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.

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