My writing room is also our spare room. There are – as you can see – floor-to-ceiling books, and a sofa bed we open up when friends stay over. Out of the window I can see my street, and the kites that circle languidly over it. I know lots of writers need a blank wall so as not to be distracted, but who am I kidding? I’m endlessly distractible, blank wall or not. I’d rather have something lovely to be distracted by. The room is full of things I find beautiful, and sentimental reminders of friends and family (who I also find beautiful). I’m not a clutter person, but this is the most cluttered place in the house.
Some notes about my writing room:
1: Despite appearances, I am not stalking David Bowie. Nor does the collection of Bowie photos over my desk constitute a shrine of any kind. It’s a possible mood-board for my possible next novel. Possibly.
2: My computer desktop really is that empty. Like I said, I’m not generally a clutter person.
3: The star hanging from my lamp was sent me by my agent, Jo Unwin, the Queen of the perfectly-judged gift.
4: The A4 sheet stuck to my top file drawer carries a quote from Robert Frost: ‘The best way out is always through’. Mid-draft, this quote saves my life.
5: The photo beneath it is a genius infographic of the creative process sent to me by author Jo Bloom. You can buy it here.
6: The perfume bottles on the desk don’t have perfume in them. They’re paperweights.
8: The Union Jack bowler is an authentic, Silver Jubilee one from 1977; it’s also stolen. A friend gave it to me when I was writing Jubilee, having nicked it from her husband in the midst of their divorce.
9: The set of old books above the bowler is the poetical works of Robert Browning. It dates from 1890 and was given to me by my window cleaner when he found out I liked reading.
10: The blue and gold bonbonnière (I’ll say that again: bonbonnière) next to the radio is currently empty.
Vigilante by Shelley Harris is out now.