Being a Cat Butler

Having to stay at home non-stop during the pandemic has produced the strange long-term effect that I’ve slowly devolved into a cat butler whose only functions in life are to let our two cats outside, back inside, dry said cats with a fluffy towel when they get wet, and listen to them complain about other cats daring to enter their territory (which isn’t actually their territory at all – it’s our neighbour’s back yard and one of the “invaders” is her cat whose lived there his whole life).

In addition, my every writing session starts with ten minutes of waiting for one of the cats to stop staring at the screen (judging me, of course) and finally settle down to a nap, because of course they couldn’t just let me write by myself. I’d screw everything up.

My wife is beginning to worry that my subservience to feline demands is becoming a tad excessive.

Recent Comments

  • Toni
    August 3, 2020 - 2:47 pm · Reply

    My friend (and pretend grandson) recommended and loaned me, your Spellslinger Series.
    I enjoyed the books very much!! Although, magic and fantasy are not really my preferred genre (I’m currently reading a series about a rather depressing psychotherapist who gets involved in murder investigations and likes to walk the streets of London in the middle of the night!?!) – I loved your characters and their stories and philosophies!! Fantasy has a definite appeal these Covid days! I think I might be a convert! You are on to a good thing. Keep them coming! Thanks!

    • decastell
      August 4, 2020 - 8:32 am · Reply

      Thanks for the kind words, Toni! And thank your friend (a.k.a. grandson) for bringing you over to the fantasy side of things. Although I have to say, a depressing psychotherapist involved in a murder investigation who walks the streets of London in the middle of the night sounds pretty appealing, too.

  • Jenn
    August 5, 2020 - 11:59 pm · Reply

    I stumbled across your Greatcoats series several months ago and lost many hours of sleep, falling victim to the “just one more chapter” promise I could never keep. The Spellslinger series has equally affected my reading addiction. I now firmly and adamantly recommend two authors, of which you are one, to anyone looking for something new to read.
    I completely understand the rule of the cat. My cat also insists that she is present and participating anytime I am at my computer, although my writing is typically related to university assignments and far from entertaining stories for now.
    Stay healthy and thank you for continuing to write.

    • decastell
      August 6, 2020 - 9:31 am · Reply

      Delighted to hear you enjoyed the Greatcoats and Spellslinger series, Jenn!

      But now I’m curious who the other author is that you recommend? Is it someone I might’ve read?

  • Prz
    February 3, 2021 - 4:52 am · Reply

    I’m so glad to have found your spellslinger series- all of them! at the library. I gobbled them up. They have been a real treat particularly during the pandemic. I really like the surprises, that your books are not formula written and do not pander, not lingering too long in the romantic spots, just enough to give it its due. But mainly pure exuberant adventure. And above all what captured me were the multi dimensional female charactors. Finally! Thanks so much. I cant wait to read the way of the Argosi.

    • decastell
      February 3, 2021 - 10:15 am · Reply

      Thanks so much! I’m delighted you found the series and enjoyed it! I’m hard at work on Fall of the Argosi now (the second Ferius book), so there’s lots more to come!

  • Gillian Dale Komander
    March 10, 2021 - 6:44 am · Reply

    I’m always on the lookout for ‘new’ fantasy novelists ( compared with H.G. Wells you ARE pretty new) and Amazon played me your card as yet another ploy to get me reading, rather than writing. I am now on Spellslinger Book the Third, and am increasingly asking myself why I try writing fantasy when people like you are writing such wonderful books in the genre. I imagine Amazon knows more about me than I do. I’m also happy to discover the treasure trove of books you have written/are writing. “Thank you” is just not enough. But there you are.

    • decastell
      March 10, 2021 - 7:24 am · Reply

      Hi Gillian!

      Glad you’ve been enjoying the Spellslinger books (and I suppose I must stop saying bad things about Amazon’s algorithms) However don’t let them stop you from writing your books. We all feel sometimes, when reading another author’s writing, as if something’s lacking in our own. However, that’s an illusion; the key is to keep digging deeper for your voice so that it comes out uncensored and as bold as can be. The more I write like myself, the more I can appreciate other writers’ work without it impeding my own progress.

      Good luck on your book(s)!



  • Gillian Dale Komander
    March 19, 2021 - 11:59 am · Reply

    Hi Sébastien!
    I have just finished the Spellslinger series and am feeling bereft, even if Kellen & Co are traveling on in my head. Never mind, the ‘Greatcoats’ books await…
    Thank you for writing a series of books that left me mourning the loss of all those amazing , yet believable characters (especially Reichis); it doesn’t happen as often as it should.
    By the way, I received my first rejection today. Sigh. Such is life.
    All the best

    • decastell
      March 19, 2021 - 3:05 pm · Reply

      Thanks, Gillian. Not long now before Way of the Argosi is published (April 2021), so there’s more to come from Ferius at any rate. Hope you enjoy the Greatcoats.

      And consider that rejection a badge of honour; we all get them, and if you follow Heinlein’s Rules (easy to find online) you’re next move will be to submit right away somewhere else. Heinlein believed in keeping his stories forever under submission until at last someone published them, and it certainly seemed to work for him!

  • Delia
    March 19, 2021 - 1:15 pm · Reply

    Some people can really cast spells of amazement. You’ve succeeded in this spell.
    On your Sepllslinger series, I liked the originality, wisdom and, first of all, your unique Squirrel cat Reichis. I swear I’ll never complain about my pets again. In these long and difficult days, thanks to your book series, I laughed, rested, and had adventures with Kellen and his friends and enemies. I want to thank you so much for sharing this magical world of yours with the world. You’re a great inspiration to me, and one day I’ll share my worlds too 🙂
    I look forward to more of your books and wish you health and beautiful days

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