Saturday, September 22, 2012

Writers Workplace: Marguerite Kaye

Pink Heart has the great delight of welcoming Historical Author Marguerite Kaye to Writers Workplace today.  Take it away Marguerite!
I have a confession to make. When it comes to writing, I don’t have the typical authors workspace. I don’t have an office or a ‘den’, not even a desk or an ergonomic chair. When I write, I sit on a big comfy sofa with my laptop on a cushion on my knees. I know, it’s very bad for my posture, but having spent the best part of twenty years working in IT, sitting at a desk on an ergonomic chair, I just can’t stand the associations. I try very hard to do some pilates stretches at the end of every day to compensate but I would be fibbing if I said I always succeed.

I have tried to make myself work in the dining room at the back of the house which has an ideal sized table and where all my full-to-overflowing bookcases are. But there’s one huge reason why I resist. Take a look at the view from my lounge. Now ask yourself, would you want to sit looking out at your back garden when you could be looking at this?

I live on the Cowal Peninsula in Argyll. It has the dubious honour of being one of the wettest places in Scotland, but most days I can persuade myself that the view makes up for it. My house is perched right on the front, with only a road separating it from the Clyde estuary as it flows out into the Irish Sea. The view stretches all the way south towards Ireland, east to the outskirts of the city of Glasgow, and north to the beginnings of the Trossachs and the mountains of the southern Highlands. A lot of very large cargo ships pass by the window, and in the summer, a fair amount of very large cruise ships too. With the Faslane naval base located in nearby Loch Long, there’s a lot of submarine and naval traffic, including a fair share of warships doing sea-trials. This area is also very popular with yachts, so regattas are a regular occurrence. Two ferry routes ply across the estuary, trawlers and creelers fish the waters, and it’s not unusual to see tall ships, paddle steamers and various puffers. Oh, and of course there are the seals and even porpoises on a regular basis. Some days, I’m astonished I get any work done at all, but I tend to be inspired, rather than distracted, by the view.

My research library is next door in the dining room, as is my new wireless printer, so I do have to get up from the couch occasionally. And of course, the coffee is in the kitchen. I’m an early bird, and catch a lot of the glorious sunrises (which almost never, sadly, lead to glorious days). I have breakfast while I catch up on email and Facebook unless I’m up against a deadline, in which case I get right down to work. I break for more coffee mid-morning, and every other day to make the lunchtime soup. (A pot of home-made soup is one of my favourite comfort foods.) Over lunch, I have a quick glance at the news, and read, usually a biography associated with ideas for my next book. Right now, it’s Mary Lovell’s fantastic biography of Jane Digby, who seems to me to be even more scandalous than any of the fictional heroines I’ve written. In the afternoon’s I tend to edit what I’ve written in the morning, maybe write a bit more or maybe do some admin, depending on how tired I am.
I try to stop work in time to get in a bit of exercise – a walk, a cycle on my lovely new bike, or a bit of gardening. I gather up all the mess of books and notepads and pens from the floor beside my sofa and tidy them away. Then my living room reverts to its intended use until the next morning, when the writing day, and that fantastic view, awaits.
The Lady Who Broke the Rules, which is the third of the Castonbury Park Regency upstairs/downstairs series, will be out in October from Harlequin Mills&Boon, and will also be available as a duo (Ladies of Disrepute) in December.
You can find out more about Marguerite’s books at

1 comment:

  1. Marguerite, I so envy you your view....My office looks onto a back garden which the neighbourhood cats come from miles around to use as a toilet!!! And it's currently peeing with rain in London too... H x