For some of reason, many readers have been curious about the habits the authors featured on Ask an Author have adopted over the years both with regards to their writing as well as to their general life. I would like to think it’s because our cabal has gained a certain notoriety, but then again it could just be that our siblings know our deepest, darkest secrets and are trying to create a situation in which we will expose ourselves.
Who knows, really.
Until we figure it out, we have probably quite a number of these features to go through, and which one will focus on our authors’ preference for dogs or cats, as well as tea or coffee. Might as well start with the basics, which always end up yielding some interesting results when you are dealing with creative minds like there!
Dog or cat: This is a trick question, isn’t it? If I say cat, then I must be intelligent and independent, but highly strung and neurotic, right? And if I say dog, then I must be sociable and confident, but also completely gullible. There is no right answer.
In fact, while I have owned dogs and been owned by cats, my current companion is a nine-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Maxi, who sits under my desk as I write. Sometimes I read aloud to her, and she gives me this look as if to say, ‘Really? You wrote that?” Spaniels are extremely tough critics.
Tea or coffee: With a family ties to both England and China, I like a cup of tea. Accordingly, English Breakfast and Chinese Green Tea are my favourite blends. However, it’s a fact universally acknowledged that writers convert coffee into stories via a process somewhat like photosynthesis, so it follows that as a writer I must also drink coffee. Plus, I’m from New Zealand, the 13th highest consumer of coffee, higher even than the USA and Australia, and to maintain those stats every Kiwi has to do their bit. Only, in my case, not after midday, and not after a marathon. Coffee after a marathon and after midday once kept me awake all night and throughout the next day. It wasn’t pretty!
I have cats. I like dogs as well, but I have had to wander hither, thither, and yon a great deal and cats are easier to set up with for a weekend away than dogs. Breakfast is usually tea and Vivaldi these days since my Muse arrived. I liked tea over coffee because of acid reflux issues, but I’m growing adept at brewing tea properly. I confess that I miss my iced tea some days, but that’s an anathema to my British Muse. 😉
I’m a cat person, always have been. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had cats. Why? I guess they are independent creatures, but they can be affectionate when they want to be (generally when they want to be fed!)
Tea or coffee? Harder question! Until a couple of weeks ago I was definitely a tea girl, but then I brought a Dolce Gusto and now I am a cappuccino drinker! I do love me a Chai Latte as well, and it is still my drink of choice when I’m out and about.
Cats and dogs? Both. We started out with just cats and then my wife found a dog at church one day that had been abandoned. Now, ten years later, we have four dogs and still have two cats.
I grew up in Louisiana and was introduced to coffee in my childhood. Almost sixty years later, I still prefer coffee over tea although sweet iced tea is great in the summertime. Unless I’m drinking cafe au lait, I like my coffee black with sugar.
As I mentioned in the Ask an Author feature recently, I drink coffee when writing.
Dog or cat?
Tricky. As a writer, you want an animal that’s demanding, but not too demanding…I suggest you get one of my patented cat/dog crosses (also known as Doats, or Caogs). As animals they represent the best of both worlds, relentlessly affectionate, but independent enough to make other plans and walk themselves. These creatures are essential to every writer’s happiness and well being, but the genetics is rather random, which means to find one it’s essential to look through animal shelters. If you do so long enough, you’re almost certain to the perfect doat or caog to keep you company – but let you get on with your work!
Tea or coffee?
Definitely both, And hot-chocolate. Cheers! Now I just need to find my caog to curl up on my feet and keep me warm, and generate some serious negative ions, so I can get on with my work!
Cat! I have both cats and a dog, and at other times I might have said dogs. At the moment, it’s cats though. I really appreciate their independence, their love and the snuggles I get at bedtime. We got new addition about four months ago now. Luna is the sweetest thing and always comes for bed time snuggles.
COFFEE. If you’d asked me ten years ago I’d have said neither. I always enjoyed the smell of coffee, but not the taste, and my father used to dunk his jam toast in his tea, leaving a soggy, bready, sweet pile of gunk at the bottom – I just can’t face tea, because I don’t know what lurks at the bottom of the cup. Coffee has become a necessity for me though. I started drinking it in my study days and never stopped. It’s part of my daily routine and I am not sure I could function without it.
This question is an easy one. Any good character should care about animals, and having a dog or a cat often softens and personalizes the character for the reader. I like dogs, but I’m a cat person, so I always pick a cat (who purrs and snuggles to calm down the character when he or she is anxious). Can’t stand it when I read that a character hates cats. That just ruins things for me.
The drink would be tea. Once again, I’m a tea person. I never got the knack of drinking coffee. Tea seems like a more sociable drink in a fiction setting.
I am a cat person just because with all my issues it would be more laid back than a dog. On the other hand, I am also a dog person because they show love for their owner by being more playful and my kids would LOVE that. So I guess you could say I’m both, although we have yet to own one, I’ve been told that having an animal is good for PTSD, anxiety and depression. Maybe because animals can’t let you down? My kids want one but I already have 2 kids and a husband to take care of, I’m not sure I want that added responsibility although I would make the kids take care of it. As far as tea or coffee, I LOVE the way coffee smells, but hate the way it tastes. I was working at McDonalds several years ago and thought I would try it. Huge mistake! It tastes nothing like it smells. I’m not really a tea person either except when my stomach and digestion start acting up then herbal tea is my best friend, especially when my stress level goes up because then everything else acts up.
Image courtesy of Chad Mauger.