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Where Stories Are Made is a new feature here at Book Chick City. It’s where the author takes us on a tour of their writing place, be it an office, coffee shop or park and tells us about their writing day and rituals. Today I welcome the very funny Anton Strout…
I know some authors have one location where they get everything done, but I am not one of those authors. Depending on what part of a book or the writing process I am working on, I have several locations that I like for all that. Bear with me, folks. We’re going to have a few photos here.
The first stage isn’t worth a photo. Much of what goes into my books happens while I’m on my morning and night commuter bus from New Jersey into New York City for the day job. First thing in the morning, I’m handwriting notes in a notebook on the bus. It doesn’t have to be pretty and with my cursive, believe me, it ain’t. But, it gets words down on the page, words I can later hone.
My first photo is where I write when I first get home with all those handwritten notes. I’ve usually produced 5-10 pages of notes and now it’s time to enter them into the computer. This allows me a quick first pass editing sweep of my frantic bus scrawl as it goes in, refining it a little. This I can do while sitting on the couch watching some TV. Please note the awesome zombie decal on our wall, still up from my zombie themed birthday party this year. Yes, I’m twelve. Of interest, please note the chair-and-a- half section of the couch. I fell in love with them while up in Montreal and I love being able to curl up on it. Also please note: my bus notes, some printouts of scenes I write notes on, copies of Buffy and Spidey comics as well as reference materials for my series. Also, coffee- sweet, lifesaving coffee.
When enough of the book is in or I have refined a chapter or two, I must go into radio silence. That means heading for my home office. There’s no Instant Messenger there or anything. It’s there so I can write, pay attention, and suss things out undisturbed. It’s lonely, yes, but essential, and besides, my kitteh likes to jump up an my lap and watch the magic happen. The desk is uninteresting, but here is the view immediately to my right. My bookcase. Thought you’d like to see what I’ve been reading, along with where I store some copies of my books.
Also of note is the top of my filing cabinet, where I keep all my action figures that aren’t in my day job office. Of note are: My signed Tara action figure from Buffy’s Amber Benson, my Jayne hat from Firefly, some of my Lego video game figures, and a red bubble gum machine I plan on turning into Tom Servo from MST3K someday when I have the time. Also, they help to move them around when I’m trying to figure out the blocking for one of my scenes.
Next up, and please forgive the poor quality, is the office at my day job, which happens to be with Penguin, one of the big NY publishing houses. The low light is due to the fact that I can’t stand fluorescent lighting and disabled it. I have two desk lamps, but I had to shut one down to get anything worth viewing. Let’s remember that I’m writing around trying to have a life and around a day job. So you take time where you can get it. Often times, I shut the office door during lunch, and speed write for an hour. There are plenty of things to fuel my geeky heart here. Please note the many fine geek posters, graphic novels and some of the action figures, including a My Lil’ Cthulhu statue in the lower right corner. He wuvs you and wants yer soul. Aww, ain’t he a cutie?
And who doesn’t love Hellboy, Darth Tater, Spider Spud… or Spam? This is the view fro m the far side of my monitor. What you can’t see is my lil’ Resident Evil zombie that lurks under my monitor along with that giant red haired monster from Bugs Bunny.
So there you have it, the few places that help me put out a book a year around an already packed life. Thanks for checking it out, and as a parting photo, here is the desk of action figures that keep my company at work. I am particularly fond of my Tick action figures as well as my Akira and Evil Dead ones. Oh yes, and Ein, the stuffed corgi I have from the Cowboy Bebop series. Naturally, he is a guard dog over all of them so don’t try to steal them.
Dead to Me: out now
Deader Still: out now
Dead Matter: out 23 Feb 2010
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**Next week on ‘Where Stories Are Made’: Tim Waggoner**
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