Thursday, February 21, 2008

An Interview with Coffee Time Romance!

Tell me a little about yourselves.

Karen: Well I am very out going and love to talk and I have a love for books and respect for authors. I believe family values are very important. What else can I say “I’m a dreamer”.

KarenneLyn: I am one of those people that just goes and goes and goes. The main thing in my life is my family, but I love reading and learning new things as well as meeting new people. I enjoy being able to meet wonderful and creative people when I click on the computer. It is like another world…all at my finger tips!

Tell me more about Coffee Time Romance & More.

Well we started up ‘officially’ in the summer of 2004. Before that, it was just 2 Yahoo groups where we chatted with authors and asked questions and shared book release information. Just a fun thing that grew and evolved. In 2004, we made the plunge and purchased the URL name ( and we were off and running. Then as we learned and learned and learned and learned… mistakes are a great way to learn...snicker… we started doing more. Little by little it turned into what we have today.

Do you consider Coffee Time Romance & More your full time job?

Karen: Full time oh yes . When Coffee Time Romance started I was putting in 18 hours a day. I could not sleep because of new ideas popping in my head. I was very lucky when I meet KarenneLyn. I don’t think she knew what she was getting into. But she said the “magic word” and we became very good friends. I would have to say Coffee Time Romance is our lover.

KarenneLyn: You know, I don’t really consider it a job. I know that sounds silly, but I love working with authors and readers. So to me, this is fun. Yes, it is a business and I do work (hard); but I love what I do so much and the people I get to meet and work with that I do not consider it a job. My kids and family are my full time job. It is a job and so I guess I am lucky enough to love my full time job.

Do you also write? (If so, what genre?)

Karen: Yes I do write when I can sneak in time and the genre is paranormal.

KarenneLyn: I wish…the only thing I write is Thank you notes and eMails!

What’s your favorite genre to read?

Karen: Now this is a hard question for me. I read all genres from romance to crime to how to books.

KarenneLyn: Historical. That is my favorite. I love the balls, dresses, scandals, and mannerisms. I love the different time era where I can escape into a world that changes from page to page and author to author. I like reading about a time when they had cooks, nannies, and women dressed up every day (looks at my jeans and hair..sigh) and went to balls and were asked to dance. Awwww…the good old days. I can literally get swept away in a historical book and emerge from it, look around, and wonder where I am

What’s your dream vacation?

Karen: Well KarenneLyn and I have discussed this and we want to go to Hawaii and sit on the beach with a margarita to drink. We would have straw hats and sunglasses to watch the men run up and down the beach. We would have room service and get body massages. Oh no phones or computers allowed.

KarenneLyn: My dream vacation would be in a hotel with 24 hour room service. Complete control of the remote control, no telephone, and someone to rub my feet on command!

Both very nice sounding vacations! Can I come along? If money was no object, what kind of vehicle would you drive?

Karen: Believe it not a VW doodle-bug with a convertible top. The color would be black. With my dark shades on and hair blowing in the wind.

KarenneLyn: I wouldn’t. I would have someone driving for me (wink)

Who or what inspires you?

Karen: This is an easy question my husband and KarenneLyn. My dad was my best friend who would sit for hours talking with me about authors and Coffee Time Romance.

KarenneLyn: My kids. I watch them look at the world in a way I never thought of. They inspire me to be a better person and to always continue learning and doing things that I think are right. I hope that when I grow up, I want to be just like them.

What’s your favorite color?

Karen: I have four favorite colors blue, green, yellow and black.

KarenneLyn: Purple

Do you usually attend the major writers’ conferences, like RT and RWA National?

Karen: Yes we attend conferences. KarenneLyn and I have both been to RWA and I have gone to RT.

KarenneLyn: Yes, I was lucky enough to attend an RWA in Reno a couple of years ago with our review coordinator, Brenda. I think I was walking around with my eyes bulging and drooling. I got to meet some really wonderful authors and some amazing people.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Karen: Coffee Time Romance better and bigger on the net and our new magazine The Brass Spectacle out everywhere.

KarenneLyn: Older and fatter! LOL

What’s your favorite type of coffee?

Karen: I have two favorite coffees Star Bucks and Folgers. I drink coffee all day. I don’t know where I would be without my coffee.

KarenneLyn: Whatever is hot and in my hand at the time.

What’s your favorite food?

Karen: I’m a food lover but if I need to pick one it would be popcorn.

KarenneLyn: I love to cook and eat. I like to try new recipes and new things that I read about or seen on the Food Network. So my favorite food changes on a weekly basis. If I had to pick one thing I would probably pick barbeque pork ribs. Yum!

Do you have any pet peeves in novels?

Karen: I like a strong male. I cannot stand the weak and whiney males. The female has to be able to stand up to him and not run around crying boo-hoo.

KarenneLyn: I love strong character development. I like to be able to immerse myself in story and learn to love/hate the characters. So if I have a book that starts off building the character and doesn’t do a good job or the character instantly changes and I can’t figure out why…drives me crazy.

What do you enjoy in your free time? Do you have any hobbies? Collections?

Karen: Free time? What is that? I like to read and watch movies. I have a Hamilton plate collection from Disney to Gone with the Wind. I love to walk on the beach, and go to the mountains. I enjoy the serenity of the country and believe that life should not be hurried.

KarenneLyn: I love to garden. My favorite thing to receive is seed catalogs in the mail. I will drop whatever I am doing and start thumbing through it and making notes in the margins and highlighting what I am going to purchase for the next season. I also love to knit, crochet, and sew. You will always see a blanket or sweater started and sitting around my house somewhere. As for collecting things, Nope because then I would have to dust it!

Do you consider yourself an organized person?

Karen: I have my own way of “organized disarray”. KarenneLyn is very organized and helps keep me in line.

KarenneLyn: I am a list maker type of person. I have lists for daily, weekly and monthly and yes..a yearly list. I like things in their place and things done the way they should be…according to me (grin). My life is very organized and always has been. My mother used to tell me that I was the only child she ever knew that had her Barbie dolls and accessories in order and neat. This probably bugged my mom because she was just the opposite. Don’t ask me how that happened! LOL

If you absolutely hated a book and wanted to throw it across the room, yet you also wanted to spare the author’s feelings, what would you do?

Karen: I have never came across a book I have hated. I believe each author has a story to tell. While I’m reading I allow myself to be in the characters place. Not ever book is going to be happy ever after or have characters that tickle our fancy. I’m a firm believer in “to each his own”.

KarenneLyn: Hmmm, you know I don’t know. I have not found one that inspired me to total hate mode. I love authors who are creative with their characters, story line, and imagery. So I can always find something about the book that I like. If I actually did run across one that I really hated….I don’t know what I would do. I would hate to hurt someone’s feelings. Good thing I don’t do any reviewing!

How many other reviewers does Coffee Time Romance have? Do you know them personally or just by online?

Right now we have 35 members on our coffee crew. We have reviewers, editing staff, coordinators, moderators, and interviewers. We are so very lucky. Yes we have met some of our staff at some of the RWA and RT events. We have a wonderful, creative and lively group of talented people who we are able to chat with on a daily basis. We are proud to be associated with this fine group of people.

Your weekly I’m Digging questions seem well thought out. Are you the one who comes up with those? What’s your inspiration?

KarenneLyn: The Weekly I’m Diggin’ (Questions that are not located in our forums) well unfortunately (wink) those come from my sick and twisted little brain. I do have a lot of wonderful people who I get to chat with and email with that give me ideas or suggestions. That is always wonderful (waves to Tara) But mainly those ideas come from my head based on things I see or things I read or hear in chats or events. Sometimes it is based on the books that I have read and things that pop in my mind while I am reading. Then I just ask. I LOVE to see authors and/or readers post their opinions on these questions.

We do have a monthly I’m Diggin (In the Hot Seat) which are interview questions for authors that goes out to people on our mailing list. Those are from Karen.

Are you a creative person (such as music, writing, crafting, cooking, etc.)?

Karen: I help teach children’s choir and I love to write, in the craft part I like to arrange flowers and paint. I like to use the pottery wheel and feel the clay in my hands. Maybe I’m still in childhood with the mud. Cooking is blah---I cannot bake a cake but make a good pecan pie. I like to help my husband with the yard work, for example last year I planted eight black tulips. Nobody told me that the point of the bulb was not the ground breaker! Yes I planted them upside down, I guess the people in China got to see my tulips. I never give up I’ll be out there this spring with my gloves, straw hat and tulip bulbs marked with an arrow.

KarenneLyn: I have played the piano since I was 6 years old. I play in choirs, orchestra, and church. I taught the children’s choir for that was hard work. I had about 70 kids from the ages of 4-12. Whew! Don’t do that anymore! Like I said earlier, I do love to knit, crochet, sew, and cook. Love to try a new recipe at least 2-3 times a month. I also love to find out how to do things. Like working on the internet. I get to play with building web sites, figuring out how to do those neat little things that make a web site stand out. It can be frustrating but infinitely rewarding. I think back to what Coffee Time Romance’s web site looked like in 2004 and look at it today and I still get a strong sense of pride and achievement! I try to learn something new every year. You know how some people make personal resolutions for the year? Well, every year instead of making the resolutions…that I am not going to keep…I assign myself the task of learning something new. One year it was bread making, one year it was crocheting, and one year (more like 2 years) it was knitting, and one year it was learning to build a blog. Then I do research and find the books and utilize my local library and just keep at it all year long until I have it down or at least understandable. Then I find more help on the internet to figure out the rest. Isn’t the internet wonderful!

Can you choose a favorite book of all time, or do you have too many?

Karen: I would have to say A Knight In Shinning Armor by Jude Deveraux will always be in the back of my mind. This author made cry and laugh at the same time. This story had a different twist and caught me by surprise.

KarenneLyn: WOW! There are so many I just can’t even imagine putting them down to one. I am an eclectic reader. I love William Shakespeare and some of the older classics all the way to the new. I do have a shelf of ‘stand by’ books…as I call them. I read these books when I am restless or want a book to read between purchases or releases. So, I am going to tell you what is on this shelf! Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens, Knight of a Trillion Stars by Dara Joy, Zinnia by Jayne Castle, Dark Hunger by Christine Feehan, Too Much Temptation by Lori Foster..and a bunch more (large shelf)

Do you own a lot of books? What does your office look like?

Karen: Yes I do own a lot of books my office is full of them and half of my husband’s barn. My office is a dream. I have a large desk with a computer; fax machine and copier and printer. I have a large calendar and a shelf full of pencils and pens. I have a wireless mouse and keyboard. I have filing cabinets. The color of my office is soft beige I have my college diploma on my wall for business and computers. I have a Coffee cup clock and all types of pictures.

KarenneLyn: My office is neat as a pin. Yes, part of that organized thing. I have all of my notes and future information in a big huge 3 ring binder (drools and pets my binder) I love this thing. Couldn’t function or start my day without my beautiful binder. Do I own a lot of books..hmmm (looks at my husband and hopes he doesn’t see me typing this) oh YEAH! And my library grows all of the time. I love books! I have boxes and boxes filled with books. Of course, they are separated by genre (wink). So I can find them of course (grin) I do change out and box up books and put them in another room so that I can make room for more books. This is how I justify getting more books. Now this is the part my husband hasn’t quite caught onto yet. I look at my shelves and go…hmmm, there is still room so I can get another book. And then I walk away. (evil grin)

LOL, great idea. And you sound so organized! Can you come organize my shelves? How long have you been reading?

Karen: Ohh, you are trying to get my age. Forever and a day.

KarenneLyn: Since right after I could walk. So that would make it ..ummm a couple of years. Yes, that is my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

How do you choose which books to review?

We really have no set way to make a choice between one or the other. We review all books possible within a timely manner. We do look at the preferences of the reviewers and the list of books available the week we are handing the books out for review. Then we match up a book to a reviewer. Our review coordinator, Brenda, works very hard to make sure that we can match up the genre with a reviewer who enjoys that genre. This helps to ensure honest reviews but gives the book a good chance because the reviewer likes the genre.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions. It was so much fun to learn more about the ladies of Coffee Time!


Karenne said...

Thank you Emma!

Co-Owner of Coffee Time Romance

Karen CTR said...

Thank you so much Emma!

Co-Owner of Coffee Time Romance

Nina Pierce said...

Emma, great interview. I never knew all that about Karenne and Karen. Fun facts!

Lover of Books said...

I love working with those two. :) Doing mutiple duties is a blast and I love being with Coffee Time Romance

Karenne said...

awww..thanks 'lover of books' what a sweet thing to say!

waves to Nina! I just see you everywhere honey!

Co-Owner of Coffee Time Romance

Angela Caperton said...

I seem to always be running on the tail end of things with this crew! Karen and KarenneLyn, great answers! Emma, thank you for interviewing these two! I love Coffee Time very much and they run a top notch site!

Karen, Jude Deveraux also had a lasting impression on me. I read her Velvet series in high school and loved it. I still have those books.

KarenneLyn, can I hire you to clean my office? :oP

Great interview!

Karenne said...

lol No Way Angela...well there chocolate and coffee involved? (grin)

Co-Owner of Coffee Time Romance