Where I Write

In case you’re up at night wondering where I write: here’s a recent interview with www.writing.ie.

As YA author Denise Deegan launches the third in her Butterfly Novels series, And Actually, she tells us where she writes…

“I am writing this piece in an orthodontist’s waiting room, too early, on a Saturday morning. It’s a theme. I write pretty much anywhere, especially when there is a deadline.

During the working week, I write at home. But I move around. I follow the sun, starting at the front of the house on the comfy white couch in our sitting room, where the morning sun is turned into rainbows by two glass lamps just inside the window. Later, it’s to the open plan area at the back of the house. I move around here too, between the kitchen, dining and sitting areas. Just for variety! The best thing about being at the back of the house is that I can keep the dog company. Homer is a golden retriever and the only character in The Butterfly Novels based on real life. He’s incredibly social and I feel guilty if he’s on his own for too long.

There’s an actual spot in our bedroom where I’m most creative. Every morning, I as I’m doing my pilates (something I hate but can’t avoid because I have a bad back), the ideas start to flow. I have to stop regularly to jot them down on a notebook, random piece of paper or into my phone. I have been known to write in bed though we won’t spread that around.

I didn’t plan to write young adult novels. I was in a coffee shop with a friend who is an artist. We thought we might work on picture books together. We brainstormed over coffee. One idea was that of a dad who would go abroad for work and would then come home and tell his daughter about the country he’d visited. Both of us thought the concept too boring. My friend popped to the loo. While she was gone, a whole dialogue entered my head. It was that of a sixteen year old girl who was angry with her father because he wasn’t around. The voice was angry and sarcastic yet vulnerable. I started scribbling on a napkin. This one dialogue is what started The Butterfly Novels. I think that changing the place you write definitely can help creativity.

Often, the best ideas (and or whole conversations) come to me when I’m not at the computer but out walking, swimming, in the shower or doing anything where my mind is just wandering and thoughts are just floating around. Often people find me stopped in the middle of the path fingers pumping words into my phone. Usually, I’m not texting but trying to catch the thoughts before they float away again. I have no memory whatsoever.

I’m finishing this piece in the car in a school car park while waiting for my son to finish playing a rugby game. Both windows down, a fresh September breeze carries back-to-school sounds – shouts from the pitch, a lawnmower, and the clack of studs on pavement. Who knows what ideas this will lead to but I’m hoping they’ll be good.”

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