Alison lives in rural France and is a self-confessed “Roman nut”. Contrary to her own statement her office looks pretty sleek and tidy to me!
So, Alison, what’s your work space like?
I hope you didn’t expect a tidy and sleek office?
My office is a place full of paper, books, notes, pens, files, cups of coffee/tea, lights, noticeboard, etc. Our super-tough birchwood work stations came over to France with us when we moved from the UK, plus the IKEA office cupboards and bookshelves which used to adorn my UK office when I ran my translation business.
Light streams in at the window, but not in a distracting way. And our corner of rural France is very quiet...
Behind all this material description runs a theme - my need for a properly equipped and comfortable workplace. Each of us has our own level of untidiness/tidyness - that’s a personality trait - but I like to have my own dedicated and personalised space so that the muse feels comfortable enough to come out to play. This is my regular office; writing is my regular job.
How does being in France impact your writing?
It’s quieter! But it’s less easy to arrange book signings or visit shops to ask if they’ll stock my paperbacks and I have to plan my visits to the UK very carefully, especially launches and speaking at or attending conferences. I do try to attend as many meetings with other writers and Roma Nova fans as I can when I’m in the UK.
And what’s in all those cupboards?
The cupboards? Writing books, travel and accounts files, boxes of marketing materials - postcards, book marks, pens - and office paper and equipment. Indie publishing is like running a small business and you need all that “stuff”!
NEXT Guest writer - James Calbraith, historical fantasy author