While I wait for her to arrive, I want to remind all of you that we’ll be taking a Coffee Chat vacation during the entire month of April since we’re both participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. We’ll have short posts on our blogs each day except for Sundays, and don’t want to bog down the blogosphere with extras. It’s funny . . . ever since I got my posts ready for the A to Z, I seem to only be capable of doing certain things in alphabetical order. I tried to pack my bags for our vacation and found myself filling my suitcase with an accordion, a bullhorn, coffee, dog biscuits, earplugs, French fries, grease remover (because of the fries), a hammock, icicle lights—
SKA: He-he-heyyyy everyone! I’m in such a good mood, I’m ready to go through our fan mail, Lynda. Wow! [Stops and looks around at the mess in Lynda’s house.] You’re packing all of this? What on earth would you need a bullhorn for?
ER: The bullhorn is for anyone who doesn't like my accordion playing. It comes in handy more often than you'd think. So how do you want to do this? Take turns reading the questions to each other?
SKA: Oh, well, okay then . . . Why don't I read the questions and you type?
ER: I don't mind taking turns, but—hey! [S.K. grabs the letter.]
SKA: So first question, Lynda, for you: “What do your elves . . . ah . . . kids . . . do for fun?”
ER: My kids are musicians, so they spend a lot of their free time with guitars in their hands. If not that, then they're . . . I don't actually know what they do. Maybe I should actually pay attention to them once in a while.
SKA: Eh, I say let them be. Ooh, this one is for me: “I love you! You're awesome! What do I get if I was both naughty and nice?” Oh, dear fan, thank you. I'm blushing. I think if you are both naughty and nice, then you live a balanced life. You get to read my books, that's what you get!
Next one is for you, Lynda. “Why didn't you bring me—” Umm, okay, let's skip this one; we have too many to answer anyway. Here: “Why do you always wear red?”
ER: I wonder how our fans know I love to wear red. Huh. I guess it's just a good color on me. It went well with my hair when it was brown, and now it goes nicely with the grey. These are kind of . . . interesting questions. I thought they'd be asking about our writing or something.
SKA: Oh, you know fans. They’re out there. Okay this one is for both of us: “What brought on your passion for making and giving away toy—umm, drinking coffee?” Our passion for drinking coffee, Lynda. I read that wrong, sorry.
For me it was lack of sleep and low energy, to be honest. When I started college, I realized staying up late doing homework, watching TV, reading, and studying for tests gave my body a need to start an addiction of something. I chose coffee. I did ease up a bit after I graduated . . . but then I became a mother and the addiction took a whole other level. It has a life of its own, I think.
ER: I started drinking coffee at a young age; and the only change is a better quality of coffee now. I can get by without it if I have to, but I really enjoy the taste. Caffeine is a bonus, but there's just something about coffee that tea drinking can't replace. I like the ritual of walking around with the mug, and sitting around with my hubby in the morning, catching up over a cuppa.
Are you sure you don't want me to read some of those letters? They're all on such colorful paper. They look like fun!
SKA: They . . . are colorful and pretty, but they’re in Spanish. I’m translating them for you. [Clears throat.] So . . . this next one wants to know why you skipped him last year, oh . . . okay these people are weird. Let me try another one. [Shuffles papers around.] This one is asking what we do the rest of the year. [Frowns.] You know, maybe one last try or we give up. Hey! What–
ER: [Grabs bag.] Give me those. Hey! These are letters for SANTA! They’re not even in Spanish. What in the world are you doing with a bag of letters to Santa Claus? I thought these were from our fans!
SKA: Umm . . . those who love Santa love us too! Fine. Let’s just answer the real questions then. :(
ER: Do we have any real questions?
SKA: Yeah. [Slumps down on a chair.] You have them . . .
ER: Sigh . . . well, let's get on with it, then. This one's for you: “If you could write a book with a social message, what would it be?”
SKA: Good one! A little tough, but good nonetheless. I can stay general and say, “Make love not war,” or be specific and say, “No more bullies!” But in my opinion, I can write just one small message that can make the same impact for one or both: Believe in yourself. I think changes start with and within a person, but unless he believes he can achieve his goal—like bringing world peace, standing up for victims, following dreams, or just promoting love—he will simply not get too far. I think you have to be passionate to stand up for something. I’m not even sure this counts as a social message, but I still believe you can’t achieve much unless you set an example for anyone who wants to follow. First you start with yourself.
Don’t even ask me how I would go about writing this message in a book . . . this caught me off guard. I was mostly prepared to answer questions that were directed at Santa.
ER: I'm not knocking the Santa questions. It would be pretty nice to be that popular. The question for me is asking what my favorite books are to edit. I can honestly say I don't have a favorite so far. I've done paranormal, science fiction, horror and urban fantasy and have enjoyed them all. Of course, I will always enjoy the books more if I don't have to adjust as much, but even that is fun, knowing I'm helping an author to say what he or she intended in the clearest manner possible.
All right, now we have a riddle. This one's for you. “If you're in a house and all the windows face south, what color is the bear outside your window?”
SKA: Oh that’s easy! The color of the bear is scary. I don’t discriminate against bears and their colors, I’m scared of all of them equally. [Laughs.]
All right, seriously, white. If all the walls face south, the house is at the North Pole, so the bear is polar. A polar bear that is, not a bipolar bear. Though, it might be bipolar . . . I’m not finding out.
ER: Bipolar bears end up at the South Pole with the penguins. You know, two poles? Bipolar? Don't let anyone tell you they're not there. Now here's a twist on the final riddle. The answer is: an egg. What is the question?
SKA: Don’t act up, Lynda. These riddles are for us; I take one, you take one. So . . . what IS the real question? ’Cause my question would be, “What did you cook to go along with my bacon?”
ER: But I already answered it, so if I ask the question, I'll . . . oh, forget it. Question: “A box without hinges, key, or lid. But inside, a golden treasure is hid.”
Um . . . hmm . . . this is a tough one. I'm going to guess the answer is . . . six lines above this one. An egg. No surprise there. I guess that worked out for the best after all.
SKA: I knew because of The Hobbit, but you asked me the question and I didn’t think it fair I give you the question/answer/question after giving the last answer, even though you gave me a question and then an answer . . . wait, what just happened? Where is my Dear Santa bag?
ER: I kind of liked the Santa ones better . . . So this is our last Coffee Chat until April is over, right?
SKA: Sadly, yes. We’ll be taking a Coffee Chat Vacation. A forced one, I have to say. Before we sign off on our last chat until May, here’s the last question of the day: It’s from a “fan” and it’s directed to you, since this is your blog. “What’s wrong with you people?”
ER: That . . . that is an answer for another post. Maybe a series of posts.
You can find S.K. Anthony in a number of places. She's on Twitter @SKathAnthony, her website is www.skanthony.com, her Facebook page is S Katherine Anthony, and on occasional occasions, she'll be right here with me, drinking coffee and laughing it up over our latest plans and schemes. And possibly even talking about books and writing.
You can find me here. I'm always here.