As an investigative reporter, I have written during fires, and hurricanes, and during high-speed chases. In the middle of the night, in blizzards, and with teargas billowing around me. With typewriters—yes—clacking, wire service bells dinging, and people yelling at each other across the newsroom. No problem, I could do it.
When I started writing fiction, my writing life changed. When I first started, I needed to have peace and total quiet. And luckily, in our home (which was built in 1894), I had this perfect room. (Okay, now, 12 years and 10 books later, I can write anywhere, airports, train stations, hotel rooms, airplanes, Ubers.)
But this office is still my favorite.
Here’s the wide shot. The walls are painted a Ralph Lauren color, which I fear is called Rhino Tusk. (How do they name those things?) I said I wanted “tawny” and this is what I got.
My bay window looks out over a lofty sugar maple, teeming with crazy squirrels and an occasional woodpecker.
You see my easel, which has a framed photograph under all that stuff, but you would never know that now. Prominent now are my book event posters, and the picture of Tea Leoni, who, to me at least, is Mercer Hennessy in my new book TRUST ME. (If you know her, could you tell her she’d be perfect?)
Here is a close-up of my chair… Can you believe it? It has so many name badges from conferences that my husband had to rig up a weight on the front of the chair so it wouldn’t tip over!
Here is my treasure, a gift from Sue Grafton. She was such a mentor, and gave me this bottle of Chardonnay, and her keychain. I look at it every day.
And yeah, I have to say, here are my Emmys for investigative reporting, and my Agatha awards for my fiction. When I have a bad writing day, I look at these wonderful treasures, and reassure myself that at one point, at least, I knew what I was doing. But, I fear that is a day to day thing.
The rest of the room, I hesitate to show you. It is stacks of books and files and things I cannot live without. I’m sure you have some just like it.
Come visit anytime. It is the happiest place in the world.