We're feeling very lucky indeed that that fabulous Jill Mansell is showing us her writing room this week. Jill has written an astounding twenty-three novels, among them some of my very favourites. Jill Mansell's latest book is A Walk in the Park.
My Writing Room by Jill Mansell
I had an office once and hated the feeling of being shut away from everything that was going on in the rest of the house. Being in there felt like being punished, so it's just a junk room now, and I work downstairs in the living room instead. I sit on the sofa with my feet up on the coffee table and write all my books by hand with a fountain pen. The TV is always on – I use it as background noise, undemanding company. Listening to the radio would be impossible, far too distracting, but TV is fine. Also, you never know when ideas for the novels might suddenly turn up.
That's my bear over there in the fireplace – I fell in love with him in a shop a couple of years ago and my other half bought him for me for my birthday. If our daughter is home from university she'll sit at the dining table, type up my work for me and gleefully point out any mistakes I might have made along the way. I generally have my beautiful notebooks out, containing plot ideas and possible names for characters. I'm convinced that the more fabulous the notebook, the better the resulting novel will be – the one I'm currently using has a flocked cover, gilded pages and is by Christian Lacroix. (I know. Get me!)
I'm never going to be understated and tasteful. I have no off-switch when it comes to sparkly things, so there are also fairy lights in the fireplace, and a few Christmas decorations that I decided were too gorgeous to be put away in the attic for eleven months of the year. I also love my sequinned cushions and the table lamp with jewel-coloured crystals. The paintings hanging on the walls are all special to me – scouring the internet for new artists is a great hobby of mine, especially when I hit a difficult patch with the writing…
The french doors behind those curtains lead out into the garden and beyond that is a sports complex, so we can hear the gorgeous sounds of cricket being played throughout the summer months and the rest of the year the rather less gorgeous sounds of football players bellowing at each other to pass the bloody ball. If I choose to work upstairs in bed, I have a great view of the sports fields, tennis courts and rugby players doing their training. This is wonderful but may mean I don't actually get many words written. Either way, I'll always have my iPad switched on next to me, so I can check what's happening on Twitter. I'm easily distracted and love being able to chat to friends, other writers and readers who enjoy my books. To be honest, it's a miracle I ever get any work done.