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!


22 Responses to “Workspace Wednesday welcomes Colleen Gleason”

  • MJ:

    Wow, what a gorgeous space! I love the huge window and that desk!

  • Thanks for the peek into your office, Colleen. It’s gorgeous. I’ve been thinking about getting headphones, too. It seems to work for others. And what a cute little pup. Love your book covers!

  • What a wonderful writing space!

  • Paula R.:

    It was fun touring your office Jossleen! It looks like a wonderful, creative space. I would tot ser pinkie wrestle you for those bookshelves. I LOVE THEM! MusicMan is awesome! Have fun here today.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  • What a beautiful workspace! You must look forward to going to your office every day. Okay, almost every day!

  • Coleen K:

    I love the bookshelves! I keep telling my husband I need something like that and he looks at me like I’m crazy, LOL. Love your books!

  • Susan:

    I have bookshelf envy too! Do you have rules about not being disturbed when you are in your office?

  • Roberta Wilde:

    Thanks for the nice tour, very kind of you to share with us ^_^
    Ranger is a real cutie

  • Annie Quinty:

    What a lovely writing space! It’s warm and has this “lived in” feeling!
    Thank you for sharing this with us Colleen!

  • Jana DeLeon:

    Love it! And much cleaner since I was there….you owe your mom a steak dinner. 🙂

  • Great tour! I think my favorite element is having an entire room devoted to writing! I would love to have my own office, but my kids keep moving back home. Love the napping chair and Ranger. The bookshelves are great too. Music Man is a keeper. Thanks for sharing.

  • Tina Groat:

    Thank you for sharing. I felt like I actually was part of a tour of your loft. Now when you talk about going to your office, I will actually know what it looks like.

  • I’ve seen part of your space before, Colleen, but I loved seeing all of it along with the commentary. And Ranger is such a cutie!

  • Wow, I need to echo the others’ comments! What an awesome space and what a view! It’s to die for. 🙂

    I love the display of frames going up the stairs though. What a neat idea. Never thought of that.. but i dont have any to frame …. yet! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, ladies.

  • Love it! I could use sometime in your nap chair right about now!

  • Arwyna:

    I would love to have this space to create,

  • Jennifer L:

    I love seeing where writers work their magic. Colleen has an awesome office! I want to sit in her nap chair! =) Thanks for the tour.

  • Dawn T.:

    I love the framed book covers! Such a neat idea. And the bookcases are beautiful.

  • Ha ha ha!! Thanks all for stopping by. You can look, but you can’t have my nap chair! 🙂

    My youngest daughter, aka ScoobyGirl, occasionally wants to sleep (all night) in my nap chair…sometimes it’s a battle to make sure she actually sleeps in her own bed.

    And as for the bookshelves…despite how large and expansive they are, I still have to cull books from them every six months or so, because most of those shelves are filled TWO DEEP with books…and I just don’t have room (or can’t find) a book when I need it!

  • I’m a total Joss Ware fangirl (I really dig Colleen’s CG books, too, but JW is my fave!), so this was a super fun post! I love seeing other writers’ lairs.

    I really need to get my covers up and framed. What a great idea. I also think I need to incorporate a nap chair… 😀

  • Great office! And love the fact that it’s open to the lower level. The books look so appealing. Such a wonderful place to work.
    THE CHRISTMAS INN, November 2012

  • This was awesome! I love to see the creative workspace of authors and artists. Thanks so much for sharing your pics with us Colleen, it was great to see your work space. Love the idea of the framed book cover images. Very cool. And your space looks so light. The best part is of course those amazing bookshelves. Your hubbie did a great job. Such a great glimpse into where the magic happens. I’ll be thinking about this when reading your first steampunk book. Can’t wait!

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