Workspace Wednesday welcomes Vanessa Kelly!


Some days, I can’t help but think I have the best job in the world, and not just because I get to make up stories! I also get to meet some very cool people. One of those awesome people is Vanessa Kelly. I got to know Vanessa when I was invited to join Rock*It Reads, of which she is a founding member. I can’t tell you how much respect and affection I have developed for her in the short time I’ve been with RIR. Take it away, Vanessa!



Hi, Norah!  Thanks so much for having me on Workspace Wednesday.  The first thing I did, naturally, was go on and look at some of the swell spaces you’ve highlighted.  Gave me some great organizing ideas!  For me, organization is critical because I work out of two offices.  Most of the year I live in a condo in Ottawa with my hubby, but I’m lucky enough to spend the winter in Florida, in a bungalow on a small but very beautiful lake.


Not surprisingly, my Ottawa office is the best supplied and holds most of my books and writing resources, because that’s where I spend most of the year.  Here’s a picture of the custom-designed bookcase for all my research books and materials.




The desk that you see in that photo, however, is not mine.  It’s my husband Randy’s workspace.  He’s my co-writer for my VK Sykes contemporary romance books.  If you want to see how closely we work together, check out this picture.



That’s my desk chair on the right.  Pretty darn close, I’d say!  In fact, we bump into each other on a regular basis.  Because we live in a condo with limited space, we had to put a lot of time into thinking about how the office would work.  Now here’s a picture of my desk.


Vanessa Kelly's Desk


Notice the Obus form cushion on my chair—like many writers, my back can often give me problems, so a really good chair and good posture is essential.  But on bad back days I usually move out to a big leather armchair in the living room.  I plop my Alphasmart on my little lap desk and write away.  It’s a good break from sitting at the desk and often seems to fuel my creativity.  It’s amazing how changing one’s environment, even just a little bit, can help the muse break out of her box.


Here’s the final picture from my Ottawa office, showing more of our custom built cabinets and bookshelves.  I’ve also got some awards posted on the wall, and you can also see that this corner is where I stack author copies, manuscripts, and other supplies I need within reach.



As you can see, my Ottawa office is pretty tight but I think it’s well designed and very functional.  As much as I love spending winters in Florida, I do miss my office while we’re gone.  But Florida has its compensations too, starting with this view out my back door.


Vanessa Kelly Florida Dock


The real advantage of my Florida office space is that I have more room to spread out, which is kind of funny because I don’t have nearly as much stuff here as I do in Ottawa.  But it’s still a pleasure to have the extra space.



Notice the swell built-in drawers and cabinets from the previous owner of the house.  That is a very handy feature for someone who has a lot of crap to organize!


Here’s a close up of my workspace.



See that white kitchen timer by my keyboard?  I set that at fifteen minute intervals to remind myself to get up and walk around.  Bad back, remember?


One of the things I also appreciate about my Florida office is where it’s located—the kitchen.  I love being in the kitchen.  It’s warm and cozy, and it only takes a second to get up and make myself a cup of tea and coffee.  Of course, it also means I’m way too close to all the food and the fridge, so I have to exercise some much-needed restraint.


And, no, I’m not going to post a picture of my kitchen, because I still haven’t done the breakfast dishes!


Vanessa Kelly was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.”  Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance.  Vanessa also writes contemporary romance with her husband under the name of V.K. Sykes.  You can find her on the web at or at



Thank you, Vanessa. That was awesome. And I’m so jealous! I’d like to try to write on that dock. 🙂


If you want to know more about Vanessa, visit her at one of these sites:


Check out her current books:

Cover - His Mistletoe BrideHis Mistletoe Bride

When Major Lucas Stanton inherited his earldom, he never dreamed his property would include the previous earl’s granddaughter. Phoebe Linville is a sparkling American beauty, yes, but with a talent for getting into trouble. Witness the compromising position that forced them into wedlock. Whisked away to Mistletoe Manor, his country estate, it isn’t long before she is challenging his rules—and surprising him in and out of bed…

Phoebe has no intention of bowing to Lucas’s stubbornness even though he offers all that she wants. His kisses and unexpected warmth are enticing, but Phoebe is determined to show the Earl of Merritt what real love is all about. And if that takes twelve nights of delicious seduction by a roaring fire, she’s more than willing to reveal her gifts very slowly…

Buy links:  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Books A Million




Bigger Than Beckham, by VK Sykes Cover - Bigger than Beckham

Sports journalist Martha Winston loves her career, but her life goes sideways when she inherits a pro soccer team from her father.  The team is almost bankrupt and on the skids, but Martha has vowed to save her beloved father’s legacy.  But she needs to get a financial infusion fast, or else lose the team to the wolves baying at her door.

Former British soccer hero Tony Branch wants to add Martha’s team to his growing sports empire.  But he wants it strictly on his terms—full control, not a partnership.   When Martha turns him down flat, he’s determined to change her mind by any means necessary.  If that includes using the sexual heat flaring between them, Tony is more than willing to play a game of seduction.

Buy links:  Kindle  Nook  Kobo  Smashwords




Okay, that brings us to the fun stuff – the giveaway! Leave a comment for Vanessa for a chance to win one of two prizes. She’ll be giving away a signed copy of His Mistletoe Bride to one winner, and an ebook copy of Bigger than Beckham to another.






34 Responses to “Workspace Wednesday welcomes Vanessa Kelly!”

  • Vanessa –

    How fun to have two work spaces! Do you find yourself missing something from one place while you’re in the other?


    • Kelsey, that happens fairly frequently. We’re starting to slowly fill in the research books down here, so we don’t have to keep hauling big boxes of books between the two houses.

  • Vanessa, I love your office spaces. Especially writing on a dock overlooking the water. That’s got to be the best!! 🙂

  • I’d love to be on a lake. I find water so calming. It seems you have the best of both worlds.

    Now working with the hubster is another matter. Kudos to you and him for doing that. At least you have someone to bounce ideas back and forth. You most likely compliment each other when you write. I can imagine that some conversations get really interesting.

  • LOL! Pepper, you have no idea. Some of our conversations are less than complimentary, but we always seem to work it out.

  • You’re amazingly well organized. You must really look forward to winter with a backyard like that! Isn’t anyone else dying to know what it’s like to write romance novels with your husband? The mind boggles!

  • Hi Vanessa! I often think of you because of the time we compared notes on writing collaboratively with our husbands. Your workspaces are wonderful and the FLA view is making me weep right now on this gray, cold day! I also set a timer because it is so very bad for our bodies to sit for too long. Definitely one of the downfalls of authorship!

  • Kate, we’re very lucky. As for writing novels with dh, after all the books we’ve worked on together it feels pretty normal by now. Or, at least weirdly normal!

  • May:

    I love your back view of your winter house! Boy, I wish I live there in Florida for winter! 🙂

  • Phyllis Lamken:

    I can’t get over how neat your office space remains. Mine is not so organized chaos.

  • Roxy Boroughs:

    Well, I’ve got my breakfast dishes done, but my office isn’t anywhere as neat and organized.

    Love that “Bigger Than Beckham” title.

  • I love both! I want built in cupboards, and I love the use of kitchen styled counters and cupboards. I think that’s brilliant.
    And I especially love that one of those offices is in Florida. Wait a minute, I don’t love it. I’m jealous!

  • I spend my summers in Massachusetts and my winters in . . . Massachusetts. Hm, I must be doing something wrong. As a California native, I’ve never quite gotten used to the winters in New England, but this has been home for 20 years. I find I get a lot more writing done in the winter, though, when I don’t want to go out, so that’s a benefit of the weather.

    I have to hand it to you for the closeness you and your husband can handle. I cannot even stand my husband walking through the house when I’m trying to concentrate. It’s bad enough that my 13-year-old son, who never, ever stops talking, currently does his homework at a desk in my office. I barely get ten words written between his coming home from school and my giving up to make dinner.

    I write historical romance and would absolutely love to read His Mistletoe Bride.

    Cheers to you, Vanessa, and to Norah for having you visit.

    Best wishes,

  • Sydney, I do need total quiet when I’m writing. I’m constantly shushing my husband. Fortunately, he understands!

  • Linda Thum:

    I love the view from your house in Florida. I would get seriously distracted & not want to do anything other than lounge there with a good book!

  • Maycee Majors:

    Love the spaces! That dock is gorgeous! Love reading your books!

  • Cool for you that you have two work spaces! However I don’t think I’d want all the extra cleaning/organizing responsibilities 🙂 The views are awesome.

  • Lucy:

    I Love the view !! I think it would be the perfect place to sit and read a good book:D

  • Amanda:

    Vanessa, what Six Certificates did you get, and how do I become a proof-reader for authors/publishers. There are so many proofreading errors, in books that are published, so I know its the typesetters fault and not the authors! Love your books I’ve read so far, (all historical not contemporary)

    • Amanda, so many people end up with their hands on the book that it’s easier than you might think to see errors introduced. I agree that it’s frustrating for the readers, but it’s one of those things that’s out of the control of the author. But I hate to see that, myself!

  • Sharlene Wegner:

    Thank you for the peek at your working spaces & the chance to win your books! I look forward to reading them both!

  • Vanessa, your two offices look very efficient and ready for whatever story pops into your head. And having a second office in Florida must be such a nice way to become inspired.
    Seeing all this, I’ve added yet another goal to my growing list of goals–an office where it’s warm.
    The Christmas Inn
    November 2012

  • Connie Fischer:

    Hi, Vanessa! I am so pleased to see that you get to work near your husband. Before my husband and i retired from NASA, we worked across the hall from one another. His joke with his secretary was that as we got to the top of the stairs each morning, I would unhook the ball and chain for the day! 😉

    Having a great workspace is wonderful. Hubby has his own office here in our condo in Florida and my space is in the corner of the dining area on the edge of the table. But – hey – it works for me!

    Hope we all have a wonderful winter here in Florida. Enjoy your views. We have a lake view too and it’s so nice and relaxing.

    I enjoy your novels and am happy and intrigued to learn that you and husband write together. That is amazing!

    Hubby has back problems too and finds that brief little rests on his back with pillows under his legs and knees really helps. He spends a lot of time with his many monitors watching the stock market.

    Congratulations on your successes and all the best!

  • Vivi Cendana:

    wow i love the preview and i love Both of them ..
    would like to read since i am new fans ^_^

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