Clare/Mari is a descendant, through her paternal grandfather, of the same family as Sir Ebenezer Howard who created the concept of Garden Cities. As well as a writer she is also a painter, and has held several exhibitions at venues including at the Oxford University Press and at Oxford Artweeks. She enjoys photography, the natural world, and friendships. Now that her children have grown up she has refilled the empty nest with 3 cats.
Here's her talking about her writing space -
" ‘A Room of one’s Own’ Virginia Woolf believed, was especially necessary for women who write. After the bedroom-based teenage scribbling, and post-Uni typing on a heavy Remington typewriter (a refugee from an MRC unit at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) in the corner of another bedroom, I graduated to our Mac computer in the dining room. I then achieved my first and oddest dedicated writing space: a small grey room with desk, metal filing cabinets, and a whiteboard, in the top corridor of the Computer Science building at Waterloo University. It was the winter of 1989-90, and we were in Canada while my husband worked with computer experts on the project to digitise the Oxford English Dictionary.
The novel came back with a couple of A4 sheets of detailed notes: stupidly I found this discouraging. By today’s standards it was the next best thing to acceptance. Some years passed when I pretty much only wrote essays, and the annual short story for a group of us who met to celebrate Christmas with a party and readings. Then with an empty nest, a certificate in social and political science, and a bit of clinical work behind me, I began Baby, Baby. As the world of publishing was changing, I decided to be an author/publisher this time.
Today my indoor writing space is what was built as the kitchen. It’s also the warmest room in the house. I share my space with the cats: they have a cosy bed but prefer a comfy chair or even better to invade the desk, inspect the back of the computer, and sit on the keyboard. For them it’s always time for a break, a cup of tea, and a few cat biscuits. I make notes by hand, hate typing, but always compose on the computer: practical and convenient to be able to read what I wrote, easily edit, and print out sections to work on. My view is a blank wall: no problem in dreich weather, frustrating when the sun shines.
Clare's contemporary fiction as Mari Howard is Baby, Baby and The Labyrinth Year. Find out more about her and her books on her website and her blog
Other writers' rooms in the series
1. Clare Flynn
2. Alison Morton
3. James Calbraith
4. Kim Velk
5. Nicholas Vince
6. Jackie Griffiths
7. Atulya Bingham
8. Katharine D'Souza
9. Derek Birks
11. Me again - my temporary Balinese writing space
If you would like to be featured on a future Writers' Rooms please use the contact form to let me know and I'll be in touch - or send me a tweet at @clarefly