Monday, September 19, 2011

JEANNE ADAMS: The Dream Writing Space

It's my pleasure to have romantic suspense author, Jeanne Adams, visiting with us Over Coffee. You may have read her Deadly Little Secrets, nominated for Best Suspense of 2010 and today I'm featuring another RT Top Pick and the follow up, Deadly Little Lies

I was curious about her writing area where she creates these fun romances and you know me, if I'm curious, I ask.
Describe your writing spacewhat would be your DREAM writing space?

You know, Sia, when you asked me about writing spaces, I thought, “How can I answer that, I have a great writing space!?” 

But the more I thought about it, the more I decided it would be SUCH a fun topic.  I can talk about this topic for hours of course (and have, because I teach a class about it) and it got me thinking.  What would I want to have that I don’t already have?

I have a great room, all to myself.  It’s the size of a closet, but hey, it’s got a door that shuts, and bookcases, and a desk and chair.  I’m good.

I have a really big monitor that keeps me from straining my eyes – and what a god-send THAT is, let me tell you! 

There’s floor space enough for the dogs to hang out with me all day, which they usually do.  And two windows, which let in natural light, and which if I’m really bored or trying to think of something to do next, allow me to see the world passing by and get some ideas.

Granted, my ideas usually run to blowing things up – one of my favorite pastimes – so I’m not so sure the FedEx guy would appreciate knowing what I’ve contemplated doing to his truck.  Snork!  But it helps to have that visual distraction sometimes.

I’m very visual, so I have a lot of pictures and inspiration pieces around.  Clutter, according to my DH.  And I have toys.  Things to toss and play with, as I’m very kinesthetic as well. 

But a dream space….where would that be?  What would that look like?  Well, it would have to be bigger, maybe 12 by 20 feet.  BIG windows, looking out on the street. 

The street, you say?  Yep.  I know some people like the quiet pastoral view, but I’m an extrovert.  Seeing the people moving and driving and going and doing helps me concentrate.  Too much quiet makes me jumpy.  Which is why a dream workspace would also have to have a rockin’ sound system.  A Bose sound dock for my iPod would work, maybe some auxiliary speakers to that so the bass can really reverb.  Grins. 

That would mean soundproofing too, I guess, since I like to work late at night as well.  So good lighting too – lights in the ceiling (currently missing in my office) as well as task lighting on the desk.

A mini-fridge would be good...or maybe not.  As it is, I need to move around more, having a fridge in the room would be toooo convenient and contribute to writerly “spread” from so much sitting.  Ha!

Color.  It would have to have color.  I might paint a neutral and do pops of color that I could change.  Yeah, I think that would be it.  And have huge bulletin boards where I can collage stories and hang idea things, and then take it all down when I needed some peace.

More than anything else it would have to have bookcases.  Lots and lots of bookcases.  I have some now, but my research books spill out into other rooms, not to mention all the books from “keeper” authors.

And I think it’s time for a new chair.

That’s kind of the dream – big, spacious, well-lit, bookcase-lined, music-blasting, big-monitored space.  Room for the dogs, room for me, room to spread out the research and rock and roll the writing (and the music.)

  • What about you?  Whatever work you do, where do you like to do it?  Do you need quiet, or can you concentrate better with a lot of noise around you?  (I like to work at a busy Starbucks)  Do you want to see a pastoral, quiet scene of nature, or the bustle of the city, or at least your street?

  • And if you could change one thing about where you work now – even if it’s your boss – what would it be?

Caught In A Game

Secrets are what drive billionaire security expert Davros Gianakopulos to succeed. And no one intrigues him more than striking art gallery owner Carrie McCray. But when a vengeful enemy traps Dav and Carrie in a ruthless battle of wits, the only thing he can trust is desire…

Carrie has faced down trouble before—betrayal taught her how. But staying one step ahead of those hunting her and Dav is as dangerous as her urgent feelings for him. Each move brings them closer to disaster, just as Dav’s every searching kiss challenges Carrie’s hard-won reserve. And he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her…even putting their last chance at love on the line…Excerpt

Jeanne Adams lives near Washington, D.C., with her handsome husband, two charming sons, and her Dalmatians. Formerly in the dark and dangerous world of business marketing, she's also worked in bookstores, for a cemetery, and several funeral homes. A member and frequent speaker for Romance Writers of America and its various chapters and a proud member of Washington Romance Writers. Jeanne loves to connect with readers and other writers. 


Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, I win the golden cup of coffee! Lucky moi. Hiya Jeanne. Hiya Sia. Jeanne, what a fun post. I've seen your writing space - it's wonderful. I particularly love how bright and light it is. Actually I LOVE my current writing space. I spent years crammed into the corner of a tiny flat with a glamorous view of my neighbors' toilet windows in the block of flats next door. This space is wonderful - storage, bookcase, lots of things that have sentimental value to me, lovely big monitor (you're right about that being essential), desk space and a lovely view out over the garden. I have music playing but I can't see people which is a good thing as they're distracting. And I'm always glad to see the UPS man so I never think of blowing him up. I might think of dancing with him at Almack's however... Congratulations on all the buzz about Deadly Little Lies!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Jeanne, welcome to Over Coffee. Pull up a chair, I have plenty of homemade goodies on the breakfast bar and lots of good coffee or tea, if you prefer. Even though Anna grabbed the golden cup, lol! I do have plenty of cups available.

~Sia McKye~ said...

My office space isn't bad (its actually and extra bedroom). Lot's of room--when I can persuade hubs that this is NOT a storage area or drop off anything you don't know what to do with. That's an ongoing battle. :-)I love the fact I have a door.

Three of my walls are real knotty pine groove slats and I put in another tall window last year so I have lots of light. I have a huge pine desk I had when I was a counselor and I love it. I hear you on the big screen/monitor.

One window overlooks my *street* which is a gravel county road and my driveway so I can see the fed ex or UPS. They get a bit nervous getting out of the trucks since I have several Great Danes. From my other window I can see my Dane pens, the pasture with the horses and my patio.

It's my plan to repaint the only Sheetrock wall and add more bookcases--overflow is bad--and a recliner and a bright new cover for the couch. I need more bright colors.

I couldn't live without my music and I do have a good speaker system in here.

Enid Wilson said...

I like green colour, a glass of hot drink and quiet environment. But lying on the bed to write is good too.

Every Savage Can Reproduce

Jo said...

I too have an extra bedroom which is both a computer room and a library. Nice window looking out on a park, can't see the UPS man as I am in an apartment the wrong side of the building.

Jeanne Adams said...

Hi Anna!! So glad your view has improved from the block of flats. Grins. And would the UPS guy be worthy of a dance with YOU at Almacks? If not, let me blow up his truck and maybe someone more worthy will take his place. (bwhahahahaha!)

Thanks for your lovely words about Deadly Little Lies. I really love this book, despite how much I put the hero and heroine through.

One of these days I'm flyin' across the left pond to see your writing space. Of course, with no distractions, I'd never be able to work in it, but that's another matter. Ha! I'm really glad it works for YOU so I can get my regular Anna Campbell fix.

Jeanne Adams said...

Mornin' Sia! Thanks for having me here today. I'm a coffee lover, so even though Anna got the Golden Cup, as long as there's still some in the pot, I'm good. Ha!

And look at the tasty treats! *grabs a plate* I do think I'll sample...

Jeanne Adams said...

Oh, Sia, your office sounds lovely. And you have Great Danes! I already thought the world of you, now I know we're kindred spirits! Grins. LOVE the Danes. Do you have fawns, brindles, tuxedos, or that lovely gunmetal grey in your breeding program? I raised and showed Dalmatians for years, though I'm "Dal-less" at the moment.

And poor Anna had a devil of a time de-Dal-ing her good black dress pants when she was here last because my Dal just adored her on sight. (Who wouldn't?)

BTW,the only time I ever got officially paid for showing someone else's dog, it was a stunning gunmetal gray Dane. He was in the 12-24 months class and his owner had two other dogs in the show and just wanted the pup to have a good time. When all three won their classes, I took Bogus (yep, that was his name) into the ring again, and won Winners Dog and Best of Breed with him, putting major points on him. I took him to group, but we were well out-shown by the professional handlers. Grins. It was a TON of fun to show that wonderful Dane though.

Jeanne Adams said...

Hi Enid! Thanks for popping in for coffee this morning! You write lying in the bed? That's really cool. I couldn't do it...too isolated and quiet, but how nifty that you can. And green is a fabulous color, and my "Second favorite" as my son would say. (Red being the first favorite)

Jeanne Adams said...

Hey Jo! Thanks for stopping in for a cuppa. My office too is an extra bedroom. I think it must have been intended for a nursery or the youngest, smallest child in the household because it's tiny. And it has some odd angles. Usually I like the quirky odd angles bit, but it makes it hard to place the bookcases. Ha!

And as Sia said, overflow is bad! Hahaha!

Stephen Tremp said...

Its great to meet you Jeanne. I love a great battle of wits story. Best of luck to you and Deadly Little Lies.

Jeanne Adams said...

Hi Stephen! Thanks for popping in and thanks for your good wishes on Deadly Little Lies. It's a great cat and mouse game, with some very heavily-armed cats. Grins. But those mice, they're clever....


Hope you enjoy it.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Jeanne, I have raised the Blues--I phased them out. I had a blue show dane dam and I let her go into my girlfriend's breeding program. She's a much bigger kennel than me and raises Blues and Harlequins.

My program is Harlequin. I have a gorgeous mostly white Harlequin dam--she's Euro Dane from show stock. She's phenomenal. Because she has so much white on her, I need to breed her with either a Harlequin bred black or a Mantle--I'm thinking that's what you meant by *tux*.

I just love Danes.

Jeanne Adams said...

Yes, that's what I meant by tux - didn't know the technical term. Grins. Love, love love the Harl Danes. Although I had an oversized Dal once (27" at the withers and our standard says 25" or under...) whom everyone refered to as my Harlequin Dal. Hahaha!

Must remember that term, Mantle. So elegant, the Danes. Love their temperments and funny ways. Are they as playful as they seem? And aren't Dane pups the cutest thing ever?

Clarissa Draper said...

Writing spaces are so important. I like yours. I have a big office but I wish I had a better chair. It's hard to sit for long periods of time.

Jeanne Adams said...

Clarissa, you are SO right! If the chair's not comfy, it's hard to write or work. In the class I teach, I tell people that that physical need to be comfortable in the chair outweighs almost any other factor in loving to sit and write. :>

~Sia McKye~ said...

I've seen a few Dals, big enough to make me look twice. Harl Danes don't usually consist of black spots but jagged torn edges of black patches.

I do like my office but I so need to rid it of clutter against the one wall, ugh. I'm going to paint the ceiling a bright white and the one wall that steps up into my dining room, I want to paint some thing warm and bright. I have pictures to hang, just haven't gotten to them. I dearly want a small franklin type heater with a glass front so I can see the flames. I made sure the room was well insulated but the only source of heat is one 3x6 vent. It gets chilly in here in the winter.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Clarissa, I have a good chair but still sore. I can't imagine sitting as long as we do--even tho I'm up and down a lot--without a really good chair.

Jeanne Adams said...

What made it even funnier that people would ask about if he was a Dane or Dal was that he was liver and white. Ha! I would look at them as if to say, "are you mad?" know people. They's crazy! Snork!

Clutter is my nemesis. And, like someone else said, the propensity for the other members of my household to bring the things they don't know what to do with to my office and leave them there. I am not a drop zone. Jeeesh!

Oh, Sia, I love the idea of a franklin heaters or a Vermont Castings stove. Okay, that goes on the wish list for The Perfect Office - fireplace/stove.

Talli Roland said...

Jeanne, your writing space sounds absolutely amazing! I'd like to have a but more 'stuff' around, but since I share my space, it's not possible. Bah!

Jeanne Adams said...

Hi Talli! Shared spaces make it tough, don't they? I'd bet the first thing on your "Dream" list would be to not to have to share! Ha!

If you could have it, what would you put in your Dream Space?

Tawny Weber said...

I do love having an office. That was my main requirement when we bought a new house. I have to share it part-time for home school, but after 3 it's alllllll mine. The walls are purple and the hubster built me cabinets and a wrap around desk that was supposed to be for scrapbooking, but was taken over for said home school LOL. But it's still gorgeous. I have double doors that look out on the rest of the house and rarely close them. Because I've always written with music, via headphones, I can't imagine a sound system in there. The joy of headphones is that they block everyone out LOL. My window is to my back, because I'd spend way too much time staring at the treetops and dreaming instead of writing if it were the other way. Instead I face the door-wall, with inspirational plaques and sayings on one side, and a 12 foot shelf across the top holding my magic Barbies (Jeannie, Samantha from Bewitched, the Witch of the East, Queen of Hearts, etc) and dragons collection.

All in all, I do love my office. Which is good because I spend a LOT of time in it.

Laila Knight said...

I write in a dogroom/office, and I wouldn't have it any other way. However, I do need peace and quiet. That means no background music or anything. :)

Jo Robertson said...

Great blog guest today, Sia. Jeanne's latest book is top notch; I'm enjoying it immensely.

Ah, setting for writing. I need noise, lots of noise (but not people actually talking AT me); it's counter-intuitive, but I find I write better in chaos than order LOL.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I used to have a day bed in my office and I really miss being able to stretch out and relax while I write.

Nancy said...

Sia, thanks for having Jeanne on. :-)

Jeanne, I loved Deadly Little Lies! My writing space is large and has windows, but I'm on the ground floor and so close to the street that I feel I have no privacy if the shades are up. I plan to install shutters at some point.

I have plenty of space, just need to organize it better. And get a brighter color scheme.

Jeanne Adams said...

Hi Tawny!!! Thanks for popping in. Did you get some tea or coffee?

I love the sound of your office. Particularly this part:

and a 12 foot shelf across the top holding my magic Barbies (Jeannie, Samantha from Bewitched, the Witch of the East, Queen of Hearts, etc) and dragons collection.

All in all, I do love my office. Which is good because I spend a LOT of time in it.

Love it!!!

Jeanne Adams said...

Hi Laila! I love the sound of a dogroom/office. Grins. Mine isn't technically the "dog room" but it is because it's me and the dogs all the time. Ha! Thanks for stopping by for coffee!

Jeanne Adams said...

Hi Jo! Thanks for the lovely comments about Deadly Little Lies.

You said: Ah, setting for writing. I need noise, lots of noise (but not people actually talking AT me); it's counter-intuitive, but I find I write better in chaos than order LOL.

Yeah, it's good to have the noise - the bustle, isn't it?

Jeanne Adams said...

Hi Diane! Oooh, what a great idea! Daybed goes on the list for the perfect office!

Jeanne Adams said...

Hi Nancy! Thanks for popping in!! I love your office. Even with it being on the ground floor, it's got character.

You said: I have plenty of space, just need to organize it better. And get a brighter color scheme.

Yep, bright is good, even if it's just pops of color in the neutral. Grins.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Laila, dog room, lol. Mine might as well be as both my Dane and my Cocker (who thinks she a Dane but with an I am queen attitude)and then there is the 4 cats that wander and perch on everything. Especially in front of the monitor if I'm not paying attention. Then my 16 year old decides he wants to talk or wants me to hear this great song--we both like rock--and he and the Dane argue over the 6 foot couch with a pet blanket on it.

I work here retreat here. It's my space.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Tawny, I love your Barbies. I've known you all this time and not known about the Barbies?


I have Dragons, wolves, some pretty rocks, a great piece of glass chunk with swirls, and a couple of really pretty elven fairies sculptures my son got me.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Diane, I love daybeds. Nice thing to have in an office. I snooze on my couch.

Nancy, I'm all for color. You need anything but drab in your work place. It helps with mood for sure. Blinds you can tilt so the light is there and you can see out but others can't see in works, too.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Jeanne, your list is getting weighty. Now comes the choosing.


And the time to implement any changes, lol!

Jeanne Adams said...

Hey Sia!

You said: Then my 16 year old decides he wants to talk or wants me to hear this great song--we both like rock--and he and the Dane argue over the 6 foot couch with a pet blanket on it.

Had to Snork over this. My sons do this too. "Hey looooook, Mom!!" This usually comes just as I'm either writing a sexy scene and jump 6 feet into the air, or do the same because I'm about to kill off a red shirt or something intense like that.

Their timing is exquisite.

Jeanne Adams said...

Yeah, that time bit...that's the kicker!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Oh, mine thinks its hilarious to make me jump 6 feet in the air when I'm either in a fight scene or a love scene. Those are the scenes you're so focused nothing else exists, lol! I guess it gives me my cardio moment of the day

It's okay, I've demonstrated cause and effect of deep focus and jumping, when he's been playing one of his games. When I'm not rolling on the floor, I do help pry his cold shaking fingers from the ceiling.

I'm nice like that.


Jeanne Adams said...

Hahahaah!!! Oh, that's it! So true that you get so focused on those intense scenes.

You said: It's okay, I've demonstrated cause and effect of deep focus and jumping, when he's been playing one of his games. When I'm not rolling on the floor, I do help pry his cold shaking fingers from the ceiling.

I'm nice like that.

I so am going to do this. SNORK!!! I've not been "nice" enough to return the favor. Now however, I think I will. Heeheehee.

Mason Canyon said...

Great post. Jeanne, it's fun learning where authors create their wonderful books. Having room for the dogs is a plus in my book. Best of luck to you.

Sia, thanks for the introduction to Jeanne. Another interesting author to follow.

Thoughts in Progress
Freelance Editing By Mason

~Sia McKye~ said...

Mason, you should have her on your blog. You have lots of mystery/suspense readers.

I'm looking for this book any day now. I can't wait to read it!

Jeanne Adams said...

Hi Mason! You must have dogs too. Grins. And thanks for the luck, I'll take any and all I can get. Grins.

Sheila Deeth said...

Writing "space"--part of a desk, part of the floor--sometimes too much floor, sometimes piles of books for review that are big enough to trip over--and space for a dog; I really miss my dog.

Tonya Kappes said...

Great blog topic!! Sia does know her stuff!! Jeanne, I'm an extrovert too. I write whenever I can, usually in my office. I too have a large space for my two dogs, and three nice sized windows to get natural light and look at the weirdo neighbors across the street;))
But I get a lot of writing done in my van during my boys sports practices or even at games!

V.R. Foster said...

Your space sounds amazing! My writing space is currently anywhere I can sit with my laptop and headphones. I am currently working on cleaning up one of our back rooms which will turn into my crafting/drawing/writing/library room. (Multi-use I guess is what it's called) So far I have several boxes to go through and then I have to figure out where I want to put my desk and then where to put my shelves with all my books. Not to mention if I want to have a chair in there to lounge in if I get in the mood to read (which I'm always in). Anyways, I loved this piece and it made me realize I need to get my butt in gear to finish my space before the holidays get here. Oh and Sia, I loved the books. You'll have to stop by Shell sometime so you can borrow mine. You'll love them!!