Workspace Wednesday welcomes Diane Gaston


I am so happy to have Diane Gaston as my guest today on Workspace Wednesday. Diane is a fellow Noodler, aka a member of the Wet Noodle Posse, aka the RWA Golden Heart® finalists of 2003. I met her in person for the first time in 2004 when I attended my first RWA National Conference in Dallas, Texas. The largest conference I’d attended prior to that was the New England chapter’s event. There were more romance writers in that Dallas hotel that week than live in the New Brunswick parish where I grew up. I’d just had my first novel published and met my editor for the first time. To say I was a little overwhelmed and feeling out of my depth is an understatement. Of course, Diane was incredibly kind and gracious. making me feel less conspicuously awkward. And in the intervening years since then, I’ve seen her do it countless times again, for all kinds of people, in person and in electronic forums. She is a truly lovely person. She is also an extremely talented, RITA-winning writer, and her historical romances are a very special treat.


With that introduction, I’ll turn you over to Diane.


DIANE GASTON:  Before writing this, I looked back at previous Workspace Wednesday blogs. Oh dear….Just as I feared. Almost everybody showed these beautiful office spaces, perfectly organized, creatively decorated with lots of Feng Shui. This is so not my workspace.


The truth is, my workspace is wherever I want it to be.


I realized long ago that I enjoy writing the best when I am not shut away in an office. I like being in the thick of things so that I can see, hear, and respond to what is going on. It is the way I adapted so that writing did not take me away from my family, so I could always know when someone needed or wanted my attention.


Lately I’ve been writing in our den. My dh who works at home two days a week, works in the same room. That can be nice or distracting, depending on my powers of focus. The den is in the middle of everything. Anyone who comes in the house passes through the den.


I write on an MacBook Air, which I LOVE, and sit on a recliner loveseat using the foot rest as a desk sometimes. My research books sit next to me. Occasionally I also have a cat sitting next to me. Or on me. Behind me is a printer in a nook that is more “office” than den and deserves to be hidden from view.


I like writing in our den because it looks out onto our deck to the woods beyond. I live in the Washington, DC, suburbs, the epitome of suburbia, but the patch of woods behind my house gives the illusion of wilderness–except in late fall and winter when the townhouses behind peek through. There is a bird feeder on our deck that brings lots of visitors. Red cardinals. Blue Jays. Chickadees. Even woodpeckers, who peck on our chimney in the spring, sounding like machine guns. We also have squirrels, chipmunks, foxes, opossums, deer and raccoons. In suburbia.



From where I sit in the den, I also have in view my most valued writing awards. If that isn’t inspiration, I don’t know what is! From left to right is a RITA, a Golden Quill, a National Readers Choice Award. The crystal in front is my Washington Romance Writers Nancy Richards-Akers Mentoring Award, one I particularly treasure.


Hanging beneath the award shelf is an antique ink drawing I bought that I swear is Lord Byron, another treasure, another writing inspiration.


Sometimes I need a change of scenery when I write. So I move into the living room. This is perhaps my favorite room in the house. It has furniture and decor from my family and my husband’s and is filled with beautiful memories. Here’s the view from my writing chair in the living room. The figurines on each end belonged to my mother, the clock to my aunt, and the others were ones I purchased.



Besides my very comfortable working spaces in the den and living room, I also have a “Book Room.” I can’t call it an office because there is no place to work in there, but it is where I keep my ever growing collection of research books and other writing-related stuff. I have over 700 research books on the shelves and keep my backlist books in plastic bins. When I am in the throes of writing, this space looks like I belong on an episode of Hoarders.



Please believe me, the rest of my house looks adequately neat and clean. This room never gets as neat as other parts of the house, but it usually looks better. Like this.



At least you can see the carpet and I can reach my books without climbing over stuff.


The brown box on top of the plastic bins contains my latest book, Born To Scandal, in bookstores now and due to be released as an ebook December 1. Born to Scandal is my homage to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. It is the story of a governess and a lord, complete with secrets and betrayal.



Lord Brentmore–half Irish peasant, half English aristocrat–grew up under a cloud of scandal. Even money and a title aren’t enough to stay the wagging tongues of the Ton. But he’s vowed that his children will never experience the same stigma.

After the death of their infamous mother they need a reputable governess. Anna Hill is too passionate, too alluring, but she fills Brentmore Hall with light and laughter again–and its master with feelings he’d forgotten.

But a lord marrying a governess would be the biggest scandal of all!


Learn more at my website.


To celebrate the release of Born to Scandal, I’m giving away a signed copy to one lucky commenter here. Just be sure to leave your email address.


Now it’s time to ‘fess up. Do you have a room or closet that sometimes looks like you belong on Hoarders? (Or am I the only one….?)


22 Responses to “Workspace Wednesday welcomes Diane Gaston”

  • MJ:

    Another like me! I love the freedom of my laptop! But 700 research books….wow. Just…wow.

    I can’t wait to read your latest. I swear, I need a year of just solid reading to read everything I want!

  • I was beginning to worry, it was all so neat. Then we came to your books and I went “Whew. She’s just like me” LOL Thanks for sharing.

  • My last kid is moving out soon, and I’m excited because I’m getting his two bookcases.

    I hope they’re enough.

    But I doubt it.

  • Diane, you had me laughing out loud at your comment about being on an episode of Hoarders! Your book room looks like a little slice of heaven to me. I’m absolutely green with envy that you have a whole room to devote to books.

  • I love the mobility my laptop gives me as well. Though I usually sit at my desk in the living room which has a view of the ocean. I try to have as many of my research books as I can in ebook. They’re easier to carry around and searchable.

  • Diane, I envy you that “hoard” of research material. How wonderful to have all those facts at your fingertips.

  • Roxy Boroughs:

    Writing with your feet up? Aren’t you a smart girl, Diane. A lovely view outside your patio doors. Our condo overlooks a farm so we have horses, coyotes, deer – so beautiful.

    Another terrific post, Norah. This is a great series.

  • Diane,

    I too write in several spaces–although sometimes I do use a desk. I like my bed best. I have an office that looks like your hoarders space, and luckily my own library, which, at least right now is organized.

    I want a Rita like yours!

    Didn’t know you had a new book out. I’ll rush off to Amazon and buy it!

  • Wow, Love your award shelf. And your book room makes me smile. But I am going out and getting a tub for my books. Thanks for sharing.

  • Ha! Diane, you’ve seen my workspace. A bit blah. Even your workspace with the crazy clutter is more interesting! Thanks for sharing.

  • Love those book covers and that award shelf, and that view!! Thanks for the peek into your writing world, Diane

  • I loved seeing your writing spaces. We are so different. I need my desk and quiet to think. So I sit in my office and close out the rest of the world.

    Loved the pic of your feet up. 🙂

  • I was reading your post and loving the pics, then hit that book room! You only have ONE room like that? LOL. No seriously, we all have room like that occasionally. Thank God for the invention of the ereader!
    Your writing spaces look lovely. Thank you!

  • Kathy Altman:

    What a small world! Two of my favorite authors and I didn’t realize they knew each other! Norah, it doesn’t surprise me a bit to hear how Diane took you under her wing. Diane, thank you so much for the glimpses into your mobile office–I like to write in different areas, too, just to change things up bit. By the way, I think you might need a bigger award shelf! 😉

  • Wow. You all make me feel better. Now I’m wondering if all those other authors just cleaned up for the blog!!! (but I doubt it. There are neat people in the world.)

    MJ, I don’t think I’m exaggerating about the research books. I think I counted them once.

    Pepper, I recommend double shelving books if two bookcases are not enough.

    Big wave to MJ, Debra, Lee, and Zoe! And thanks to all of you for commenting and making me feel more normal.

  • Diane, I think we need to form a support group for historical research addicts. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

  • I don’t know what it is about writing in a recliner but I do a lot of that too and love it. I find it more comfortable writing there, specially with the fireplace on. It makes the room so… inspiring ! 🙂

    What a book room! Wow…. now THAT’S a lot of books.



  • Mary Keesling:

    Loved this photo-essay, and wow I am impressed with your large library collection! DH and I are both history nuts… and it’s no coincidence that part of why I love Diane’s books so much is that many feature military heroes and back stories.

    Thanks for sharing with us! Now back to BORN TO SCANDAL, which I’m reading at this moment! 😉 And loving it, I might add!!
    I melt for heroes who are kind to their children! And Anna is so brave!

  • Diane, love the view from your den window! I have a study with a wall of book shelves. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  • Diane Gaston:

    Oh, what a surprise! More friends stopping by. I should have made tea. Hi to Kathy, Mary, deb and Karen and anyone I missed!

  • Diane, I agree with Norah that you are talented, gracious and just plain wonderful. Thanks for sharing your move-around space. I do the same thing. I move to a corner of my bedroom, to the bed, and then into the living room where chaos abounds. Love all of your research books! And your view from the den is wonderful.

    Norah, thanks for another fun post!

  • Jeanne Miro:

    Diane –

    I’m so glad I’m not the onl one who “saves” things! I have been working at losing weight and finally convinced my husband to go into the actic to get out boxes of clothes I had save as I went up-ward and thought I’d finally be able to wear again!

    Well, I did find things but it also made me realize how mch sizing had changed! I was excited because I could finally fit back into a size 6 but when I tried on my old black corduroy jeans that are a size 12 they just fit!

    Maybe saving things aren’t such a good idea after all! Guess I didn’t lose enoigh weigt yet! Back on the diet!

    PS: You’d be proud of my bookcases though. I have them by genre and alphabetical by author – all 6 of them! I guess I’m a “neat” hoarder!

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