This week I’m joined by author and friend, Ally Sinclair. Ally has just released a new novel, A Season For Love published by Hera and she is going to tell us about where she writes. Over to Ally …
Where I Write…
I have written in various places over the years. Public libraries, coffee shops, with a laptop balanced on my knee in bed, but I always end up, rather boringly, back at my desk in my office.
There’s just something about sitting at a desk that tells my brain that it’s time to get on with some work now, more effectively than any other set up.
Which is still only marginally effective. I am cursed, or blessed, with a thoroughly scattergun brain, so even sitting at my desk with a strong intention to work my attention can wander a million miles from the task in hand. My current favoured distractions and looking at houses in Edinburgh – where I do not live -, on Rightmove, and playing online poker, very badly indeed.
The room itself though is one of my favourite places in the house. It’s the box room real. You know the deal – the estate agent lists the house as having three bedrooms but the third bedroom is more a generous cupboard than a useful living space. It was the first room we decorated when we moved in, nearly twenty years ago, partly because it’s so tiny that it seemed the most easily achievable and partly because the decor we inherited was a piece of carpet that didn’t fit and a wet patch where the previous owner had kept a broken washing machine.
Initially my husband and I were going to share the office. I was still working full time out in the world, so we were going to have a shared study. On that basis I did have to allow him to veto my plan for a bright pink feature wall, but I won the argument for purple. And within about a year any pretence that we shared the space had been abandoned and my tiny purple writing room was born. And I’ve written here ever since. I’ve completed a degree and a Post Grad teaching qualification in this room, and written four of my own novels, three novellas, and my sections of two co-written Juliet Bell books.
And you can tell where I’m up to in my current novel-in-progress by the state of the office. I try – sometimes unsuccessfully – to tidy when I finish a book, and then the room descends into greater and greater disarray as I get closer and closer to the deadline. Sometimes to the point where part way through the edits, I abandon the office altogether and occupy the dining table.
Asides from intermittent failures in tidiness, I’ve pretty much got my writing space to the point where it’s perfectly adapted to my needs. Its dainty size means that nothing is ever out of reach. I’ve got one wall all but covered in white boards for the all important ‘distractedly noodling with an idea’ bits of writing, and in front of my desk, next to the window I have three shelves which house not only my own books, but books by writing students and editing and mentoring clients.
I’m ridiculously proud of every last one of those books. My own are there to remind me that I can do this. And the others remind me that when fixing your own book is just too tricky, you can always offer to fix somebody else’s instead. Other people’s books are so much easier to sort out.
The latest book to arrive on my author shelf is A Season for Love, which you can read all about below.
And nearly twenty years on from the first time I set down to write in this room, I’m finally wondering if it’s time to redecorate. Maybe this time I can have that shocking pink wall…
About Ally Sinclair
Ally grew up on the North Yorkshire coast and now lives with her husband in Worcestershire, at least until she can persuade him to give into her yearning to live somewhere nearer the sea. No kids, no pets. She sometimes manages to keep a pot plant alive. Briefly.
She has been writing professionally since 2013, and is also published as Alison May and, in collaboration, as Juliet Bell. Ally is a former Chair of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and currently works as an associate lecturer for the Open University. Ally writes joyful, inclusive stories with love and romance at the heart.
Ally loves to hear from readers. You can find her on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter as @MsAllySinclair, on her YouTube channel @AlAllyAlison All Ally’s links are here: https://linktr.ee/allysinclair
Ally’s latest novel, A Season for Love is out now https://www.herabooks.com/books/a-season-for-love-ally-sinclair
About A Season For Love
Can old-fashioned courtship survive in today’s dating world?
When Emma Love’s mother retires, it is time for her to take the reins of the family dating agency and build on its success. And she has a fresh new idea: to host a Jane Austen-style Regency Season of glamourous events where potential lovers can actually take the time to get to know each other in person, with no apps in between.
As the round of glamourous social events begins, we meet some of Emma’s new clients, and see her matchmaking skills in action.
Annie, who has a romantic soul but believes she lost her chance at love a long time ago; recently divorced Jane, who is not quite ready to see what her new love life might look like, and wild child Lydia, who is more interested in hooking up than finding her Mr Darcy.
All is going swimmingly but as the Season unfolds, there is a fly in Emma’s ointment – the irritating Mr Knight, with his casual attitude and gentle cynicism. Why is she allowing him to ruffle her calm, ordered life and why can’t she stop thinking about him? She has no intention of becoming romantically involved herself, of course; she is far too sensible to take a chance on love – isn’t she?
Jane Austen meets Sophie Kinsella in this laugh-out-loud, captivating romantic comedy. If you love Julia Quinn, Lex Croucher or A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting, you’ll love this!
Apple, Kobo, Waterstones, Hive: https://www.herabooks.com/books/a-season-for-love-ally-sinclair
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