Amber Royer writes a telenovela-style foodie-inspired space opera series of books that take place in the "Chocoverse." Amber also teaches creative writing for UT Arlington Continuing Education and Writing Workshops Dallas, and is the author of Story Like a Journalist: a Workbook For Novelists.
Tell us a little about your writing background.
I’m primarily a novelist. My Chocoverse trilogy is comic space opera about a future where chocolate is Earth’s only unique commodity.
I've met so many real chocolate makers and chocolatiers while researching and promoting these sci-fi books that I’ve started a new series – mysteries with a bean to bar chocolate maker as the sleuth. The first one, Grand Openings Can Be Murder, will be coming in February, from my imprint, Golden Tip Press.
I’m also a blogger and a writing instructor. I blog about awesome people I’ve met who do chocolate, about the craft of creative writing, and about places I’ve gotten to visit. I took a little time off from the blog this year, due to having to re-organize the rest of my work to take place on Zoom, but I’m setting up interviews and planning topics for later this fall.
Do you ever travel for food?
I miss getting to travel. Most of the time, for me, it's about checking out the food scene wherever we are already planning to go, rather than traveling specifically to try food.
But one time we did plan a road trip from Texas to South Carolina specifically to visit the only tea plantation in the continental United States. It was quite an educational experience.
Whatever city we visit, I try to find out what is cool or unique regarding coffee or chocolate, which means I’ve toured a cacao plantation in Samana (Dominican Republic), shopped at the Kit-Kat Chocolatory Store in Ginza (Tokyo – there’s a whole thing about Kit-Kat and Japan), sampled brigadeiros at a tiny shop in LA, and interviewed a couple of guys roasting craft coffee in El Paso.
I’ve just met so many amazing people who are passionate about chocolate and coffee and generous with their time and knowledge. A chocolate maker in Monterrey, Mexico, actually took the time to spend half a day with us, showing us his process and his factory, because we let him know I was doing book research.