I asked a random cross-section of authors what they need next to them while they’re writing. I limited it to the 5 Must-Haves, because looking at the table next to my LazyGirl chair, there are about 50 things—seriously. And I told them that X-rated items are fine, so you’ll find a few surprises on the lists!


Here’s what these great authors can’t do without:


(Click on any author’s name to see their website!)



Mia Downing

1) coffee

2) thesaurus

3) rubber band gun to fend off the family

4) phone (so I don’t have to get up)

5) hot guy pictures



Megan Hart

1. Coke Zero

2. Music

3. Scented candle (rose)

4. pillow and blanket

5. hand lotion



Nikki Prince

1. Must have a cold drink

2. Music playing/TV/Kids in background. Must have it. I love to have noise.

3. Research materials

4. Pictures of the characters I’m writing about.

5. My laptop with Jump drive




Lorelei James

1) I have to have a candle burning to write new material. Not always the same scent, I mix it up, but it has to be a Yankee candle.

2) A big glass of water. No ice

3) Lip balm, which is sort of weird that I just cake it on while I’m sitting there by myself.

4) Mints. Icebreakers wintergreen mints are my favorite.

5) One thing I don’t have? Music playing when I write. Ever. I can’t concentrate. I mostly need silence to work.

So yeah, I have fresh breath, I’m completely hydrated and I have soft lips while I’m writing and I’ll yell at you if you interrupt my quiet time–kidding



Samantha Pleasant

1 Dr. Pepper,

2 a fuzzy blanket,

3 Google images with “sexy” typed in,

4 and ideally someone sexy laying next to me
…but sometimes he can be a distraction.



Marcia James

I don’t have any X-rated items on my desk (unless you count my computer’s naked guy screensaver). The photo is called “How to impress the girls at the gym.”

2. My Chapstick, because I’m addicted, unfortunately.

3. Water or tea, since writing is hard work.

4. My lucky stuffed Chinese crested hairless dog, since I have a live one in each of my books.

5. Post-it notes, so I can write down a manuscript idea or research question to address later without having to stop writing on my current scene.



Lori King

1 A cold can of Diet Dr. Pepper,

2 my MP3 player,

3 my gymnastics Barbies for ensuring accuracy and physically improbabilities,

4 my “bible” of characters-basically my notes on all of the characters in the series,

5 a fan-I get WAY too hot writing certain scenes and I’m afraid my laptop will combust, plus the white noise helps with buffering the kid noise around me.



Em Petrova

1 Notebook to cage my plot bunnies

2 banana for energy–get your minds out of the gutter!

3 ipod for soundtracks to my stories

4 vanilla lotion–soft, supple skin is important

5 Kindle Fire to watch “inspirational” scenes w/o infecting my laptop with P*rn viruses



Mari Carr

1. Iced tea

2. iTunes (music inspires me)

3. Hearts (when I hit a road block, I play the game to untangle my mind)

4. The Internet (Just call me the Queen of Google)

5. My fleece blanket (I live in an old, drafty house and I like to be warm!)



Lexi Post

1) Bottle of water

2) Research books (Names, sex books, etc)

3) Blistex (I lick my lip stoo much when I’m thinking)

4) Pen and post-its (keep track of ideas for later, or which chapter I’m on, number of words I’ve written, etc.))

5) Giz, my cat – but that was totally his decision, not mine. His butt is against my laptop and his head is on my printer *sigh*



Cristal Ryder

What I must have when I sit down to write.

1 – lap top lol

2 – time and no crazy distractions – I can write pretty much anywhere and have done so at the race track. I can tune stuff out.

3 – pillow or something soft under my butt depending on the chair and something to rest my right arm on. I’m having shoulder problems

4 – spa music playing softly in background if Meat Man doesn’t have the tv on – I don’t do well with headphones and music in my ears while trying to write.

5 – a drink – alcoholic is good 🙂 – and a cloth to wipe my fingers if I’m snacking – can’t stand icky keyboards

If I’m at the table, usually I have a pussy with me too. My cat loves to lie with his back to the keyboard and knead my arm or boobs purring like a freight train. Distracting but one that is not so hard to take.



Laci Paige

1. My cell phone – to text for help when I need it, I have a few author friends on speed dial.

2. My laptop – to research and type my story on.

3. Paper/pen – to jot down ideas, notes, or whatever I feel like,I like to draw random smiley’s and stars too.

4. A drink/snack – wine and chocolate is usually best.

5. My personal dirty word thesaurus – never leave home without it.



Benjamin Russell

1.) A glass of wine.

2.) Scented candles

3.) Handcuffs

4.) Coconut oil

5.) Nipple clamps



Ginger Ring

1. something to drink – flavored water in the summer time and cappuccino or hot chocolate in the winter time.

2. Notebook – I have notes or suggestions that I don’t want to leave out.

3. Music – I like to have a theme for the book. Something that would be regional to the area that the book takes place.

4. Pillows – I need to get comfortable so either use it on my back or if I write in bed I plop the laptop up on one.

5. Cats – I have 2 house cats. I don’t need them to write but they feel they need to help me write so one is usually sitting in my lap.



ER Pierce

1) Ice Coffee (either homemade or from Dunkin Donuts but with copious amounts of chocolate either way)

2) My box fan whirling – or if I’m out writing, then I have a virtual fan I listen to on YouTube. (With headphones, I don’t want people to think I’m weird or anything :P)

3) My Notebook and a Pen/Pencil. Sometimes Ideas will hit me but they need to be fleshed out more, or I don’t know where to insert them. Sometimes it’s another plot bunny. Damn those plot bunnies!

4) A vibrator – For when I’m writing the smexy and need to set the mood Oh, woops, am I supposed to admit that online? Probably not…

5) My phone – so I can text people when I need to pull my hair out, grab a hug, moral support, or an ass kicking.



Savannah Chase

1. Music

2 Naughty pictures for inspiration when needed

3 Cell phone

4 Cup of tea

5 And a naked hunk

(Last one is a dream lol)



Cat Johnson

1- A really large mug of coffee. Anything less than 20 ounces is a tease

2- Pajamas. It’s a writer’s perk to work in PJs

3-Wine, for when the internet trolls get you down

4-Technology! At any one time I have a laptop, a cell phone, a landline and an iPad at arms length

5- A writing kitty. There’s at least one cat on me at all times. Usually two.



Shayne McClendon

1) Without coffee there is no function. It is my #1 must-have.

2) A 5-subject notebook that contains the most ridiculous notes.

3) Post-its and pens (in multiple colors because I’m a freak).

4) My phone so I can call a friend if I get a bad review or experience a head-spinning moment.

5) Lotion – several kinds that I obsessively apply to my hands and elbows when I’m thinking about a plot twist my brain is taking me toward that I don’t quite “get”.

I have toys but rarely use them. Horrible temporary desensitization incident in the 90’s (*GRIN*)



Nichelle Gregory

1. coffee

2. Ipod

3. phone

4. My fave back pillow

5. One of my aromatic candles lit and in view!



Mia Ashlinn

1. My WIP Notebook – I never, ever, ever write without it in touching distance. Heck, I don’t travel without it either. LOL. I lug this thing everywhere so I’ll be able to look up something about the character or their back story at the drop of a hat. The heaping binder is filled with everything I could ever need about the characters, research, and so forth.

2. Something to drink – I know what you’re thinking. I don’t mean liquor. Just water or Coca-cola does it for me. Sometimes, it’s both, depending on my mood.

3. Pen and Paper – Hmmm…not sure if this counts as one or two. But I thought I’d give it a try as one…that way I have another slot to fill up. LOL.

4. Beauty and the Beast Musical Snowglobe – It’s cheesy, I know. But these two inspired my love for romance.

5. Dictionary/Thesaurus – I’m a total word whore. Sometimes, I just can’t get the right word out. I’m like, “I know this word. I know it. Why can’t I remember it?!?” So I pull out my handy-dandy Dictionary/Thesaurus and find the word. Then I’m good to go.



Wendi Christner

1. A hot beverage…usually tea, but coffee if I’m propping my eyelids open with paperclips

2. Sparky, my little wiener dog. He either curls in my lap or warms my feet.

3. A framed reminder of why I write. I spent a few years writing for the wrong reasons. This keeps me focused on the right reasons.

4. My alphasmart. Sometimes the glaring blank page is a beast. The alphasmart’s tiny screen puts me back in control.

5. My reference materials…for obvious reasons.



Opal Carew

1 – Tall icy water

2 – My kittens

3 – a crystal

4 – Nice nail polish on my nails (I like sparkly!)

5 – My iPad mini


Did you notice a lot of cats in there? Thanks to all the wonderful authors who shared their fave five with us. What are the things you must-have, either in your purse or pocket, or next to you when you’re working?



18 comments to “What Secret Goodies do Awesome Authors Have Close at Hand When They’re Writing?”

  1. Clare O'Beara
    March 28th, 2013 at 4:31 am · Link

    Cats! Got two with me right now.
    Plants to soak up the radiation and chemicals from computer
    Jelly sweets to keep me going near dinnertime
    Yes, face, hands and lips do need to be moisturised, it’s a drying occupation, but I wouldn’t put that as something I have to have by me.
    Thanks for taking the time to research this and share it!

  2. ER Pierce
    March 28th, 2013 at 7:48 am · Link

    Thanks for allowing me to play, Randi. It was fun reading everyone’s 5 things. A lot of us have similar items close by. I’m not alone! :grins:

  3. Mia Downing
    March 28th, 2013 at 8:03 am · Link

    What fun to see what everyone has! I forgot to say music, but that’s IN the computer! LOL

  4. Tina D
    March 28th, 2013 at 9:08 am · Link

    If I am writing a blog I normally have a cat next to me. I also need my phone because a certain author calls a lot. Iced tea is always a plus and two pieces of chocolate unless it is M&M then I have to separate them by color before I can eat them.

  5. Wendi
    March 28th, 2013 at 11:05 am · Link

    How fun to peek into everyone’s writing space! 🙂

  6. Kirsten
    March 28th, 2013 at 12:22 pm · Link

    Great post, Randi!Other than cats, I saw a lot of Chapstick. Must be a writer thing. I know I slather on the stuff when writing. Maybe it’s prep in case the sexy hero needs to practice. 😉

  7. Nancy S
    March 28th, 2013 at 12:25 pm · Link

    I’m terribly un-PC and old school but I have an overflowing ashtray and my cigarettes along with a bowl of peanut M&Ms. The liquid item will vary according to season and frame of mind, Diet Pepsi or beer or wine or coffee or hot chocolate. No cats here, they make me sneeze.

  8. Nichelle Gregory
    March 28th, 2013 at 1:25 pm · Link


    Thanks again for inviting me to share! What a fun post! 🙂

  9. Samuel Solomon
    March 28th, 2013 at 1:33 pm · Link

    For me, its trail mix, water, piles of yellow pads full of notes, dry erase markers, and incense/candles.


    and the occasional Captain and Coke…

  10. Marcia James
    March 28th, 2013 at 1:55 pm · Link

    Thanks, Randi, for including me in your survey. 😉 I really enjoyed reading everyone’s 5 items. Glad to know I’m not the only one who needs lip balm and post it notes!

  11. Lori King
    March 28th, 2013 at 2:50 pm · Link

    Thank you Randi for letting me come out to play today! It was fun reading everyone else’s “must haves” apparently I need to test out the chapstick system!

  12. Nikki Prince
    March 28th, 2013 at 3:00 pm · Link

    Thank you so much for letting me have some fun! It was great reading all the others. We writers are diverse and still get the job done.


  13. Laci Paige
    March 28th, 2013 at 3:15 pm · Link

    I see lots of moist lips and pussy’s 😉

  14. Cristal Ryder
    March 28th, 2013 at 3:52 pm · Link

    This was fun! Thanks so much for asking me, Randi. I really enjoyed reading what everyone else wrote. Wow, I’m wordy O_O

  15. Lori Vick
    March 28th, 2013 at 11:07 pm · Link

    cool. thanks

  16. N.J. Walters
    March 29th, 2013 at 5:13 am · Link

    Interesting lists. It’s always fun to see what’s on an authors “must have” list when they sit down to write.

  17. Benjamin Russell
    March 29th, 2013 at 7:24 am · Link

    *Chuckles* Randi, you have assembled quite an interesting cast of characters, uh…I mean writers. Thanks much for allowing me to participate and mixing with such an eclectic and talented group of successful authors. Muwah!!@

  18. Vada K. Belle
    March 29th, 2013 at 9:28 am · Link

    How neat. I posted this on my FB wall with my five…mine were boring LOL

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