Saturday, February 20, 2016

Writer's Workspace - Of Pets and Sound Soothers

We're delighted to welcome back Harlequin Heartwarming author, Karen Rock, to the Pink Heart Society as she talks about her writing workspace!

Becoming a writer was a dream I had from a very young age. Although I wrote in my journal mostly every day (poems, short stories, rants ;), I never considered myself a real writer because I didn’t have an “office”. I envisioned having a wood-paneled room with a large desk, shelves full of books, (mostly mine of course), an imposing desk chair and wall-to-ceiling windows overlooking an ocean, the scents and sounds of the sea rushing through the room and scrubbing the air clean.

Fast forward twenty years. Despite having published ten books (YA with Spencer Hill Press and Adult contemporary romance with Harlequin Heartwarming) and having seven more scheduled to release (Harlequin Heartwarming and Harlequin Blaze), the office of my dreams couldn’t be farther from my reality… and I kind of love it.

As I have a diabetic dog who’s also blind and deaf, Lizzie, I need to be close to the front door to let her out. My writing chair is by a large window in my living room. It’s one of those high tech recliners that also seems to double as a chiropractor and a masseuse. It’s plush, reclines and is wide enough to accommodate me, my laptop and my puppy Zoey who throws herself across my feet every day as I write. 

At some point, she’ll stick her head around the computer and woof at me when she thinks it’s time I stopped typing and did my real job, lavishing her and Lizzie with attention and treats. How could I forget? Lol.

I have a table stand that holds my writing calendar, one of those orange crystal ion lamps that was completely not an impulse buy (cough*) and my cell phone. A large window beside me looks out on my backyard and when I really want to procrastinate, I can watch the bird vs squirrel battles waged on my feeder. 

I have a sound soother app that lets me listen to a thunderstorm, a rainforest, and the ocean. My gas fireplace is also close and when I’m chilly I can push a button and watch my dogs and cat vie for position on the faux fur rug in front of it. (Does anyone know why animals like sitting in front of a fire so much? It’s the mystery of the ages to me…) 

Right now I also have a story map of the Colorado dude ranch where my current WIP is set and, as always, a sparkling ICE drink, preferably Cherry Limeade, within reach. Oh—and M&Ms. Chocolate is a big part of my writing process—or at least that’s what I tell myself.

So… not the beach front office straight out of the pages of a Country Living magazine I’d imagined, but better. I’ve found that the older I get, the more I’m interested in minimizing. I don’t want fancy things—just a cozy chair, a fire when it’s cold, a reliable lap top, and pets close by. I’ve written all of my books from this “writer’s space” and don’t imagine it changing anytime soon.

Where do you write?  And are you accompanied by your pets?  Join the discussion with Karen in the comments!

Karen Rock's latest novel, His Kind of Cowgirl, is available now: 

Would he still love her…if he knew? 

Tanner Hayes smashed Claire's life to pieces when he chose the rodeo over her ten years ago. And now he'd wrecked her truck! Fantastic. She'd lost her husband, the family ranch was mired in debt, her father was recuperating from a stroke and her son was being bullied. Why not throw a reckless bull rider into the mix? 

All she'd wanted was a safe, stable life. But with Tanner back in town—and staying on her ranch—nothing was safe, or under control. Not the feelings she'd fought so hard to forget. Not the son she was determined to protect. And certainly not her long-held secret…

Learn more about Karen, an Adult and Young Adult Contemporary Romance author publishing with Harlequin Enterprises, and her current and upcoming books as well as contests and giveaways on her website or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.


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  2. Thanks so much for having me and my pets on PHS today, Ally! Sadly, since writing this post, Lizzie had a stroke and we had to put her to sleep. She had a very happy life and went peacefully, without pain, in my arms. I'm still looking for her everywhere, forgetting that she's gone and I'm not sure I'll ever get used to her not being here. But I am so glad that I had the privilege of being her pet mom. She taught me a lot about never giving up, no matter the hand life deals you, and, especially, about unconditional love. This blog today came at the perfect time to honor Lizzie. Thanks again, Ally :)

  3. Karen, so sorry about the loss of your precious fur-baby. My heart aches for you. I have a 15-year old doxie named Lucky who has terminal cancer, and I treasure every day I have left with him. My "office" is very similar to yours. I don't have a recliner, but one comfy end of the sofa is all mine - and Luckys's! Love to you!

  4. ((HUGS)) to you and Lucky, Carol! Lucky is so fortunate to have a wonderful per mom in you <3

  5. I'm so sorry, Karen. Our pets bring us so much joy, it's a hard thing to say goodbye. Hugs.