Join us as we hear from our BookSparks authors on where they write to find inspiration.
Introducing – Where I Write!
Where I Write – Hazel Gaynor
I started my writing career at the kitchen table, surrounded by breakfast dishes and all the usual chaos of family life, but I’m now really fortunate to have my own office in the attic. Although it also doubles up as the guest room and playroom, it’s my own space, and I’m so grateful for it. I “commute” upstairs every day and write while my boys are at school. I’ve learned to fiercely protect that writing time because it goes so quickly. I grab whatever time I can during the rest of the day between homework and the kids’ sporting activities.
The majority of my writing is done on the laptop, but I also use notebooks, Post Its and hard copies (and walls and floors if necessary!) for plotting and editing. What I’ve learned since first being published is that regardless of where you write – however idyllic or rustic – you have to show up at that writing place every day (even if only for 15 minutes some days), and get the words down. No excuses. Light a candle if it helps, play music, place flowers on the desk, surround yourself with pretty things – whatever it takes to establish that space as your space (however temporarily). That said, productive writing can also happen away from the desk and if I hit a really bad slump, I will take a walk or go for a run. Some of my best plot ideas come to me when I’m pounding the streets, so don’t be a slave to the writing chair!
Here in Ireland, we are blessed with some wonderful writers and artists retreats. Although it is never easy to leave the family, I did sneak away for a few days to write part of The Cottingley Secret at the stunning Tyrone Guthrie centre which is surrounded by lakes and stunning woodland. I absolutely fell in love with the place (despite the resident ghost!) and hope to go back there at some point to work on my next book.
Hazel Gaynor’s debut novel The Girl Who Came Home—A Novel of the Titanic—was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller and was awarded the 2015 Historical Romantic Novel of the Year award by the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Her second novel A Memory of Violets, also hit the New York Times bestseller list and her third, The Girl from the Savoy was an Irish Times and Globe & Mail Canada bestseller. The book was also a finalist for the 2016 Irish Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year. Hazel was also a contributing author to WWI anthology Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War. Her novels have been translated into several languages.
Hazel was selected by US Library Journal as one of ‘Ten Big Breakout Authors’ for 2015 and was a WHSmith Fresh Talent selection in spring 2015. She was the recipient of the 2012 Cecil Day Lewis Award for Emerging Writers. As features writer for national Irish writing website writing.ie Hazel has interviewed Philippa Gregory, Sebastian Faulks, Kate Mosse, Jojo Moyes and Cheryl Strayed, among others.
Hazel’s next published works will be THE COTTINGLEY SECRET (August 2017) and LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS (October 2017). Originally from England, Hazel now lives in Ireland with her husband and two children. She is represented by Michelle Brower of Aevitas Creative, New York.
For more information visit www.hazelgaynor.com