Saturday, May 04, 2013

Writer’s Workspace with Lee McKenzie

Joining us today at The Pink Heart Society is Harlequin author Lee McKenzie, who will share her Writer's Workspace. Take it away, Lee!

Thank you, Pink Heart Society for hosting me on your Writer’s Workspace day, and welcome everyone to my office! Yes, I tidied up for you. I always tidy up before guests arrive, and you are no exception. When I’m on deadline or busy with other things, my space tends to get a bit disorganized. Okay, a lot disorganized. But every once in a while I need to spend a day getting reorganized because the clutter drives me crazy.

 My office hasn’t always looked like this, but I’m too embarrassed to show the “before” photos. Trust me, though, it was bad, because five years ago I had surgery for recurrent melanoma followed by a year of chemo. Pretty much everything, including writing, was put on hold. My office became a dumping ground for all the stuff I didn’t have time and energy to deal with, and that was made worse by towering floor-to-ceiling shelves, overstuffed filing cabinets, boxes of junk and…well, I’m sure you get the picture.
Last year it was still an overwhelming mess, so I bit the bullet and hired Chaos to Calm, a home organizing company owned by sisters Jess and Jen. And let me tell you, those two gals are worth their weight in gold.  

And here’s what my office looks like now.

The too-tall shelves that overwhelmed the space…and me…have been replaced by nice low ones. It turns out that I’m a piler, not a filer, but I don’t like piles so I've opted for labelled storage boxes instead.

Organizing my office and trying to keep it tidy lets me enjoy the things that are really special to me. My two RWA chapters give authors a silk rose every time they sell a book, and I love my bouquet! Yes, those are dinosaurs on one of the shelves, and the red Vespa in the print on the wall is just like the one the heroine in The Wedding Bargain  rode.

I don’t write at this desk but I do use the computer for email, printing manuscripts, etc. This is also a handy place to keep other special mementoes, like the little (now empty!) bottle of bubbly on the top shelf. I bought the day I got “the call.”

This desk is also home to my “inspiration shelf” where I keep copies of my books and other little odds and ends that tie in to the stories I’ve written. And of course there are polka dots. I love polka dots!

My office used to be a bedroom, so I have the luxury of a generously sized storage closet.  A very handy place to store office supplies and bins of author copies.

My writing corner is my favorite part of the room, and as you can see by the scratching post, I share it with my two cats. All of my writing is done on my laptop, and the armchair makes a nice cozy writing space.

My inspiration was this green Harlequin Wing Chair from MacKenzie-Childs

Sadly, it didn’t fit in my budget…and trust me, I crunched the numbers!

So I created my own.

The old wingback chair was given to me and I slip-covered it in a nice, calming sage green. The ottoman and side table were thrift-store finds, and I made the cushions (McCall’s 4410) from fabric remnants. It can’t compete with my dream chair, but it works, and at a fraction of the cost.

On the wall next to my writing chair I’ve created my own little “wall of fame.” My book covers and posters from the three years when I was a Golden Heart finalist are block-mounted, and I’ve also added the “first sale” plaques presented to me by my two RWA chapters. Yes, I know this makes me look like a total egomaniac! But I’m usually the only person who sees it, and it inspires me.

Thank you so much for stopping by to visit my workspace, which, I’m happy to say, is now a lovely place to work. I’m not sure where my other cat is, but Lucy and I hope you enjoyed your visit.

Today I have two giveaways! The first is an autographed set my Seattle-set Ready Set Sold series about three women who renovate, stage and sell houses while searching for their own home sweet homes and happily ever afters. The third book in the series, Daddy, Unexpectedly, goes on sale on May 7th.

The second giveaway a signed copy of Maggie’s Way (Harlequin Heartwarming) that was released on May 1st. This is a revised edition of my very first published novel (The Man for Maggie, Harlequin American Romance, June 2007) with a brand new cover and everything, and I’m thrilled it’s been reissued!

To enter the drawing, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post. And for a little extra incentive, if you go to my website and sign up for my monthly eNewsletter, your name will be entered twice!

Thank you, and happy reading!



  1. Hi Lee,

    What an absolutely fabulous reading and working room. It looks relaxing and inspiring too. I wish I was so organised! Good on your for having your covers up on the wall, too. I think we don't give ourselves enough positive reinforcement as writers and celebrating success is important. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks, Annie! Glad you enjoyed your visit! I'm not always this well organized but when things get out of hand, I have to put the brakes on and deal with the clutter.

  3. wow, lee. i'm so jealous of your great writing space. (i'm currently working in the living room on an end table and haul my printer onto the floor beside when i need to print something.) and i love your inspiration wall. thanks for sharing. --molly says "hi" to lucy, but it turns out she doesn't want to actually meet her, molly's anti-social that way...

  4. Love your space, especially the polka dots, I've become quite partial to them myself, they always feel happy to me. And I think your wall of fame is a great thing, it's good to have something positive to look to.

  5. What a nice office

    I signed up for your newsletter

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  6. Nora, when my kids were all at home there was no space for me to have an office. I had a desk in the hallway next to the bathroom door. 'Nuff said ;)

  7. I caught the polka dots immediately. So you! It's perfect. And so is your magestic cat.

  8. Thanks, Summer! And yes, polka dots are cheerful!

  9. Thank you, BN! You're name is in the draw. Twice :)

  10. LOL, Mimi! Thanks! Polka dots are definitely my thing! And Lucy will be flattered when I tell her someone thinks she's majestic. My daughter calls her Goose (short for Lucy Goosey :)

  11. Hi Lee
    I love your writing room and love even more the cherished stories that rest behind each part of it. It's inspiring.

  12. I want an office like that !!
    WOW !

  13. Beautiful office Lee =)
    I'd love a space like that!
    Cheers, Kyla

  14. Thanks, Angi! I really to enjoy it :)

  15. Thank you for your comments, Jo-Ann. Very sweet.

  16. ***WINNERS***

    I'm thrilled to announce that has chosen two winners.

    Kyla (Kylala), you're the winner of my three-book Ready Set Sold series.

    Jo-Ann (lovindanger), you've won a copy of Maggie's Way.

    Please send your mailing addresses via my website ( and I'll pop the books in the mail!