Nikki Woolfolk is a professional Chocolatier, Author, and Speaker. Nikki enjoys pulling readers into her humor-filled spectacular cogged and geared world.
Sought after for her informative Chocolate Tasting sessions at conventions, Nikki uses her polymath talents to pen articles on the craft of writing and apply her computer science, culinary and aviation knowledge to create a sleuth chef that cooks up Steampunk adventures under a dirigible filled sky.
Most writers we hear from have other skills and experiences that inform their writing. Nikki Woolfolk very deliberately feeds aspects of her personal life and experience into her Bittersweet Mystery series.
“If it hadn’t have been for the ice cream cone, Alex LaBeau wouldn’t have found herself in jail.” (Chapter 1, MISE EN DEATH, by Nikki Woolfolk)
I think we can all relate.
- Afro-futurism: black folk represented in the future settings of comics and science fiction, with black stories to tell.
- All-encompassing umbrella term for representing cultures, ancestry, viewpoints. May blend rockets, utopias, dystopias, nano-technology with agriculture and chemistry, etc.
- Two groups: Those who say, “I’m not represented” and drop it, versus “I’m not represented, so I’m going to represent us.”
- Milton Davis (“Ice Cream Suit Man”) “Looking for afro-futurism as if it’s new. It’s not new. We got tired of waiting for us to be validated. We are no longer waiting to be validated by other folks.”
- Steampunk – Gears and things, but monochromatic and crinoline dresses and same people represented as in broader SF genre.
- Black SF/F & Horror Writers – Where are they?
- Steampunk tends to remain civil war, crinoline, and white.
- If you are going to attempt to break into the genre you are going to be held to a higher standard. You have to bring it.
- Nikki removed the Civil War and made Nat Turner’s success and survival the basis of an entirely different social situation.
- Her stories are more about the struggles we have as human beings, allowing different cultures to relate in different ways (and still have chase scenes, snappy dialog, explosions, and villains, because humans still tend toward evil and there are lots of murders to solve).
- Isolate the society from the world, or change critical events to create a new world?
- Isolation viewpoint has glaring problems (no spoilers).
- How can we as a community move forward if you’re cutting yourself off from your family?
- Humanity Abhors a Utopia
- Nikki wrote a short horror story to “give back all the pain and all the hurt” based on the true story of her cousin’s murder and used it to give the story a healing ending.
- Nikki wrote NOW THAT YOUR JOYSTICK’S BROKE in response to the Felicia Day experience (doxxed = having your private information put on display as a target for intimidation) and from Nikki’s personal experiences in computers and IT.
- She put a “She’s the Man” twist on a 21st C silicon valley story.
- If you preach, no one’s going to want to buy it.
- MISE EN DEATH came to her while she was working in a Culinary School and watching the interns around her: a chef who is clumsy outside of the kitchen but who has a special capability in the kitchen. Her story food made her friends hungry, so she began cooking for them.
- She ties her books together with smell-o-vision and taste-o-vision, holding chocolate tasting parties for her chocolatier business LaBeau Chocolates
Nikki’s Books & Links:
Nikki’s handmade LaBeau Chocolates
Referenced in Episode:
All Men of Genius / (Brian’s rec for “Twelfth Night meets Steampunk”)