Join us as we hear from our BookSparks authors on where they write to find inspiration. Introducing – Where I Write!
Where I Write – John Connolly
It’s funny how we change as we grow older. When I began writing full-time, back in the late 1990s, I was very precious about my writing environment. I had to be at my own desk, beavering away in silence. I couldn’t work when I was traveling. Everything had to be just right.
Fast-forward 20 years, and I can write just about anywhere: in a coffee shop, on a train, jammed into the middle seat of a plane. Working in my own office space is lovely, but it’s not always possible, and may not even be desirable all the time. A change of setting, like a change of style or a change in one’s writing discipline, can help shake some of the cobwebs off. We must be wary of torpor.
Mind you, some things haven’t changed. I still can’t write if music is playing, regardless of whether or not it contains lyrics. (Oddly, though, this only applies to music I may have selected. In a coffee shop, I can tune out the background music entirely. I wasn’t involved in its selection, and so generally it doesn’t impinge upon my consciousness at all.) And I still hate cell phones. There is something about only being privy to one side of a conversation that causes the brain to become distracted. My great aspiration is to open a coffee shop in which cell phone use is entirely forbidden, a rule that will be enforced by the ex-prisoners hired to enforce it, all of whom will have done time for grievous bodily harm, and look like it. (Hi, My Name is Slasher, the ideal staff badge will read. Don’t Make Me Mad.)
Actually, my office space has been taking up a lot of my time in recent days, as I’ve just moved down one floor from my attic space to a larger room that used to be a bedroom. The attic space was very cosy, but the ceiling was a bit low, and I kept hitting my head. (When I eventually die, probably from injuries sustained as a result of said ceiling, my skull will prove to be a medical marble. Seriously, I can feel the indentations.) So now I have more room for stuff that I should really get rid of, and the dogs have a couch that they can colonise, but I’ve still chosen to position my desk just as it was in the attic: facing a blank wall.
I think this may be a metaphor.
John Connolly is the author of the Charlie Parker series of mystery novels, including his most recent novel A Game of Ghosts, the supernatural collection Nocturnes, the Samuel Johnson Trilogy for younger readers, and (with Jennifer Ridyard) the Chronicles of the Invaders series. He lives in Dublin, Ireland. For more information, see his website at JohnConnollyBooks.com, or follow him on Twitter @JConnollyBooks.