When a Kitten is Not the Perfect Gift

I recently celebrated a birthday and it got me thinking about what is the perfect gift to give a writer.

For a few years now my answer would have been a kitten, but as hubby finally gave in and got me Little Miss Justice as an early birthday present, bringing my cat total to two, I was left scrambling for ideas when people asked me what I wanted.


Now the obvious choice might be books, as most writers are readers first, but that doesn’t always turn out so well. I love books, and read most genres, so picking a book that I would like is an easy task for many members of my family and close friends. Two friends did buy me books this birthday and they were great picks. The trouble is they were such great picks that I already have them. Unless you get the opportunity to stalk your writer’s bookshelves, both electronic and physical, you may find yourselves in the same situation.

So, if you can’t give a writer a kitten or books, what does that leave?

How about TIME?

Every writer I know would love more time. Time to write. Time to read. Time to perfect that manuscript before the deadline hits. Time to be Mum or Dad, catch up on chores, meet with friends. Time to take a nap, preferably with a cat or two.

One of my lovely sisters did in fact give me more time for my birthday. Not that it added any hours to my days, not even a minute. But as a writer who loves dragons, castles, reapers and anything fantastical, the time she did give me fits perfectly into my speculative fiction world.


So next time you are looking to buy a gift for the writer in your life, don’t automatically reach for a kitten. Buy them some time instead. Who knows, it may help them stick to their deadlines.


Could Your Book Obsession Be Lethal?

I’m quite comfortable with devising tortuous and deadly encounters for my heroines, I certainly put Tyler through the wringer in Lost Reaper, but it never occurred to me that reading books can be just as dangerous.

I mean, you would think reading is a fairly passive exercise. Then I thought about the reading habits I cultivated as a teenager (many years ago) and realised just how wrong I was.

Most book lovers would be familiar with the one-handed mode of operation. I could make a cup of tea, water the yard and complete most of the chores my mother set me with a book in one hand. I might have risked scalding myself with my tea, but at least my life wasn’t in danger.

At high school I would often walk from classroom to classroom while reading and I could not count the amount of times a teacher would confiscate my book because I’d been reading during class. Other than walking into a pole or winding up in detention, again, not so bad.

On sports days my friends and I would skip school to hang out at the library. We were such rebels. No smoking behind the toilets, skulking around the shopping centres or running wild in the streets for us. No, we rebelled by expanding our minds, escaping into other worlds and feeding our imaginations. It wouldn’t have been fun to get caught skipping school, but I could have lived with the punishment.

It was when I was on the way home from the library that I really put my life on the line. Unable to resist the lure of a new book, I would ride with one propped open on the handlebars of my bike. I have no idea how I did not have an accident whilst engaged in this most precarious of reading situations.

That gets me to wondering, how many other avid readers out there have risked their lives for the sake of a good book?

Does anyone else have a tale of death-defying book devotion to share?

How far would you go to read just one more chapter?