Today, please welcome Alison May! Welcome Alison. Tell us all about your writing cave.
I write in my tiny purple writing room at the front of our house. It’s the type of room that a lot of people will have in their houses. You know the thing – the house is advertised on the estate agent’s website as ‘three bedrooms’. Under great pressure and interrogation the agent concedes that it’s really two doubles and a single. You narrow your eyes. They look at the floor. ‘A small single,’ they admit. You try to raise one eyebrow. You remember that you can’t really do that. You raise both eyebrows instead. A bead of sweat forms on the agent’s brow. You know you’ve won. ‘It’s just a boxroom,’ he cries, falling to the floor weeping and rending his clothes.
When we viewed this house before we bought it, the room that is now my tiny purple writing oasis, contained a piece of mustard-coloured carpet that didn’t quite cover the whole floor and a disconnected washing machine. So while the room has provided me with a dedicated place to write, I’ve also saved the room from an eternity of discarded white goods and ill-fitting furnishings. We’ve done all right by each other, this tiny purple room and me.
My writing room goes through a regular cycle from relatively tidy to total and complete tip, depending on how far through the current novel-in-progress I am. Tidying only ever happens when I’m procrastinating the actual starting of the next book. At the moment I’m about three quarters of the way through a novel, and hence, my office is a tiny wee bit of a mess. I considered tidying up before I took my picture to go with this blogpost, but that would have been dishonest gentle reader, and I’m choosing to believe that you value truth more highly than cleanliness.
Amongst the debris currently littered across my desk there’s a book about cold reading which is actually proper research for the book I’m currently writing, a tin of sweeties (empty), three different bus timetables (at least one of which is for a place I don’t live), and a pack of dressmaker’s fabric markers (no – I have no idea why). Somehow all this stuff accumulates as the book progresses and is never tidied up until the end of the project.
Apart from being my writing room, this is also my office for all the training and tutoring work I do, so the shelves house a mixture of books that relate to novels I’ve written and folders full of lesson plans. I have a whiteboard next to my desk; in principle that’s where key points for book I’m writing are displayed, but at the moment it seems to have a To Do list from about August still scrawled across it.
The picture on the wall was taken by my husband. It shows me, my sister and my brother-in-law sitting at the top of Pendle Hill on my 26th birthday. It’s supposed to be an uplifting, inspiring image, but mainly I just look at it and marvel at how thin I was.
So that’s my office in its full ‘three quarters of the way through a novel’ plumage – books on the floor, paper everywhere, random pots of nail varnish lying around. You will probably read other blogs and articles about where authors write, and many of those will feature photographs of pristine, tidy, perfectly organised offices, and they will look nicer than mine, but remember – a tidy office is a symptom of a procrastinating writer. Either that or I’m just horrendously slovenly. It’s definitely one of those.
I think messy is a sign of creativity. With you all the way, Alison! You have a book out for Christmas, haven’t you? Tell us more about Cora’s Christmas Kiss …
Can you expect a perfect Christmas after the year from hell?
Cora and Liam have both experienced horrible years that have led them to the same unlikely place – spending December working in the Grotto at Golding’s department store.
Under the cover of a Father Christmas fat suit and an extremely unflattering reindeer costume, they find comfort in sharing their tales of woe during their bleak staffroom lunch breaks.
But is their new-found friendship just for Christmas? Or have they created something deeper, something that could carry them through to a hopeful new year?
Sounds perfect Christmas reading. One for the stocking! Plus, keep your eyes peeled for characters you may recognize from Alison’s previous novella, Holly’s Christmas Kiss.
And finally, here’s a little background info about the talented Alison:
Alison May is a novelist and short story writer, who writes romantic comedies for Choc Lit. Her debut novel, Sweet Nothing, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sweet-Nothing-Choc-Lit-Alison-ebook/dp/B00GZ4577Q/ was published in 2013, closely followed by Holly’s Christmas Kiss. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hollys-Christmas-Kiss-Choc-Kisses-ebook/dp/B00H50WALK/ Alison lives in Worcester with her husband, but still no pets, on account of what happened to the goldfish.
You can find out more about Alison on Twitter @MsAlisonMay and on her website. http://alison-may.co.uk/
Her latest book, Cora’s Christmas Kiss is out now for kindle. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Coras-Christmas-Kiss-Choc-Kisses-ebook/dp/B00QCUYCLK/
Thanks for coming on and telling us all about your purple writing cave, Alison. I’m now very intrigued as to what happened to the goldfish! Good luck with the new book!