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.




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.




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).



52 Responses to “Workspace Wednesday welcomes Deborah Hale!”

  • What an eye opener! And yet, everything is so clearly organized. This explains why your books are so detailed and have such fascinating historical facts in them. Loved Confessions of a Courtesan, BTW. And Whitefeather’s Woman continues to be a favourite.

  • Gail:

    Love it, Deb. Looks so author-friendly. And, of course, for me the icing on the cake is Button. I can’t imagine writing without a canine companion. Great interview.

    Gail with workmates Fancy the Toller and Bruiser the Pug

  • Great post Norah/Deb.

    It’s always so nice to put a face to the name. We know the names but not always the faces. Okay, some authors have their picture at the back of their book but not all of them do.

    Thanks for sharing your space. Looks great.


  • Julie:

    You make me feel better about my own deskilla! And I love to research. My dining room is covered with WWII books, articles and photographs!

    Please put me in only for second or third. I have read all the Gentlemen!

    Peace, Julie

  • Julianne MacLean:

    I love the piles of stuff, Deb! And your international bookshelves are very impressive indeed. Cool that you write on a yellow notepad. I should try that. I write on white, but have heard many times that yellow is supposed to inspire creativity, and any help with that is always appreciated when on deadline.
    And I love the puppy 🙂 So cute!

  • I love to see a “real” office that looks like it is worked in not just a showcase and yours has the feel Deb. I like all those books and your closet idea is great – I might use that idea as I am getting more books then looks just right all stacked up…
    I always love to read your books but am not a teche person, so would only like a print book should I win, dont put me in drawing if that is not possible. I always like to read about you on sites when I see your name mentioned so had to stop by and say a quick hello.
    Paula O(

  • A great series, Norah!

    Deb – I love your formal names for these very importance spaces: Deskzilla, Closet of Author Copies, Massive Shelves of Researchy Goodness (LOL, especially that one!), Bookcases of International Editions. And I really love the shot of you and Button.

  • Looks like the office of a very busy and successful woman!

  • It looks organized from the pictures, Paula – but part of that is good cropping. I did have to organize the closet because I used to have all the book carton’s stacked on top of one another and took my life in my hands when I went foraging for books.

  • Hi Gail! Button is stretched out on the floor beside me as I write. It’s already too hot for her to curl up. Hi, Renee-Ann – it’s really nice to see a face to put with your name, too!

  • Thanks for spreading the word that I’m here, Julianne! I had such a great chuckle over your writing space expose last week. I got the tip about yellow paper from Ruth/Stella MacLean. I find it better for writing actual scenes but like white paper for outlining/pre-writing. It must be some right-left brain thing. 🙂

  • Love Deskzilla – I have one, too. Thought a bigger desk would help me organize everything. I know. It just makes more space to pile things.

    Thanks for showing us around your office, Deb.

  • Connie Fischer:

    Hi, Deborah! I have to say that I LOVE your books and I LOVE your little Button. What a cutie and how wonderful that you have such a loving companion to “assist” you every day. I am very impressed with the way you have organized your bookshelves. I should be so neat! Oh yes, Deskzilla! So funny. How many of us have felt that way each day when we arrive at work? 🙂

    Congratulations on all your successes and all the best!

  • Debbie Robbins:

    Deskzilla, heehee. Great name! Thanks for the snapshot into the effort that goes into writing your fabulous novels. I am a writing nomad, anything or anyone standing still long enough could become by deskzilla.

    And I use yellow note pads too. I didn’t know why I favoured them until now.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Hi Julie and Paula-O! What is it about research that loves to grow into piles? My f-i-l has done loads of historical/genealogical research and getting through his office was like walking a maze! 🙂 My office is definitely worked in, Paula — Norah’s invitation did spur me to purge a lot of old papers and such!

  • julie beasley:

    i loved seeing the desk in organized chaos. the bookselves looked very impressive i like seeing authors books from different countries. its nice to have company while you research and writing. have you ever tried writing on pink or green paper. thanks for showing us a working office. all the best.

  • Hi Julia — I thought you might like the Massive Shelves of Researchy Goodness! 🙂 The picture of Button is from when she was a puppy — it’s one of my favorites!

  • Anne, I thought the same thing when we moved into a larger house — with the same results! Connie, the organizing of the closet was matter of personal safety. I was afraid all those stacked boxes might bury me one day. 🙂

  • Roxy Boroughs:

    Hi Deborah! I’m one of the gals from the Calgary Chapter. You did a wonderful presentation here a few years back. Lovely to see your office. Such an interesting feature. Thanks for that, Norah.

  • Thanks for sharing your office space with us. It’s so much fun seeing where some of my favorite authors pen their stories.

  • Oh my goodness, I need a button as cute as that one. What a cuddly little writing companion! Love your office, Deb. And I write on a purple pad most often, sometimes yellow or white, but my fave is purple.

  • Debbie, great to hear from another yellow notepad writer! I really like that idea of a “writing nomad.” Some writers like to have a set routine and be in one place so their Muse knows where to find them, but I like the idea of going out to hunt that sucker down. 🙂

  • I haven’t tried pink or green, Julie, but I did try purple and didn’t find I liked it as much as yellow. Pink might be really fun to try if I can find some!

    • Ivan:

      Good to hear from you Mike. I always know ecxatly what to write to get you to pipe up, right? Reasonable people can disagree on these rankings, but Syracuse did just lose AT HOME to Pitt by DOUBLE DIGITS. I understand the Kansas-Cornell analogy by we all know Kansas would beat Cornell 9 out of 10 times. That’s the definition of a fluke. Can we say that about Pitt-Cuse? I don’t think so. Let me see more and then I will adjust accordingly. As for West Virginia and Villanova, I’ve had them 1-2 in that order since October and I see no reason to change that right now. Nova losing to Temple in one of those crazy Big 5 games (where upsets are commonplace) doesn’t upset the apple cart in my mind. Again, it’ll all play out. I actually enjoyed Boeheim’s postgame after Seton Hall, even his potshot at the media about OOC schedule strength (at least the quotes were interesting and usable). Much better than the normal blah-blah-blah you get from a lot of the other guys. Bitter, the point about last year’s Big East is how it was the deepest league ever. Obviously no league was better at the top than those mid-80s Big Easts. If it makes you feel better the next time it comes up I will put an asterisk and a footnote making this distinction. Piratefocus,I’ve been beating the drums for Fero Hall as you know, but he is way too small to play center in the Big East. Have you seen the size of the postmen on the other teams? Big John is a space-eater and is useful in short spurts (alas, his knees have robbed him of the rest). Fero has to beef up big-time before he can hold his own at center for any reasonable lengths.

    • Jono:

      Topten, trust me when I say that Jerry is telling the truth and that Gonzo has pletny of enemies. Is he being persecuted unfairly in the media to some extent? No question. But he’s also brought it on himself by his actions.And if local h.s. coaches like Gonzo so much, tell me how come he can’t get any freshmen younger than 21 other than Jordan Theodore? Seton Hall Prep coach Bob Farrell told one reporter that Gonzo hasn’t set foot on campus since he became SHU coach. How’s that for an example? Yeah, I know, it’s Farrell’s fault, right? Nothing is ever Bobby’s fault. He’s gotten 15 technicals in two seasons at SHU. I suppose that’s Joe Quinlan’s fault, just like global warming, gas prices, etc.

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  • Great to hear from you Roxy! I remember what a warm Alberta welcome I got from your chapter. My son is out there working now so if I get out for a visit, I’ll have to make sure to plan it around one of your meetings. Speaking of spaces, your chapter has a meeting space that any group would envy!

  • Hi Nina! This was a great idea of Norah’s, wasn’t it? I enjoy seeing other writers’ spaces – getting ideas and taking comfort that mine isn’t the only one buried in clutter! 😀

  • I love Deskzilla, Deb!!

  • Wow, Lina – I didn’t realize how many of us write longhand. I loved the pictures of your writing space with those beautiful built-in bookcases and the comfy chairs!

  • Donna Durnell:

    I guess I’d never tho’t about books being published in other countries, languages — at least not to the extent that those bookshelves would show Deborah’s has. I think that’s great!
    And it’s nice to see other desks that are NOT ‘clean-desks’ — organization can be ‘messy’, ‘messy’ does not have to be chaos. [can you guess I’m dealing with some ‘clean-desk’ people! sorry for the rant.]
    Thank you for doing the research, because I get to be beneficiary as I read your novels.

  • Thanks, Cathryn! I have total office-envy of yours!

  • I’m afraid in my case, messy often does equal chaos, Donna! 😉 I do know people who have spaces that look untidy but they know exactly where everything is. One of the neatest things about writing for Harlequin Historical has been the huge number of countries where they sell my books. Lately, thanks to the Internet and social networks, I get a chance to interact with some of my readers from far away.

  • Deb, I love the pic of you and Button! I’m renovating my office, and seeing yours has offered inspiration. The furniture names are a great reminder to infuse my workspace with a sense of fun. Thanks so much for sharing.


  • Barbara Phinney:

    Love it! The last photo, I suspect, is the most common pic? The dog is sweet. All I have crawling over me is the occasional bug.

  • Hope your office renovations go well, Magi! You should take some “before” and “after” pictures. Barbara, you are so right about the usual look of my office — in fact, I had to do some cleaning to get it looking that good! 😉

  • well its nice to see someone with the same problem as I do. only I live in a one bdrm apt. and space is very limited, but theres nothing to do but put up shelves. You are fortunate to have a room in which is kept your favourite things (books,etc. it likes just fine to me —shelves,shelves and more shelves will help, until you fee overburdened. just think of all that knowledge that contained in this room and all your labour that has to obtain it–it show how you have progressed,and all the good books you have produced. they say everything has its downside but if all you have is a nice room like yours that not a bad downside. as always much success. Sharon

  • Lynne:

    As a beneficiary of the author copy book closet, thank you for risking life and limb. Looking forward for the next book you and Deskzilla bring forth.

  • Dear Deb,
    You are a working woman! What a great office, and clearly one that has an author who’s writing the words on a regular basis. Congratulations.

  • Lori Gallagher:

    I’m torn between Button, deskzilla and your bookcases of international editions as my favourite parts of your office. Really, it’s all fascinating to see! Thanks for letting us take a peek.

  • Doris McKay:

    Deborah, Thanks for sharing, what a wonderful and interesting review. I love your little puppy! Good and busy and congrat’s on such great writing. Again thank you, Doris

  • Elaine Melanson:

    Well, you know what they say, Deb – Those with tidy desks never know the joy of finding something that was thought to be lost forever! LOL! 😉

  • I’m impressed with how neat it all is. There’s so much stuff and it’s all arranged neatly. I think I have about the same amount of space and not as much stuff (and not as many author copies and no international bookcase!) and yet my space looks like it just came through a category 3 storm. I hope this will inspire me to tidy up a bit. (I absolutely love “deskzilla!”)

  • You’re so right Sharon! When I stop to think about it, I so appreciate having my office space — it sure beats the little basement room I used in our old house.

  • LOL, Lynn! Thanks for helping me keep the Closet of Author Copies from getting out of control. 🙂

  • That’s a lovely compliment from you, Stella – you’re one of the hardest working writers I know. Lori, thanks for dropping by. Glad you enjoyed a glimpse into my writing space!

  • Thanks for dropping by, Doris! Button has grown since that picture but people still think she looks and acts like a puppy. Elaine, that is so true — it’s almost like a treasure hunt sometimes! 🙂

  • Nikki McIntosh:

    Loved the view of your space Deb … and the name of your desk!! 🙂 The bookcase of your international editions was especially inspiring … and it’s a good problem to have that you’re running out of room!!

  • JeanP:

    Really enjoyed the interview, your bookcases really caught my attention, though must admit my favorite was Button, sure is a cutey!

  • LOL, KateD! The state of office gets messier in direct proportion to how close I am to deadline. A few years ago my RWA chapter had a session on feng-shui(sp) – that inspired me to a major purge. I think I need a refresher course!

  • Hi Nikki and JeanP! Contemplating the International Edition Bookcase is a great antidote to discouargement. And Button is definitely the best thing in my office!

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