I’ve always been interested in learning how other writers work and what they do when they aren’t focusing on what’s happening on the page of their latest novel. Today it’s my pleasure to introduce Claire Boston, who is celebrating the release of All That Sparkles, the second contemporary romance in her Texan Quartet series.
Thank you, Teena for having me on your blog. I must admit I’m always curious to see how other writers set up their work space and what process they go through to get a finished product, so I’m happy to share as well!
I have my own writing room. I commandeered a spare room a few years ago and set it up as my own space. Let me take you through it.
My desk wraps around in an ‘L’ shape so I can type or write as necessary. I have a lovely view out of the window of the garden and when I’m stuck for words I can look at all of the birds flitting about in the bird bath.
You’ll notice I have two screens: I use the big screen for my writing, and the little screen usually has my writer’s bible on it so I can quickly cross-check facts like eye-colour when needed.
On the wall I have lots of paper, including; my calendar with inspirational writing quotes (you can download a copy from my website under the Freebies section), my business goals for the year and also for the quarter, as well as my business plan and my writing schedule. The red notebook in front of the monitor is for my weekly goals.
So you may be able to tell that I’m an organised person. I find writing down all the things I need to do and then breaking them into bite-sized chunks, makes it so much easier to achieve them. It also stops me from stressing about all of the things I have to do – trust me you do not want to see me stressed!
The funny thing about this is, when it comes to my writing I’m a pantser not a plotter. I can’t imagine sitting down and working out each scene before I write it. I do try a little; I’ll usually have a rough idea of the first few chapters which I’ll jot down before I forget, but then I’ll start writing and see where the story takes me.
I have a writer’s bible where I write all the relevant bits about the story down, so I don’t forget. I use Microsoft’s OneNote to do this. If you haven’t used it before, I recommend checking it out. It comes as part of the standard Microsoft Office suite but most people don’t know what it is. Basically it’s like one of those spiral bound notebooks with dividers in it – but it’s digital. In my writer’s bible I have a tab/divider for character, plot, setting, research, blurb and anything else the story requires. Then each tab is divided by pages, for example each main character has their own page and then a secondary character may have a page. I also keep a page for minor characters who have only a small role or may be names that are mentioned but never appear in the book (like a brother or sister). This allows me to keep all the information in a single file so I don’t have to open multiple documents when I’m in the middle of writing.
So that’s a little glimpse into my writing world. When I’m not writing you can find me in the garden trying to tame the weeds and grow vegetables or else I’ll be swinging on a sidecar.
That’s me on the right hand side, hanging on for dear life! My husband is the one with the throttle. A lot of people ask me how I came to be a sidecar passenger (or swinger as they’re known). Well it was a large part of ignorance on my part! My husband has been riding vintage motocross for many years and then at the end of the season one year, his regular passenger couldn’t make it for the last three events. As it turns out, passengers are hard to come by, because most people have more sense than to try it! Not knowing any of this I said I’d fill in for him so he didn’t miss out. Let me tell you it’s a lot harder than it looks! The passenger is the person who makes the sidecar turn and has to lean out to the left if there’s a left turn or lean out to the right if it’s a right turn. That makes a lot of moving about and it’s exhausting. But it’s also a lot of fun when it’s not downright terrifying! One day all my experiences are going to go into a novel!
You can find Claire online at:
Pre-order All That Sparkles here http://momentumbooks.com.au/books/all-that-sparkles-the-texan-quartet/