My office, which is in the attic of my house. I can close multiple doors to block out sound.
Map of Chaos by Felix J Palma, A Sunless Sea by Anne Perry, canine search and rescue research material for my next novel, Voices from the River by John David Fischer, Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier, Snape: A Definitive Reading by Lorrie Kim
Fountain pens, ID tags from my 2 dogs that have passed, bills, too many sets of keys to my separate lives, my iPad (which I mostly use to read on), calendar, poop bags for dog walks, Passport, lip balms (3). (Now I need to clean it out!)
Along the lines of ‘I loved how romantic and rich it was’ which is good, because that’s what I’m going for. 😉
1. Lassie Come Home by Eric Knight: maybe the first book I ever read that wrung my heart. I was six. I wanted to know what came next, after the end of the book. I did not want to leave the universe where they dwelt, and I started making up stories to myself to continue to live with those people (and dog) in that place and time. That really started my career as a writer. I wrote sequels in my head to many beloved books and TV shows in my youth.
2. Watership Down by Richard Adams: this book is very experiential, I remember being continually anxious the entire time I was reading it, just as the rabbits must have been. Brilliantly executed immersion. You Are There.
3. A Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin (and all his books): the amazing way he blends fantasy and reality and possibility. Good story-telling, the kind that makes you dream, is made up of all of these.
4. Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry: artful and deceptively uneventful, the reader is content to relax in the rich place he paints, never wanting to leave. Taught me the importance of place as a character.
5. Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien: Good vs. Evil, world-building, fellowship, sacrifice, adventure, poetry… I have read this dozens of times since I first read it at the age of 14, and I still weep at the end. Many takeaways for a writer, but the biggest is heart. Make sure your reader cares.