I write in the smallest room of a Victorian house. Due to its age it’s a bit wonky, but I like it. When you step into the room there’s a feeling of being off-balance, like one of those crooked houses you get at theme parks. I decorated with the colour red as a link to my books, in which it acts as protection against fairies.
My desk is home to assorted books including reference, fairy folklore and books of witchcraft and spells that I use for inspiration. Mixed in are notebooks with character details and spider-grams. My early notebooks contained lots of chapters or partial chapters written in longhand, but these days most of my work goes straight on to the laptop. Above my desk is an inspiration board with image I admire, and drawings and gifts from readers.
Dotted around are various fairy ornaments. Some of them I bought myself, others were gifts. One of my favourites is the fairy door. It’s meant for the garden, but I like having it indoors. It fits the room.
The bureau hold press cuttings, bookplates and bookmarks for my readers – and tax paperwork (my least favourite drawer).
I write either at my desk or lounged on the daybed. Above it is a print of the UK cover, signed by the artist. I keep my Waterstone’s Award nearby as a reminder of my achievements. It’s often easy to focus on your goals and forget your successes. Under the bed are some Thirteen Treasures props for school events, baskets of manuscripts, and full notebooks.
I seem to be in the minority of authors who dislike noise. I need silence while working, or if not silence, background noise that’s not intrusive – like the kind you get in cafes. During breaks I’ll sometimes play music to create a certain mood. I listened to a lot of Loreena McKennitt while I wrote the Thirteen Treasures series – her music is gorgeously atmospheric and otherworldly.
My cats distract me with cuteness, steal my seat while I’m making tea (often), or create chaos by diving on papers or the keyboard. They, and my boyfriend pay little attention to the sign on the door. The cats bat it about like a toy, and to be fair to my boyfriend the interruptions are welcomed if they involve tea or snacks of some kind . . .