Workspace Wednesday welcomes Nancy Herkness


I am delighted to welcome Nancy Herkness as my guest for this edition of Workspace Wednesday. Nancy is another Montlake Romance sister. She writes both contemporary romance and romantic suspense.  Her current Montlake Romance release Take Me Home is the first in the Whisper Horse series.



Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, New Jersey Romance Writers and Novelists, Inc., and has won numerous awards for her work, including the Golden Leaf, the Write Touch Readers’ Award and the Aspen Gold.  Nancy graduated from Princeton University with a degree in English literature and creative writing. A native of West Virginia, she now lives in New Jersey with her husband and two mismatched dogs.


With that intro, I’ll turn it over to Nancy.


Norah, it’s so intriguing to get a peek into my fellow writers’ workspaces.  Thanks so much for inviting me to join the fun!


I write in a garret, the room at the top of the house right under the roof.  Artists are famous for starving in their garrets, but I make sure to keep plenty of chocolate stashed in mine.  The nice thing about being up so high is that I have a great view from my office window: tree tops and sky and the occasional bird or two.  It’s refreshing but not too distracting.



The other great thing about being up two flights of stairs is that no one interrupts me unless they REALLY want to talk to me.


For those desperate enough for my company I do offer a seat or two.  Notice the pile of dog toys under the pretty chair: those are for Brodie, my Golden Retriever, who visits often.  It’s rare that my Yorkie Rocky makes it all the way to the top of the house.



If you’re wondering about the funky-looking black chair, that’s for when my back starts to bother me.  Balancing on the ball keeps my back muscles moving all the time.  It’s good for writing marathons when a deadline looms.  “Red Car Press” is the publisher name I used to self-publish my backlist titles; my wonderful husband had the snazzy sign made for me.  It’s going outside my office door as soon as the painters finish in the hallway.


Along with chocolate, there are certain items I cannot survive without.  This artistic (snort!) still life captures their essence.



The cloth is for cleaning my glasses which somehow get smudged during the creative process.  The timer is set for 30 minutes.  Depending how the writing is going, this reminds me either to: 1) focus on writing until I hear beeping; or 2) get up from the chair and move around for a few minutes to work the kinks out of my back.  Some days I need Reminder 1; some days (the good ones) I need Reminder 2.


The remote control turns on the column fan (you can see it behind the ball chair in Picture 2) when a hot flash hits.  Yes, it might kill me to get up and turn it on myself.  The bookmark is from Michael Hauge’s amazing Story Mastery workshop; it summarizes his plotting genius on one small piece of laminated cardboard.


Next is the messy angle on my desk.  As you can see by the clock on the wall, I am a New Jersey Devils fan.  (The hockey lock-out has been killing me!)  The hulking gray thing (to the right) with sticky notes all over it is the world’s oldest laser printer, a veritable tank that spits out pages at high speed despite its obsolescence.



Above it is my attempt at collaging, a useful creative tool.  Author Jenny Crusie makes collages that are works of art.  Me, I tack pictures, sayings, and artifacts up willy-nilly on the bulletin board over my desk, layering them as the book progresses until it looks like a rat’s nest.


Here’s a close-up of the “collage.”  (Perhaps “mess-age” would be a better name.)  This collection was for COUNTRY ROADS, the book I handed into my editor just before Christmas.



Can you tell from the collage that the hero is a sexy lawyer who rides a motorcycle and plays foosball and the heroine is an artist whose whisper horse is a scary black stallion?  If so, you’re good!  (In case you’re wondering why I have the cover flat for TAKE ME HOME posted so prominently, it’s to prove to myself that yes, I am capable of finishing a book on time.  I tend to despair of that as my deadline nears.)


Since other folks on this blog admitted to having a “brag shelf”, I am including mine below.  Between the two bridge bookends are all the editions of my books. I’ll be adding TAKE ME HOME in French and Dutch soon, my first translations.  Anyone for book-signings in Paris and Amsterdam?



There’s one book there I didn’t write.  It’s titled THE GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE: POETRY IN STEEL by Michael Aaron Rockland, a non-fiction work discussing all aspects of the famous bridge including its appearances in literature.  I was tickled to find that Mr. Rockland spent nearly two pages discussing my first novel A BRIDGE TO LOVE.  He makes the typical snarky comments about the romance genre but admits that I “obviously did some research” on the G.W.B.  He even quotes from the climactic scene of my book which takes place on the bridge itself.


I have to share the sign on the door to my writing office because my darling daughter made it after I sold my Whisper Horse series to Montlake Romance.



She knows me so well.


True confession: After enjoying a glimpse everyone else’s fabulous offices on this blog, I’ve realized mine needs some serious revamping.  So I better get to work on another book….


To find out more, visit or


And please check out her current release from Montlake Romance. TAKE ME HOME, the first book in the Whisper Horse Series.

Cover - Take Me Home

When Claire Parker left Sanctuary, West Virginia, she thought it was for good. But now she’s back, reeling from an ugly divorce. Readjusting to small-town life is harder than Claire expected, so she’s surprised, and grateful, to find companionship in Willow, an abused Thoroughbred mare. Willow is Claire’s “whisper horse,” and they share a special, rare bond. Except Willow isn’t the only one helping Claire heal; Willow’s ruggedly handsome veterinarian, Dr. Tim Arbuckle, is soothing…and secretive.

Devastated by his wife’s death, Tim thought he’d never find love again. The stoic, sexy doctor was sure he’d left his heart behind when he came to Sanctuary. But Claire stirs up emotions he thought he’d buried long ago. For the first time, the doctor can see past his grief…until Willow falls gravely ill. Tim and Claire must save Willow’s life and, surrounded by the expansive mountains of West Virginia, find a love so encompassing and intense, their lives will never be the same again.

“Like slipping into a warm bath, Herkness eases readers into her story.  She’s spot-on when it comes to tugging at the heartstrings, and the vibrant setting of the West Virginia mountains is perfect for characters who will haunt readers long after the last page is turned.  Animal lovers will be especially delighted.”

                –Jaime A. Geraldi, RT Book Reviews


Thank you for that lovely tour, Nancy. I love your garret office!


Now on to the giveaway. Nancy is offering an autographed copy of any one of her three backlist books: A Bridge to Love, Shower of Stars, or Music of the Night, winner’s choice. All you need do for a chance to win is leave a comment for Nancy below.




74 Responses to “Workspace Wednesday welcomes Nancy Herkness”

  • Loved reading about your office – mine’s on the dinning table (easier to keep an eye on the kids).

    Will check your books out, now I know they exist, thanks to Norah. Don’t worry about including me in the draw (I live in Ireland)!!! Have a great day.

    • Hey, being from Ireland is all the MORE reason to include you in the drawing! It’s so neat to hear from you from across the sea. I know people with small children who write on the kitchen counter so I sympathize with the dining room table office. I’ve never gotten used to writing on a laptop so I need a desk with my big monitor and ergonomic keyboard. My children are in graduate school and college so I don’t need to keep an eye on them every minute any more but I remember those days vividly…and I miss them, amazingly enough.

  • The one thing I zeroed in on? The Joni Mitchell album! She was my favorite when I was growing up, and I have all of her albums, only now they’re in CD form. Loved seeing where you write. It’s a wonderful space. And I loved TAKE ME HOME.

    • Barbara, thank you so much for your compliment on TAKE ME HOME! As for Joni, my son and a friend collected “vinyl” (as they call it now) from yard sales last summer. They bought Joni’s album for me as sort of a joke gift, but I surprised them by loving it. The artwork on full-sized album covers is so gorgeous, and I decided this one would make a great concealer for the mess of files now hidden behind it. I’m so gratified you noticed it!

      • I am writing to share the gauittrde and thankfulness I have experienced since following your work, Nancy and Yvonne and Sarah. You have shown me how to believe in myself, released me from physcial pain (hands, belly,} and led me to understanding the energy portion of my being. I am astonished by the information in my private readings and can confirm how true the readings have been to my history. The entire picture of work with you has given me peace, happiness, and new life. :I want the world to sing .

      • I much prefer informative articles like this to that high brow literature.

      • This is just the perfect answer for all of us

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      • Tip top stuff. I’ll expect more now.

      • That insight’s just what I’ve been looking for. Thanks!

      • Hallo Horst,vielen Dank für Deine Antwort!Nun habe ich noch eine ergänzende Frage zu diesem Thema.Du schreibst dass sich das Bewustsein des Schicksalspalastes, wenn er aktiviert ist ändern kann. Ist das umgekehrt auch so? Bei einer Verbindung mit Wandlung eines Taktes mit dem Schicksalspalast, wenn der EZ des Taktes wandelt und der EZ des Schicksalspalastes schon diese WP hat, wird dann das Bewustsein des Taktes gewandelt? Bekommt der Takt nun die Betonung (änderung des Bewustseins), wie sie in Deinem Beispiel der Schicksalspalast erhalten hat?Herzliche GrüßeHelmut

      • Nawi:

        You have to have your insurance and dootcr change your address in their records. I got my own insurance and live on my own. The insurance has my new address but the dootcr didnt. So I had to make sure both were changed.

      • This is crystal clear. Thanks for taking the time!

    • You would envy my work set up, but I still need more boxes. My problem is I don’t seem to have enugoh “stacking” space. And I love boxes for some ODD reason. I must have more them. Pretty ones ^_^ for putting pretty things in.My stuffed creations take up more room than say the pins though and that tends to be my downfall :lol:~Tumus

    • They are great….Don’t know where you get the time!! Just when I see the sewing mhacine there can I ask you if you would recommend yours or another model. Feel a purchase coming on! Have been using a neighbours and my mothers for too long now!!

  • I love this feature and getting to see everyone’s work space. Mine is so sadly lacking! Your office is lovely, Nancy, and the personal touches are always the best part.

    I have TAKE ME HOME on the Kindle just waiting it’s turn. Gotta get past this deadline first.

  • Terri, at least your TBR “pile” is now on your Kindle and not threatening to fall over on you from your bedside table! It’s an improvement, no?

    It is so fun seeing my fellow writers’ offices although I feel mine needs some work after enjoying everyone else’s.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • I love your writing space! It’s warm, friendly and full of great idea-generators just like you! Thanks for letting us in for a peek.
    PS — My mom called me on the phone when she saw this. She has the same chest that’s in the picture with your chairs. It’s one of her very favorite pieces of furniture. Small world, huh!

  • Nancy –

    I LOVE that window by your desk. I’m afraid I’d catch myself gazing out its beautifully shaped panes all the time. Looks like you have a super-cozy place to write!


    • Kelsey, luckily, the view is soothing rather than distracting. Not much goes on in my quiet little neighborhood so I mostly stare out the window and let my mind wander around my imaginary world with my imaginary characters. The natural light is really nice to have when you’re under the eaves of the roof in a small space; cozy is a good word for it! Thanks for joining me here!

  • I must read that book!!! I love horse stories 🙂 And I love your office, Nancy!

  • Drooling over your desk and that gorgeous window! I’m also thinking I need one of those funky black chairs. 🙂

    • Shea, the funky ball chair is amazing if you have lower back problems and have to sit for long periods of time. It ain’t pretty but it’s effective. I highly recommend it.

    • Hey Lupin,I think abstract pieecs of felt would look great! i love it when that happens, when you stumble upon inspiration when you dont really expect to.iv’e been following your blog for a while after i accidently stumbled upon a picture of your work on flickr when i was looking for something else, i have to say i have become a little addicted and i tune in daily to see whats new and i never find myself disapointed, there is allways a lovely and inspiring post waiting :-)so much so in fact, that you were a big part of MY inspiration to open up my own blog “itchy fingers”. it does not have much in it yet, but i will soon fill it up with my own art, hopefully an “etsy” shop wil follow… <3

  • sara:

    Oh, Nancy, I love your writing area…it is so lovely! And, looks like it is filled with things that a) keep you creative and b) are loved.

    You know if I win I want Music of the Night!!!!

  • Jenna Blue:

    Nancy, I’m happy to see that your office looks much like mine. My bulletin board looks just like that, although it’s not a collage, just a mess! : ) My favorite part: the signs your husband and daughter had done/made! Very sweet!

    Norah, Workspace Wednesday is a neat idea! Thanks!

    Jenna Blue

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