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Posted By Susan Bernhardt

I've always been fascinated with romantic ideas of where authors write. Perhaps I had seen too many movies, but when I became an author, I pictured myself looking out of a second floor palazzo window onto the Grande Canal in Venice, with a glass of Prosecco beside my desk pounding away on the keyboard. Or in NYC working in an Upper West Side Brownstone where I could practically touch the tree outside of my window. In between paragraphs, I'd watch the hustle and bustle of the street below with the only things on my mind being my novel and trying to decide which neighborhood eatery I would try that evening, Indian, Thai or Italian. Or in a Victorian home, a "Painted Lady" in San Francisco looking out over the San Francisco Bay, hearing the cable cars in the distance and the seagulls above, trying to finish a chapter before meeting friends in North Beach at a coffee bar.

I thought it would be fun to find out where real life writers write. And so I've asked some of my author friends to share about their writing spaces. I'll start with mine.

I'm Susan Bernhardt, the author of the cozy mystery The Ginseng Conspiracy and the photos above show where I write at home. I sit on the sofa with my laptop and type away. There is a wall-sized window where I can look out over our neighborhood or watch the birds build their nests in our yew tree in the spring. I have a little make-shift side table, a Red Wing crock where I keep my teacup filled throughout the day. When I'm not watching my carbs, I often have a scone sitting next to the teacup slathered in lemon curd and clotted cream.

I really can write almost anywhere. When on a car trip, I write in my car. I've written in a cabin in remote northwoods of Wisconsin. I started my second cozy mystery in the Kay Driscoll series on a plane flying across the ocean.

Heather Fraser Brainerd lives in New York with her husband, three sons, and one crazy rescue dog. She writes paranormal mysteries for adults (the José Picada, PI series) and young adults ( Dream Shade), and will release the middle grade fantasy Shadows of New York this summer. She often co-writes with her brother David Fraser.

I write on a laptop, so my writing space is all over the place! Most of the time, I can be found at my kitchen island. It’s centrally located, so I can hear all the action going on in my house. This is important with three boys and a dog to keep track of. Plus, it’s close to snacks. I like my snacks. Sometimes I sit on the window seat in our living room. This gives a lovely view of the front yard, especially when the trees are in full green leafy mode and the flowers are in bloom. Or when everything is covered in a fresh, white layer of snow. In the summer, I like to write on my screened porch. This is off the back of the house, and lets me keep an eye on the multitude of wildlife crossing our back yard. Though I have a laptop, I’ve yet to take it on a trip with me. I do like to travel, and can picture myself someday writing in Old San Juan or New Orleans or Walt Disney World.

Please go to Part B immediately below.

Posted By Susan Bernhardt

David Bazan, from South Texas has won one competition and was awarded Honorable Mention in an International Screenwriting Contest. He writes Comedy/Drama Screen/Stage Plays, and has almost finished his first action novel.

I don’t know what Susan could have been thinking when she asked me to write a paragraph about my work space. Humph! Well, I have to say that I use a desktop, because my fingers are so big they’d trip on any laptop keyboard. I love to wake up early, very early, when I know everything is right with my world. I have a large coffee next to me, and all I have to do is concentrate on what the characters are trying to say through me. Music is vital, so I have Pandora set to whatever theme I’m writing, but everything being equal, I listen to opera, most especially Placido Domingo. Placido has helped me produce some of my funniest lines. Go figure… What the heck was Susan thinking?

My name is Matthew Peters. I am the author of The Brothers' Keepers (forthcoming through MuseItUp Publishing) and Conversations Among Ruins (forthcoming through All Things That Matter Press). My writing space is mine, that is the first thing I can say about it. It exists in a corner of a room near a window where I can keep in touch with the outside world if I am otherwise buried in a writing project. Never far away is a set of books I can refer to if need be. In addition to grammar books, are books on writing and literary classics to which I might turn for inspiration if I feel my spirit flagging. I keep a gratitude list tacked to the wall near my computer. Also nearby are index cards full of notes that I have taken while researching my current project. Finally, I have a phonograph and a collection of classical records because music is essential to my writing. This space is hard to replicate so I am unable to work from a laptop, though that is something I may try to incorporate into my writing routine in the future.

Lorenzo Pablo Martinez is an author and composer. He's published books of children's songs and a picture book for children. His memoir, "MoonlightSecrets," is coming out in the summer.

Writers who are serious about their craft write --everywhere! When my full-time job demanded frequent national and international travel, I wrote while waiting at airports. More often than not my flight would be delayed or cancelled and I would perch myself on the floor with laptop on my knees. The longer the delay, the more I wrote and the happier I became. Except, once a flight was delayed, subsequent flights were affected, and the area would become saturated with irate travelers who thought nothing of stepping over my belongings and disturbing my work. The first draft of my upcoming memoir was written at airports in New York City, Chicago, D.C., Seattle, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Ghana, South Africa, and others. I affectionately call it my "traveling memoir."

Airports are not the only unusual places I write in. I often write short paragraphs, maybe the beginning of a chapter, or my blog, on my iPad in bed. Another out-of-the ordinary place for me to write in is the kitchen. I cart my laptop there, particularly on Tuesdays when the cleaning lady is in, then cart it back when she's done with the rest of the house and brings her cleaning supplies to the kitchen--hint, hint. My usual writing spot, however, is in my music room, where I have a big desktop, which I've used twice in two years (why did I buy it?), a laptop and a baby grand piano. Nothing keeps the inspiration flowing better than a short break with a Chopin prelude. No matter where and when I write, there's always a bottle of water next to me. The muses must be kept hydrated at all times!




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Susan Bernhardt


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