Workspace Wednesday Welcomes Kris Kennedy

It gives me no end of pleasure to bring you Kris Kennedy today as my Workspace Wednesday guest. Kris is a fellow Rock*It Reads author. I’m looking forward to meeting her in person one of these days, but even electronically, Kris’s personality shines through. She’s smart, insightful, energetic – just the kind of person you want to be around. And she’s extremely talented too! You may have read recently that her book DECEPTION just won Romantic Times’ K.I.S.S. Award for Best Historical Hero earlier this month. Without further ado, here’s Kris…


KRIS KENNEDY   When I think about my workspace, I feel ambivalent. I feel happy, for me. I have lots of workspaces, and can move around as the mood strikes me. I also feel sad, for my husband. Because I can move around as the mood strikes me.

I’m what you call a ‘spreader.’ I spread out. These pictures will not capture my utter spreadability. I’m like butter.

I’m also a researcher. A mad researcher. Writing medievals and Elizabethans requires a lot of research, and not all can happen online. I need big, heavy, beautiful books, and they too must spread. All over the house.

Then I must write notes, and mark up the big heavy books, so I can capture the information and be able to find it again. All this paper must move too.

We tried to set me up in an office in our extra bedroom. Bought a nice, big desk, set it front of a window, cleared out all the exercise equipment (at which point I bought a treadmill. My poor husband.) As an office, it totally works. See? I’m all set up.


Except, I rarely use the desk. I think it’s the chair. What I do use, without a doubt, is the treadmill desk.


Note my high-tech approach to ‘desk’–I laid the cardboard packing materials that came with the treadmill across its arms. It works fabulously! I can’t write fiction on it, but I can do all my online stuff, and burn 500-1000 calories, depending on how long I’m on Twitt— I mean, how long I’m on the treadmill. 🙂

Oh, that black splotch on the wall at the head of the treadmill? It’s a dress I WILL fit into again—it’s motivation. Or shame. Which is highly motivating. 🙂


Here you can get a peek-a-boo view of the approximately 6,549 research books (only a few are showing here), maps, folders, and scribbled sheets of paper I metabolize. Usually about 298 books are open and in use at any one point (if you look close, you’ll see copious post-it notes.) I write a lot of thoughts down by hand—I’m far too spatial to have everything be online or on the computer. I have old maps on England and Ireland on the walls, my husband got my covers framed, and index cards are taped to another wall, plotting out various plot timelines for stories. (Which I never use. Silly plotting.) I also have my son’s microscope there, as he sometimes brings in fun and exciting items to examine more closely.


Downstairs, we see the real nerve center—the dining room table. My husband loves this.

I have to admit, this picture reflects a false reality—there’s usually a lot more books and papers piled up. Over the last weekend, I cleaned up and moved a lot of stuff off the table, since we’re having about 30 people come to a potluck next weekend, and my husband was getting pale at the sight of mountains of research books and paper. “And so…are we gonna get this…when? Were you thinking, what was that? Today?”

Yes, sweetie, today.  🙂

I love writing in the dining room, really. Way more than upstairs. And it only takes about 5 minutes every night to shift all the books and papers to the far end of the table so we can eat dinner, so why the heck not use it??  🙂

But the sunlight is great (when we get sun), the kitchen is right behind me (probably a bad thing), I can let the dog in and out whenever needed, and when school & work are over and everyone’s home, I’m still part of us. Although seriously, I should probably rethink this approach, because it’s not the most work-conducive. But it is family-conducive, and I guess that’s more important right now.



Note the accoutrements I get rained down upon me if I stay connected in this way—Playmobil and Legos characters appear in random places at random times, scattered across my keyboard and research papers.

I see I haven’t taken any shots of the living room couch & table in front of it, which is my other workspace. (Refrain: My poor husband.) I sit there and write while they play splash-ball hockey around me, or toss balls over my head.

So if you read any of my books, know that as I try to transport you to another world in the story, I’m probably also transporting you around my house. My family seeps in. My dog, the Lego characters, my son’s laughter as he plays out back with friends, my husband calling to my son to come have a catch, the scent of dinner cooking and the touch of my husband’s hand on my back as he walks by. All because I’m sitting in the dining room aka: nerve center, not in my ‘office.’  🙂

Silly offices.

I’ve got TWO books to give away to two commentors! Either THE IRISH WARRIOR or DECEPTION (your choice)! THE IRISH WARRIOR won RWA’s Golden Heart Award just before it was published, and DECEPTION just won Romantic Times’ K.I.S.S. Award for Best Historical Hero just last week!

So, fire away!  Do you think I’m nuts with this set-up? What does your husband/co-workers think of your work environment? Are they properly horrified, or are you the one they wish they could emulate? Is your workspace important to you, or could you write in a box?


Kris’s Website   |   Kris’s Twitter   |   Kris’s Facebook   |   Kris on Goodreads   |   Kris’s Amazon Author Page


Thank you, Kris. Silly offices, indeed. And great questions. I’m looking forward to reading the comments. Of which I’m sure there will be lots. Here are the two books up for grabs.


As his men are slaughtered around him, legendary Irish warrior Finian O’Melaghlin is held captive by the despised English Lord Rardove. Struggling to break free, Finian finds aid from an unlikely source: the beautiful Senna de Valery, who is also trying to escape Rardove’s bloodthirsty grasp. Risking both their lives, Senna releases Finian from his shackles so they can both flee, but their plight has just begun…Seeking safe refuge, Finian and Senna have only each other to depend on for survival. Neither can deny their immediate attraction, but indulging their desires will put them both in grave danger. Finian vows to protect the woman who saved his life, but he soon learns she is a pawn in a much larger battle. For Senna has an unbreakable link to a priceless treasure many centuries old. It is the stuff from which dreams are made and for which men will kill – and not even Finian may be strong enough to save her.

Award-winning author Kris Kennedy brings the treacherous world of thirteenth-century England to life in this scorching romantic adventure!

A dashing con man

Breaking and entering to reclaim her corrupt late father’s ledger comes surprisingly easily to Sophia Darnly. But is it mere coincidence that her misdeed unexpectedly reunites her with Kier, the outlaw lover who abandoned her years ago?

A lady skilled in trickery

Time has not erased Sophia from Kier’s heart, nor tamed her fiery spirit. She boldly insinuates herself into his plans. But Kier is on a mission of revenge, and can’t allow even the woman he once loved to stop him.

A game that could get them both killed

The danger mounts as they lure the leader of a powerful consortium who needs the fabled Darnly ledger—and all its damning details about the wealthiest merchants of England— to execute his nefarious plan. Their rekindled passion burns hot, but when they discover they too are the targets of a deadly deception, the fate of their love, and of England itself, lies in the balance.


28 Responses to “Workspace Wednesday Welcomes Kris Kennedy”

  • Very interesting. I’ve heard so much about standing desks and treadmill desks lately- so I’m glad I was able to see what it looks like in real life.

    • Hi Linda!

      I’m not sure mine is the best example of one, being so low-tech, but it works for me. I know some ppl say they get dizzy, but I find my brain adapts, and over time, I get better and better. I can now set it to about 2.0mph on a 11.5 incline (12 is the highest) and still be coherent. 🙂

      • I actually read somewhere that some people can get motion sick from writing or using a laptop on a treadmill desk- much like trying to write in the car, or something! That is something I never would have thought about.

        • It’s true! I noticed a bit of dizziness at first, if I walked too fast, or tried to focus too hard (so interesting, that…) I’d also notice it when I hopped off, and had to adjust to solid ground again. But as I got more experienced, my brain definitely adapted, & I rarely feel dizzy at all, even when I’m walking hard for an hour. Another instance of where persistence paid off! 🙂

  • I am so jealous of your treadmill desk!!! I don’t think I can do that to my elliptical machine 🙂 So great to see where/how you work.

  • I’m super jealous of your treadmill desk, too! I love the term “spreader.” I’m that way too. I write on my desk in the bedroom, at the dining room table, on the living room couch, and in bed. And my stuff is spread everywhere. Our poor families!

    • Laurie~

      I know! I often wonder what I’d think of my husband was pursing his dream, and it involved not only spreading his work materials all over the house, but also lots of neurotic second-guessing & tweaking of things that don’t actually exist (plots, characters), tumbling out of bed in the middle of the night because ‘something just came clear, isn’t that great honey?’, mentally checking out in the middle of perfectly good conversations, etc etc. 🙂

    • Thanks for connributitg. It’s helped me understand the issues.

    • link:

      The truth just shines through your post

  • Nicole Laverdure:

    Kris’s idea of her treadmill desk is great! Kris is one of the first authors that got me hooked to medieval stories. I read all her books and loved. I can’t wait to read her next book. She is a great writer that I admire. I miss her stories!

  • Jena Lang:

    I’d love to try the treadmill desk. What a great way to burn calories and get some writing done! I’m too much of a neat freak to be a “spreader”. I keep myself and my research materials contained to my tiny desk in my spare room. It’s fun to see other writer’s work spaces, so thanks for sharing! I adore your medieval romances!

    • Hey there Jena! So good to ‘see’ you here!

      I wish I could be more contained, like you are. Being highly spreadable makes everything more difficult, from finding where I left a research book I need *now*, to setting the table for dinner. LOL

      Thank-you for saying so about my medievals!!! You’ve made me very happy, esp as I have one that only has about 45 pages written, but I LOVE it, and can’t wait to get back to it. You’re motivating me to get in gear and get it done. 🙂

  • I love the idea of writing and exercising at the same time. Great combo! Will definitely have to give it a try.


    • Gail~

      You should let me know how it goes! I find there are certain kinds of thinking/writing that just don’t work while on the treadmill, but the emails/Twitter/FB works great for me. More ‘shallow’ thought, off the cuff.

  • Wow, love the idea of the treadmill desk. Never saw or heard of that. I must say, though, I went to the YMCA, and tried to go on Facebook on the treadmill equipped with internet access, Facebook and the likes… it’s a task and a half to workout and type at the same time. So my hat’s off to you, Kim, for being able to work AND workout.

    And don’t lose site of that dress. With your determination, there’s no doubt in my mind, you’ll fit into it again. 🙂



    • Renee-Ann~

      I’d image part of the problem at a gym is all the other people too! Lots of distractions. I don’t really walk very fast, either, so that helps.

      LOL–thanks for keeping my focus on the dress. It’s all for the dress. 😉 And thanks for your kind words, Renee-Ann!!

  • Wow, to me this is the most interesting workspace! And I love maps of all kind. But why didn’t you show your wall with your hubby’s covers? I’d love to see them. Thank you so much for sharing this.
    (BTW Love the spreadability)

    • Barbara~

      LOL–I was scared to show too much more, or people might run in fear. 🙂 I also skipped the wall pasted with index cards.

      Actually, he got the covers of my books framed. (okay, this is embarrassing…) If you peek really close, in that 2nd picture, you can see the framed covers of THE CONQUEROR and THE IRISH WARRIOR propped up on the wall, next to the window. I’m so terrible, I haven’t even hung them yet. But they’re there!

      From one map-lover to another…have you read Ken Jennings’ MAPHEAD?

  • Lori Gallagher:

    Kris – I loved all the areas where you spread out. While the idea of the treadmill desk is great, I’m not sure I’m co-ordinated enough to pull it off. The dining room table, however, sounded like the perfect spot. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Lori!
      I didn’t think too much about the treadmill + dizziness at first, but I can see now where it can be hard for some ppl. When I first started, I definitely noticed dizziness when I’d get off (kind of like getting off boat, and you’re on solid ground again). I also would feel dizzy if I tried to walk too fast while focusing on the computer.

      But my brain definitely adapted, and I can multi-task those two things now easily. In fact, I think it’s improved my sense of balance in general! Good brain work. 🙂 An unexpeceted fringe benefit.

  • ELF:

    Your desks look much more neat than the controlled chaos around my workspace but I, too, have a hubby who gently asks if I am going to get some of my towering piles under control at some point, lol. Thanks for sharing glimpses of your life.

  • Fae:

    I’m so late…… But happiest of baryhdits, sweet Richella!What an interesting question. Like many others, I’d love to be the best edition of ‘me’ as the Lord intended me to be, more like Jesus as well as several godly women that come to mind. But the first name that came to mind was Mary. She knew what was of greatest importance – sitting at the feet of Jesus. I don’t serve effectively or very humbly, I’m afraid, when I neglect this ‘one thing.’ I suppose that is how He intended it to be ~

  • It’s a pleasure to find such rationality in an answer. Welcome to the debate.

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