Bloggers’ Bench with Barb Taub

Welcome to the Bloggers’ Bench

Bench Picture 2

Let’s sit down on the bench next to Barb Taub and ask a few questions about her blog: Writing & Coffee. Especially coffee.


Welcome Barb, can you tell us a little about yourself, and your blog?

I’ve always thought of myself as a writer. Although I was a journalist when younger, and had a humor column in several American newspapers, the financial realities of raising four kids who had unrealistic expectations—they thought they should eat EVERY day, sleep in actual beds, and wear clothes—meant that I spent many years on the Dark Side (HR professional). You can’t believe how much money employers are willing to pay you to fire people.

Then one day, an amazing thing happened. My company was sold, and the new owners turned out to be insightful, compassionate people (ie they realized the LAST thing they needed was another VP of HR, and they paid me to go away. Lots. I pray for them every night.) I must have stockpiled the karma—probably when I gave up drugs, swearing, and sleep for the eighties except for those four times I was in labor—because the Hub’s employer did the same thing for him!

All through her last year of high school, my youngest child and I had talked about writing a book. Since she finished high school at the same time as our soon-to-be ex-employers waved goodbye, the timing seemed perfect. She headed off to university, while the Hub and I split for England, where I’ve written and lived in an actual medieval castle, a hobbit house, and (soon) a 200+-year-old seaside cottage.

I love to travel, so that provides lots of blog inspiration. Of course, my husband gets twitchy when the phrase, “I could SO blog about this!” comes up. But he does his part to provide blog fodder by insisting on driving ancient vehicles, refusing to consider GPS directions, and generally falling in with my “Ooh, that road looks interesting, turn there…” approach to travel.

How long have you been blogging for?

I’ve been blogging on my current site since the end of 2012.

What inspired you to start a blog, and why did you choose your chosen subject?

I started the blog for exactly one reason: my editor said I needed a “platform” when publishing my first book. I had no idea what a platform was, and I’d never published a book before, so it seemed presumptive to talk about writing on the blog. Instead I wrote about moving to England from America and having to learn a new language—and this post is still in the top five for my blog hits overall.

Is this your first/only blog?

Years ago I thought about starting a blog with some of my old columns, but that fizzled. So Writing & Coffee. Especially Coffee is my current and only blog.

How much time do you spend on your blog per week?

If my editor or the Hub ask that question, I only wave vaguely at the blog while I’m on my way to finish writing my latest actual book. In reality? I spend several hours on humor posts, and (counting reading the books for review) I can spend 15-20 hours on review posts.


Where Barb Blogs From

What’s the best bit about being a blogger?

This is the easiest question on the page. Obviously, I’m not in this for the money! But the people I’ve met through the blog are the third biggest reward I could possibly get. (Second biggest reward would be my letter from Hogwarts, and first is of course Daniel Craig whisking me off for a weekend of very naughty stuff…)

What’s the most frustrating thing?

The blog is personally rewarding, but it competes for time and attention with my book projects, so I’m actually planning to (sob!) cut back on the blogging.

Do you find that bloggers support one another?

That was a huge surprise to me! I’ve been in a few writing and critiquing groups where the members went for blood, but bloggers have been unfailing sources of support and friendship.

Do you tell people when you meet them, or friends and family that you are a blogger?

Absolutely! (Although the Hub twitches when I announce, “I could so blog this!”)

Can you remember your very first post?

Doesn’t everybody remember their first time?

What do you wish someone had told you about blogging at the start of your journey?

Blog hops are the devil’s playground.

Is there any advice that you would like to give people who are thinking about becoming a blogger, and those just starting out?

Beware of blog awards. Because bloggers are the sweetest, most generous people who have ever lived, you’ll find they send you blog awards, which are basically chain letters. They are lovely thoughts, but you then have to do stuff that I’m basically way too lazy to do. (Blogging tip: repost your old award response post. I did it here. Lots.)

What’s next for your blog, any big ambitions for it?
Apart from your blog where else can we find you on the internet?

My books are available through most online outlets.

You can find me over at :-


Barb is also a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team and an occasional (and should be less occasional) guest blogger on Marcia Meara’s blog The Write Stuff


I would just like to say a very big thank you to Barb for giving us an insight in her blogging life, and we wish her lots of success for the future.


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14 Responses

  1. Carol Hedges says:

    Hi Ladies: Barb, I started my blog in 2012 and for precisely the same reason! Though nobody paid me to bugger off…sadly! Great interview….

  2. Shelley says:

    Great interview! As a firm fan of Barb’s blog (and books) I can confirm she is as supportive as she is hilarious. I’m also incredibly fortunate to have met her ‘in the flesh’ at the Blogger Bash awards (the non-chain letter variety) 😉

  3. Barb Taub says:

    This was so much fun! Thanks so much for having me visit today.

  4. Andrew Joyce says:

    I am a faithful reader of Barb’s blog. I love her wit, wisdom, and humour.

  5. Abby K says:

    Great interview! Love reading how people get into book blogging ?

  6. Rosie Amber says:

    Love Barb! and thanks for the review team shout out

  7. Liz Lloyd says:

    Great to read the background to Barb’s wonderful blogposts.