Perhaps I should have titled this post “Why You Shouldn’t Blog While Hungry.”
I was having lunch today and wound up randomly thinking of jalapeño-and-egg sandwiches, which in turn made me think of Kirsten from the Division Zero series. Ever since I wrote in that she’d developed a fondness for them, I’ve associated that food to her character.
From a development standpoint in writing, adding the little details to a character often helps deepen their reality for the reader. Small quirks such as a favorite meal add a bit of normality to characters. I once had a reader comment about Althea from Prophet of the Badlands. In one scene, she’s stuffing enchiladas, so she wants to keep her hands ‘food clean.’ When her leg itches, she scratches it with her foot. That minor action resonated with a reader enough for her to comment on it, specifically a character who by all rights is beyond a normal person (strong paranormal abilities) doing something like that – so mundane – that it made her relatable and real.
This of course got me thinking about the various main characters (and primary support characters) in my novels. I gave a bit of thought to what their favorite foods are (since I happened to be eating lunch while thinking around this idea). The result of this is a little ramble about my characters and what they like to eat.
(Yes I was hungry while writing this.)
So, without further delay, here is a list of my characters, the series or book they appear in, and their favorite foods.
- Aaron Pryce (The Awakened) – Fish and Chips
During his days playing for the Arsenal Frictionless Club, a rather impressive fish and chips wagon frequented the area around the stadium. Aaron has been on a quest for F&C that’s anywhere near as good as what the old man with the cart made, but has yet to find anything close.
- Althea (The Awakened) – Chicken Enchilada
Chicken Enchiladas are the first meal she had after being taken in by Karina and Father. After spending half her short life enslaved for her healing powers, eating them always reminds her of being welcomed into their home and having a real family.
- Anna Morgan (The Awakened) – The English Breakfast
Anna ran away at twelve, forced to live on the streets of London after accidentally killing her father when her electrokinesis lashed out defensively during a drunken beating. She had few happy memories growing up. Her friend Penny begged, wheedled, and scammed enough money to somewhat routinely provide them both “the full English” most days. (At the time, it was the extent of her ability to cook). The elaborate breakfast always makes Anna think of the happier times she’s had.
- Aurora (The Awakened) – Escargot
Much of what Aurora does is motivated by her love to make people around her uncomfortable. She adores the way people squirm while watching her eat it.
- Bethany Dalen (Tales of Widowswood) – Cherry Pie
Emma’s mother has never grown out of her fondness for Nan’s cherry pie. While not technically a “meal,” it is her favorite food item.
- Christopher McCullough (The Summer the World Ended) – SpaghettiOs
Much to Riley’s abject horror, her father lives as a recluse in the vast open nothingness of New Mexico. His cabinets are packed full of Spag-Os, which he likes for their ease and simplicity. He’s also rather fond of the taste.
- Eldon Church (Virtual Immortality) – Crawfish Etouffe
A dish his grandmother served when he was growing up, and still makes once a year at family gatherings. During his time in the UCF Military, many of his platoon mates called him “Toofey” for his constant grumbling about not being able to have this dish.
- Emma Dalen (Tales of Widowswood) – Nan’s Stew
A family recipe that’s been around for a few hundred years, Nan’s cooks-all-day stew is her favorite both for the flavor, for the way it warms the whole house with its fragrance, and because her grandmother made it.
- Evan Wren (Division Zero) – Grilled chicken (with loads of black pepper).
It’s the first meal that Kirsten attempted to cook for him (and one of the few her nascent cooking skills don’t butcher).
- Father Antonio Molinari (Chiaroscuro) – Steak
A good steak dinner was always high on his list of pleasant meals, but it elevated to a state of fond longing after he became a vampire and could no longer partake.
- Genna (Faded Skies) – Mac and Cheese
During her time with the 494th Night Terrors in World War III, Genna returned to base after a harrowing mission she felt certain would kill her. Upon h