Wednesday 13 September 2023

A Slice of Cake With... Abby Goldsmith

Abby is the author of the Torth series, originally released on Wattpad and Royal Road, with 700,000+ reads. She’s an alumni of the Odyssey Writing Workshop, where she received a personal critique from best-selling author George R.R. Martin. Her short works are published in Escape Pod and Fantasy Magazine, as well as in anthologies by Writer’s Digest Books.

A former animator and game content writer, Abby is credited on more than a dozen Nintendo games for Nickelodeon and Disney. She co-hosts the Stories for Nerds podcast from her home in Texas.

What kind of books do you write?

I’ll only write novels or series that I believe contribute something uniquely new to the world, or that depict something vitally important that isn’t expressed well enough anywhere else that I’ve ever seen. I like to explore society through the exaggerated lens of sci-fi and fantasy, and I play with interpersonal power dynamics. My villains tend to be darkly absurd. My heroes tend to be larger-than-life and/or rise to overpowered heights.

Can you describe your writing why?

I’ve always been a storyteller. Epic stories grow and mutate in my mind. I've experimented with animation, comics, and game dev, as well as screenplays and novels. With novels, I have the most creative control, and I don't need a team or a massive budget. So I've chosen this art form as the one to concentrate the most energy on.

Share with us your favourite passage from the book you enjoyed writing the most

The Torth Majority did not care about individuals, and so Yellow Thomas had not cared about individuals.

That was a toxic approach, he now figured.  Slaves had healthier priorities.  To slaves, large groups were abstract, whereas a single individual could matter more than an entire city or planet.  That strange-but-wonderful outlook made them superior to the Torth. 

So during his imprisonment, Thomas had deconstructed who he was, and pieced his identity back together from a human perspective.

He was smart.  He was dying.  He was a Torth hybrid, but he was also half human.  American.  A friend.  A foster brother.  A prisoner.  A target.  A power to be reckoned with.  A seeker of knowledge, and a teller of truths.  He used to be a nameless Yellow Rank, equal to all other Yellow Ranks, but now that was only a fraction of his identity.  He was a sapient being with a lot of unique complexities, and, like the mysterious magic of telepathy and Yeresunsa powers, the whole of who he was transcended the parts.

“The Torth are not my family anymore,” he said.

The orator was quiet for a moment, perhaps mulling over his simple answer.

“Very well,” she said.  “Your answers are acceptable, Thomas.  I have one final question.  If you join us, will you give your assurance that you will not harm us?”

Tell us about your latest project

What if everyone could peer inside your mind and judge you? What if a thought could get you killed? Welcome to the Torth Majority. Are you a thought leader? Or are you a slave?

The galaxy-spanning Torth own everything and know everyone. They are shepherded by supergeniuses, the greatest of whom is crushing hard on Thomas. There is no way to refuse the Torth Majority, no way to escape, no way to help his enslaved friends… unless Thomas can trick thirty trillion mind readers. 

And so Thomas’s galactic conquest begins. 

The Torth series is completely pre-written with an online following. It’s dark sci-fi progression fantasy with dual protagonists, one brawn and one brain. 

What is your favourite cake?

I’ll have to go with a 7 layer chocolate cake.

You can connect with Abby here:

X (formerly known as Twitter):

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop. Never miss out on future posts by following me.

Wednesday 6 September 2023

Extra Slice of Cake With... Jessica Thompson

This week I am delighted to have author Jessica Thompson back for another slice of cake.

Jessica is the author of the Amazon best-selling mystery novels A Caterer’s Guide to Holidays and Homicide and A Caterer’s Guide to Love and Murder which was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Awards. She also curated and featured her own short stories in a family friendly anthology of campfire stories, Beyond the Woods: A Supernatural Anthology. Active in her local writing community, she volunteers as the Assistant Communications Chair for the Storymakers Guild and as a Program Assistant for the Writer’s League of Texas. 

Jessica lives in the suburbs of Austin, Texas with her husband and two children. When not writing, she’s getting her boots dirty at her parents' nearby longhorn cattle ranch. Whether ranching, cooking, or gardening, she sees it all as plot-inspiring material for her next mystery.

Describe the types of books you love to read

Ooooh! I love Agatha Christie. I’m almost done reading her whole collection of novels. I really love all mystery, but especially clean mysteries. If it’s cozy, so be it, but it’s got to be clean. 

Which authors inspire you to write?

Again, Agatha Christie, but modern writers I love are Josi Kilpack (my favorite cozy author), Joanne Fluke (when I need to remember that I CAN do this), Bruce Hammack (his books are similar to my newest release), and J.R. Lancaster (again, her book is similar to my Shoot Shovel and Shut Up because it’s clean and compelling, but not cozy.)

Since we last had a slice of cake, what have you been working on?

I last came on to talk about my culinary cozy mysteries series, which has a new book coming out in January called A Caterer’s Guide to Valentines and Violence, but mostly I’ve been trying something new. My latest book is called Shoot Shovel and Shut Up. It’s a clean, classic mystery, but it’s not a cozy. It’s a modern Western mystery with a splash of romance.

I’ve also been in several anthologies, like Riddles, Resolutions and Revenge, A Beach of a Crime, and Bippity Boppity Boots - Southwestern Fairytale Retellings.

What is your next project?

The third book in my Caterer’s Guide to Crime series is coming out on January 11, 2024. It doesn’t have a link or cover yet, but … blurb time!

Feel the love … with a caterer, a captain, and a criminal.

“Hey, gorgeous!”

As she decides how she feels about her not-so-ex-fiancĂ©, Violet and her friends must cater a formal Army event as their secrets boil over. When she and the handsome investigator discover the boss has been beaten, and not with a whisk, and her fiance becomes the prime suspect, Violet must bite off more than she can chew, decide who to trust, and find the creamy center of the crimes. 

But can she crack the criminal before she melts?

A Caterer’s Guide to Valentines and Violence is a prequel to the mystery series that’ll give you heart eyes!

Have you recently tried any new cake? What was the last cake you made/bought?

My most recent cake was chocolate and raspberry for my daughter’s birthday, but I’m hoping to soon make America’s Test Kitchen’s Magic Chocolate Flan Cake. I made it once years ago and it’s sooooo sexy.

You can connect with Jessica here:

My book Shoot Shovel and Shut Up:
Amazon Author Profile:

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop. Never miss out on future posts by following me.