I’d like to introduce you all to Editor Barney … and his charming assistant, Mz Jezebel. I don’t know what it is about cats and writing, but they seem to go together like chocolate and peanut butter.
Barney (or Barnabas, to use his full name) and Jezebel came into my life at the same time. A couple of years ago I was getting ready to fly over to Los Angeles for the Romantic Times Booklovers’ Convention and had business at my vet’s practice before I went. Lo, there I found Mz Jezebel, an abandoned kitten in need of a home. I had a cat at that time, the spectacular Harley (rescued from Chatswood High School when I was teaching Creative Writing at the Adult Evening College there) – but Harley was extremely elderly by then and experience has taught me that the grief of losing a beloved pet is eased if their passing doesn’t leave an absolute absence in their wake.
So I said to Bruce (my vet) Okay. I’ll take her. But I’m flying overseas this week so please look after her until I get back. And so I adopted Jezebel.
Fast forward to the day before I flew out. On the way home from the hairdresser I stopped in at my local pet store to stock up on stuff. As is my wont, I visited all the pet pens and said hello to everyone there. The pen housing abandoned cats looking for homes was open, and at my approach one of the kittens there leapt out of the pen and into my arms. No, I’m not making that up.
And that’s how Barney adopted me.
Fast forward again to now. At the amazing age of 24, Harley departed for fields of catnip elsewhere, leaving Barney to become my self-appointed overseer. Even as I write this he is jumping on the table and settling down to make sure I don’t abuse any innocent commas.
I call Mz Jezebel the Assistant Editor because, basically, she trusts me more than Barney does to Get Things Right. So she supervises only occasionally. As I write this I’m working in the house, since I’m waiting for my father to drop off his dog for babysitting while he and Mum are gallivanting overseas. But Barney is nothing if not dedicated to his job: when I shift back out to the studio for the writing of the next book in the Tarnished Crown series you can trust he’ll be there. Whether I’m working at the stationary desk or at my treadmill desk, intrepid Editor Barney will be on the job … making sure you get the best book I can write.
See? See? While I was writing this!Barney doesn’t trust me to proof read the galleys of The Falcon Throne without close supervision …But Assistant Editor Jezebel is happy to keep an eye on things from afar.