The Giving of Gifts.

Looks creepy, is creepy. A thrill ride, trust me.

I was saving this weeks blog post to tell you  about the launch of Jon Mayhew’s fantastic gothic tale of terror, MORTLOCK. 

At least two people, however, have already done that (rather fabulously), Candy Gourlay and Caroline Smailes , and am pretty sure Jon will do so when his feet are back on the ground. So, instead, I got to thinking about gifts. I love giving gifts. I’m not sure it’s entirely the done thing at a book launch but it does provide the perfect outlet for getting rid of things I can’t stand any more.

At the launch of Sarwat Chadda’s ‘The Devil’s Kiss’, I gave him a mace . Suitable for the Templar

Buy the book, pass on the weird object.

theme of the book I thought, and one less weapon of minor destruction for me to have around the house tempting Small Boy into devilment. (We get given a lot of strange things by people visiting the farm.)

I was wondering whether I could get away with giving Jon a ceremonial sword left by a group of visiting Chinese dignitaries ( Josie, the heroine, is a knife-thrower after all), when I realised I had the perfect gift, sitting on my sofa, drinking all my gin.

About 3 weeks ago, this crow arrived at our  back door, claiming poverty and asking for a bit of bacon rind. All humble and wind swept it was and, like a fool, I invited it in. After a few weeks of  “plump my cushions and pass me the remote control”,  I was getting heartily  sick of it. Then I remembered.

There are crows in Mortlock. A lot of  hideous crows. Who better to handle a badly behaved crow, than the man from whose mind the terrifying Ghuls sprang?

Good Plan, eh?

I told the crow we were going to visit some of his pals at the Tower and hey presto, Jon’s gift was delivered to London Town.

Me, Jon Mayhew and 'That Bird'.

You get a hint of its crow personality by the way it kept foisting itself into  photographs at the launch shouting, ‘I’m a crow. I’m a crow.’

I’m hoping no one else noticed it was also swigging back the vino, demanding Sausage a la Tripe and dribbling bits of eel over the hard pushed waitresses.

I know you aren’t really supposed to give animals as pets but Jon will be much firmer with the crow than I was. It’ll be a reformed character and an absolute hit on school visits. As long as they don’t let it near the lunch room. Or the staff room. Or the children.

Ah well,  it’s not my problem now. It’s gone the way of the mace. It’s a Mayhew household problem (BTW Jon, keep it away from sparkly things, it goes into a hypnotic frenzy and things will get broken).

So, onto the next book launch gift.  I’ve got until June for the launch of  Candy Gourlay’s  ‘Tall Story’ .


There’s a rabid dog in the book, and Diesal has been looking a bit dribbly around the mouth…..

16 Comments Add yours

  1. LOL! Brilliant, brilliant post! That crow really does look like Trouble. I hope Mr M is up to the challenge. Mind you, he could just set his own crows on it – that will show it who’s boss.

  2. Jon M says:

    That crow sure has made himself at home AND it’s a bad influence! Mrs M was last seen in the Waterpoet pub making cawing noises and drunkenly waving at innocent, unsuspecting punters! Hey where my wristwatch???

  3. Caroline says:

    Fantastic! I wondered where the crow appeared from and it was the most perfect gift. Was lovely meeting you.

  4. Ellen Renner says:

    Very funny blog, Kathy. (Can I have the sword, please? Candy’s welcome to the rabid dog, although she might have to invest in those stilts.)

    1. V. Kathryn Evans says:

      Oh yes, the sword would suit you…mind you, have also got a crusty old gardener I could do with getting rid of…..

  5. Judy Dyble says:

    Oh that did make me wonderful to be able to think of the perfect gift…:-)

    I am now happy enough to contemplate walking the dog in the wind and rain 🙂

  6. Oh fabulous blog! I couldn’t believe that crow was real when I saw the photies! What a wonderful pressie Mrs Bung – now even more wish I could have been at launch! xx

  7. Candy says:

    A crow is not just for book launches! Great post!

  8. Candy says:

    btw no need to wrack your brains about a gift for my launch. i’ll take cash!

  9. julie w says:

    Brilliant blog, Kathy, almost tempted to write a book to see what I get………hmmmm, sure I need a plot with lots of diamond smugglers/ handsome men/ beautiful clothes……….

    1. V. Kathryn Evans says:

      But I don’t have any of those lying around the house getting on my nerves, Julie!

  10. Nick Cross says:

    If I ever get a book published I’ll be sure to bring a scarecrow to the launch just in case, but knowing my luck you’d bring a rotting corpse!

    A farm is full of mildly suspicious areas of recently dug earth, isn’t it? No need to hide your victims under the patio…


  11. Yvonne says:

    Oh, how you make me smile!! Wish I had literary/artistic friends who wouldn’t mind adopting my unwanted ‘gifts’. Hey, thinking about it, I do have one……… Thanks for the link…….with my penchant for children’s fantasy, Mortlock sounds right up my street and I will be indulging!

    1. V. Kathryn Evans says:

      It’s brilliant Yvonne – highly recommend it x

  12. Sue Eves says:

    Kathy – you’re so thoughtful – and how lucky that Jon was wearing a crow defining color.

    I’m loving reading Mortlock

  13. Lucy Coats says:

    Waiting for my copy of Mortlock now. This made me laugh so much–you are an evil evil woman, mrsbung, and I’m sure it’s a deep laid plot. I reckon the crow is a homing crow and will steal all the Mayhew valuable and wing them over to your house. If I ever have a launch (and I’m determined to for the next book), I shall be sure to beware of bungs bearing gifts.

    Lucy @

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