Drinks With Characters

Today I have the pleasure of hosting Lawrence M. Schoen, master of the Klingon language, and author of Barsk: the Elephants' Graveyard, his latest novel from Tor Books.



In Barsk: The Elephants’s Graveyard, what is one of your character's favorite drinks - and what’s the recipe?

There’s not a lot of drinking that goes on in this book. Clearly, in hindsight, this was a tragic lapse and I promise to do better going forward. However, there was a scene in an earlier draft of the novel, that slipped away when I reworked the range from a dozen planets to just one (and a space station above it). In that scene Jorl, my protagonist, is visiting another planet far from Barsk. It’s home to several different species/races of uplifted animals but no one there has seen an elephant in a millennium. Anyway, Jorl’s doing a signing at a bookstore and a helpful clerk brings him a large, empty mug — the kind of drinking vessel you’d expect to see at a beer garden, capable of holding a liter or more. The clerk sets this on a table close at hand, along with a tureen of vanilla cocoa. Presumably this is so he can refill the mug as often as he likes and drink to his heart’s content.

Jorl’s concentration is on writing some pithy inscription in a customer’s book, even as he decides that yes, he’d like something to drink. To the horror of everyone around him, he dips his trunk directly in the tureen and empties it in one go. You know, because he can (and because he’s apparently either really thirsty or just very much enjoys vanilla cocoa).

I miss this scene and I hope to find a home for it one day. More importantly for this blog, I thought I had invented the idea of adding vanilla to hot chocolate (I’ve been doing this for years by means of a few drops of vanilla extract). I was gobsmacked when I discovered you could buy this as a pre-packaged flavor in the grocery store.



Lawrence M. Schoen holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, has been nominated for the Campbell, Hugo, and Nebula awards, is a world authority on the Klingon language, operates the small press Paper Golem, and is a practicing hypnotherapist specializing in authors’ issues.

His previous science fiction includes many light and humorous adventures of a space-faring stage hypnotist and his alien animal companion. His most recent book, Barsk, takes a very different tone, exploring issues of prophecy, intolerance, friendship, conspiracy, and loyalty, and redefines the continua between life and death. He lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his wife and their dog.

Today I have the pleasure of hosting the author of many fabulous hairstyles and stories, Darusha Wehm!


Self-Made-cover-500Ooh, drinks! As a maker of homebrew beer, that’s definitely a blog topic I can get behind. Beer does come up in more than a few of my stories, but today we’ll be lifting a glass with a character whose tipple of choice is actually a mixed drink. Or, rather, two mixed drinks.

Andersson Dexter is a detective in a future world where people live part of their lives in a virtual reality called Marionette City. Dex's cases take him to both the asphalt and pixel-painted streets in the three books in the series, Self Made, Act of Will and The Beauty of Our Weapons. And his drink of choice is different in each place.

In the physical world, high quality ingredients are well above Dex’s pay grade, so he makes do with cheap ginger ale mixed with Jamaica’s Best — a synthesized rum substitute that is neither Jamaican nor the best of anything (except perhaps value for money).

In Marionette City, on the other hand, anything can be recreated including flavours and textures. There, Dex prefers a proper Dark ’n Stormy:

Add 1.5 oz high quality dark rum to a heavy Old Fashioned glass filled with ice. Top off with spicy ginger beer and add a squeeze of lime.

About Self Made | Available on Amazon

Ever wish things were different?

Ivy Velasquez did, so she became someone else. In the 3D virtual world Marionette City, you can be anything you want - but everyone still knows who you are. Driven by her desire for a new life, Ivy takes her future in her hands when she makes another identity for herself. A brilliant designer, Ivy works for one of the huge multi-national firms which control the online system the world relies upon for both business and pleasure. But one day, Ivy tries to access M City as her alternate self, Reuben Cobalt, to discover that Reuben had been murdered.

Since alternate identities are forbidden by the firms which control access to the nets and to M City, Ivy has nowhere to turn - until she finds Andersson Dexter. Part private eye, part vigilante and part cop, Dex sets out to uncover Reuben's killer. Since the corporations control almost every aspect of life, including law and order, justice for average people comes only at the hands of the outlaw organization to which Dex belongs.

Self Made is a murder mystery set in a vision of a future that seems to lurk just over the horizon. But above all, it is a story of how people strive to control their own destinies, and how that desire affects them and the people around them in ways they could never imagine.

Darusha-sq-340M. Darusha Wehm is originally from Canada, but currently lives in Wellington, New Zealand after spending the past several years living on her boat and sailing around the Pacific. She’s the author of five science fiction novels, most recently Children of Arkadia. Find out more about her at http://darusha.ca.

Today I welcome Hugo and Nebula-nominated Nancy Fulda, aka Sherrida Pope, to the blog. She's got an adorable new chapter book out just in time for Halloween, An Owl Goes Trick-or-Treating, and she's popped by to share a little with us about what her owls drink.

An Owl Goes Trick-or-TreatingThank you, Megan. I’m thrilled to be here!

So, I’m Sherrida Pope. And I’m Nancy Fulda. It’s a long and complicated story, but basically, Nancy Fulda writes hard science fiction and philosophical secondary-world stories for adults, while Sherrida Pope writes happy adventure stories for children. They both live in my head and yes, it gets crowded sometimes.

In any case, my children and my id recently ganged up to convince me to write a Halloween Chapter Book for early readers. It’s about a little owl named Arthur who can’t manage to put together a costume for Halloween. He ends up in all kinds of trouble, mostly due to the ill-mannered boy who lives nearby, but an unexpected friend helps make his dream a reality.

Arthur’s story is short, sweet, and full of cute little illustrations. And it’s really inexpensive in e-book format.

Here’s what the characters like the drink:

Arthur the owl: Arthur likes berry flavors. If someone were to hand him one, he’d probably love a strawberry/banana smoothie from Jamba Juice.

Genevieve the cat: Cream. With a dash of caramel.

Lisa McConway: Orange Fanta? Lisa’s big on anything that comes with sugar or sparklies, and most carbonated drinks would suit her fine.

Donavan McConway: Don is definitely not old enough to drink alcohol, but he’d sure like to try.

William: Ginger ale. Except when he’s drinking hot chocolate with Cool Whip on top.

Thanks again for inviting me over, Megan. For those who would like to meet Arthur, Genevieve, and their humans in more detail, you can find their story in paperback | nook | kindle | itunes and kobo format.