Happy Friday sweetie pie and enjoy your weekend.

    We are painting portraits this weekend, gearing up for some gallery mischief. Reading contracts and doing memes until dinner time.

    • If Rachel stops drinking coffee, I’ll be pissed. She’ll probably be pissed too.

    • ctannstarr

      Ooooo… think of the caffeine withdrawal twitchy itchy witch drama that could unfold from the bad attitude (LOL).

      Magaly, I love the kitchen scenes. I wouldn’t have them give up coffee. I’ve recently just discovered it myself. I’ve been doing dangerous coffee experiments in Starbucks with my girlfriends (and enjoying every minute of it – LOL).

    • OMGosh, no. I can’t imagine Rachel drinking anything other than coffee. Hope you had a productive weekend, too, Tann Starr.

  8. Jade/Third Coast

    I knew the coffee one, but not the rest. Not surprised about the dusty black belts, pottery or the fishing, but the taxidermy threw me. I am trying to get a mental picture of you stuffing a bird, but it just isn’t coming.

    Bis might be interested in this.


    If that link doesn’t doesn’t work, try this.

    • James R. Fox

      Hi jade-It’s Jim from Warren. try thinking tiny turkey,it helps.Also remember,She’s a science major, and you never know what they get into once they start drinking the lab alcohol.

    • That’s a cute idea, Jade!

      The taxidermy came in a specimen prep class. I learned a lot of cool things in it.

  9. jkh

    Ah, yes, chai latte is a new fave, yes? Here in Seattle we have chai houses as well as coffee shops. If you ever have more than a few hours in Seattle, we can Google a list of good chai houses for you. And there’s the waterfront (ferries! Aquarium!) Pike Place Market, Seattle Center, Space Needle (don’t bother with the restaurant, just go to the observation level), Japanese garden…And I swear, docs and interns live on coffee, chocolate, and the occasional apple.

  10. Steve

    Wow, I would have never guessed the coffee part given how much Rachel loves coffee. I am more like Rachel in that i love a good cup of coffee which compared to Europe is hard to find in the States.

    I love to cook and bake and have a few great pasta recipes, maybe I will post them for everyone. Keep in mind the best pasta is made from scratch, so be prepared to work =)

    I actually made Chocolate Mousse and Dutch pancakes following my European vacation. For a first attempt i have to say not too bad.

    I wish i had some Hollows books to read during the vacation but given i have read them all (some more than once) and burned through the graphic novel in no time, I can’t wait for the next book.

    One cool piece of trivia for you, when i was in Amsterdam i went to a couple of book stores and specifically looked for your books, and guess what, they had them =) woo hoo and I actually recommended them to a couple of people who were looking in that genre while I was there.

    S =)

  11. CJ

    Kim, I always enjoy reading your works. You’re honestly in my top 3 authors I have and WILL tell all of my family and friends about to the point they go buy a copy of the first book in the series just to make me shut up already. Between you, Jim Butcher, and Simon R. Green’s works (no, I cannot claim an order of who’s liked more because I found each of you at different times, and each story is different and unique.) I never seem to have much time for any other series.

    Also, I am indeed surprised that you dislike coffee with how it was described so…lovingly by several of your characters. As for cartoons, Jack’s a solid choice, but you’ve got to show some love for those meddling kids and that dastardly mutt, Scooby Doo, right? Anyhow, happy hunting and best of luck. I look forward to reading more of your continued works.

    • Thank you, CJ. I really appreciate that! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my work.

      Nope, I don’t like coffee, but I do like my tea, and the emotions are similar, so . . . there it is. 🙂

  12. kelltwomyn

    Nice interview! I remember getting my library (where I work) to order your first Hollows book. Oh, how far we’ve come! You are now in hardback and have a second series. Congratulations!

    • Thank you, Keltwomyn. I’m glad you liked it!

      That is majorly cool you have been with me since the first book. I recently went back to look at my first website, and yes, we’ve come a long way. 🙂 Thanks.

  13. Sara

    *lol* I’ve always loved that you didn’t like coffee. You write about it so well, thoroughly capturing the comfort and need of it in a given situation. It was a surprise the first time I read you didn’t like it (been around since the drama box was a page on your main website), and I think if you came through here I’d totally have to get you to come to a little coffee shop here and give it a go. Coffee isn’t what it used to be (old stale beans chucked in a bag to sit on a shelf for years, brewed too hot, too long, and enjoyed poorly). The beans are coming from farms where the roasters have a better, almost personal, relationship with the farmers, they are roasted in a manner fitting the beans, and used within two weeks of roasting.

    Coffee is an art. :p And I always use cream and sugar simply because straight coffee (or, in my case, espresso. I love americanos in lieu of pressed or brewed coffee) assaults my mouth something fierce. So I’m still a punk according to coffee snobs/nerds because I adulterate it, but damns it’s deeelicious. I’d get you what I drink, with a smidgen of sugar, a dash of 1/2 n’ 1/2 and you can taste the wonder and care put in to it – then tell me you still hate it and to drop it already.

    The wheel and pot and the taxidermy were definitely new tidbits for me! Where/when did you learn about taxidermy?!

    • Hi Sara. Guy is a coffee snob, so I’ve had the chance to try a few unique and special things, and it’s just not hitting me right. (I love the smell of good coffee, and Guy, and I have a game where I can tell if he’s going to enjoy it just by the scent in the air, and I’m usually right.) But you are absolutely right that there’s coffee, and then there’s coffee.

      I had a specimen preparation class in college, and that’s where I learned taxidermy.

  14. See.. you not liking coffe was a shocker. Not that you NEED to like coffee, but because Rach and Ivy often drink it.. and Al had his cup of java down precise to his liking. You fooled me. hehe.

    You know, I always questioned my mother why she’d drink coffee. I didn’t care for it. Mind you, she use to drink it black. But I found myself in my early 20’s brewing it up. I put flavor, cream and sugar in it though.

    I must say I love posts like this that share with us a bit about you. Makes me feel like I have a V.I.P pass to your concert backstage 🙂

    Pretty cool activities you got there. We share a couple interests.. the fishing and pottery.

    Have a ball this weekend!

  15. kristy

    My Daughter’s name is Rachel. It took us a while to decide on a name for her. We narrowed it down to two names (Laura or Rachel). Rachel was was chosen because when I hollered the name Rachel It rolled right off my tongue very easily! LOL One would wonder if that is one reason you chose the same name. It seems most everyone is having to Holler her name as well!

  16. Mendi in STL

    Heyde Hey!

    Tea’s your drink of choice for those mugs, but now taxidermy, that’s the real surprise. A double black belt taxidermist potter who hates coffee is not someone to mess with in the morning!

  17. Tim Collins

    Can’t stand COFFEE !!??!! I’d DIE without Coffee! I work in a Hospital! Top Knotch Coffee is a RIGHT here! Everyone would just up and walk out if they started to serve Foldgers or Blech! Maxwellhouse. (Good until you drop. Dead…). I am sorry you do not like coffee… BUT on the Sunny side of the street, I just bet you have a TON of PRIME Coffee that has been given to you over the years by FANS! This means MORE for MOI! So drop me a line, I’ll give you my snail mail and post money and you just mail that unwanted stuff to ME! Always lookin out for you Hon. Tim

  18. James R. Fox

    Hi Ms Kim-P.S. vintage Pu-Er brewed in 212 degree water,in a glass pot,drunk from pure Kaolin porcelain drinking bowls from China,is the only way to go.Smudge and I agree,so there.( drinks hers cold from the cup)

  19. Juli

    Always love hearing about what makes you tick. I never would have thought that you disliked coffee!

  20. Ah butter and Parmesan cheese pasta! I’ve been known to make my hubby pasta with meat sauce and make myself the Parmesan mixture for myself. Something my mom always made 🙂

    I had no idea about the coffee!

    Have a fantastic weekend!

  21. James R. Fox

    Hi Ms Kim-It’s Jim from Warren again!(Hey I said before, it’s a rough morning,feel free to ignore me) Anyhoo, if anyone says girls can’t be like your YA, refer to yesterday’s news, 12yr old Nichole was swimming in the ocean when a bad riptide came,and she saw her 12 yr old bud Dale go under. She promptly flung her mighty 3 ft boogie board into the rip,(not to mention her one and only bod),caught him,pulled him up,and booked for shore,while the Ädults are gathered in groups,crying and praying.She kept him above water long enough for the shore patrol to pull him out,and get him to the hospital,where she visits him.She remembers thinking”Ï can’t die like this” So remenber,the Adults are crying and praying,12 yr old Nicole is in punching with the bad things,knowing she could die.

  22. I love these kinds of posts. I hate coffee too and my sister’s nickname is Buttercup….PowderPuff girl that she is. I am Bubbles 😀

  23. Jeff

    Good Morning Kim, and you’re right, Samurai Jack rules. Have a great day and weekend.

  24. Dave O

    2 dusty black belts? I have 1 dusty one, and one active. In which disiplines, if I might ask are yours?

    • Very cool, Dave.

      I have one in tae kwon do, and one in hap ki do, both by the same master. I tore my back up with the falls and had to quit for a while, but I think I could do some Tae kwon do again now that I’ve been working for a year in building my core back up. Less hitting the floor would be easier, too.

  25. Happy Friday, Kim!

  26. Marsha

    It’s so funny that you hate coffee but make it so important to Rachel and Ivy. One would think you’re an addict from the books. I like coffee, but love tea. Oh, and all native Italians love pasta with butter and Parmegan, that is what all children grow up eating. Try it with Asiago…so good!

    • Antonio

      Hey M—I’ve discovered, over the years, what Italians put in their pasta depends on the individual person and maybe even where they were raised. My grandparents were from central Italy and tended to use a lot of tomatos and meat(when available). I was in Sardinia(south) for a wedding a few years ago and people would mix in fish with their pasta. I even saw people crack EGGS over pasta…EGGS!

    • Marsha

      Probably true, Tony. My ancesters are from Northern Italy where there is a lot of cheese and not so much sea food. My Nona used to make fritatas out of left over spaghetti, neither grandmother wasted anything.

    • Jenn

      Personally I like pasta with just butter & cheese too…but I like pasta with just about any flavour! Although, I’m not sure about the fish…

    • I’m a tea addict, Marsha. -grin- It’s a very similar experience.

  27. LOL! My hubby hates coffee, too! It is so nice to be able to get to know my favorite writer! Thanks for posting for us, Kim!