Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cream or Sugar?

Image courtesy of mistermong
Confession: I love coffee.

I never begin the day without it. No matter what is going on or how late I'm running, I always have time to brew at least one cup. No exceptions. If the world wants me to function properly, I have to have my coffee.

In fact, I believe I may have an obsession with the beverage. Because one common thread that keeps appearing in all my novels is coffee. No matter what gender the characters, their backstory, their heritage, or the issues they're trying to overcome, coffee is always involved.


Well, for one, authors always put a piece of themselves into their stories whether done on purpose or not. To a writer, their story is like a baby, and just as we naturally have a part of ourselves in our children, the same with our stories. 

I've also come to realize that coffee is a universal drink for bringing people together. Call me crazy, but it's true. When someone is struggling, how many times has a friend or loved one said, "Let's grab a cup of coffee and we'll sort this out." Coffee is always served at large gatherings--big holiday meals as a compliment to dessert, church socials, banquets, and even wedding receptions. Coffee is a perfect buddy while reading (and in my case writing too), curled up by the fireplace on a cold winter's night, or waking the senses after a restful night's sleep. We all know the jingle, "The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup." Genius.

Anyway, not only does the java fuel my mind while creating stories, but it's also symbolic to my characters. It starts with the basics. My characters, in terms of personality, are either a light roast (easy-going), medium roast (a good mix of passive and aggressive), bold roast (outgoing and full of humor), dark roast (troubled and brooding), or flavored (quirky and sassy). Some characters are no-nonsense and simple (black coffee) and some are smooth and sweet (cream). Sugar anyone? Some characters wear their hearts on their sleeves, while others prefer not to.

At some point in my stories the characters are brought together by the brew, whether the hero and heroine are getting to know each other over a cup, a wiser friend or family member is offering advice, or the hero buys a cup on his way to work everyday just to catch a glimpse the beautiful heroine, even though he hates coffee.

Okay, I've decided that, yes, I do have an obsession.

Do you have a common thread that keeps appearing in your stories? I'd love to hear about it.

I drink my coffee with cream and sugar, preferably a vanilla roast. What flavors do you enjoy?

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