It’s no secret authors spend a lot of time sitting at their desks. These spaces become their homes as they fill the pages of books with their hearts, souls, and imaginations.
Today we have author Darry Fraser with us to share what’s on her desk, and tell us a bit about her workspace:
What’s on your desk?
Goodness, just about everything but the kitchen sink.
Two monitors, a printer, a scanner, copious notes, a hand mirror (!), tissues, reference books, odd bits of office stationery, a little guillotine, a box of string … I just found yesterday’s dog bikkie. No wonder Hamish gave me that look.
What shouldn’t be on your desk?
The dog bikkie!
Why does this area motivate you?
As soon as I sit down I’m in work mode and all else around me disappears. I can find everything I need at my fingertips, and once the monitors are on, it’s all systems go.
When writing The Prodigal Sister I had the second monitor working hard. Numerous tabs were open checking my research into Huntington’s Disease, the practices of late 19th-century police, the French forensic science advances, popular entertainers of the day.
I was thrilled to find a recording of Nellie Melba singing which gave me shivers. I didn’t find one of Nellie Stewart, another real life singer of the time who cameos in the novel, but to hear that most famous and magnificent Melba voice from such a long time ago was nothing short of thrilling.
Also, I had books and print-outs spread everywhere as I searched for authentic snippets of medical information, the good old FJ Holden, the state of the roads in outback South Australia at the time, roses in Benalla …
A mess it might be but it makes a great workspace for me, an immersion if you like, and gradually out of what seemed to be that chaos, came Prudence North and Jasper Darke’s story.
Are there any items of particular significance?
Not really. Nothing like a lucky charm or anything but I do keep a pack of tarot cards handy for inspiration. I also have a quote from Kurt Vonnegut stuck to the monitor base: ‘Every sentence should do one of two things – reveal character or advance the action’. I try to ‘see’ that every day.
How often do you spend in this workspace each day?
After a daily walk of approximately 4.5ks – rain hail or shine – I’d spend hours in the office every day. Starting at around 9am and finishing up at 4pm-ish. I leave the chaos behind at that point.
Thank you Darry Fraser for sharing your desk with us.
I am a mother of four beautiful children. I can’t leave a book unfinished which equals a lot of late nights! When I’m not reading you can find me in the garden, or helping out at Beauty and Lace.