Four Fantastic Fiction Writers & the Finger Foods they Munch

      So, have I been true to my post from (over) a month ago, & been writing?  A bit.  Not as much as I would have liked, because June has been insane.  But it's been insane in a very good way.  Specifically, because I've been working towards... first published work!
      Yeah, that's right, check out the authors on that thing!  See the first name?  Notice that it's MINE???  Four Fantastical Ways to Lose Your Fingers is a speculative short story collection compiled by some of the Seattle area's finest, & lucky me, I got in on that action.*
      Four Fantastical Ways to Lose Your Fingers is now available as a Kindle exclusive!  It weaves tales of Seattle superheroes, haunted bookstores, cats who are every bit as supernatural as you've always suspected, & Greek Gods with laser guns.  So guess what?  I recommend you buy the book!  :-D
      *ahem*  Yeah, I am neither versed in the ways of emojis, nor this whole self-promotion/advertising thing.  I'm new at this.  But authors Michael Munz, Tiffany Pitts, & Janine Southard are all pros, & not only are they talented story tellers, they are also really, really nice people who have been both patient & encouraging as I've stumbled through this whole process of turning a story into a published thing.  They came up with the brilliant of idea** of doing a blog tour, in which we answer questions on one another's blogs.  Of course the questions had finger-related themes, & of course mine had to be about food.

I asked: 
What's your relationship to food when it comes to writing? If you snack when working on stories, what's your favorite finger food while writing?
It's me!  
Or rather, as much of me as I care to show online!
My Answer:
      Tea & graham crackers.  Why?  Because a lot of my stories are set in the Victorian-era (not the one in FFWTLYF, though), & nothing sets the mood like sipping tea from a china cup & nibbling pastry.  But too much pastry is neither good for one's health nor one's budget.  So I compromise with graham crackers, which I can truss up by spreading with peanut butter, or Nutella, or mascarpone with a drizzle of raw honey or pinch of cinnamon.
      Of course, if I was really going all out (& had a significant amount of time to prepare), I might go for a full-on afternoon tea.  For me, this would include freshly baked scones with butter & preserves, some manner of savory, such as a finger sandwich (no, really), fresh fruit, & then a small dessert like a tartlet or brownie.  And don't tell me brownies aren't sophisticated enough for afternoon tea, because they're bloody delicious--especially mine!


Janine A. Southard
Janine's Answer:
I do most of my drafting work in coffee shops. So my food relationship when it comes to writing it:one pasty and one (maybe two) mochas per writing day.

If I've gotten carried away with my work too many days running, I don't even get a real dinner later unless I eat out because I rarely bother to stock my kitchen when my mind is in a fictional world.

During the editing part of the process, though, I get to show off how awesome my spouse is. When I get to the final draft, I'll reach a point where I just want to be done and get through all the notes from the editor. I lie on my couch at home, stabbing the computer keys and vaguely listening to a Pandora station in the background as the sky gets darker and darker. Suddenly a bowl of soup will appear next to me. Homemade. (My SE usually goes for the Chinese Beef Soup with bok chow which you can try here!) You know your spouse loves you when healthy soup magically arrives whenever you're working at your computer. Much <3 to the one I marries.  **waves**

Janine A. Southard once once cut her hand on a mirror liek woah, though she didn't lose a finger that way.  (She did spend a year mostly unable to use her right hand for other medical reasons, thanks to which she now excels at opening doors left handed and taking notes on her phone.) She writes speculative fiction from coffee shops in Seattle, WA. Find Janine on Twitter, Goodreads, and!
Author of the Ippy award-winning DF novel Queen & Commander on, Kobo, iTunes, Barnes & Noble


Michael G. Munz

Michael's Answer:
I drink when I write--by which I mean coffee, by which I mean espresso, by which I mean some sort of latte or mocha, by which I mean that's pretty much it but now I'm trying to figure out how many "by which I mean" clauses I can cram into a single sentence. I've actually tried drinking-drinking, by which I mean (Hah! You can't stop me!) hard cider a few times while writing, but that's not usually productive, with the possible exception of when I wrote the part of Zeus is Dead with Dionysus, the god of wine & revelry.

Okay, full disclosure: I was completely sober when I wrote those parts, but wouldn’t it have made a great anecdote if I hadn’t been?

As for food, well, I’ve found I can’t write very well when food is involved. There was a café I used to write in that also served some fantastic panini sandwiches, so on occasion I’d order one. Nine times out of ten, that resulted in being too distracted by eating to get my hands on the keyboard. Even when I was finished eating, all half the blood in my brain had gone to my stomach to work on digestion, so the resulting creative thoughts were about as useful as saying that “I have the best words.”

An award-winning writer of fantasy & sci-fi, Michael G. Munz possesses what "normal" people would likely deem far too much familiarity with a wide range of geek culture, although he prefers the term Geek-Bard: Jack of all Geek-Trades, but Master of None.  Or mostly none.  There are exceptions.  He dwells in Seattle where he works on his latest novel & jealously guards all of his remaining fingers.  Find him on Twitter, Facebook, &


Tiffany Pitts

Tiffany's Answer:
The only food I keep at my desk is a jar full of dog cookies.
For the first 15 years of my adult life, I worked in a lab. If you’ve ever worked in a wet science lab (chemistry, micro- or molecular biology –stuff like that) you will be familiar with the idea that food and workspaces don’t mix. I haven’t been in a lab since 2012 but old habits die hard and I still don’t snack at my desk. There’s just something scandalous about it in my mind. Like the neighbor is going to stop by and write me up for having pretzels in my office. I don’t even like eating lunch there (although my dog is very keen on it).
Really, I couldn’t if I wanted to. My desk is covered with stuff. I don’t know how that happens. But adding a few plates here and there really doesn’t work. And I can’t put a plate of snacks on the floor because Thor calls dibs on everything at knee height or lower.
So, while I’m at my desk, I’m usually just drinking coffee. It’s not until about 2 or 3 in the afternoon where the food really comes in.
When I was a bench scientist I worked with a bunch of people that genuinely liked being in a science lab. They were curious people that liked doing random stuff along with all our regular work. We would do random chemistry experiments, like the type you’d find on science -elephant toothpaste, flaming gummy bears – stuff like that. The weirder the better.  It was so much fun.
I don’t have a group of friends to do that with now which makes me sad. To make up for that, I often find myself gravitate toward the kitchen in the late afternoon to ‘make something.’ Usually something easy like biscuits or tortillas. Sometimes, Nutella bread. Recently, my daughter’s best friend discovered she’s got a severe gluten intolerance so I’ve been testing out some gluten free recipes to see what that’s like. To everyone’s surprise, gluten-free Whoopee pies are super awesome. I highly recommend those.
A lot of the kids at school know my habits and I will often find a house full of hungry people at four o’clock. I encourage this behavior since then I won’t be tempted to eat all the stuff I bake.
I’m thinking of learning some vegan recipes next. We’ve got one friend who is vegan and she’s always having a hard time finding baked goodies. Maybe I could make a vegan whoopee pie.
Whoopee Pies (gluten Free)
2 c. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Baking Mix
1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
½ c Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 c light brown sugar
½ c softened unsalted butter
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 c buttermilk

½ c softened butter
1 ½ c confectioner’s sugar
2 c Marshmallow Fluff
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat over to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment.
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively in small amounts until fully incorporated.
  5. Using a cookie scoop, place 1-1/2 sized mounds about 2 inches apart on your lined cookie sheets. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating sheets at halfway mark. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

For the filling:
  1. Cream together butter and confectioners’ sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add marshmallow crème and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
  2. Spread 1-2 TBSP of filling across half of the cookies and sandwich the other half on top.
  3. You can then roll in sprinkles, wrap in paper or simply eat them standing over the sink.

Tiffany Pitts grew up in the PNW on a diet of cartoon, candy, and instant noodles. She is a former molecular biologist, and a former-former analytical chemist who has definitely never blown anything up on accident. Her latest novel, Wizzy Wig, won the 2016 Cygnus Award for Best Speculative Fiction. Connect with Tiffany on Twitter, Facebook, and

Now you just need to pick what to eat while you read!  -Z.D.

*How, you ask?  It's kind of a random story.  I was hanging out with Camela Thompson & one of her fellow authors sent her a text suggesting a collaborative short story project with some of their other writer buds, & Camela was all over that.  In fact, she suggested Ten Fabulous Ways to Lose Your Fingers.  From where I was eavesdropping with a cup of tea on the other side of the table, I said, "Huh, I was just starting a novel with a character missing two fingers."  The wheels started turning. So the next thing I knew, I'd written a short story--something that's usually very hard for me to do.  And wouldn't you know it, THESE OTHER PUBLISHED WRITERS REALLY LIKED IT!

**A real one, not one where accidental amputation ensues.


Powered by Blogger.