Let Them Eat Cake.


Glorious food.

My stories always seem to feature a lot of tasty treats.

(Or, in the case of The Caretaker and the upcoming Haka Ever After, ALL THE CHEESE.)

I’ll be perfectly honest, half the time, I wind up making myself hungry and get annoyed because I don’t always have access to some of the foods my characters enjoy. One Last Heist was a prime example. Toshiro and Mack indulge quite a bit in the story. I have to live vicariously through them.


Food adds a layer to stories. And I’ve discovered one person’s weird is another’s delicacy.

As an autistic, the smell, texture, spice levels, and even colour of food can affect whether I’ll be able to eat it. I also tend to have weeks and even months where I’ll eat the same meal over and over and over again, much to my hubby’s dismay. =) It’s something I try to stay cognizant of with my autistic characters.

Toshiro’s sister Charlie enjoys having her eggs in a particular way, especially when made by her brother.

The other side of the food coin is weird–odd–gross foods. And I’ll admit that one person’s weird is another’s delicacy.

Here are some of the foods (I find weird) that I’ve tried over the years:

– Blood Sausage.

Ew. Gross. Don’t.

– Jackfruit

Weird texture. Weird on the outside. Tastes amazing.

– BBQ Stingray

Tried this in Singapore. So good. Silky texture and no odd fishy aftertaste.

– Turtle Soup

This one traumatised me for years. My dad made me try his soup. I was horrified. Also, it was rubbery. But, I had pet turtles, and I had nightmares about eating them. lol

What are the weirdest or most unusual foods/dishes you’ve ever tried?

Do you enjoy learning about foods/dishes in the novels you read?

Things I Learned at the RT Convention

  1. Stuart Reardon is the sweet and most attractive man ever. (Also, he hugged me).  
  2. I can stretch out of my autistic comfort zone.
  3. People REALLY like free shit.
  4. The authors and staff at my publisher (Hot Tree) are all adorably sweet people who went out of their way to ensure I felt as comfortable as I could be.  I heart them.
  5. Steak and ale pie is brilliant.
  6. Authors fangirl as much as readers do, because at our core–we can’t be great authors if we don’t also love to read.
  7. Five days is enough to exhaust me completely and utterly.
  8. Volunteers work incredibly hard and rarely get noticed.
  9. The tribe of book lovers is an awesome one. I’m proud to be part of it. 
  10. Play time is over. Time to get to writing.

Did you attend the RT Convention in Atlanta last week? If so, what was your favourite part?

An Ode to My Grandmother.


My adoptive parents are an interesting mix.  My father is the epitome of the stereotypical American from the ‘deep south,’ and all the good and bad that comes with it.  My mother was born in Canada, but moved to England as a toddler and was raised in Oxford up until she met my father(a dashing American airman) at the age of twenty.  Despite her Canadian passport, my mother was all British.   I have no idea how they fell in love. They are polar opposites.

It was very odd growing up in a house with such a deep culture clash.    My brothers and I were essentially forced to learn to versions of the English language.  Biscuits could mean the savory, flaky goodness that my paternal grandmother baked, or they could mean the sweet treats we dipped into our tea.   Football could evoke images of men running around with an odd shaped, pig skin ball in their hands, or men running around kicking a black & white colored round ball.    Words could be spelled with or without an additional ‘u.’

My mother home-schooled all three of her children, so we’d get docked points for spelling words like colour without the ‘u.’   Yet, when my father graded our homework, he’d cross out the u as a mistake.

We were often very confused.

In any case, I was channeling my paternal grandmother last night when I made the American version of biscuits.   My grandmother was a very lovely woman who encouraged me frequently to be everything I could possibly be, and not simply follow along the path my over-bearing parents wanted me to go.   Both my grandmother and grandfather spent a lot of time with me.  They worked very hard to counter-act some of the more negative things in my life, and I’m forever grateful to both of them.

Anyway, so I made biscuits last night – the American Southern style savory type, not the sweet British cookie type.   They were delicious and easy so I thought I’d share the recipe.

It’s basically the Bisquick basic biscuit recipe, with a twist:

2 1/4 cups of bisquick mix

2/3 cup of milk

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 a cup of shredded Italian blend cheese (won’t lie, it was probably more like 3/4 a cup.  We like our cheese lol)

I dropped eight biscuits by the spoon onto a greased pan.

Baked for about eight minutes in a 450 degree oven. YUM.  (the recipe says 8 – 10 minutes, I found with our oven that the bottoms get a bit too browned if you go over 9 minutes).

Chips make everything better.

IMG_4307Food plays an important part in Ivy’s world.  She loves Victorian Sponge cakes.  And obsesses over high tea at fancy hotel restaurants.

But her one true love definitely has to be fish and chips that are smothered in salt and malt vinegar.  It’s her favorite thing in the whole world.  I think if she could write sonnets to the perfect chip, she would.

How important to you as a writer is it to figure out your characters tastes and preferences? As a reader, does it matter to you at all?  I’m curious because to me, I love knowing some of the little personal food foibles that characters have.

Photo Credit: Some Rights Reserved by the Food Place