Girls Write Out
Monday, August 01, 2011
Before I start my topic, I have to give a shout out to Cindy Woolard. She reads our blog faithfully and I got to meet her at my daughter-in-law's company picnic on Saturday. I was standing around waiting for the plant tour to begin, when this lovely lady came up to me and asked, "Are you Colleen Coble?" I said I was and she told me I was her very favorite author. She started reading my books after hearing me on the radio (WBCL) and talking to her just made my day! :)

See this picture? This is where it all REALLY started. You think I'm talking about our friendship but I'm really talking about my coffee addiction. I recently took one of my very early books and took it apart, then reconstructed it into a very different romantic suspense story instead of the simple sweet romance it had been. As I was working on it, I realized it was written in my pre-coffee days. Yes, they really did exist! Lucy hated coffee just the way I did back in the day.

You're not half as shocked as I am when I realized there had even BEEN a pre-coffee time. I'd forgotten. Truly. Here is how it all began. See that sweet face on the left? After getting to know her via email, I roomed with her at Glorietta Christian Writers Conference. Her addiction was so great that she rented a car only so she could go to Santa Fe after a mocha. I informed her that I despised coffee. (Oh the horror!) She assured me I would like an iced blended mocha. She insisted I take sip of hers. I liked it so well she bought me one of my own and the rest is history.

A mocha is a introductory drug. It sucks you in with its sweet taste. It's like a milk shake. Then you get to where you like that taste of coffee that you can just barely taste under the sugar and whipped cream. Before you know it, you're asking for the barista to cut back on the amount of chocolate so you can taste the coffee. The next thing you realize, you're actually drinking coffee. It's a slow, insidious slide into sin. LOL

So in honor of our friendship and how it all began, we're going to change things up a little on the blog. The first week of every month, we're going to talk about the writing process.

The first thing that is necessary is coffee. No, Diann, not instant coffee. The real thing. When I'm planning a new book, I first decide where I want to set it. Yes, that's right. I don't even think about a character yet. Just the setting. I've found that picking the setting is the base of everything for me. The people who live in the U.P. are different than the people who live in California. I'm writing a new series set in the Outer Banks right now. Lots of watermen out there. I like just saying that word. Waterman. :) My hero is in the Coast Guard. My heroine is an architectural historian. Lots of old buildings out east. Researching the setting usually leads me to my plot too.

So my first piece of advice is to think about a place you know and love. Or would like to learn more about--then go do that. Research the history. Read newspaper archives to see what kinds of problems are going on there. See how a character you could care about could fit in. What did you come up with?

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Colleen Coble  
posted at 4:54 PM  
  Comments (24)
Delicious Delicious
At 10:04 PM, Blogger jel said...

welcome to the dark side! the darkside of rosted coffee,
that is! :)

I have been a card carring coffee drinker since the age of 5.

At 11:01 PM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Okay, I don't remember ever having that much hair!

And don't talk about my Folger's dark roast instant coffee! Yes, I can drink starbuck's with the best of them, but when one lives in Green Acres, sometimes instant just has to do. :-).

Please tell me you all are old enough to remember Green Acres!

Your settings are awesome, by the way!

At 12:57 AM, Blogger Ruthie said...

I CAN'T STAND Starbucks coffee! And that's rather unusual considering my mother put coffee in my baby formula back (a looong time back!) when I was a newborn. Yes, I love coffee but not from Starbucks. I get my coffee online from a group of monks in Wyoming who blend and roast coffees into the most intriguing flavors. Yum.

Diann, I noticed that long hair, too. Aren't you glad you have worn it short for so long (even though you now have a's cute, btw)? Short hair sure helps in this heat!

At 4:30 AM, Blogger jel said...

we do instant, for weekdays

when we have our weekend coffee,
foglifter :)

Happy Birthady Diann !

At 5:05 AM, Blogger Cindy W. said...

Thanks for the shout out Colleen! Meeting you was definitely the highlight of my weekend! :)

I have been drinking coffee since I was 17 years old. Love the stuff. When I first moved to Indiana a little over ten years ago, I was sad to learn there were NO Starbucks in the area. When we learned a Starbucks had been built in Indianapolis, my precious husband said we'd just have to do a road trip. That was about a 2 hour trip each way. We did this every couple of months until finally, a Starbucks was built in our little town in the Northeast corner of the state.

In my opinion, Starbucks is a necessity. :)

Smiles & Blessings,

At 8:15 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I was about to speak admiringly of you, Jel. No true coffee drinker can stand instant though. LOL

Happy birthday, Di!!! I hope you can keep down your birthday cake today! And get a decent coffeemaker. No need to do instant even in Green Acres! When I started drinking espresso, Wabash had no coffee shop. So I bought an espresso machine. LOL

At 8:36 AM, Blogger Sandie said...

When I got married I found my new husband did not drink coffee. I tried making coffee for myself, but eventually turned to instant. Then I found I was getting too much caffeine. It was going to decaf or giving up chocolate. Well, you know that decision was easy. I now drink Folger's Instant Decaf. It took some getting used to though. My favorite coffee is IHOP though Cracker Barrel coffee is decent. I gave up sugar in my coffee when I got diabetes. Again it was a matter of sugar in my coffee or chocolate. Chocolate always winds.

At 8:46 AM, Blogger Sandie said...

That should be "wins". Chocolate always wins. But also, I thought I'd mention that even though it's decaf I must have my coffee before I can spell right. :-) *drinking coffee now* Did you know if your doctor says no caffeine (as before a medical test) you can't have decaf. It does contain some caffeine. Discovered this when Mom had to have some tests a while back.

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Lynette Sowell said...

My love affair with coffee began in 1988 when I started working in an office during college...and I'm married to a coffee lover. We don't have a Keurig because I'm afraid it'd burn up..!

I'm currently trying to turn a sweet romance with a dollop of suspense into a romantic suspense. I can't wait until it shapes up! My current settings--Texas, Florida, and the New England coast. I've found all sorts of interesting characters--circus performers, textile, fun ~ :)

At 9:22 AM, Blogger Lisa Jordan said...

Am I kicked out the GWO club if I admit to hating coffee? I tried cappuccinos and mochas, but they make me sick to my stomach. Our local coffee shop makes freezers--basically iced coffees. I've tried them but still get sick so I order coffee-free freezers.

My current WIP that is 99% finished is about a barista who owns a coffee shop, but she's allergic to caffeine.

My fictional town of Shelby Lake is loosely based on my area, which is abundant in national forests, lakes, hunting, fishing, mining, drilling. If I wrote romantic suspense, I'd have lots of fodder for intrigue. Since I write sweet romance, I focus more on character and use the setting as a backdrop, but color their worlds with a rich storyworld.

Happy birthday, Diann!

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Dorothy said...

I don't function without my first cup of coffee...and it is the morning! I love Starbucks but we order from Gevalia for home. They have some delicious blends of coffee beans from all over the world. I'm addicted!

My mom allowed us to drink coffee as pre-teens. She is German and coffee is served as a "meal" in the late afternoon or early evening, along with some sort of "sweets." German pastries are not as sweet as we tend to make them here. Our coffee would be more milk and sugar than the coffee itself but we felt a part of the adult get-togethers. Wow! I hadn't thought of that in years.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Dorothy said...

Oh, and Diann...I remember Green Acres! Lol! Happy Birthday! The new wig is YOU!

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Lisa, your area should be beautiful!

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

oh and we will permit you to not like coffee. :)

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes!! And happy birthday to YOU, Jel!! How fun that we share the same birthday!!

At 12:32 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

Well, if you plan a trip to the outer banks, stop by Atlanta and you can use my guest room. I might even go the rest of the way with you!!

Seriously, I love to explore and all my stories are set in the South (except for one short foray into New York's capital, and then my heroine had to come back to Atlanta). ;)

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

Di, this is where out sisterhood ends - coffee. LOL For me it has to be the real thing. In fact, I've gotten so obsessed with fresh brewed coffee, I don't brew a whole pot. I new it 2 cups at a time. One for the hubs and one for me. When I want another cup, I brew it. LOL

But my favorite is Mill Stone's Chocolate Velvet. So yummy!

At 4:24 PM, Blogger jel said...

Collen, when ya get up at 3:00am. and have to been on the road by a quater till , instant is a must! :)

and I loved Green Acres :)

At 4:25 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

No, no, jel, that's why you use a coffeepot with a timer! :)

At 4:55 PM, Blogger jel said...

have had a few of them , they never last around here!

and my DH , likes his instant,
got to keep him happy :)

oh guess What i got in the mail today, a card from AArp, do you think they are trying to tell me something? ;(

At 4:58 PM, Blogger jel said...

oh if any one want some birthday cake, stop by my blog and enjoy!
it's nonfat :)

At 7:57 PM, Blogger Kara said...

I am shocked and confused by this revelation! I, too, have seemingly forgotten a time when coffee was not a necessity. How deluded we were! LOL Glad you got your head on straight!

I love you!

At 8:34 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Shocking, isn't it baby girl? Mochas were your entry drug as well. LOL

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Rockin' Ruby said...

I have to admit I love Starbucks. When I write short stories (for my friends entertainment), the hero and heroine usually meet at a Starbucks or atleast catch sight of each other. Caramel macchiatos are heavenly! Iced white mochas are scrumptious! But i had to cut back a few months ago. I was drinking waaaaaay too much coffee. So now I make my own occasionally (even iced). Its not as good, but it works out ok.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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