20 January 2016
Rowan Coleman's workspace, tucked away inside a garret

Rowan Coleman's workspace, tucked away inside a garret.

It was during 2013 when one of my then two year old twins brought a secret box of mud into my office, and then retrieved a slice of old toast he’d left on my bookshelf, that I decided it was time to rent an office out of the home. I love my home office, which my husband says looks like a Victorian brothel, but the many distractions of home make it difficult to concentrate on writing for any good stretch of time.

Now I write in an actual garret, in the eaves of an Edwardian building at the opposite end of town. First of all I rented a small back office, into which I could only just cram a desk and a chair, but when my neighbour moved out I took the chance and moved into the bigger front office. I have a lovely big window that lets in lots of light, which is important to me, I like a lot of natural day light when I write.

My favourite time of day is mid afternoon, in the autumn, when the sunlight dapples on my desk. There is a tiny wrought iron fire place, and I have a fake white orchid on it, because I tried to keep real ones and killed too many. I have a vanilla scented candle, a clock, a knitted owl that author Julie Cohen made for me, and a crocheted zombie robot that author C.L Taylor made for me.

On the walls around my desk I have many photos taken during a research trip to Brooklyn, and on the wall a small painting of a forest at night, to commemorate, We Are All Made of Stars, the first novel I finished there. Most importantly though, there is no telephone and no internet. And it is very quiet, so I know when I go into that space that I am there for some serious writing. Its very restful, and a focused space. And it just so happens to be right next door to a cake shop, although that is not at all why I chose it. Honest.

  • We Are All Made of Stars

  • Do not miss me, because I will always be with you…I am the air, the moon, the stars. For we are all made of stars, my beloved... Wherever you look, I will be there.

    Stella Carey exists in a world of night. Married to a soldier who has returned from Afghanistan injured in body and mind, she leaves the house every evening as Vincent locks himself away, along with the secrets he brought home from the war.

    During her nursing shifts, Stella writes letters for her patients to their loved ones - some full of humour, love and practical advice, others steeped in regret or pain – and promises to post these messages after their deaths.

    Until one night Stella writes the letter that could give her patient one last chance at redemption, if she delivers it in time…

    We Are all Made of Stars is an uplifting and heartfelt novel about life, loss and what happens in between from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Memory Book.

    'I immediately read The Memory Book and it's WONDERFUL ... I'm so happy because she's written other books and its so lovely to find a writer you love who has a backlist' Marian Keyes

  • Buy the book
  • A Home for Broken Hearts

  • Is there a cure for a broken heart?

    Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, this is a heartfelt and uplifting novel from the author of The Memory Book and Zoe Ball Book Club pick The Summer of Impossible Things

    Once upon a time, Ellen Woods had her 'happily ever after' moment when she married her beloved Nick. But fifteen years later her husband's tragic death leaves her alone with their soon-to-become-a-teenager son and a mountain of debt.

    On the verge of losing the family home Ellen decides to rent out some rooms, and all too soon a whole host of characters enter her ordered but fragile existence – each with their own messy life in tow. But will this be enough to pull her out of her grief so she can learn to live – and love – again?

  • Buy the book

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