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Trifles & Trivia

Who is Elaine Coffman? We put that question to the always upbeat, positive, funny (not to mention gorgeous) author of numerous New York Times bestsellers.

The Texan, a member of both The Authors Guild and Mystery Writers of America, replied, "I'm adventuresome, have a strong sense of self, and enjoy such a wide range of things I feel I must be a cross between champagne and apple pie. I think boredom and being in a rut are unforgivable and that change and taking risks are good for you. I can face obstacles that would level most people, only to find myself flattened over trivia."

That said, we decided to challenge Elaine to TRIFLES & TRIVIA.

Define "writing," Elaine.

Doing a striptease on amateur night. You walk to the end of the runway. You take your clothes off. You stand there, waiting to see if people will applaud or throw things.


Have you always been an author?

In college I worked as a lifeguard. Later on I raised Quarter Horses and Brahman cattle. That was when I owned ranches. And I've drilled oil wells, taught elementary school, and during all this, I miraculously managed to raise three well-adjusted children.


We know you have a degree in elementary educaton, received your certification for language and learning disibilities, and worked on your masters degree in special education, but what about your "career" as a thespian?

My first starring role was in first grade, as the troll in The Three Billy Goats Gruff.


You claim to be working, when you're nottrue or false?

False! I am working when I'm staring out the window.


Your favorite movie?

Il Postino.


Place to be?



Favorite food?

Tex-Mex, including the Margaritas!


Favorite pastimes?

Researching my family history. Cooking. Talking to myself. Buying anything.


Tell us about growing up in West Texas. What is something your readers absolutely don't know about your childhood?

In high school, some friends nicknamed me "Frog."


A native Texan, are you?

Practically, but I was the first in three generations of my family not to be a born in Texas. My father was a Navy officer, stationed in San Diego, California, at the time of my birth. He got the family back to Texas when I was three. I grew up in oil country, Midland, Texas.

What is one thing that people would be the most surprised by, relating you to reading?

I read the endings of books first.


What is the one thing that surprises people about you?

I can't remember the punch lines of jokes.


Let's talk "firsts." What was your first car?

A 1956 Chevy, turquoise and white with a continental kit and sun visor. Even worse, I thought it was a cool car.


Who got you on his program first, Leno or Letterman?

Neither of the two. But one of my book covers was on Johnny Carson.


What is the one thing that has amazed you about life?

I didn't die after a black widow spider bit me.


Outside of family and friends, what do you love?

Little old ladies with bows and flowers in their hair.


If you had it all to do over, what would you not do again?

I wouldn't call Japanese suicide pilots "Kawasaki pilots."


© 2003-2004 Elaine Coffman

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