Be Part Of My Story
I love to hear from readers, especially if my stories have touched you in some way.
I also love talking to writers, about craft. And to journalists and bloggers about the writing process and the Chocoverse.
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I’m the author of The Chocoverse Science Fiction Series and The Bean to Bar Mysteries. I like to tell stories that involve complex characters caught up in sticky situations larger than themselves, with no easy answers in sight. If you’re looking for flawed romantic leads, danger and adventure, and optimistic multicultural themes, you’re probably in the right place.
Over 14 years experience teaching creative writing for both teens and adults. My classes emphasize sound psychological character creation, and will help you ensure that your characters are displaying agency right off the bat, which will ensure that your story has momentum.
Writing Day Workshops
UT Arlington Continuing Education
Teaching and Speaking
I write fiction about chocolate, aliens, solving murders, saving the galaxy, falling in love and more. My stories usually have a comedic element that comes across as the hope the characters need to get through the toughest times.
I’m also the author of Story Like a Journalist and co-author of There Are Herbs in My Chocolate.
Complete list of Publications
I blog about writing craft, and do interviews with other writers and with people I have met who work with chocolate. I love to experiment with food and recipes, and many of these experiments are documented on my Instagram and on my YouTube channel. You’ll also find writing prompts, coffee and chocolate pics, and my newest joint venture: The Office Cacao Project.
Complete list of Chocoverse Reviews
Answers For You
Question: What has influenced / influences your writing?
Amber: Obviously, there are a ton of books that have influenced me, but can we talk for a minute about old movies? I’m talking black and white classics, where they couldn’t do much in the way of special effects, so it all came down to the acting and the dialogue. Some friends and I were talking about this recently, and I came to the conclusion that some of the stuff I stumbled on as a teenager/twenty-something with access to the classic movie channels helped shape (and perhaps warp) my sense of humor.
Question: Where did you get the idea for Pure Chocolate, and how, if at all, did your idea evolve as you wrote this story?
Amber: I was looking at the intersection of science fiction tropes and soap opera tropes. One of the biggest, most over-used soap tropes is the evil twin, second only to the character who dies, but turns out to not really be dead. I mean seriously, if there’s no body, there’s a good chance that character will show up at the most dramatic moment possible. . . . I tried to think what the science fiction equivalent of this would be, and I wound up with a character who, in effect, comes back as his own evil twin. I had to fit that into the Chocoverse, and use it to move the overall narrative forward, knocking down some of the plot-dominos I’d set up in Free Chocolate.
Question: DJ: What was your favorite part about writing Pure Chocolate?
Amber: Developing the Krom language and culture. Brill is such a part of it, and Bo has such a hard time understanding it, it colors everything about their relationship. And that relationship is a metaphor for the relationship their respective peoples’ have with the galaxy, so it’s truly important to the book.
Question: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?
Amber: Mark Twain. His travelogues are both hilarious and personal (though no one seems to know — or care — which parts are actually true). I would ask him what it was really like to travel in the late 1800’s and what real events were too weird, sad, or boring to put into the books. I love to travel, too, and I think it would be amazing to take one of his books and go some of the same places to see how the world — and people’s perceptions of it — have changed. I play around a lot with history in my own writing, and in the “Chocoverse” (the universe for the book I have coming out this summer) there is a race of long-lived aliens where individuals alive in my protagonist’s time could have overlapped the later years of Twain’s lifespan.
— Thoughts on Writing —
Some Recent Projects
Here are some choctastic photo galleries and videos that will take you into the Chocoverse and beyond.
You can find other fun bonuses on these pages:
This photo of a metate was taken at Nibble Chocolate in San Diego. Metates are used to stone grind cocoa beans into chocolate.
Worked with X27 Film&Media to produce this introduction to the Chocoverse. Cast (including voiceover) consisted of friends.
This is the cake from the Free Chocolate Launch Party. It looked so much like a giant book that when people walked into the bookstore, and I was like, “Look at My Cake!” they were like, “What cake?” Made by Thuy of Haute Sweets in Dallas.
These are examples of how cacao pods come in different colors and sizes. We ordered these from Montoso Gardens in Puerto Rico.
Here are photos from some of the classes I have taught and from panels have been on.
This is a detail from the floor at the Chocolate Garage in Palo Alto. Sadly the tasting room has closed.
Worked with X27 Film&Media to produce this teaser for your return to the Chocoverse. Cast (including voiceover) consisted of friends.
This is a video I took of the World’s Largest Chocolate Fountain, which is at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
This is the cake from the Pure Chocolate Launch Party. Thuy actually wrote my name across the nose of the 3-D spaceship that’s spilling cherries onto the cake! Made by Thuy of Haute Sweets in Dallas.