Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Writers' Wednesday - The Write Place

Our Trish has gone missing somewhere between Lincoln, where we were on a Mills & Boon Panel, and Middlesborough. Since it is possible she can't get an internet connection and has lost her mobile I'm not going to worry about her until Thursday night. If she isn't back in Ireland then it'll mean I have to do 'my' Film on Friday post.

So, it's me, Natasha. Again.

Actually, I think, this may well be the start of a series because creating the perfect creative space is a knotty writers' problem. You know how you feel absolutely certain you would be a better parent and your life completely joyous if only your house had more storage? Weeeell, I firmly believe I would be a better/more prolific author if I only had the perfect place to work.

Currently I work in a cupboard. Sometimes. Other times I am prized from the cupboard so the rest of my family can use my internet connection. And then, and this is the bit that really riles me, they shoooooosh my things out of the way. Oh and steal my pens. Hang on, I'll show you.

That's the result of offspring one doing his history homework and is how I found my desk this morning. Empty glass, headphones, laptop - NOT MINE. My things have been piled up in the corner.

As a direct consequence of this I am laying plans to claim the 'music room'. At the moment it has a piano - which will have to stay but then that'll be good because it'll prove to the tax man it's not a solely-used-for-business room. It has a sofabed - which is bad because it's less than a year old and the frame has buckled. (Don't buy from ScS. Here in the UK, after six months it becomes your responsibility to prove the goods were faulty as opposed to misused.) I may well get round to pursuing that but for the moment it makes me cross just looking at it.

That aside, it's all open to development.

I have found 'my' dream.

Want a peak at Anthony Horowitz's study? He's the author of the Alex Rider books and the TV series 'Foyles War'.

I would KILL for that view.

Obviously bookshelves are vital. His are gorgeous, aren't they, but surprisingly empty! I've done some research on the bookshelf market and, whilst I'm certain I've not hit upon my idea of perfection yet, here are some ideas you might like to consider for your own space.

This is the Equation Bookshelf and it's designed by Marcos Breder.

The idea is that you can divide things in order of priority. So, the most important can be stored between the parentheses.

Quirky but not big enough for me.

These are the Folding Bookshelves. They are made of cherry wood and, apparently, possess 'the lightness of rice paper'. They can be laid down, stood up, turned 90 degrees and be used vertically or horizontally. Only I'd just have them full and they'd stay like that which rather makes them pointless.

This is the Quad Bookcase which is designed to store CDs, DVDs, files and books. It's also designed to fit together to make a much larger piece of furniture. 'Asymmetry', as the designers do say, 'in perfect balance'.

Personally, I think it looks like it'll crumple my books so gets the thumbs down.

This is designed by Da-Euan Song - a man who clearly doesn't have many books because you really can't get much on the Shelf, can you?

Latvian designer, Stanislav Katz, designed the Shelves with a Bench.

For me, it's a no. I think it looks incredibly uncomfortable and there's not so much room for the books.

The search goes on ........

Much love

Natasha's latest Harlequin Romance Wanted: White Wedding is released in NA and the UK this month.

Romantic Times Magazine says: 'Natasha Oakley's Wanted: White Wedding (4.5) has its share of deeply touching moments, but what makes it stand out are the humor and the wonderful characters.'

You can find out more about it on her website and you can hear her moan about her sheikhs and other assorted disasters by visiting her blog.

Her contribution to the Niroli series, 'The Tycoon's Princess Bride', is available here and won the Romantic Times Magazine Best Presents of 2007 and is nominated for a RITA®.

'Crowned: An Ordinary Girl' has finalled in the National Readers' Choice Awards.


  1. Natasha, I agree with you on the 'if only I had the perfect space...' although funnily enough I finally have my own office (for two months, until we move to a teeny apartment), and I don't use it! It's filled with books and papers and I still write at the dining room table and fantasise about my perfect room. Silly, huh?

  2. I'd kill for that view too, but not the terrace, just seeing him walk out on it gave me vertigo. Which probably explains why I don't write spy novels.

    I have a study with two computers and tons of bookshelves (beautifully built by my jack-of-all-trades uncle Richard!) but they're so full of all my film books and keeper romances (how did Nora Roberts write so many books?) I've always got books piled up round my feet and on the desk space. I've decided I need a library to go with my study, so all I have to do now is kick one of my sons out of the house....

    Heidi x

  3. Do you think I could ask Anthony to office share??

    Oooo yes the perfect space... I do have a desk but it is under piles of paper in the corner of my living room. I have loads of shelves but they are groaning under the weight of the books, DVDs and CDs. I know negotiate my house via the piles of paper and more books. I currently write on my lap on the sofa... this is so when I take my breaks I can just turn on the TV and not move!! Could this be the reason my productivity is low?

  4. I'm saying nothing about your office - just reminding you - and DH - about that conversation we had on Friday. Shoooshing, indeed! I have my own very nice office (as I know you know - pause to allow Natasha to grind her teeth in envy) And I have Ikea Billy bookcases. You can add extra shelves as you like - and with the extensions on top, they go right up to my ceiling. Only trouble is . . .they're getting full

    Trish! Come back to us


  5. I think built-in bookcases are the best - I think the ones in Horowitz's office are. wall to wall, floor to ceiling. None of these flimsy bought things. When we get our own house, I'll call a carpenter and see about having some installed.

    I think it's really important not to put anything off until you have the 'perfect space' or whatever. (Dare I drag out harry potter and the coffee shop....?) - though my numero-uno priority in our house hunt is a good study space, and a nice location where I can wander to a nearby cafe for some human contact.

  6. Yes! Nice coffee shop. I'm all for that.

    Kate, btw, did a very good job of sucking in air in a disapproving manner when I mentioned the shooshing over dinner on Friday. I have to say, Kate, spouse is only verbally supportive of the need for change. vbg. He seems to think the garage is the place to start ....

    Have another look at Anthony's shelves, everyone, they don't look like wood to me. How has he done them???????

  7. Oh, Biddy, yes I do think Anthony would share. I mean you are local and you'd be great company!

    Apparently, I saw another interview with him in which he said he has a 'divorce screen' on that long desk. It comes out and divides the thing into two so he can share with his wife only she prefers to use her rented office space. Which MAY mean *he's* not so great to share with!!! What price that view, eh?

  8. Ooh, Anthony Horowitz- he is sooooo gorgeous! When his last book was released dh and I queued for over three hours to get some books signed. He was so charming and delightful when we did finally get to talk to him that he made me feel that queuing for so long was well worth it and totally reasonable. And he kept on signing for at least another hour after that, no doubt still being charming and smiley. We'd gone downstairs for coffee and cake (and to sit down after three and a half hours standing in line- poor dh found that very tough) and when we came back up he was only just finishing. I can't imagine signing books non-stop for over four hours- eep!

    LOL at you writing in a cupboard, Natasha. It should at least be your own private cupboard! DH and I live in a tiny one ebdroom house, so my writing space is sitting on the bed with my laptop living up to its name, often being "assisted" by one or another of the cats. Oddly, they aren't at all interested in the laptop, but whenever I get out a notepad and pen to do some longhand writing, they are all over me. I have a big bookcase instead of a bedside table, so my mountainouus TBR piles, writing books, notes, and the oh-so-essential Diet Coke and chocolate are within easy reach. A bit too easy reach with the chocolate- maybe I'd better start leaving it downstairs so I get at least some exercise!