My first ever book signing is coming up in a couple of days. I’m so excited and thrilled to finally be living out one of the moments I’ve dreamed of for at least half my life. Even more exciting is the fact that it’s taking place in a cupcake shop! When the lovely folks at Splat! Cakes ’n Such invited me to come do a signing, there was no question of my accepting.
I wanted to do something fun to help everyone get to know the characters of Darkness Shifting a little bit better before the signing. Splat’s unique take on cupcakes is a perfect opportunity to reveal the deep, gooey center of my characters. But, being the. . . erm, real humans they are, obviously none of them wanted to open up about themselves. So I decided to give them a Splat! menu and ask them to describe each other instead.
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Mitch, if you could choose a cupcake to describe Sidney, which one would it be?
Oh, hmm. . . The Mexican Hot Chocolate probably. Yeah, that’s pretty clear, isn’t it? Chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing and a kick of cayenne pepper. She’s got a dark past, but she’s still sweet. If you can manage to get her to slip up and forget anyone is paying attention, she’s the kindest most passionate person you’ll ever meet. And the cayenne, well, that’s really the key ingredient, for sure. It doesn’t take much, but it packs a punch and makes things interesting, just like Sidney.
Sidney, you haven’t had much of a chance to get to know the new Medical Examiner, Jackson Banks yet, but which cupcake do you think matches him best so far?
Banks is definitely the Bourbon Peach Cobbler. Fresh peach bourbon cake filled with peach glaze that’s cooked down in bourbon, brown sugar, and butter, then topped with a caramel butter cream, and more of the peach glaze. Yeah, that’s him. So sweet he’ll make your teeth ache, but just salty enough that it’s endearing and not annoying. And the bourbon is important. He’s good at putting people at ease, making them feel comfortable. He’s got a great bedside manner. As for the peaches, he’s from Georgia, obviously. Isn’t “peachy keen” a thing people say down there? He’s definitely that.
And what about Williams?
Haha, G. Wills likes to think he’s all dark, brooding, and deep, but really he’s a big teddy bear. So he’d be the Chocolate Marshmallow Dream. Chocolate cake with marshmallow fluff filling, vanilla buttercream frosting, topped with more marshmallows. Yep, that’s my partner.
. . .and Mitch?
Do I really have to answer this one?
Well, he’s a character in the book and you know him better than anybody else.
Fine. Okay. He’s Cherry Yum Yum. The vanilla cake is plain and seemingly boring, which is how he appears on the outside. But the cherry pie filling lets you know there’s a lot more to him once you get him to open up. Cherries are a little bit tart, and more often than not he comes across that way, even though I don’t think he means to. But cream cheese frosting is sweet and solid. There’s nothing fluffy about him. Cherries are classic and dependable, just like Mitch.
Tyran, you’ve known Dimitrius longer than anyone else on Earth, a long time for the two of you. Which cupcake do you feel is the most like him?
The Wild Oats, I’d say. Dimitrius has sown plenty of those in his lifetime. But granola, brown sugar, and honey cake, cream cheese frosting, topped with granola and dried fruit pieces? It’s the most sensible choice on the list, and Dimitrius is nothing if not sensible. He’s also a bit dense, on occasion, like the cream cheese. Not that he would ever see himself as such, but it’s true. Honey cake is accurate. Sweet, but not overpowering. You catch more flies with honey and all that. Dimitrius certainly knows how to be charming, most especially towards his enemies. Also, honey is his favorite thing. He’s been known to call it the perfect food. I think he’d live entirely on honey if I let him.
Dimitrius, which cupcake reminds you most of Tyran?
Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog, almost entirely because of the name. Tyran will jump into bed faster than a penny whore, but he’s also the most loyal person I’ve ever known. He’s been by my side for all but a handful of my earliest years. Never once has he strayed. So, yes, vanilla cupcake baked with bananas, peanut butter frosting, and topped with a banana chip describes him well. Peanut butter is mildly sweet and unassuming. It’s fine enough on its own, but it’s much better as an accompaniment to other things like chocolate or honey. Tyran has always been a reliable and essential companion.
Argus, what would your brother be like if he were a cupcake?
If? That bloody bastard IS a cupcake. One that’s all frosting. Aye, Malcolm’s a real soft one. This one here, Boys Night Out— Beer and pretzel batter with vanilla buttercream, topped with crushed pretzels and sea salt—that’s him to a T. The boy likes brewin’ up a fine ale. He’s got a bit of saltiness to him, but yeah, mostly he’s all buttercream.
Malcolm, if your brother was a cupcake, which one would he be?
Oi, well. That’s a tough one. Cupcake, yeh said? I suppose it’d have to be Maple Bacon – Vanilla cake infused with maple syrup, maple buttercream frosting, topped with bacon pieces. Argus likes to think he’s real tough, but he ain’t. He’s sweet and mushy in the middle. Bacon on the top is appropriate because he’s a real meat-head, heh heh heh! Wait. You’re not gonna tell him I said that, are yeh?
Yeah, okay I’ll leave you boys to work that out. Just go easy on each other, okay? I’m going to need you around for the sequel. . . .