One Writer’s Home

In my early writing days, I produced scenes, chapters, whole books with my legal pad propped on the wheel of a (stationary) car, while one child or another was involved in soccer practice or a piano lesson.  Later, when the kids were in school longer hours and this odd hobby of mine began (to the astonishment of everyone, not in the least me) producing an income, I first claimed a room, then built one: not for me the tumult of social interactions, active families, and loud music assaulting my concentrating brain.

Then two years ago I moved house, and since the new place had a number of…issues, structurally speaking, a study for Laurie was pretty far down the list of urgent tasks. So this is where I wrote The Bones of Paris: Writing cornerA large, comfortable, perfectly round chair (loveseat?) in one corner of the bedroom, where I could hear the hammers, saws, and conversations (my beloved contractor and his guys, bless them, don’t inflict their clients with on-the-job radio) but not be too distracted by them. Meanwhile, my future study was the garage, a mountain of boxes, bits of furniture, unclaimed household odds and ends, and junk too valuable to throw out quite yet:Still a garage

But eventually, the roof was patched, the underpinnings of the house were secured, and we could turn our attentions to my place of work. The guys, working around the boxes, fitted in shelves, and bit by bit, the books migrated from boxes to shelves:

Laden shelves

I ended up with a proper study (the carpet is dark purple!):

studyAnd that’s where I wrote Dreaming Spies.





  1. Claudia on July 18, 2014 at 7:01 am

    Well done, Laurie! Enjoy your beautiful surroundings! From a diehard Mary Russell fan,
    Claudia Stephan

  2. Teresa Gilman on July 18, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Thanks for showing us your writing place. Nice design and color, and looks big enough to write …oh, several more Russell and Holmeses at least. 😉

  3. Στελιος Πελασγος on July 18, 2014 at 7:57 am

    No force and no truth if you wrote in a calm study, immaculate conception doesn’ t fit Mary (Russel of cource) nor you.

  4. Merrily Taylor on July 18, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Laurie, good job! I love your built-in bookcases. When I bought my house (the first I ever owned – at 59) my big thrill was having a study where I could put in built-in’s. Of course they are all full, how did that happen?
    You have a wonderful writing sanctuary, may it feed your inspiration and bring us many more wonderful stories!

  5. Leslie on July 18, 2014 at 9:04 am

    It’s good to be reminded that writing doesn’t wait for perfect conditions.
    That’s some serious focus!
    Well done.

  6. Laraine on July 18, 2014 at 10:16 am

    I love hearing about this process, Laurie, and seeing the results! Good on you for the diligence, discipline and determination to write amidst steady change. Not the easiest thing to do!

  7. Em Frothingham on July 18, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Congratulations on finally getting to write in your beautiful new study! What a relief that must have been. (I do hope you have a list of all those fabulous books on your shelves: the “Laurie Recommends” list for avid readers!)

  8. Kathy Reel on July 18, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Thanks for sharing the evolution of your writing space with us, Laurie. It’s a wonderful study with perfect shelves. I’ve had two built-in shelving units done in my house, and with one that existed when we moved in, they’re my favorite features of the home. Your temporary writing space served you well, as The Bones of Paris was outstanding. Can’t wait to read Dreaming Spies!

  9. Colette Shaw on July 18, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Amazing to see where you work! Most of my writing is done beneath my bed in order to avoid my younger brother. Wonderful to see the progress of your writing nook from beginning to end.

    From a fourteen year old, who is reading for the first time, A Letter of Mary. I can not get enough of your work and I bemoan the coming time when there will be no more Russell and Holmes to devour. You are a genius you know…

    • Laurie King on July 19, 2014 at 7:25 am

      Colette, I’m sorry you have to write under your bed, but many great authors produced their work in a corner of a busy kitchen, so you’re in good company.

  10. mary gray on July 18, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Congratulations, Laurie… your writing space is quite enviable. As one of the other commentors mentioned,…. I too am dying to know some of the titles on your book shelf! Can we get some daily hints?

  11. Doc Williams on July 19, 2014 at 1:38 am

    Laurie- the fact that you could write a book, and with a brilliant new character such as Harris- amongst all the chaos and crowded conditions– is a testimony to your talent and genius! You deserve the very best surrounding for your talent to emerge.

  12. Doc Williams on July 19, 2014 at 1:41 am

    BTW- I can’t make out all the titles on your bookshelves. A clearer photo would be helpful. 😉

  13. Del Cain on July 19, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    As one of the published members of DFW Writers Workshop,I was asked to respond to some questions to be posted for the members. One was, “Are there any special conditions you need to be able to write?” My answer was, “I want complete silence, no music, no kid noise, no dogs wanting in and out, no interruptions of any sort and both of the days that I have gotten that have been very productive. ” it’s good to have a nice place to work but if you’re a writer you learn to work with what you have.

  14. Joanne on July 23, 2014 at 8:06 am

    It’s beautiful. Thanks for showing us every iteration. Wish I had one (a study that it).

  15. The Bold Flying Officer on July 31, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    What a splendid place in which to translate The Muse into Deathless Prose. After filling a wall of bookshelves in the dining room with my collection of reference material gathered over 50-odd years, I, too, turned the garage into a Study … not only for writing but also to construct my plastic model aircraft. (Come on ladies – I’m a bloke!) Then – I’m not exactly sure how – The Domestic Authority decreed it to be the idea location for the washing machine and drier. Fortunately during weekdays, this is not a problem as I occupy the room at night but on days when I bring the day-job home (writing and editing) it can produce mild-to-severe disharmony. This does not happen often, thankfully. My brief forays into fiction are done at night, when there is no laundry activity.

    Mike aka TBFO

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