Saturday, August 11, 2012

Writer's Workspace: Carol Townend

Harlequin Historical author Carol Townend shares where she creates her thrilling historical romances.

The desk is in a corner of the bedroom, but luckily there’s a window next to it. This is a good and a bad thing. It’s lovely to be able to see out, but sometimes the temptation to watch what’s happening in the street is a bit too much! Although I have a great excuse for it – the theory is that it can’t be good for the eyes to focus on a computer screen all day. So when I am staring blankly at passing clouds, looking for inspiration, I can claim I am exercising my eyes!
There are a couple of glass paperweights on the window sill, and a few more on my desk. The one next to the keyboard is one of my favourites, it belonged to my grandmother and it’s from Murano in Venice. Every time I look at it, I think about Venice.
(Confession time – the whole area had to have a serious tidy up before I took the photos!) Behind the chair is a framed set of cigarette cards, showing the Kings and Queens of England. (It’s dated 1935 – which I guess is well before everyone realised how bad smoking was for the health.) The set starts with William the Conqueror, so none of the Anglo-Saxon Kings and Queens get a look in, which is a shame, but I still love it. Queen Mary is the last. The set was given to me by my husband’s cousin – she also gave me a set of framed cards for English Period Costume. That hangs on the other side of the bookcase.
Of the two sets I like the costume cards most. (They are dated 1929.)
Which set do you prefer, the Kings & Queens or the Costume cards? What sort of pictures would you put up in your workspace?
Carol writes medieval romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon. Her latest book, Betrothed to the Barbarian, is out in August 2012. It is the final novel in the Palace Brides trilogy which is set in Constantinople in eleventh century Byzantium.
The cover blurb is as follows:

Princess Theodora of Constantinople is to marry Duke Nikolaos, the general-in-chief of the army, a man chosen for her by the Emperor. An imperial princess must always do her duty - be beautiful, obedient and pure.

But Theodora spent ten years in exile in a barbarian land. There, once, she might have forgotten protocol. Forgotten enough to have given birth to a baby in secret. As her wedding night approaches, Theodora finds she wants to share her bed with the Duke, except she knows she's on the verge of revealing her biggest sin...


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  2. Hi everyone,
    I am not sure why the photos aren't showing, and I can't access the site to get them on, so I've put a shortened version of this blog on the 'Meet Carol' section of my website -

  3. Hi Carol - I've checked out your blog and those cigarette cards brought back a lot of memories. My uncle was an avid collector of them. He died as a teenager, and my grandmother couldn't bear to part with his books. If I was *very* good as a child, I was allowed to look through them. Pre-Internet, things like that were a real treat! "Poultry" and "Gardening Tips" were my favourites.
    PS: I wonder why they stopped doing tea cards? They were a much healthier option.

    1. Hi Christina,
      Tea Cards! I remember those, they were great. And as you say, much healthier I guess it's that collecting thing. As a child, I was horse mad, and I used to collect those Beswick china horses. There was one snag, the tails and legs got easily broken :( One of them has survived - the tiny foal. It's still on my bookcase!

  4. No wonder you are able to create great romantic stories! Your work space is simply awesome and cosy! Kudos for that organised space!