I started my writing career with a laptop, a Swiss Ball to prop up my feet and the sofa to sit on, but after several books which taught me being within reach of the TV remote wasn’t such a good idea, I turned my spare room into an office to separate work from leisure time.
After many days fighting with flat packs, tools and discovering I should have built the desk IN the room, I came up with a workable space. I now live in this room for more hours than I care to admit.
One of the most important things I’ve discovered I need are places to doodle down notes and stick post-its, so cork boards were a necessity. I keep everything from quotes to love notes from my nieces there. Keeping in mind the weakest part of my writing has always been beginnings I also took time to read several writing books and came up with a little set of prompt cards and ultimately a combined methods chart for structure. Anytime I get stuck I now refer to them to see what might be missing or where I should be in a story at certain points of the word count.
As many authors will tell you one of the greatest joys of being published with Harlequin is foreign editions of your books, so on the shelves they are arranged by country both to make it easier to see what has been out where and for the once yearly attempt I make to ensure they are registered for things like PLR and ALCS; library schemes which allow authors to collect royalties both at home and abroad. For anyone starting out I can highly recommend doing this at the START of your career. Eight years in it took a lot more work...
Some of the other essentials in my office are things like Rodale’s Synonym Finder (as you can see my copy is well used)-research books like Badge Of Honor which helped me learn about the life of a bodyguard for my current WIP-the little blue stone at the bottom of my screen which is supposed to help with inspiration-and the many statues of couples I have spread around the place to add a little romance. I’m also a notebook-a-holic and every WIP has at least one (sometimes several) with scenes or dialogue written longhand which I strike a line through when I’ve used them. Music is another essential; hence the speaker and the IPod. I also have an external hard-drive after burning out one laptop too many and discovering firsthand the naked fear which comes with the thought you might have lost several weeks of work.
So there you go; a little glimpse into my writing cave. As is the tradition I have to thank the PHS for making me polish and vacuum before taking photographs. Usually it’s a lot messier than this and there would be numerous empty coffee cups sitting around, especially when we take into consideration how late this latest Brannigan brother book is and the fact I’m a chapter away from the finish line with edits...
To be in with a chance of winning the second book in the series, telling the story of Daniel Brannigan, an NYPD officer and reserve Marine, simply leave a comment and Trish will chose a winner a week from now.