Monday, November 3, 2008

A Conversation With A Real-life Domestic God

By: Marie Force and Robin Kaye's Hubby Stephen, The Original Domestic God

Marie: In the months leading up to the launch of Romeo, Romeo, I read Robin's many blogs extolling the virtues of her real-life domestic god. One thought kept running through my mind: NO FREAKING WAY! No man is this perfect! It's just not in their DNA! So I began to challenge Robin a little bit on the blog. Tell us the truth, I would say. He can't be this perfect. But she continued to sing his praises. Now, I ask you, what woman do you know who's been married more than fifteen years and still acts as her husband's glowing PR agent? Most of us are looking for ways to dispose of the body by then, not talking about how FABULOUS he is!

Over the next few months we heard of only one chink in his armor—a favorite tree of hers that he cut down without (gasp) her permission. The result? She didn't speak to him for weeks. However, he probably still brought her coffee in bed every morning despite the silence. (Have you no pride man?) So, when I met Robin and her domestic god Stephen this past summer at RWA National in San Francisco, I was on a mission to discover his flaws. While he turned out to be short on flaws, he was cute as can be and a good sport, too. We met at the top-floor lounge at the hotel and had an hour-long discussion. Here's a sample of our conversation.

Marie: So tell me, Stephen, are you really as perfect as Robin makes you out to be?

Stephen: Maybe not perfect. Just perfect for her. (Marie chokes on her Cosmo and wonders who writes this guy's material.) Oh, and when she wasn't talking to me after the unfortunate tree incident, I still brought her coffee in bed. When you're in the doghouse, you can't afford to stop doing what works. Giving my wife caffeine first thing in the morning is always a safe bet.

Marie: Okay, I see how it is. You drug her and that's how you look so good in her eyes! I knew there had to be a logical explanation! So tell me, what's the real secret to your success as a domestic god? Is there more to it than caffeine in bed? And where do you think Robin likes you best? In the kitchen or the bedroom?

Stephen: You found me out. Robin is a much happier woman when her needs are met—only one of which is caffeine. 

Okay, all laughing aside. The secret to my success is really doing what needs to get done. If that means doing the dishes, I do them, laundry, no problem. We're a team. If Robin cooks, I clean. Well, now that the kids are older and 'helping', I clean up after the kids take the first crack at it. There's much more to being a domestic god than coffee in bed, though, that and a kiss does help get the day off to a good start. or bedroom. That's a difficult question. Robin and I have a lot of fun in the kitchen, but I think if you were to ask her, she'd say she likes me best in the bedroom. It's the one place we have any privacy and it's where I take care of the laundry as well as a few other very important things. Yeah, definitely the bedroom.

Marie: By other important things, I assume you mean dusting, vacuuming, folding your boxers and her unmentionables, and actually putting them away. Am I right? What advice do you have for a DG wanna be?

Stephen: Yeah, sure. That's what I meant, although, I'm more of a briefs guy. My advice to a DG wanna be is to just do it. Do whatever it is that will make your wife or significant other's life a little easier. It's the little things like getting her coffee when you get yourself some, offering to stop by the store on the way home, or helping around the house. The pay off is a wife who is happy, less stressed, and very appreciative.

Marie: Hmm, appreciative...Is that a metaphor? Well, Stephen, it's been nice chatting with the original domestic god. I wish I could find some more flaws for our readers, but alas, other than the tree and a mystery "girlfriend" who appeared with you in San Francisco, I'm not finding them. Perhaps our readers will have some questions that will expose the hidden flaws!

Stephen: What's the mystery? You and all the Casababes (as Robin calls you) met my friend Theresa. She's still talking about how much fun it was to meet so many great authors when she met up with me and Robin in San Francisco. She's also been buying all of your books. Theresa is great, and although Robin is always teasing me about having a "girlfriend," Theresa is as much her friend as mine. Besides, everyone knows I'm a one woman man. All domestic gods are.

Thanks for the interview Marie. It was a lot of fun. Oh, and I'm sorry about you catching my cold in San Francisco. I hope it was worth it. 

Marie signs off to talk her own husband off the roof after he read about Stephen the DG...


  1. Fantastic interview you should write a book Stephen so as we wives can buy it to give it to our hopeful domestic gods.

    I gotta say after 31 years of marriage my hubby isn't too bad, not really good with cleaning but very caring and a great coffee maker LOL

    Have Fun

  2. Thanks Helen~

    I'm not much of a writer, I'll leave that to Robin.

    The interview was a lot of fun. I had a great time in San Francisco and one of the highlights of our trip was the night I got to hang out with Marie, Robin, Judi, Malena...heck there were quite a few of the Casababes there. I couldn't complain since I was the only man in the room and was surrounded by beautiful women. A good time was had by all--especially me.

    I have the book you won all set to take to the Post Office this morning. Congratulations.


  3. He even goes to the post office for her... sigh....

  4. Great to meet you Stephen. You didn't say how you felt about having a romance writer for a wife? I hear that in addition to needing caffeine in the morning, they can have very high standards in other departments.

  5. Thank you for joining us, Stephen. I thought this was a heartfelt and practical interview with some sound advice. You sound like a man who has figured out some basic (but often ignored) facts of life and put them to good use. Lucky Robin!

  6. You see what needs to be done and just do it. *Sigh* How truly wonderful....
    Nice to meet you Stephen, now I want to see a picture of the real DG!

  7. It's nice to meet all of you, too.

    Michele~ I think it's great that Robin is doing something she loves and is so successful. Her journey has been an adventure for both of us. I'm really proud of her. She's worked hard and it's great that her hard work has been rewarded. Her success is worth the teasing I get around the office. Everyone asks if I'm the guy on the cover. (grin) I just tell them it's hard work, but someone's got to do it.

    Cheryl, I don't have a picture of me without the kids in it. Marie or Judi might though. I seem to remember a few pictures taken that night with the Casababes. They better check with Robin before posting it though, she really hates pictures.

  8. The amazing thing is, Marie did NOT make any of this up. Stephen is a great guy and it's very easy to see where Robin's inspiration came from.

    Signed, Judi who met Stephen long before Marie, but, *sigh, after Robin! (and now I'm off to make amends to my own DG!)

  9. Sadly, Stephen, that was the one night I didn't have my camera with me!

    oh, and just so there's no confusion, my DG is the one who brings me breakfast in bed sans coffee - I'm already too hyper as it is!

  10. Stephen, I have to concur, you *need* to write a how-to book so I can give it to my husband for Christmas. I'll settle for post-it notes, a phone call, or even an IM chat with my husband would be helpful.

    Robin's a lucky (and smart!) lady. Many years of happiness to you both!!

    Marie, thanks for sharing the interview! Now if only I could get my husband to read it.

  11. Ah, love it! Particularly about being a one woman man. Every woman should have one of those. Great interview :)

  12. [sigh]That's so sweet. And like all the profound truths, simple. All you have to do to be a DG is do what needs to be done.

    Not easy, because it involves thinking of someone else's needs, but it is simple.

  13. And here I thought Robin made some of it up to impress us. Not really. She gets that "look" in her eye when she speaks of her Stephen. You should offer classes.

  14. Wow, lovely to meet you, Stephen! How wonderful for you and Robin that you've got your own HEA :) And yes, you're an inspiration for husbands everywhere (those who aspire to that higher standard, anyway ;))

  15. about research in your own home. Heehee

    Meeting Stephen at the Rita's, it was easy to tell he was her real life hero and she was his heroine.

    I'm giving away a copy of Romeo Romeo this week on my blog. I've been dying to do this since nationals. :)

  16. Too cute! My husband is my #1 Fan and he does do the dishes without my prompting and put away his own clothes (my kids do the sorting.) Feels good to have a good man.

    So Yea You, Stephen for "getting it." You know when you "get it", you "get it." Know what I'm sayin'?

  17. Hi Ladies~

    I thought I'd check in just before I leave for home. Robin called to remind me. It's been a busy day at work.

    I'm glad you all enjoyed the interview. It's always a blast to talk to Marie. The messages she sends me through Robin are always a laugh. She's a really good sport.

    Hi Judi, Vicki and Malena. It's good to see all of you again.

    Judi is right, she's known me for a while now. Though the first time we met, I thought she was trying to kill me. She came close to running me over with her car. LOL

    Pat, Robin's told me so much about you. She said the two of you had a great time together in NJ. I seem to recall something about high-kicking to New York, New York. LOL I sure missed a good time. But then someone had to stay home with the kids.

    I'll try to check in later but I can't promise. Our youngest is home sick so she's going to keep me pretty busy tonight and Robin's running our dancer back and forth to dance school.

    Thanks for the comments, ladies. It's been great!


  18. This was a fun interview. We have all been hearing about the wonderful Stephen for a long while now. Hmmm....wonder if it is something about the name? My Steve is a DG through and through. I even get espresso each day with fresh roasted beans! And he cleans way better than me! But, in the end, it isn't the coffee or cleaning but just about love and not being afraid to express it. Thanks Stephen and all the other DGs of the world who keep us romance writers inspired....and happy. :)

  19. I want to thank Stephen too, not only for being the an amazing husband and father, but for being such a good sport.

    He's not perfect, but like he said, he's perfect for me even if he does get carried away with the chain saw every now and then. And after almost 19 years of marriage (our anniversary is the 25th of this month), there's no one else I'd rather spend my time with.

    So, thanks for this and for putting up with me.


    Robin :)

  20. Stephen, about that high-kicking stuff? Um, well, we can't let my kids know. They think their mom is old and staid. I like to leave them their delusions. LOL

  21. Stephen,
    I'm a little late getting to this blog, but wanted to say how much I enjoyed it, and also how much you remind me of my own husband. Well, I don't get coffee in bed, but he's an all-around good sport and fun to be around.

    We want Robin to bring you to Nationals in July and give you a domestic god nametag so we all know who you are!

    Christine Trent