A Scholarly Treatise On The Care And Feeding Of Your Pet Author

Authors can be lovable and agreeable family pets.  Most are easily housebroken, though some may exhibit a disturbing tendency to piddle while absorbed in a particularly difficult bit of plotting or worldbuilding.  This is not a sign of aggression.  It is simply inattentiveness on the part of your author.  Gently but firmly insist that they take regular potty breaks, or, if this proves ineffective, place an adult diaper on the chair before they sit.  The author is unlikely to notice or object.

Authors are territorial by nature.  It is important to nip this behaviour in the bud.  Your author must learn that he or she is part of the household, and as such, must share the domain with the rest of the family.  However, your author will be happier and more relaxed if you allow him or her to have a “safe zone”.  If possible, provide your author with a small desk, and refrain from disturbing the area unless absolutely necessary.

Your author may begin to show possessiveness toward other areas of the house, usually by leaving behind droppings such as laptops, pens, papers, and so on.  If this happens, immediately remove the droppings, clean the area thoroughly, and relocate the droppings to the author’s safe zone.  Your author will soon learn that leaving droppings outside their own territory is unacceptable behaviour.

As with any pet, it is important for you to be vigilant about your author’s diet.  Authors will gobble almost any food they encounter in an effort to return to their safe zone and resume their natural writing behaviour as quickly as possible.  Be strict.  Your author’s health depends on it.  Although an unhealthy diet may seem harmless when your author is young, you will ultimately pay the price in medical bills as your author ages.

Regular exercise is important, too, but sadly, most authors resist almost any form of fresh air or exercise.  Some authors may be enticed to exercise if offered rewards such as the opportunity to work out with attractive and scantily-clad members of the opposite sex, however, this is by no means a sure-fire method.

Some owners report that they have successfully induced their authors to exercise by running away with the liquor bottle, forcing the author to chase them in order to retrieve it, but this strategy may ultimately result in hostile or aggressive behaviour on the part of your author.  This is an area in which you must apply your own creativity to find the best solution.

Many laypersons consider authors to be nocturnal creatures, but in fact, authors are capable of wakefulness at any hour of the day or night.  If the clicking of the keyboard disturbs your sleep at night, or if your author sleeps through important daytime events, it is possible to gradually adjust your author’s sleep rhythm to one that is more compatible with your household.

Begin by determining your author’s favourite treats.  These may include food, alcohol, or sexual favours, but be cautious in your use of the latter.  Nobody likes an overly-affectionate author, and many authors are incapable of the level of judgement required to discern appropriate public behaviour.

Regardless of the type of treat you choose, you must begin the conditioning process up to one-half hour before you want your author to retire for the night.  Gently direct your author’s attention to the treat (remember, it may be dangerous to startle an author who is deeply involved in writing behaviour).

Once you have engaged your author’s attention, lure him or her into the bedroom with the treat.  Then allow your author to enjoy the treat.  If your author tries to leave the bedroom afterward, offer subsequent treats until the author loses consciousness or falls asleep.  Repeat every night for at least twenty-one days, or until the new habit is established.  Note:  This method is only successful if you withhold the treat at all other times.

The keys to the entire training process are patience, firmness, and consistency.  Though keeping an author may seem an arduous chore at first blush, your efforts will ultimately be rewarded with long years of loyalty and affection, dedications in obscure books, and occasionally, royalties.

News:  I’m so excited!  I’ve got the cover art for my first four books, and the planned release date for the Kindle version of NEVER SAY SPY is October 15 (hopefully all versions will be released that day, but will know more soon).  Covers and book blurbs are here.

14 Comments

Filed under Humour

14 responses to “A Scholarly Treatise On The Care And Feeding Of Your Pet Author

  1. Scriptor Obscura

    I love this. You have an innate wit and a wonderful sense of humor. You describe what it is like to be an author so well. This is an excellent piece, I can definitely relate to what you write here!

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  2. Great post, Diane, and congratulations on the book. Now I need to get a Kindle.

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    • Thanks, Charles! The Kindle won’t be necessary (unless it’s a good excuse to buy technology, and heaven knows we all need more excuses). The paperback version should be out in a few weeks.

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  3. I’m a bit late replying here, Diane, sorry about that!
    I enjoyed this read… authors do so much more than I first thought, don’t they! I never realised how much training was required!

    Great news on your book, by the way… only a few days to go! 😀

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    • Thanks, Tom! The book is out of my hands now – all I can do is wait until it comes out. I checked and rechecked it until I was cross-eyed, but I’m still afraid I missed something critical. Guess I’ll find out in a few days. 🙂

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  4. Congrats on the book.
    And I am tossing the versatile award right back at you 🙂 – http://wp.me/plysE-jm . You deserve one more

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  5. I love the part about inducing the author to exercise by running away with the liquor bottle! In my case, they would have to steal my Diet Coke, though.

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    • Yes, in my case, it would be a cup of tea. I don’t write while under the influence. It’s dangerous for two reasons: 1) Alcohol makes me dumber than usual; and 2) Alcohol makes me think I’m smarter than usual. Bad, bad combination.

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  6. Hilarious!!! Too funny! I am still laughing. A great article from beginning to end.

    This was just one of many favorites! “…and many authors are incapable of the level of judgement required to discern appropriate public behaviour.”

    Soooo good!

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