Some days I just have to marvel at what a great job I have. I get to create stories for a living! And if that’s not enough, I also get to talk to lots of wonderful authors and persuade them to open up their homes to us so we can peer around their work spaces. Today’s guest is Roxy Boroughs, a fellow Canadian whom I “met” through social media. Some people just shine in that milieu for the genuine, smart and likable people they are. Roxy is one of those people. I am also a fan of her books. But it wasn’t until I researched her bio for this introduction that I realized she is also an accomplished actress! In addition to her appearances on stage and in commercials, she also appeared in the beloved Canadian-produced Degrassi Junior High. I’m so impressed!
Okay, Roxy, over to you!
ROXY BOROUGHS: Thanks so much, Norah, for inviting me to share my workspace. It’s in the second bedroom of the condo I share with my husband. Since the walls are a coffee color, I picked off-white furniture, to brighten things up.
Like many writers, I have a lot of books. And my husband is a university professor, so he has a lot of books. Together, we have a TON of books. We also like movies and music, and own quite a few CDs. I’ll often put on a movie soundtrack when I’m writing to set the mood.
I store DVDs in the closet to the right, along with my scrapbooking materials. You might be able to spy some operas by Richard Wagner on the bookshelf to your left. Those are my husband’s. We went to Seattle a few years ago to see Wagner’s Ring Cycle and I became a convert. Hubby jokes to his students that, after 30-odd years together, I finally understand what he’s talking about.
Above the door are some posters for shows my husband has directed. We met at theater school when we were struggling actors. Now he teaches and I write—both novels and plays.
Here’s the corner by the closet. And more CDs! Those pink squares on the floor are part of my step exercise equipment. I have a variety of workout tapes and do them in my office when the mood strikes. Though it hasn’t struck recently, I must confess. Lately, I’ve been a fitness slug.
Do you see the stack of plush animals in the corner? I used to have what I call a job-ette, working in a teddy bear shop. We sold tons of Beanie Babies and I collected a few. Mostly white ones. Above those hangs a photo of Marilyn Monroe, who fascinates me. She came so far so fast and then was consumed by fame. In spite of her star quality, she had such vulnerability on the screen. Those opposites make her an intriguing personality to me.
Above the CDs is a life mask of Beethoven, my husband’s #1 hero. Beside him is my filing cabinet, where I keep receipts, articles on writing, and notes for my novels. Above that, and beside Beethoven is a painting of my husband. It was done several years ago when he still had hair! (I often tease him, saying I only married him for his locks.) Here, hubby is striking a melodramatic pose, but I like to think he’s pointing at my chair and telling me to settle my butt in it and get typing.
I’ve got three other bookcases in the room. Here’s one that holds many of the resources I use. Also quite a few cookbooks. (More are in the closet.) I developed an interest in cooking in the last ten years, after I bought a slow cooker. Until then, I pretty much made spaghetti or pork chops. Now, I’m much more diverse.
A couple of my awards sit on top of this shelf, along with busts of Beethoven, Wagner and Mozart. Behind the door to the room, I keep a calendar with my writing schedule and due dates.
One of the things I particularly like about my office is that the fourth wall is a sliding glass door and I can walk out to a terrace.
Though not today. I live in Calgary, Alberta and we just got a big dump of snow. But don’t worry. We’ll soon have a Chinook. It’ll be balmy and all the snow will melt. In the summer, I’ll plant my container garden here, with flowers and a few herbs. On nice days, I pull out my little patio set and take my laptop outside to type. For a backdrop, I’ve got a wonderful view of the city center and the Rocky Mountains.
And because the weather is so changeable in Calgary, I have both an air conditioner and a space heater. (Note another bookcase in behind.)
But where, oh where is my desk in all this? Could it be here?
I’ll just open one of the doors and…
May I have a drum roll, please?
I used to have a huge, squat desk that took up the whole wall. When I decided I needed another bookshelf, a tall, thin desk seemed the way to go. And, when my desktop computer died, I purchased a laptop to replace it, so that I’m portable. I just plug it into a large screen.
Around my work area, I have photos of my parents, my big brother and my wonderful husband. There’s a sign that says “Love” to remind me of my theme, a bust of Shakespeare for inspiration, and a little sign to the right that says, “Quit Piddling and Write Your Book.”
Exactly what I’m off to do now.
* * *
When her seven-year-old son is kidnapped without a trace, a by-the-book policewoman must put her doubts aside and learn to trust the only man who can help her pick up the trail—a handsome but troubled psychic.
61,000-word Romantic Suspense. Adult language, some violence, sexual situations.
She’s through with cowboys. But this one’s the ‘reel’ deal.
Equine veterinarian, Emily Grant, has had her share of cowboys, and they always break her heart. After vowing to give them up forever, Brandon Hollister strides into her life.
He’s a different kind of cowboy, one that works on the silver screen. But is he just playing the part when it comes to love? Or can this gorgeous hunk get past a case of mistaken identity, and escape from the “Houston” character he’s portraying, to become the man to win Emily’s heart.
A 50,000-word sweeter romantic comedy.
Thank you, Roxy! That was a lovely tour. So many very cool things! But I have to say I adore your hideaway workstation. What a great way to tidy up in a hurry. And what a view from the terrace. I’d love to see it in summer with the container garden.
Okay, on to the giveaway! Roxy has generously offered two prizes:
- A $10 electronic gift card from the online bookstore of your choice (e.g., Amazon, B&N, iTunes) PLUS your choice of either A Stranger’s Touch or Crazy for Cowboy in the electronic format of your choice;
- Your choice of either A Stranger’s Touch or Crazy for Cowboy in the electronic format of your choice;
As always, all you have to do to qualify for this contest is leave us a comment below. Tell us what you love best about Roxy’s writing workspace. Alternatively, tell us what you think of Roxy’s awesome 80′s perm in that Degrassi clip! :-)