This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
My first novel, The Missing One, was mostly written from a bedroom in a spacious Mock Tudor house in a leafy suburb of Boston, USA, where we lived for two years. We then moved back to the UK and, for the past two years, I worked on another novel, this time from my basement office. I may have physically been in Oxford during this time, but in my head, I never left that big suburban house, and that wide, deserted street. The result is my new novel, The Other Child. It’s about a woman who marries a paediatric heart surgeon and moves, with her nine-year-old son, to (you guessed it) a Boston suburb where unsettling things start happening.
And, just as The Other Child hits the shelves, my writing room has moved again – this time not across the Atlantic, but down the garden path because – the joy of signing another two book deal – I’ve built a writer’s shed in my (small & urban) garden. So, now, every morning, when I’ve got the kids off to school, I make my double espresso and step, with my dog, into the back garden.My ‘supershed’, unlike the rest of my house, is tranquil, tidy, serene. The walls and floors are a white wash, there is a daybed to read on, with cushions. My big desk contains very little clutter. The walls are plain and calm. Sometimes it feels like the countryside in here, because when I open the French doors, I hear tweeting birds. It is a sanctuary.
I haven’t written a word of novel three yet, as I’ve been so busy promoting The Other Child, but I know that I’m going to have to get writing soon if I’m going to justify the building. But, even if I never write another word, it’ll be worth it. Virginia Woolf – who had her own writer’s shed in Monk’s House, Rodmell – said all writers need ‘a room of one’s own’. This is mine. The best thing about it? A lockable door…
The Other Child by Lucy Atkins is out now.