Although my writing room began its life as a shared study for my husband and I, over the years I sneakily put more and more of my own stamp on it until it is now pretty much my own personal domain. (He has only retained a shelf of art books, some boxes of bits and bobs and a filing cabinet full of paperwork.)
It is a small space, tucked away at one end of the house next to our bedroom, so it rarely sees any visitors outside the family. Having worked in a newsroom for most of my career, noise and commotion don't bother me. But when I am immersed in writing fiction, I hate anyone walking in and taking me out of my imaginary world. So with my son using the adjacent hallway to play cricket – bounce, thwack, bounce, thwack – I simply shut the door and cocoon myself in my little haven.
Furnished by that Scandinavian superpower Ikea, with Billy bookcases, Lack shelving and a big white desk, the room has a floor-to-ceiling window so gets plenty of natural light. But rather than a gorgeous view to gaze upon – a tropical beach would be my preferred option! – it looks out to a side fence of our corner block. So instead I have to make the interior interesting to my eyes.
I like riots of colour and plenty of stimulation on my noticeboards. There's a lot of reds, pinks and greeny-blues. Because I have a tendency to hang around funky stationery stores, I have visions of one day restocking all the shelves with coordinated files, notebooks and storage systems. As you'll note, despite having been a book reviewer for years, there are not many books on display. I only keep a handful on the go, while the rest are sent out into the world to find a good home.
The words don't tend to flow out of me unless I have my fingers on a keyboard. I can scribble down a few notes to remind myself about a story idea but for some reason no passages of prose are forthcoming unless I am T-Y-P-I-N-G. Since donating my laptop to my daughter, I have preferred to anchor myself to my desk, with a big computer screen to work off. Most of my time spent with my bottom attached to that black leather high-back chair isn't writing fiction at all, instead I'm either working as a freelance or dealing with emails and the other endless duties associated with my websites.
Behind my desk is a sitting area and ever-expanding gallery for Green Day artwork and memorabilia (you know, this may well have something to do with why my husband willingly abandoned the room!) I do spend a lot of time here so I guess it makes sense to be surrounded by my favourite things. Interestingly though, family photos and sentimental keepsakes have found a place elsewhere in our home. Indeed it seems I've turned this room in mum's den for when she's not being a mum.
My new favourite thing in the room is a small block canvas of the cover of Don't Mention the Rock Star (to the right of desk near phone). It was a gift from my husband and the idea is to one day have a whole collection of my book covers hanging on the wall. But if that's ever to happen, I'd better leave you now and get cracking with some more writing…
Don’t Mention the Rock Star by Bree Darcy is out now.