Archive for August, 2012

Giving Away an iPad!

 

Trish McCallan and I recently teamed up for a really big giveaway in celebration of the September release by Montlake Romance of our respective romantic suspense novels. Our prize was a brand spanking new 64 GB Wi-Fi capable Apple iPad2! On September 29, at midnight Pacific time, we drew our winner by random number generation.

 

Congratulations to Julianne Keller! Enjoy that iPad! Maybe you can use it to comment on this post!

 

Thank you to everyone who entered our draw and helped us celebrate the release of our books.

 

Workspace Wednesday welcomes Pamela Clare!

 

I am completely honored to have as my guest today Pamela Clare. Pamela is both an award-winning journalist and a Rita-nominated author. These days, she writes romantic fiction full time, shifting effortlessly – or so it appears! – between her fabulous Colonial historicals and her thrilling contemporary romantic suspenses (I-Team novels). But whatever genre she’s writing in, you can count on a powerful, sensual, gritty story that will put her characters through the wringer to earn their happily ever after, leaving you sighing as you close the book. Tissues are often required, which for me is pretty remarkable. As a writer reading the work of other writers, consciousness of craft can get in the way of the experience. Too often I think, “Wow, that was really well done! I could almost cry.” But when I live through Pamela’s characters’ big black moments, I flat out cry.

 

With that introduction, I give you Pamela Clare.

 

 

Pamela:  When I first started writing fiction, my desk was tucked away in my bedroom. I didn’t get much time to write — I was newly divorced and had two boys ages 9 and 6 — so that small space, just a nook in a little apartment, worked just fine. My little Mac Centris fit perfectly, and my boxes of index cards, which held the results of my research sat off to the side.

 

By the time I finished that book (7 years later), revised it (1 year), found an agent and got it published (9 months), I was living in a house. I had no real office space, but I turned the kitchen table into a make-shift office. It felt like there were always four people at dinner—me, my two boys, and my computer.  

 

 

 

But that didn’t work for long. I needed a filing cabinet for my growing body of research, as well as for contracts, and I had begun having difficulty sitting that included a strange numbness in my legs. So I did something radical.

 

I got rid of my living room furniture and took over that space as an office. I added bookshelves, supply shelves, a filing cabinet, inspiring art, a real desk, and a new computer. Then I went shopping for what I thought was the most important piece of office furniture — my office chair.

 

I’ve been through probably five chairs now—a $300 office chair, two zero-grav recliners, a ball, and the enormous adjustable $1,300 ergonomic chair I have now. And none of them helped. In fact, the problem grew worse, with excruciating leg pain that woke me up and made my life unbearable.

 

It turns out that the numbness in my legs, which I feel for some reason more when I sit, wasn’t caused by the placement of my posterior or the surface upon which it sat, but rather a badly impinged cervical spine brought about by a broken neck, the result of an accident. It had degenerated over many long years to the point where my spine was completely compressed.

 

After having spinal surgery to remove two vertebrae and replace them with implants in 2010, the horrible pain in my legs is largely gone, and I sleep at night again. However, the numbness isn’t. I have almost no normal feeling in my lower legs, and I still find sitting very uncomfortable. I go back and forth from my desk to a recliner, elevating my legs as often as I can. My neurologist has no idea why sitting provokes the neuropathy, but it does.

 

Moral of that story? An author’s true work space is her mind/body. Anything that interferes with the functioning of her mind/body — pain, illness, stress, lack of sleep, addiction, fear — is going to make it harder to write. So taking care of one’s body is paramount when one is an author.

 

But here in this photo of my office, you can see my desk, which has a number of personal keepsakes and good-luck charms on it. The baskets and shelves to the left of my desk hold mailing supplies — I do a lot of mailing — and the built-in filing cabinet, together with the new cabinet I got from my parents, hold my manuscripts, contracts, royalty statements, and so on.  

 

 

On the walls you can see my Lady of Shalott print by John William Waterhouse, a favorite. To the right of that, is a historic map of Fort Edward and Rogers Island, featured in my MacKinnon’s Rangers series. To the far left on the wall perpendicular to that one, is a map of the Lake George-Lake Champlain area, also featured in the MacKinnon’s Rangers series. I bought both at the Rogers Island Visitor Center on Rogers Island, which I call Ranger Island in the book. So they’re almost artifacts in a way and very special to me.

 

Speaking of MacKinnon’s Rangers, I’ve got two rosaries, one made of plain wood for Morgan and one of pearl and crystal for Amalie, hanging from the lamp. I held them or wrapped them around my wrist while I was writing Untamed.  

 

 

 

 

The big bookshelves were a gift from my parents. Behind them, you can see a motley collection of things that are significant to me, including the bright blue RITA finalist flag for Surrender. On that ledge I also have my National Journalism Award, sand from my recent trip to San Diego in an enamel box and from the bottom of Lake George (the large pill bottle), a vial of dirt from Rogers Island, and a dried out ear of corn from one of my many trips to the Navajo reservation.  

 

 

The top shelf holds my old dictionary, along with family photos. The group of shelves on the left holds my books, including the foreign translations of my titles, while the shelves to the right hold all the books I’ve purchased over the years for research, along with sweet gifts from readers. As you can see, the shelves are crammed!  

 

 

In the winter, I often take my laptop downstairs and write in front of my fireplace, where I the crackling of the wood makes for a very cozy, writerly feeling.  

 

Thanks for taking this little tour with me!  

 

Thank you for being here, Pamela! That was awesome.

 

Here are some places where you can learn more about Pamela or interact with her:

 

Pamela Website

Pamela Author Page on Facebook

Pamela Clare on Twitter

 

Her newest release is Defiant, the final MacKinnon brother in the MacKinnon’s Ranger series. And yes, it was amazing! You can find it at Amazon, B&N, or pretty much anywhere books are sold.

 

 

 

Okay, it’s your turn. What did you think of Pamela’s office? What’s your favorite element? Or just post to say hi to Pamela (she has the BEST fans!).

 

And here’s the thing – posting a comment will get you in on the draw to win a signed print copy of the MacKinnon’s Ranger trilogy! We have a second prize, too – a coupon for the free download of an electronic copy of Skin Deep (a novella in the I-Team series).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveal for Every Breath She Takes!

Okay, it’s finally up! The new cover for Every Breath She Takes is live at Amazon. But I’m going to post it here in larger format so you can have a real good look.

 

 

I’m very happy with it, and anxious for release day (September 4, 2012)  to arrive. It’s actually available for preorder. The price for the Kindle version is $3.99, which I think all my American friends can see. But for readers in Canada viewing it on Amazon.com, it’s still showing up at the placeholder price of $7.99. I’ve asked the Montlake team to investigate.

 

Also, to celebrate its release, I’m going to be teaming up with Trish McCallan, my Montlake release day buddy,  for a very special giveaway. Stay tuned!

God’s artist

On my walk this morning, i saw this fabulous spider web. If you click on the image to enlarge it, you’ll see the gorgous beads of dew it’s collected.

 

 

It instantly reminded me of a verse from a wonderful John Hiatt song called “Listening to Old Voices”. Here are the lyrics to the key verse:

 

There’s a spider at my window

And she spins a web of truth

More beautiful than all these memories

And she surely is God’s artist

As she’s caught the morning dew

It’s a simple prayer that brings me to my knees

 

I wanted to send you to see a video or at least hear him sing the song, but I couldn’t find a link. For you Hiatt fans out there, I know you’re hearing it in your heads. For those of you who are not yet Hiatt fans, go find some of his music and you will be. :)

Workspace Wednesday welcomes MJ Fredrick

Today, I am delighted to have MJ Fredrick as my guest for Workspace Wednesday. MJ is another member of my Wet Noodle Posse (writers who finaled in RWA’s Golden Heart® contest in 2003, and who have hung together ever since).

 

Here’s the thing – every time I read one of MJ’s books, I think, “Damn, I wish I’d written that!” She writes the kind of fast-paced, sexy romantic suspense/adventure that really floats my boat. The kind I try to write. She can also write a straight contemporary (like Bluestone Homecoming) with the best of them, a skill I envy.

 

 

She is also one of the few bloggers I follow religiously. I think I learned everything I know about blogging/social media best practice from watching MJ. I don’t do it as well as she does, but she embodies what we all should be doing. She shows us all the facets of her life, not just her writing. Besides being a damned fine writer, she’s a teacher, an avid reader, a wife, a mother, a cat-lover, a talented crafter, a Supernatural fan, a TV and movie aficionado, etc. Basically, she’s the kind of all around awesome person you want to feel connected to. I recommend you check out her blog and subscribe to her newsletter so you don’t miss anything.

 

Okay, now that I’ve spilled all that syrupy lurve all over the place, I’ll turn you over to MJ while I clean up the joint.

 

 

MJ FREDRICK:  I tried, really I did, to have an office. When I first started writing on a computer, I had one, the third bedroom in our old house, with an old XT my uncle had put together, with an amber monochromatic screen. After my son was in bed, I’d go in there and write for a couple of hours while my husband watched TV in the living room. I eventually finished my first book, but it took me months.

 

We replaced the XT with an old PowerBook we got for $300, with a modem that screeched. No more writing in the bedroom next to where my son was sleeping, so I started writing and surfing in the living room in front of the TV. We replaced the PowerBook with the first generation of iMacs, and it was also in the living room. So I got in the habit of writing with lots going on around me.

 

BUT I didn’t feel guilty, because I was still a part of what was going on, if you get me.

 

We moved into this house, a four-bedroom, 13 years ago. I tried several spaces as my “office,” the bedroom off the kitchen, the mud room area next to that, which looked out on my backyard, the middle bedroom (which has since become Craft Central). NONE of those worked for me. I’d get up a million times to go see what was going on in other parts of the house. Eventually, we parked the iMac in the living room and that was my workspace.

 

And then…I got a laptop. Oh, the freedom I had with a laptop! I wrote outside, I wrote in my big comfy chair, I wrote EVERYWHERE!

 

Now, I live in Texas, and the past two summers have been crazy hot, even early in the morning, so I don’t write on the patio. But this house is blessed with a sun room, and that is my favorite room in the house, especially since my baby brother helped me rearrange it a couple of years ago.

 

I have a big comfy couch and a big comfy chair that we bought when we moved in. They’re a little worse for wear, but did I mention comfy? (Also, excuse the cat hair. I AM the Crazy Cat Lady, but getting cat hair off chenille is a PAIN!)

 

In the morning, as soon as I finish eating, I unplug the laptop and curl up on the couch in the sun room. (This is what it looks like in the summer. When I’m teaching, it’s dark dark dark, with only the light from the screen.) Note the Diet Coke–a staple in the early mornings.

 

 

I usually get a cat or two curled up with me, no matter what time of day. Here you see YaYa beside me and Stormy on the floor.

 

 

My exercise bike is right there, taunting me. This summer I’ve had to leave my little area when the boy wants to exercise, which would make me mad if he wasn’t moving out this week.

 

 

I prefer this view, though because of the drought, there’s not a lot to see.

 

 

In the evenings, I join the family in front of the TV, but I’m usually still working on SOMETHING. This is my corner, complete with a blanket, because the AC works pretty well.

 

 

The bonus is, my baby kitty thinks it’s his mama.

 

 

So I don’t stay in one spot and I clearly like to be comfortable. Also, I like green chairs and cats.

 

 

Thank you, MJ! Loved the tour of your space! I am so in awe of anyone who can work with a laptop primarily. After all these years in admin support, I’m a desktop kind of gal.

 

MJ Fredrick is the author of 17 books, including this one, Guarded Hearts, published by Lyrical Press.

 

 


 

Now it’s your turn. Do you remember modems that screeched? Did you ever have an XT? Ever meet an author who didn’t even pretend to maintain an office, whilst she wrote in various spots around the house? Have you read one or more or MJ’s books? You know the drill – a comment will earn you a chance to win today’s prize, which you’re going to want. It’s a $10 gift certificate from either Amazon or B&N, at the winner’s call.

Dirty Dog

How does a black dog get a nose this brown? (To say nothing of that mouthful of dirt.)

 

 

 

 

Here’s how: (Sorry. I have to send you to YouTube to see the video clip, as apparently 18 seconds is too long to upload directly.)

 

Chloe Rolling in Dirt

 

 

 

 

 

Win an ARC of Every Breath She Takes

My romantic suspense from Montlake Romance – Every Breath She Takes - is going to be released September 4, 2012. But if you comment below, you might win an advance reading copy (ARC) and beat everyone to the punch. ,-)

 

 

 

I should mention this book was previously pubished as Lauren’s Eyes, the same book that won me Dorchester Publishing’s New Voice in Romance award. It has been updated and revised and is ready for a whole new audience of romantic suspense lovers.

 

Here’s the book description from Amazon:

 

“Ultra-sexy, heart-pumping suspense and adventure.” – Julianne MacLean, USA Todaybest-selling author

“Sexy, gritty and thrilling.” – Joss Ware, award-winning author of Night Forbidden

Veterinarian Lauren Townsend has good reason for hiding her psychic ability. Not only did her “freakishness” earn her pariah status in the small town where she grew up, it cost her a fiancé and her faith in love. When Lauren foresees a murder—through the killer’s eyes—she traces the victim to a sprawling ranch, never guessing what waits for her…

Cal Taggart’s rugged ranch life doesn’t need any more complications. His stubborn determination cost him his marriage, and now may cost him his livelihood. But then beautiful Lauren enters his corral…with danger close behind. And Cal wants nothing more than to protect her. They can’t deny their intense attraction. Nor do they want to. What begins as a fling with no strings becomes a fight for survival—and for true love.

 

For a chance to win, leave a comment about the romantic suspense genre. Tell me what themes or tropes you like in your RS (cops, bodyguards, women in jeopardy, etc.). Or tell me which romantic supense authors or stories you absolutely love.  A winner will be drawn randomly from among the comments. Good luck!

 

For those who want to skip the chance at the uncorrected proof in favor of ordering the official version (which, by the way, will have a different cover than the one depicted here), it’s available for pre-order at Amazon.com.

Workspace Wednesday welcomes Colleen Gleason

I am very excited today to have Colleen Gleason join me for Workspace Wednesday. I met Colleen in 2003 when we both finaled in the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® Contest. I had finaled the two previous years, and each time a Yahoo Group would spring up so that the excited finalists could network and talk about photos and gowns for the gala award ceremony and all that other fun stuff. And each year, after the curtain dropped, the groups lost their steam. But for some reason, the Class of 2003 – which we named the Wet Noodle Posse – really bonded. Next year we will celebrate our 10th year of Noodly goodness at the RWA National Conference in Atlanta.

 

Colleen also happens to be a talented, prolific and extremely successful writer. She is the author of the very popular historical vampire series the Gardella Vampire Chronicles, as well as the delicious Regency Draculia Series.

 

 

But so prolific is Colleen, she needed another name under which to publish her fabulous post-apocalyptic paranormal romances. Enter Joss Ware.

 

 

But whether she’s Colleen or Joss, she is a warm, energetic, lovely, magnetic woman. She is also a great deal of fun to hang with if you ever get the chance!

 

Okay, with that long-winded introduction, I’ll turn it over to Colleen:

 

COLLEEN:  So fun to be here, Norah! And back at you about the fun, warm, energy that you spread too. It’s too bad we don’t see each other more than once every two or three years!

 

I love this idea of sharing writers’ workspaces, and I have to admit, I was delighted when you asked me to share pictures of mine. I used to have an office that was out of control messy and disorganized. But last November, my mom took pity on me (talk about the Ultra-Organizer) and came over. We spent the better part of the day rearranging and cleaning and organizing my office. And I’m proud to say that I’ve kept it in shape ever since then.

 

So, without further ado…here’s the place where it all (well, at least some of it) happens!

 

To start the tour, we would have to climb the staircase to my office. And this is what you would see – many of my foreign book covers, framed and hanging on the wall.

 

 

 

This next shot is the view of my office as you enter it from the staircase. My office is actually a loft, which means I DON’T HAVE A DOOR!!! and I only have a half-wall on one side which overlooks the staircase. Which means I have to wear earplugs and headphones if I want to write while my children (two teens and one 11 year old) are around.

 

I have to confess that I took these pictures in November 2011, just after I’d reorganized and cleaned my office. But, honest!!, my office is still neat and clean like this–I was just too lazy to dig out the camera and take new pictures. The only thing different is my huge jade plant is outside for the summer. (Having a neat and clean office is a huge accomplishment for me, and I am proud that it’s almost been a year and I’ve kept it up.)

 

The huge window is lovely except for the first part of the day, when the sun blazes in and causes a glare on my computer screen. I pull the curtains over and put a small room divider on top of the glass desk in front of the window, and it keeps the glare away until the sun has gone over the house.

 

The chair you see in the forefront is my napping chair. :-) I often sit there with my laptop or a research book and work until it’s nap time. Then I curl up and doze for about 30-45 minutes. My little dog, Ranger, often shares the spot with me. It is the most comfy chair in the world! It’s big enough for a person and a half, and when I broke my leg (Jan. 2009) and had to have surgery and spent a lot of time recovering, I practically lived in this chair for almost two weeks.

 

In the back, you can see two of my book covers (books I write as Joss Ware) plus, with a glare on it, a poster for the Sherlock Holmes movie starring Robert Downey Jr. Anyone who visits my Facebook page or gets to know me knows I have a thing for both Sherlock and RDJ. :-)

 

 

Here is the back side of my desk. You can see my Mac on the top, and get a glimpse of my view out the window. To the right is the staircase, which, yes, is open to the floor below. The glass desk in front of the window I use as more of a project area; I never write there.

 

 

Here is the view of my bookshelves. My husband, aka MusicMan, built those for me our first year in this house–fifteen years ago. I absolutely love them, partly because they were such a labor of love. Every single shelf is thick and sturdy and adjustable to any height–I think he spent more time making the holes for the shelf holders than he did anything else. They are an inch apart. As you can see, the shelves are chock full of books–mostly research books and ones I’ve read or intend to read. :-) Someday.

 

You can also see my comfy nap chair, and right behind it is the stairs where you enter into this den of creativity!

 

 

Here is the best view of my desk and workspace. As you can see, there are a bunch of interesting things designed to keep my creative juices flowing. Beneath the window is a framed collage I made for my first book/series, The Gardella Vampire Chronicles. It’s in a shadow box because I take it with me when I do talks, especially at schools.

 

To the left of it is a photograph of a tree in a cemetery that one of my readers sent me because she thought it looked like something I’d enjoy. I love it. The tree is in full fall colors and is absolutely gorgeous. (She sent it framed, even!). Above the collage to the left is a small photo of a frog also given to me by a photographer friend (the woman who did my recent headshots). She knows how much I love frogs. :-)

 

On the shelf above the frog picture is a vampire hunting stake, a copy of a vintage Count of Monte Cristo comic bookand a “voodoo love god” from New Orleans brought back to me by two of my writing friends who went to a conference there.

 

As you can see, my office is filled with thoughtful gifts and remembrances. I also have a small vampire bat button given to me by author Anne Mallory and a special wooden ink pen I used to sign my first contract with–a gift from authors Jana DeLeon, Diana Peterfreund, and Wendy Roberts. Above the computer screen is a collage I made for my new steampunk teen series, complete with pictures and decor. And although you can’t see it on the shelf, there is a lovely angel-like fairy statue that was given to me by a big fan when I visited Italy (my Gardella books are very popular there).

 

On the bookshelves to the left of my computer are copies of my books, except on the two middle shelves where I have more research books. And note my little space heater beneath the desk for my tootsies…which are always cold. :-)

 

 

And here is a picture of little Ranger, dozing in my chair while I work. :-)

 

 

 

Thank you for that tour, Colleen! Those bookshelves are AWESOME! I have bookshelf envy. Again! (Lina Gardiner’s built in shelves gave me my first case. LOL!) But I think I love most the final view of your desk where we can see your collages and all the other personal stuff.

 

If you’d like to know more about Colleen, you can visit her at her Website, follow her on Twitter or Like her Author Page on Facebook.

 

Check out the newest book in Joss Ware’s Envy Chronicles (post-apocalyptic paranormal romance).

 

 

Okay, readers, it’s your turn. What did you think of Colleen’s office? Is that a workspace you’d kill for or what? Okay, maybe not kill. But what element would you pinky wrestle Colleen for?

 

I should mention that there is a giveaway! We will pick a winner randomly from among the comments. Colleen has graciously agreed to gift the winner with the ebook of their choice from her body of work (frontlist or backlist), in the format of their choice. Woot!

 

Workspace Wednesday welcomes Deborah Hale!

Today I welcome Deborah Hale to Workspace Wednesday. Deborah was one of the first published romance authors I’d ever met, and from the beginning, she gave unstintingly of her knowledge of both writing craft and the romance publishing industry. A Golden Heart® winner herself, Deborah encouraged me to enter that prestigious contest. While I never won one of those coveted necklaces, I did final a number of times. I am grateful to this day for her encouragement.

 

I am also a huge fan of Deborah’s writing. If you were to zoom in on my shelves (3rd shelf from top, right end of cabinets), you would see quite an extensive collection of her books. Deborah is the author of over 20 historical romances and two other-world fantasies. I am thrilled to have her here.

 

 

Take it away, Deborah.

 

DEBORAH:  The first thing visitors usually notice when they enter my writing space is Deskzilla – the monster three-sided desk with shelves and a file drawer that takes up most of my office. I’ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with Deskzilla over the years. At first I loved it passionately and produced over fifteen books while nestled in its solid embrace. But over the years it became the place I checked email, updated my website, did hours of historical research, played spider solitaire…almost everything except writing. Now I often write my first drafts longhand on yellow foolscap pads in the café overlooking my local grocery store. But Deskzilla waits faithfully for me to come home, type in my day’s work and revise it.

 

Deskzilla!

 

In addition to Deskzilla, my office is also home to the Closet of Author Copies. The boxes of books seem to proliferate faster than I can give them away, so take pity and enter my giveaways wherever you see them!

 

Closet of Author Copies

 

Beside the Closet of Author Copies are the Bookcases of International Editions. I used to have one shelf for copies of my books from all the different countries where they’ve been published. Then the collection grew to a whole bookcase. Now it’s about to outgrow two! I think the next step is to go vertical. Whenever I stop and really look at the Bookcases of International Editions, it feels more than a little surreal that my characters have traveled to so many places I probably never will.

 

Bookcases of International Editions

 

In the opposite corner of my office stand the Massive Shelves of Researchy Goodness. My family will tell you I write books to support my research habit. Because I’ve dabbled in so many different time periods, there are books here about 17th-18th century ballroom dancing, the Peninsular War, medieval life and Highland country estates. There is a whole shelf devoted to research for Confessions of a Courtesan. When I first considered self-publishing that book, it was an effort to recoup the money I’d spent on research materials. I’m happy to report I have succeeded!

 

Massive Shelves of Researchy Goodness

 

 

No tour of my office would be complete without a picture of my writing companion, Button. She has two spots under Deskzilla where she likes to curl up while I’m working. No matter how soundly she seems to be snoozing, the moment I stir from my chair, she’s up and alert, ready to follow me wherever I go.

 

Button

 

In the interests of full disclosure, I must admit this tour of my writing space hasn’t dwelt upon the piles of books and papers that seem to grow from my floor like stalagmites when I’m closing in on a deadline. I’ve also chosen to ignore my family’s junk that migrates in here and takes up residence. What can I say? I’m a Mom and a writer and neither of those is a tidy profession!

 

The unadorned truth

 

Thank you, Deborah! I love Deskzilla! That might be the most interesting tag I’ve ever put on a post!

 

Deborah’s Links:

Deborah Hale website
Elizabeth Charles page
Confessions of a Courtesan
Deborah's Author Page on Amazon
Deborah's Facebook Page

Okay, over to comments. What do you think? What’s your favorite element of Deborah’s space? Does the space match up with your expectations of a writer’s office? What, if anything, surprised you about it? (For me, it was the closet of author copies. I know Deborah’s prolific, but I never stopped to think how that would translate into so many boxes of books!)

 

BTW, Deborah has a number of fabulous give-aways. We’ll do a random drawing to determine who the lucky winners will be. Second and third place winners will receive a digital copy of Deborah’s Confessions of a Courtesan, in the e-format of their choice. The grand prize winner will receive the print set of her Gentlemen of Fortune series (Harlequin Historical).

 

 

Workspace Wednesday Welcomes USA Today Bestselling Author Julianne MacLean

 

Please help me welcome USA Today Bestselling Author Julianne MacLean to Workspace Wednesday. Julianne is a fellow Canadian, a wonderful, supportive friend, a savvy colleague, and an extremely talented author. Lest you think that’s my bias talking, Julianne is a 3-time RITA finalist and has won numerous awards, including the Booksellers’ Best Award, the Book Buyers Best Award, and a Reviewers’ Choice Award from Romantic Times. Her newest release – Married By Midnight (A Pembroke Palace Novella) – is now available. Without further delay, I give you Julianne MacLean.

 

 

JULIANNE: That’s it.  I can’t hide it anymore!  I’ve been living a lie and it’s time to come clean.

 

Last year when I launched my new website, I invited readers on a virtual tour of my office.  My husband videotaped a short segment where I displayed my bookcases, my tidy desktop and computer, and some lovely inspirational framed photos of Johnny Depp and Gerard Butler.

 

You can view it HERE.

 

I now confess that that video has become pure fantasy, because under normal circumstances, my office never looks like that. While endeavoring to create a glamorous image of my romance writing life for my website, I was dishonest, for in reality, it looks like this:

 

Julianne's_Desk

 

Notice there are open books strewn about, papers to be filed, a few dirty coffee mugs hanging around creating cup stains on the desk.  And here’s the kicker: I don’t even write down there anymore.  I used to (in fact, I believe I was still writing there when the original video was shot), but now I prefer to be on the main floor instead of down in the basement.

 

So the disaster area has moved up to my formal dining room where the situation is no better.  I only clean off the table for a giant family dinner when all my relatives are expected to arrive.

 

Julianne_at_Table
 

And no, I am not listening to music in this picture.  Those are sound-reduction headphones so I can shut out the world while still keeping an eye on the teenagers in my family room (I can see them through the French door).

 

I love my sound-reduction headphones.  When I place them over my ears, it’s as if I just dunked my head under water, and it’s GAME ON for writing.  Every writer should own a pair.

 

Notice also that I am working on a crappy laptop.  I use it only to revise or transpose new material, which I write longhand in a coiled notebook.

 

Here is where I often write longhand in the afternoons. That’s where I wrote most of Married by Midnight.

 

Julianne_LapDesk_Bed

 

I also like to write in the big comfy chair in my living room. I have one of those lap desks, which was money well spent.

 

Julianne_LapDesk_Chair
 

So there you have it, the truth revealed.  My office is just for storage.

 

Thank you for sharing that with us, Julianne! Though your basement office is lovely, I can see why you prefer that upstairs dining room. It really puts the “home” in home office. And I think I could write very happily in that comfy chair, but I’d have my laptop on that lap desk.

 

Okay, folks, now that Julianne has … er … come clean, so to speak, about the true state of her workspace, have you anything to say to her?

 

I should add that we will do a draw from among the commenters, the winner of which will receive the first three books in the Pembroke Palace series. If the winner is in North American, she may choose to receive the books in either electronic or print form. If the winner is international, however, the only option will be electronic, due to prohibitive shipping costs.