Friday Q&A

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! On Fridays, the OneFours answer questions about their books, writing processes, life, favorite flavors of ice cream, and more. This week’s question:

What food or drink must you have when you write?

Just coffee, and lots of it. It’s not a workday unless I’m jittery.
–Michelle Krys, HEXED

I drink tea all day long whether I’m writing or not, and definitely must have it nearby when I’m writing. I go through phases on. Currently I have a yerba mate tea I’m really grooving on. Earl grey is always a favorite option too. Add lemon and stevia and I can write all day.

oreoI’m obsessed with Gushers – I call them “writer vitamins” – and those definitely give me the good nighttime sugar rush I need to get through writing after a workday. I’m also a huge cookie person, especially Oreos, and every now and again, I go through obsessive gum-chewing phases while I write. As far as drinks go, I’m a fiend for two things: juice boxes and Fresca. I’ve even been known to spike the latter on occasion, but that’s generally more of a writing reward than writing fuel 🙂

CAMINAR was fueled by a lot of Coke and pretzels. But this totally varies from project to project with me. I’m currently sipping hot tea over this new work in progress. And WITH THE END IN SIGHT was beef jerky all the way. (Which is exactly what my characters were eating too.)
–Skila Brown, CAMINAR

Anything edible, really. I am an equal opportunity eater and drinker. Milk teas, chips, hotdog sandwiches, potato salads, beer, spaghetti, dark chocolate – as long as the mouth is moving, the fingers are a-workin’.

Black coffee, ice water, hot Tulsi tea, wine. On a really good writing day you might see all four cups lined up next to my computer!



Coffee, Twizzlers, and Peppermint Patties! I bribe myself with the candy. Write a scene, get a piece of candy. 🙂 But the coffee, that is ever flowing.
–Christina Farley, GILDED & SILVERN

Coffee in the morning, and then tea all day long. I have a fondness for potato chips, which is apparent if you ever flip my keyboard over and shake the crumbs out.
–Danielle L. Jensen, STOLEN SONGBIRD

I don’t drink caffeinated beverages (a writer without coffee? I know, weird), so I’ll usually sip a ginger ale or a Sprite just to get the creative juices–or the sugar rush–flowing. Can’t eat while I’m writing, though–too hard to type with Twinkie fingers!
–Joshua David Bellin, SURVIVAL COLONY 9

I’m a little dependent on Tazo’s Berryblossom White tea.
–Emily Lloyd-Jones, ILLUSIVE

Caffe au laits. As hot as the barista and the insulated cup can stand. I tell myself I’m limited to two a day, so naturally I have three. No sugar if I’ve bought the coffee, and so also managed to get my mitts on a “powerball” (chocolate sugar bomb). Landslide of sugar, if not. My snacking is purely utilitarian, my style crude. Things that can be eaten immediately in the form in which I buy them, for which I can plead a “this isn’t junk food” case before my inner judge. Bowl of blueberries. Baby carrots. I’ll often have a bag of pecans to the right of my keyboard, and a hunk of cheese to the left. Too lazy to bother slicing the cheese, I gnaw on it in a ratterly sort of way between paragraphs on a good day, or uh…between words…on a less good day. At some point in the day, unsatisfied, I’ll then raid the writing cottage cupboard for my mates’ junk food, which I’ll devour and then replace the next day on my way to get my first cafe au lait.

I actually tend to forget to eat when I’m *really* writing. But I write in the morning, and have a lot of trouble getting started unless I have coffee. I don’t think it’s the caffeine (I drink half-caff). I think it’s just the ritual of it.
–Lisa Maxwell, SWEET UNREST

blueI’m an omnivore, which means I’ll gladly eat all my snacks and yours too. Chocolate, licorice, blueberries, raisins, ice cream in a tea cup (so I can convince myself that I’m not eating ice cream for no reason in the middle of the day), peanut butter spoons, carrots, hunks of whatever looks good in the fridge. But when I really want to focus, I chew gum and suck water. Lots and lots of water.
–Mary Crockett, DREAM BOY

I am addicted to all kinds of tea with milk while I am writing. Often, depending on the mood of the section I am working on, I will make it in an actual teapot instead of my Keurig. I have a lot of different tea pots. My favorite is an antique one with a blue willow pattern that tells the story of two lovers whose relationship was forbidden by the girl’s wealthy father, so they ran away together but drowned in a storm at sea. Their spirits became birds and soared. The story and the tea both inspire me. And If I really need extra inspiration (or just want to offer my imagination a bribe to come up with something), I will brew up a pot of chocolate tea. That often graduates to tea with toast spread with Nutella. 🙂
–Martina Boone, COMPULSION

I always have a giant glass of ice water on hand while I’m writing, but the snacks depend upon what ms I’m working on. My tastes change depending on the character. When I was writing TWELVE STEPS, I had constant cravings for Oreos (which totally sucked, because they contain an oil I’m allergic to, and I couldn’t eat them). While writing the middle grade manuscript that caught my agent’s attention, it was oatmeal raisin cookies. The one I’m working on now is inspiring all sorts of gourmet food cravings, like turtle popcorn, chocolate mousse, and gourmet pizza bites with spinach, artichokes and sun dried tomatoes. (This is my favorite manuscript so far. Yum!!)
–Veronica Bartles, TWELVE STEPS

Coffee! When I work as a standardized patient, I’m sometimes supposed to report that I drink a scary amount of coffee, and it’s often the same as what I drink in real life. After I OD on caffeine, I switch to LaCroix. –Rachel M. Wilson, DON’T TOUCH

photo (7)Tea. Tea tea tea tea tea tea. Tea in all shapes and sizes. Just tea.






Sorry if we made you hungry! Now let’s go write.

Skila Brown has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She grew up in Kentucky and Tennessee, lived for a bit in Guatemala, and now resides with her family in Indiana. Her debut novel, CAMINAR, is available now from Candlewick Press.

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