Author Interviews

Meet Lorna Brown!

Lorna Brown, author of Debris (available in Spring 2018), has been writing for at least 13 years whenever she gets the chance. She earned an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College, and her stories have been published in numerous magazines. She lives in Massachusetts and goes back to her hometown in Ireland when she’s working on a story. She loves getting up at 5:30am-6:00am when the house is quiet to get work done (although she can’t stand it if there are no bananas!), or after her daughters go to sleep. And even when she’s not physically writing, she’s always thinking about her stories.

Regarding Debris specifically, the final draft is actually a rewrite of a story she wrote years ago. The story changed a lot from the rough draft to the final cut, so she essentially had to start over. She only spent four months (on the rewrite, when everything was all said and done) writing Debris, but she learned a lot of lessons along the way. Writing this book has helped her figure out her writing style and method, such as wanting to have a more detailed outline for her plots and subplots, as well as character development.

She has three daughters who she loves immensely and says they’ve made her a “big softie”- so much so she cries easily when she watches movies and shows, like The Voice. She loves to go hiking with her family and their dog and sees life as an adventure. She’s traveled extensively and finds it hard to stay in one place.

She is very excited for Debris to be available to the public. The release date for this fiction piece is Spring 2018 under the pen name L.M. Brown.

 

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Q and A with Alec Arbogast!

Inksmith Publishing would like to offer a warm welcome to our new author Alec Arbogast, author of The Last Odinian! Below are some questions he has answered for us to help get to know him better!

Message from Alec: Hello! It’s nice to meet you. Thank you for reading, and let us share in our love of storytelling together.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: Even though they aren’t single stories, my favorites would be The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe, and also The Great American Short Story Collection. They have both had a great impact on me. Regarding single, full-length stories, I first read The Shining by Stephen King when I was a teenager. It became a sort of catalyst for my creative mind, introducing me to the immense world of storytelling, the concept of tasteful, imaginative horror. It made me aware and reflect on the struggle between good and evil, and the grey area between the two.

Q: What is your favorite food? Favorite color?

A: My favorite color is blue, and I love Thai food.

Q: What/whom is your favorite mythical creature?

A: This is a hard answer to narrow down. Recently, I’ve been drawn to Slavic and Norse mythology. However, Medusa from Greek mythology is my overall favorite. She’s a singular, terrifying creature, who can make quick work of almost anything or anyone- even the Titans.

Q: Can you share a little of any of your current work(s) with us?

A: I have three writing projects I’m currently working on. One is an action-adventure novel revolving around an elite group of soldiers; one is a story that blends elements of time travel, mystery, and horror; and the other is a gangster drama set in post-Civil War America.

Q: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

A:  I find quite a few aspects of writing challenging, but it’s always a good challenge. I’m drawn to historical fiction, and in these stories it’s a challenge to make sure I’m accurately representing the event while also molding it to fit my narrative. Pacing is another struggle as well, as I find it tends to do one of two things: the narrative flow develops naturally or can be hard to keep on track. Almost like an intractable horse, I feel like sometimes I have to nudge it in the right direction while it wanders off.

Q: Did you learn anything from your book(s)?

A: I learned the forbearance and discipline it takes to finish a full-length book, which can be equally an exhilarating and daunting process. I stretched myself intellectually at the same time as discovering who I was as an artist and what message I’d like to be sending. I also learned the worlds you create are a tenable space in your mind and can leave a mark on your soul.

Q: What inspired you to write your first book?

A: The Last Odinian originally came to me on a whim, to be honest. I started writing it knowing the setting and atmosphere I wanted—the haunting forests of the Pacific Northwest–and developed a narrative around that (almost similar to The Twilight Zone).

Q: Do you remember how your interest in writing began?

A:  I’ve always been interested in the function of stories, and produced some short films in school with a few friends. I didn’t discover the writing form of stories until a few years ago.

Q: Do you have a specific writing style?

A: My style varies from story to story, actually. I try to find a voice that feels right with each individual story, and the characters within. I think my prose tends to have a grounding in the contemporary style while borrowing from romanticism and transcendentalism.

Q: Who is your favorite author? What really strikes you about their work?

A: I have many favorites, but I’ll try and narrow it down. On the classic side, I admire Edgar Allan Poe’s complex prose. He tackles haunting subjects, like the inescapable reality of death, in a truly singular way. Edith Wharton made me a lifetime fan based on just one of her short stories, Afterward, due to her unique style. On the contemporary side, Stephen King has influenced me with his unending creativity, and I respect his voracious need to tell stories. His characters are always vivid and three-dimensional, and he has a pragmatic approach I admire. Craig Johnson has a sort of straight-forward and laconic approach to his prose, but it’s riddled with sardonic insight.

Q: Do you have any advice for other writers?

A: Find a writing process that speaks to you. Some people prefer a meticulous preparation: a diligent outline, layers of notes detailing each character, the narrative mapped out beforehand, etc. Others prefer a more organic process wherein the narrative, characters, subplot, and all the other details just flow naturally. And these are just two examples of the compositional process- everyone develops their own process. Another tip is to be true to your story. Don’t let your own moral standards and ideologies overly influence your characters or narrative. It’s important to realize the difference between who you are and what you create within your writing. On a similar note, don’t be too concerned with your audience or their opinion of you based on your writing. Write how you want and what you want, and your creations will be truer. Finally, your final story will likely be quite different from how you originally wanted it to be, and that’s okay.

 

An Excerpt from The Last Odinian

 Seeing him in plain sight was an abhorrently different experience than through the peephole of his hotel room. Light and shadow played across Kendric’s mutilated face like a symphony of horror as he stood under the bar lights. Koenig forced the coffee down his throat and exhaled. Like a boxer caught off guard, he didn’t know whether to swing a punch or duck for cover. For a moment he just stared at the decrepit man, and the man stared right back, his one working eye fixed on Koenig. Words came to him at last, and he steadied his voice… “Any final thoughts?”

Have you met Dawn Napier, yet?

Our author, Dawn Napier, author of Star Pack, has a few more writing projects in the works. Check out Star Pack on our website! We took some time to ask her a few questions about her writing, her inspiration, and some other fun questions. Check out her interview below!

 

Dawn’s favorite color is red – so we decided to add a little color to our interview!

 

 

Ink Smith: What are your current projects?
Dawn: I’m currently writing a sequel to Star Pack, and I’m finishing a last coat of polish on a recently completed fantasy novel called Vellichor.

Ink Smith: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Dawn: It’s called Sea Pack, and it’s the continuing adventures of the space-faring werewolves I wrote about in Star Pack. They have moved on to explore the rest of our solar system, and they’re currently about to make contact with life on Europa.

Ink Smith: What is your favorite book?
Dawn: Watership Down by Richard Adams

Ink Smith: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Dawn: Science fiction is hard. My last couple of books have been fantasy, and in a fantasy novel if something’s not working you can just change the rules. But even with extragalactic werewolves I have to at least try to follow the laws of physics. NASA is finding out new things about our local planets every day, and I have to try to keep up with their discoveries so my book stays current while I’m writing it.

Ink Smith: Did you learn anything from writing your book(s) and what was it?
Dawn: I learned that you can’t world-build by the seat of your pants. I had to learn how to plot in order to finish it.

Ink Smith: What inspired you to write your first book?
Dawn: I don’t have any idea. It never occurred to be NOT to write it.

Ink Smith: What is your favorite food?
Dawn: Shrimp Fried Rice

Ink Smith: Do you have a specific writing style?
Dawn: I guess you could call it Stephen King meets Piers Anthony and their love child collaborates with HP Lovecraft.

Ink Smith: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Dawn: I had a few themes and symbols in the back of my mind when I wrote it, but I’d rather people read it and enjoy it on their own terms. I’d love to hear from people who have found messages of their own in it.

Ink Smith: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Dawn: I have no idea. I think I was about six.

Ink Smith: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Dawn: Don’t TRY while you’re writing. Don’t try to sound like anyone else, but also don’t try too hard to be original. Don’t try to make the story follow a certain path, and don’t try to guide your characters’ fates. You’ll find your own voice organically the more you write, but you have to sit back and let the muse do her thing.

Ink Smith: If you had to do it all over again, what would you change, if anything, in your latest book?
Dawn: I would have made the character’s names have meanings.

Ink Smith: Who is your favorite author, and what really strikes you about their work?
Dawn: Stephen King. I started reading his books when I was 12, and I loved how he wrote about kids. My parents divorced when I was 11, and during that turbulent time, I often felt that I was at the mercy of the four winds. In King’s books, the kids are the smart ones, the ones who understand what’s going on. And they’re the ones who have the power to stop the monsters. I found that deeply reassuring. I still read his books and feel soothed by his familiar voice. He probably wouldn’t appreciate me saying that I find his books soothing. But compared to the real world, sometimes…

Ink Smith: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Dawn: If you don’t have a library card go get one now. Libraries are a magical place where anyone can learn anything for free. They’re staunch defenders of the Constitution, and they will help you learn whatever you need to know without checking your credit or health history. Everyone needs to use and love their libraries, so they stay with us forever.

Ink Smith: Final thoughts?
Dawn: Just keep writing, just keep writing…

 

About Dawn Napier

Dawn Napier grew up in Waukegan IL, and upstate New York. She has a husband, three children, and a ridiculous number of pets. She grew up reading Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, Mercedes Lackey, and Piers Anthony. When she’s not reading and writing, she is hiking with her dogs, napping with her cat, or cleaning up after her herd of adopted guinea pigs.
Visit her online on Facebook and her website dawnsdarktreasures.com!

Evelyn Allen Harper Releases New Book: Essence!

Evelyn Allen Harper just published her tenth book, Essence! This mystery novel is tinged with the paranormal and filled with surprises at every turn. You can find Essence available for purchase on the Ink Smith website, or on Amazon!

We chatted with Evelyn about her current projects, what she has learned as an author, and what is behind her inspiration.

Ink Smith: What are your current projects?
Evelyn: While waiting for my current book, Essence, to be edited, I started to write a story, still with no title, in the first-person tense. I’m just sorry I hadn’t tried writing in that tense sooner.

Ink Smith: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Evelyn: 
This is an excerpt from the untitled story I’m writing while waiting for Essence to be edited.

“Buck and his gun were gone, so who was doing the shouting? The sounds were getting desperate so I ran to the cave’s opening and peeked out. There was no one out there, and all that I saw were sheets of copy paper, many with something red on them, being blown around by the wind. Where was the shouter? Moans from behind a huge tree answered my question. I cautiously crept toward the sound, peered around the tree, and screamed. The mountain lion lifted his bloody head from his prey and looked at me. I screamed again when I saw what he’d been chewing on. It was Buck.”

Ink Smith: Did you learn anything from writing your books, and what was it?Evelyn: Essence is my tenth book. In every book, there were many topics I had to look up on the Internet such as the climate of the area where the story is taking place, to the symptoms of a poisonous snake bite. Facts I pick up while writing one book, I sometimes use in another book.

Ink Smith: What inspired you to write your first book?
Evelyn: 
I have suffered from Restless Leg Syndrome most of my life. Neither of my two sisters is afflicted with it, so one night when the syndrome wouldn’t let me sleep, I sat down at the computer and started a story that had the main character, Molly, crying over her ‘crazy legs’ that wouldn’t let her stay in bed. I emailed the story to my sisters, and when they contacted me and demanded to know “What happened next?” I continued the story for six books in the Accidental Mystery Series.

Ink Smith: Is there a message in your novels that you want your readers to grasp?
Evelyn: 
The six books in the Accidental Mystery Series are filled with facts about Restless Leg Syndrome. The Nightwalker, a publication of the Restless Leg Syndrome Foundation, gave me free advertisement for my books. I picked up readers from all over the country. The next four published books are just for reading pleasure.

Ink Smith: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Evelyn: 
My advice is to just try to write and see what happens. You just might surprise yourself.

Ink Smith: If you had to do it all over again what would you change in your latest work?
Evelyn: 
I wouldn’t change the plot, but when I read the printed book, I always find many sentences that I would love to have the chance to change.

Fun facts about Evelyn: Her favorite color is red! And she loves ethnic food.

Be sure to follow Evelyn on her website: www.evelynallenharper.com!

 

About Essence

“Why are you wearing my wife’s perfume?” Laura Baker’s rescuer demanded, after
hoisting her out of the water.

Laura, a typical stay-at- home mom, is jolted out of her complacent world when she
discovers that her best friend, Joan Wilberson, is having an affair with her husband.
Banished from Laura’s life, Joan is an easy target for the escaped serial killer, George
Knox, but when George’s murderous plan is interrupted, the quiet town is thrown into
turmoil.

Broken hearted from losing both her husband and her friend, Laura is driven back to
her passion of painting and into the path of Josh Lang, a recently widowed author,
battling his own ghosts.

It isn’t until the alluring, Bob Miller, catches Laura’s eye that she thinks her life is
back on track. With no recent sightings of the dangerous convict, the small town is lulled
back to sleep, but unknown to Laura and the rest of the town, something much more
sinister is afoot.

The NaNo Rebel

I don’t like NaNoWriMo much. I go through this same cycle every year! I promise myself every year I’m going to write a novel in a month. Maybe not 50,000 words, but a novel!

After the success of my debut novel, War and Chess, and quitting my job to become a full time author the pressure was on! This November 1st, once again, I fired up my NaNoWriMo account. (I’ve been playing this game since 2013)

Nano RebelI wasn’t sure what I was going to do but I was working on two projects. One, I am writing the first draft. If I weren’t a NaNoWriMo rebel that would have been the novel I worked on. But I like writing first drafts with pen and paper. Drafts that you can take to the mountains without worrying about it dying, as electronics are bound to do.

My second project was typing up some old stories I think might be promising as a new publication. That second project is what I chose to report to NaNoWriMo’s website. It was a lot easier than counting the words I write on paper by hand. Really, I just needed some accountability. Someone to email me when I’m making whimpy excuses about how long hours typing makes my back SCREAM. But yet, somehow, I was just fine spending most of the morning on Facebook drinking coffee…

So I was already being a rebel by not creating something new. Just making sure something great was backed up, which is my least favorite job. I wound up getting 2/3rds of the way finished with this project! I was at an awe inspiring 10,000 words by December 1st. Yeah, I didn’t join my brethren in sleep deprivation, stress, or trying to remember that when great Aunt Bessy asks you, “Have you found a man yet?” you keep your decorum and smile.

I stayed true to my nature and stayed a rebel for yet another NaNo year. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be prancing around downtown in my leather jacket Christmas shopping.

 

 

About Helen

Helen M. PugsleyHelen comes from a small town of twenty in eastern Wyoming. She has been passionate about writing since she was small. Helen enjoys traveling and is always thrilled to excite friends with tales of playing music on the streets for money, conversing with the drunks who frequent gutters, and the epic struggle of finding a decent bath when living in a car. Visit her on Facebook‘s War and Chess page!

Meet Dawn Napier

Dawn Napier is Ink Smith’s newest author. Her novel, Star Pack just launched this week!

Have you met her yet?

Dawn Napier

Dawn Napier grew up in Waukegan IL, and upstate New York. She has a husband, three children, and a ridiculous number of pets. She grew up reading Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, Mercedes Lackey, and Piers Anthony. When she’s not reading and writing, she is hiking with her dogs, napping with her cat, or cleaning up after her herd of adopted guinea pigs.

 

Check out her Author Facebook page for updates about her work, or her website dawnsdarktreasures.com.

Plotting vs Pantsing: You Can Have It Both Ways

Writers have a way of turning the nuts and bolts of creation into a heated political debate. I don’t know if this is the result of increased exposure in the form of social media or if we’ve always been this way, but it’s interesting to watch. One of my favorite hot-button debates is the issue of plotting vs pantsing.

Plotting is exactly what it sounds like. You map out the course of the story and figure out how it’s going to end before you start writing. Some plotters map out every twist and turn, while others create a rough outline that they know their characters will escape by the end of the book. Plotting is like architecture; the writer designs and measures and sketches before he begins to build.

Author Jan Ropers puts it thusly: “For me the fun moved from figuring out how it would end to how they were going to get there.” Rather than plan out every step, Ms. Ropers figures out how it’s going to end and then “pantses” her way to that ending. Different authors have different methods for plotting, depending on their literary needs.

Pantsing is more like planting a seed and watching to see what comes up. The pantser sits down with only the vaguest idea of what she’s doing and makes everything up as she goes. Sometimes the pantser starts with an image, or a character type, or an odd combination of thoughts that come together and make the writer say, “Hey I wonder what would happen if…”

The plotter writes to tell what happens; the pantser writes to see what happens.

In my earliest attempts to write a novel, I tried to plot. But I realized that if I planned the story out in advance, I got bored and lost interest in the story. Planning made me not care about writing the ending, because I already knew what would happen. This discouraged me, because at the time I thought I had to know how the story would end in order to write it.

As he often did in the course of my angst-riddled adolescence, Stephen King came to my rescue. In his brilliant memoir On Writing, he says, “Why be a stickler about the ending? Every story comes out somewhere.” So I said what the hell and gave it a shot. I sat down and started writing about a dragon kidnapping a unicorn. That was all I had—just that one image—but it was enough to get me started. I forced myself to write at least a few words every day, and six months later I had completed my first novel. It was absolutely terrible, one of the worst books I’d ever read in my life. But by golly I had finally finished something. I was on my way.

Every book I wrote for the next ten years was a complete ad-lib. Sometimes the starting point was a young woman avenging her mother’s death. Sometimes it was a party my husband had formed in his favorite role-playing game. But each time I went in with no idea where I was going. Sometimes I didn’t even know if the story would be a short story or a novel until I’d written ten thousand words and the characters were still doing things. I did what I did and loved every minute of it. I decided that plotting was an acceptable method for control freaks, but not for the free-and-easy creative likes of me.

Until the fateful day a serendipitous conversation on Twitter changed my whole outlook on the writing process. Never let it be said that the Internet is anti-creative; I’ve gotten some of my best ideas from random conversations with strangers on the other side of the globe.

I don’t remember the exact course of the discussion, but it included this question: “Why are werewolves never depicted with weapons? They never have knives or guns, even when they’re wearing clothes.”

My companion responded, “Because they don’t need weapons. They’re super strong and have razor teeth. A weapon would be pointless.”

That was a good point, but I said that nevertheless I would read the hell out of a story about werewolves with ray guns. Then I flashed on the image of a wolf-headed man in a 50’s style space suit, complete with fish bowl helmet, holding a bright silver ray gun. Werewolves in space. Why the hell not?

It seemed like a simple enough idea, so I took of writing the way I always do: I picked a scene, picked up a pen, and went to town. I finished two or three chapters in high spirits. And then the Doubts started creeping in. And then I sputtered and stalled.

Part of my trouble was my overwhelming awe of science fiction as a whole. I grew up watching Star Trek and Doctor Who; I cut my literary teeth on Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov. I felt instinctively that sci-fi was this vast empire of wisdom that I, a simple horror writer, could never hope to enter.

This feeling was exacerbated by the realization that writing this book was actually hard. It genuinely felt like work. My werewolves were from another planet, with alien technology and alien ecosystems, and I had to create and maintain this vast structure all by myself. My daily word count went from a thousand words to five hundred, then to zero. It was just too much.

My husband, bless his heart, wouldn’t let me give up. He insisted that Star Pack was one of my best stories yet, and if I gave up I’d never get to the next level as an artist. So I dragged my butt through it, and three years later I finally had a finished manuscript. (As a point of reference, my usual timeline is between six and nine months.) I’ll always be grateful to him and my writer friends who insisted that my story was good and that alien invasion was going to be the Next Big Thing in publishing. I have no idea if that’s actually true or they were just blowing smoke to get me to stop talking and start writing, but it worked either way.

I learned a lot from this experience, more than I’ve ever learned from my “easier” books. The first and most important is try never to give up on a work in progress. Sometimes it can feel like you’re handcuffed to a corpse, but you have to drag that sucker across the finish line. Secondly, don’t underestimate the power of people telling you what you want to hear. Sometimes a little candy-coated baloney is just what the doctor ordered.

Finally, when you try out a new genre, be prepared to find out a new way of writing it. Pantsing is fine for genres like horror and fantasy, where if you get stuck you can just change the rules to make it work. But it turns out you can’t create an entire planet, culture, and ecosystem by the seat of your pants. Not without a lot of cursing, despair, and moaning, “This isn’t going to WORK!” to your significant other. Geography, even on an alien planet, needs to make sense. If you have predators living on your alien planet, they need prey to feed on. And the prey needs to eat, too. Worldbuilding as you go along is like building a flight of stairs in the dark with a flashlight.

When I realized that I had it in me to write a sequel, I took a deep breath, broke out my trusty notebook, and set to work on an outline. I spent about a week describing the land my new characters would hail from, then another week on the planet my explorers would discover. Finally I composed a rough outline of the events of the book. I still don’t know how it’s going to end, but I know where the people are going and how they’re going to get there.

And I still haven’t lost interest in the story. Even though I have a good idea of what’s going to happen, I still want to write it out. So plotting did not, as I have long feared, ruin my enthusiasm for writing the book.

I’m still a pantser at heart and probably always will be. But I feel great knowing that I’ve found a new way to do what I love. It’s like a new restaurant with an old love. You’ll always have your traditional date spot, but making new discoveries can bring a fresh outlook to a long-term relationship.

Grey Stone Visits B&N

 

Grey Stone

By Jean Knight Pace and Jacob Kennedy

TWO LOCAL AUTHORS COMBINE HIGH FANTASY WITH WOLF LORE TO CREATE A FRESH NEW YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

 

Before the rise of men, there were wolves…

What started off as stories local ER doctor Jacob Kennedy made up featuring his kids as main characters soon morphed into a project big enough that he asked local writer Jean Knight Pace if she’d be interested in co-authoring a book. She was excited to join up, adding to the story with her own ideas and style (and slipping her children into some of the character’s skins as well). Before they knew it, Kennedy and Pace had crafted what began as a few paragraphs of backstory into a book of high fantasy for tweens and teens. Instead of dragons, elves, and dwarves there were werewolf monarchs, talking dogs, and impoverished humans winding their way through a story that culminated in a Gladiator-style tournament—a tournament won (or lost, depending on how you look at it) by an unlikely hero and an unlikely traitor.

Join Jean and Jake as they launch/debut their new book, Grey Stone, at Barnes and Noble on August 20, 2016 at 3:30 pm, at the Evansville, IN, location. There will be giveaways, contests, a book signing, Q & A, and (naturally) candy and laughter.

Jean Knight Pace has had essays and short stories published in Puerto del Sol, The Lakeview Review, Crucible, and other literary magazines. Jacob Kennedy is an ER doctor who dreams werewolves and tournaments in his free time. Both of them live in Evansville with amazing spouses, boodles of kids, and furry pets who (as far as anyone knows) do not speak. You can find out more at jeanknightpace.com, jacobkennedybooks.com. Purchase Grey Stone from Amazon of Barnes and Noble.

 

Barnes & Noble: 624 S Green River Rd., Evansville, IN 47715

Tasty Grey Stone-Inspired Double Chocolate Scones

Author, and blogger, Jean Knight Pace shared a tasty recipe on her food blog, The Tasty Cheapskate, recently. What is so exciting about it? Well, the Double Chocolate Scones were inspired by one of her characters from Grey Stone! Read her blog post here and make sure to visit her food blog for more tasty Zinnegael-inspired baked goods. Enjoy!!

Double Chocolate Scones

Ah my friends. In addition to this blog, I’ve spent the last few years doing a whole lot of novel writing. This month some of that work is coming to fruition and my teen/YA fantasy novel, Grey Stone, is available for purchase. The only thing better than celebrating with food is celebrating with food made by one of the characters in my new book.

(Isn’t it lovely? Click HERE to order.)

Zinnegael is a young witch with a bunch of cats, a slightly enormous vendetta against the shape-shifting king, and (naturally) a love of baking.

When she first meets one of our heroes, she brings him a tray full of goodies. Here’s a sneak peek at that scene:

“Wittendon noticed the faint smell of smoke as he and the cat entered the clearing. No one else seemed to notice or care. In front of him, the table was set for tea. Two cups rested on saucers and several cookies sat on a tray as though travelers stumbled to these haunted woods every day. Sprawled behind the table lay two large white cats. They sat up when the newcomers entered, but did not bother to look in their direction.
 
“Good afternoon, prince,” said a voice that came from a little hut to the right of a large garden. “The scones are a bit dry today; I do hope you will forgive that. Don’t worry, I’ve spread them with chocolate to make up for any lack.”
 
A girl entered the garden, stepping across the stone path as though every bump had been memorized a lifetime ago, though she couldn’t have been more than fifteen. In one hand, she held a tray that was piled so high with pastries he could not see her face; in the other she carried a vase with pale purplish-blue roses.”

Today we don’t have to worry about the scones being dry (they’re not). And we’re going to do more than spread the scones with chocolate. We’re going to make them with chocolate and then put chocolate bits inside. It’s a tiny bit like eating brownies for breakfast. Zinnegael would totally approve.

Double Chocolate Scones
adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
makes 8 scones
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cost: $2.60
flour: .10, whole wheat flour: .10, oat flour: .05, cocoa: .20, sugar: .10, butter: .60, cream: .50, egg: .10, chocolate chips: .85

Note: To healthy this up just the slightest little bit, I couldn’t help but use some whole wheat flour and oat flour (Zinnegael would never have done such a thing, but I did). They were delicious and while the oat flour makes it a tiny bit crumblier, I think it also helps it stay moist and gives it a depth of flavor that is fantastic.

1 C all-purpose flour
1/3 C whole wheat flour
1/3 C oat flour
1/3 C cocoa
1/2 C sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 C (1 stick) butter (frozen or cold)
1/2 C plus 1 Tbsp heavy cream
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 C semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (oh, and we were short, so we threw in some white chocolate chips too)

Glaze: 

Note: This glaze adds more sweetness, but it also sort of seals the scone so that it doesn’t dry out. The original recipe recommends dipping them in this glaze, but I just drizzled it rather thoroughly over the top of the scones, and that was way easier. (Yay for laziness and stuff.)

1 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 oz water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put baking rack in middle-low position. Line it with parchment paper (seriously–this is a good idea).

In a bowl or food processor (I use a food processor and it makes things like this so fast and easy), combine flour, whole wheat flour, oat flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Cut the butter into chunks with a knife and toss those in. Give the food processor several pulses (or mush them into the dry ingredients with your hands, or a pastry cutter if you must).

In a small bowl, whisk the cream, vanilla, and egg. Pour it into the food processor and process until combined. Don’t overmix it. A bit crumbly here is better than being it to death.

Dump out your mixture and press it together until it forms a bit of a ball. Knead it 10-12 times. Don’t knead the heck out of it. You just want it to come together and be combined. That’s all. Scones are sensitive little things and if you overmix or overknead them, they will be dry. So err on the side of underdoing it. You won’t regret it.

Form into a ball and roll or press it into a nice circle that is about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Cut this into 8 triangles (like cutting a pizza).

(Sorry that this pic is a little blurry, but wanted to show you the correct thickness)

Put these on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or just until they lose their shiny look. Again, err on the side of too little. Cook too long and they dry out.

Remove and let cool slightly.

Prepare glaze by mixing all those ingredients together and drizzle thoroughly over scones (or use a pastry brush, which is easiest). You want the glaze to pretty much cover the top and sides as much as possible (you’re welcome).

Eat warm or not. They’re delicious.

Meet Jean Knight Pace

Jean Knight Pace

Jean Knight Pace joined the Ink Smith Family with her book Grey Stone, with her co-writer Jacob Kennedy, after they won the 2015 ISP Book Award. She has had essays and short stories published in Puerto del Sol, The Lakeview Review, and other literary magazines. She lives in Indiana with her husband, four children, 6 ducks, and a cat. You can find more about her at jeanknightpace.com. Or writing about food at tastycheapskate.blogspot.com.

In addition to her website you can follow Jean on Facebook, Twitter @jeanknightpace, Goodreads and even Instagram!