Be Careful What You Eat

Today on My Pet Blog, we’re turning things over to awesome author Tyrean Martinson who’s here to talk about her new book, Nexus, as well as the role of food and beverage in fiction.

Take it away, Tyrean!

The Role of Food and Beverage can change with every situation in a fictional setting, just as it can in life. Characters may gain comfort from food. Characters may proclaim or take note of other character’s politics, class, and culture through food and beverage. In some novels, food and beverage take center stage as a plot point. This happens in two situations: when food is poisonous, or when food is necessary for survival.

In the case of food poisoning, either purposeful poisoning or accidental poisoning, food or beverage becomes a key ingredient to understanding the mystery or dilemma in a novel. The main character may poison someone else, be poisoned, or solve the mystery of a poisoning. The main character may suffer from a major food allergy which causes them to react as if they’ve been poisoned. One of my writing instructors years ago said that “Characters should only eat in a novel if the food is poisoned, otherwise it’s a waste of time.” While I believe food and beverage can be used to create a deeper understanding character or world-building, she did have a point. Food and beverage can be in a book for a purpose. If you’re reading or writing a mystery, it is possible the food has a nefarious purpose.

In many survival stories, food and beverage or food and water are key factors in the plot because the characters need them. In The Hunger Games, Katniss becomes a hunter to help her family survive and this ability helps her survive the games. In a pure survivalist novel like Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, the main character must hunt and find food so he doesn’t starve. Drinkable water is an issue in the old science fiction film Waterworld, in which the entire Earth is covered by ocean water. In the recent Netflix series, Away, the astronauts on the way to Mars struggle to have enough water to drink and to water their plants in a hydroponics lab. 

Food and water (beverages) are key elements for life and health and can be key elements in a plot. 

What books have you read with food and beverage as plot points?

For the other posts in this series of Food and Beverages in Fiction, please go to Chrys Fey’s Blog, or H.R. Sinclair’s Blog.

Amaya is supposed to bring peace to the galaxy. Which is tough when she’s being held for crimes against the Neutral Zone. Her imprisonment is on her own ship with her own crew. But close quarters create tension.

Honestly, her role as Rayatana is a mess.

She may never get to use her powers for anything good. Not if her teacher continues to keep secrets, and not if her powers keep harming others. Putting her mother in a coma should put her in prison, but she has a mission. She wants to bring peace to her people. She needs to become the Rayatana. Nexus: The Rayatana Book 2 is available all online, retail, and all ebook platforms.




Tyrean Martinson is a word hunter. She forages for words both sweet and tart in the South Sound of Washington State. An eclectic writer, she writes speculative fiction, contemporary and historical fiction, short scripts, devotions, writing books, song lyrics, and poetry. She has been a fencer (long ago), a kickboxer (for a short minute), and an action-movie fan. Tyrean is a life-long book lover, a Christ follower, and walker. Once upon a time, she was a Girl Scout who sang too loudly, and now she’s a podcaster and praise team member. Since childhood, her imagination has been swept away by fairy tales, science fiction, tales of overcoming the odds, and redemption arcs.

Find her online at:

Tyrean’s Writing Spot Blog | Tyrean’s Tales | Instagram

Twitter | Words Takes Flight

9 Commentsto Be Careful What You Eat

  1. Tyrean says:

    Thank you for hosting me, MJ!

  2. Jemi Fraser says:

    Love NEXUS! Such a great story!
    I’ve read Hatchet with multiple classes over the years – the kids always find it as fascinating as I do. How do you survive when tossed out of your element into a wilderness alone? Great premise.

  3. Kate says:

    Good luck with the new release, Tyrean!

  4. I use eating time for character exchanges and interaction – not good?
    Big congratulations, Tyrean!

  5. Liz A. says:

    I disagree that food and beverage should only be shown if it’s poisoned. It can be a good way to define character or demonstrate world building. To each their own, though.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      I have to disagree with that as well. Though it did make me wonder why I’ve never poisoned any of my characters…

  6. Another congrats to Tyrean. Loved this post.

  7. Oooh what a good question. How can we talk about food in stories and not speak of Hannibal Lecter and the trilogy that made him famous by author Thomas Harris? The idea of eating…and more importantly…eating a person…is very central to Hannibal’s character. There’s something profoundly disturbing and horrifying at the great lengths Hannibal goes to in order to enjoy a human meal. You might call it “fancy” or “gourmet.” Afterall, Hannibal was anything but uncivilized when he ate a person’s liver with a nice wine pairing.

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