Barbara Conrey‘s wonderful new historical novel My Secret to Keep released on August 23. The story deals with secrets, lies, and betrayals, and begins in 1948, moving forward to the eighties. The plot had some great twists and turns that kept me turning the pages, and I highly recommend it for book clubs, because there’d be plenty to discuss. The moral issues, the constraints on women, and the satisfying ending all contribute to making it an unputdownable read… I asked her where she writes, and here’s what she told me.
I never realized how structured I was until I started writing.
My ‘writer’ brain only works in the morning. After a mug of hot tea, meditation, exercise, and a shower, I head to my desk. Just reading this makes me realize just how rigid (? no, that can’t be right!) I am. Actually, it’s been implied that I’ve never acted spontaneously in my life, but I don’t think that’s true. I’m pretty sure I’ve occasionally penciled in a few hours of spontaneity in my calendar…
So here’s my desk. I love it for its clean lines and mellow wood. I love it because it’s where I sit every morning, seven days a week. If I go out of town, I have no problem leaving my work behind, but at home, I’m writing or performing the million and one things related to being a published author – a list of mandates that must be performed daily.
You might notice that my chair doesn’t look very inviting. There’s a reason for that. The more uncomfortable I am, the more frequently I get up and walk around the house. The walking helps me unravel plot holes, twists, tension, and pacing problems. Whatever cloud hangs over my desk seems to disappear once I’m on my feet.
I only require one thing during the four hours I write each morning: absolute silence. I’m afraid I can be a bear about this, but if I’m interrupted, I completely lose my train of thought.