Today I am interviewing Amber Royer, author of the new science fiction novel, Pure Chocolate, second book in the The Chocoverse series.
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DJ: Hi Amber! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Amber Royer: Hi DJ! Thanks you for the opportunity.
I write science fiction, much of it comic. I also teach creative writing to both teens and adults for Writing Workshops Dallas and UT Arlington. About a million years ago, I was a youth librarian, so I come at books and writing from a number of different directions.
I’m also a bit of a geek and a bit of a foodie, and both of those show when you read the Chocoverse books.
I’m known among my friends for making decorated cupcakes.
DJ: What is Pure Chocolate and then The Chocoverse series about?
Amber: You have a future where aliens (the Krom) make a secret first contact. They buy samples of commodities, which they then plan to share with the galaxy. They take coffee and sugar cane, but they miss chocolate. Which becomes the only unique thing Earth has that the galaxy is hungry for.
DJ: What were some of your influences for The Chocoverse series?
Amber: This story is basically a telenovela on the page. So it’s going to share a lot of the plot elements and sensibilities from that genre. And there will be novela-ish character arcs. There’s glitz and glamour and celeberazzi fun. Think how people react in soap operas . . . there’s going to be that level of drama. But at the same time this is a comedy, and I’m playing with the overused soap opera tropes as the punch lines to jokes, to the point where by the time you get to the second book Bo is actively wondering how her life has taken on so many elements of a novela.
There’s also a bit here from the culinary mystery tradition, especially in the first book (a number of corpses do hit the ground in this series). Bo’s the daugher of one of Earth’s biggest celebrity chefs, and after her acting career crashbangs, she flees to the other side of the galaxy to get away from the press — and her family, who think she has behaved badly. Bo’s boyfriend, Brill is also a foodie — he’s a galactic trader who specializes in luxury foodstuffs and he’s also a connoisseur of fine wine.
And of course, this is space opera. There’s tons of geeky in references to everything from Jurassic Park to Star Wars to The Thing to E.T., but there’s a big bit about how we didn’t get the first contact Star Trek promised. Continue reading →