Saturday, July 28, 2012

Writer's Workspace: Michelle Styles

Today PHS visits PHS editor Michelle Styles

As several authors have asked about the ident, I can now confirm the campaign desk is mine. The lap top is my daughter's and my bulletin board is stowed underneath. wanted something that said -- a writer's area. The sewing box next to it belonged to my great grandmother. I keep my counted cross stitch and knitting in there. The desk looks rather neater than usual!
I have a study (it used to be the children's playroom but they grew...) so after we redid the upstairs and each child got a bedroom, I took over the playroom. Not having to share with my husband makes for a more harmonious relationship. The walls are coraline. I saw the colour in Sorrento and knew that I wanted my study to be that peachy pink colour.
I made a few changes. The old narrow closet was converted into a bookcase where I keep the copies of my books, plus a few other books.
 he blocked up fireplace was unblocked and a cast iron surround put in. The fireplace had been blocked in the 1950s. We found old newpapers in the chimney dating from when the Queen lived in Malta.
The fireplace tiles are Mucha who is a favourite artist of mine.
On the manel piece sits various objects  and cards I have collected over the years. The Harlequin mask came from a visit to Venice.  The kissing figurine was a gift from several Dutch reader I met at the Berlin conference. The silver framed photograph is my husband and eldest two when my daughter was a babe in arms (a Christmas present from my daughter two Christmases ago). The stuffed mole was a joke from my husband when I had problems catching the mole who wrecked havoc in the garden a few years ago.
 Over the fireplace is some crewel work I did when I was sixteen. Closer to the door are some of the Regency/Victorian prints I inherited from my great grandmother who was a collector. They have provided inspiration when I have been stuck.
 Over my big desk hangs the Hans Kornell Character poster I bought at the winery when I was 20. Okay technically I should not have been wine tasting, but it was fun.
As you can see my desk is used. The mug generally holds tea --Green tea today. It was a present from my youngest.
 On the other wall are my posters from San Francisco. I love the one from the 1985 ABA -- the picture of the Golden Gate Bridge is made from scraps of various books that Ballantine, Del Ray and Fawcett printed in 1985.
Because I tend to be internet addicted, I do have to work on my net book with the internet off and the timer (ie the battery on). In the winter, I pull the campaign desk in front of the fireplace and work there. In the summer, I will work in the sun room as I do have a marvellous view over the garden. Heathcliff, my editorial cat has no problem giving me his opinion in either place.

Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romance for Harlequin Historical. Her latest His Unsiutable Viscountess will be published on 1 August in ebook and print. out. For more information visit


  1. Michelle, how marvellous to have a choice of places to work. I particularly like that sunny couch near the window. That looks truly inspirational.

  2. Yes, it works when there is sun. When it is dripping with rain, it is less inspirational.
    But I have learnt -- I am more efficient IF I turn off the internet.