The other day I received a goose in the post.
Fortunately he was just three inches high and made of wool. You see, in a couple of my books there’s a homicidal goose called Saracen, who has a way of leaving chaos and property damage in his wake. So one of my lovely readers knitted me my own tiny Saracen, just the right size to fit in my waistcoat pocket. Isn’t he wonderful?
Authors get the best presents. Sometimes we end up with free books, given to us by our editors or other people in the book industry. Occasionally we get sent a ‘bound proof’ of someone else’s book that hasn’t even been published yet. These are early versions, and usually don’t have the final cover. It’s very exciting getting a sneak preview!
When The Lie Tree was published, I went on a three day tour. It was organised by three bookshops – Booka Bookshop, Urmston Bookshop and Ebb & Flo Bookshop. Look at the lovely author loot they gave me! (They also fed me cake.)
When I attended the Carnegie award ceremony last month, I didn’t win the prize, but I didn’t leave empty-handed either. Look at this huge helium balloon full of confetti! (Actually the balloons were just decoration for the venue, but I loved them so much they let me take one home.)
Being an author has brought me lots of other weird and delightful presents over the years – a bottle of whisky called “Writers’ Tears”, a CD of Frankfurt church chimes, a big blue lollipop with the words ‘Eat Me’ on it, and a kitchen apron specially designed for one of my characters, to name but a few.
Writing is an odd job. It can be lonely, and it isn’t always well-paid. But strange little presents have a wonderful way of cheering up us authors, and reminding us that what we do for a living is really rather fun…