Our tour of authors’ homes continues! Yesterday we dropped in on four of our popular authors. Today we’ll visit three more to see where they spend a lot of time crafting their books.
We’ll start off today with Tracie Peterson in lovely Montana. Tracie has just begun a new series with the release of The Icecutter’s Daughter this spring. She writes several books a year so I’m guessing she spends a lot of time in her office!
My office is always in a perpectual state of organized mess. I have one entire wall and 1/2 of another floor to ceiling with research books. I have research books on my desk and beside my desk that are being used on current projects. A lot of these books detail costuming for various time periods, how-to books on everything from running a ranch, hitching a carriage, to churning butter and old time medical cures. I also have books detailing particular areas that I love to write about like Alaska, Montana, and Texas.
I have great plans for reorganizing my office, but putting out 3-5 books a year makes it kind of difficult to find the time. I just turned in manuscript #100 and since I’ve only been writing since 1993 you can see that I stay pretty busy.
I love to serve God this way. My writing is a ministry and such a blessing.
Here’s a shot of me with my office assistant – Safari. On cold days she’s great comfort. I’ve also included a photo of my outdoor writing room. It’s glorious to sit out there and write during the summer days.
We’ll next be checking in on Richard Mabry. If you are a fan of medical suspense novels, you’ll want to give Richard’s books a chance. Stress Test is his latest novel.
Some authors have a spacious office. Others like to take their laptop outside or to Starbucks. I write in a cozy office (sometimes described as being so small the mice are hunchbacked), and I love it. Ready for the tour?
I like being able to swivel my chair around and go from typing on my computer to writing and working on my desk. And, of course, you’ll note the ever-present coffee cup. I’ve learned (the hard way) to be careful. It’s hard to get the coffee stains out of important documents. Besides, it leaves the desk surface sticky.
To the left as you walk into the office, you’ll see a framed photo given to me when I retired as chair of a medical advisory board. The poster is from one of the baseball fantasy camps I attended. And, yes, that’s me with Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford in our Yankee uniforms. Baseball has been a huge part of my life, even before I was a physician or writer.
Directly across from my desk is a bookshelf containing my glove and cleats, numerous autographed baseballs, some of my writing reference books, a number of Bibles, copies of all my novels, bookmarks, photos, and a set of dumbbells I haven’t picked up in years. In other words, if you’re looking for something in my office, start here.
My desk. I attach my MacBook to a peripheral monitor and keyboard, so that when I’m going somewhere (whether traveling or just getting the car serviced), I simply unhook it and go. No need to move from one computer to another. However, to the right of the laptop is a hard disk I use for backup, in addition to Crash Plan and duplicating all my writing on a thumb drive. Writers soon learn that failure to backup their work can lead to catastrophe.
The blue paper has a quote from my Sunday school teacher, Dr. Jim Allman: “What God has done in the past is both a model and a promise of what He will do in the future.” Below it are some great endorsements of my next book, Stress Test, from best selling author Michael Palmer. The small card has a poem from friend and author BJ Hoff: “It matters not if the world has heard, or approves, or understands. The only applause we’re meant to seek is that of nail-scarred hands.” I keep it, as well as Bible quotations and notes to myself, at eye level. In addition to framed diplomas and certificates, Kay has framed my Air Force Commendation Medal. And the copies of the novels I’ve written are there to inspire me as well.
By now, you get the idea—my cozy office is so small I have to step outside to change my mind. But I have a great view of our back yard. Right now it’s drab, but it will change, and I love to watch it. The headphones allow me to listen to Pandora, especially if our granddaughter is in the living room watching Dora The Explorer.
The books on the desk are for talks I’m preparing to give to writers’ groups. Writing is so much more than sitting in front of a computer, waiting for one’s imaginary friends to talk to us. It’s ministry. It’s giving back. It’s a way to connect with others. And I especially appreciate this opportunity to do just that.
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Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, past Vice-President of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and the author of five published novels of medical suspense. His books have been finalists in competitions including ACFW’s Carol Award and Romantic Times’ Inspirational Book of the Year. His last novel, Lethal Remedy, won a 2012 Selah Award from the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. His most recent medical thriller, Stress Test (Thomas Nelson), is scheduled for release in April, and will be followed by Heart Failure in October.
Our final stop today is with debut novelist Sarah Ladd. I’m currently reading her book, The Heiress of Winterwood. It’s so good! Let’s barge into Sarah’s home and see where she spends her time writing.
Welcome to my writing space! Thanks for stopping by. Even though I tend to travel from spot to spot in my house with my laptop to write, this desk is my writing “home base.”
Here is a little more detail about what you’ll find in my office:
Inspiration board: Above my desk is a bulletin board where I pin pictures that inspire me for the book I am working on (character and location pictures, clothing samples, etc.). I swap out these pictures frequently!
Reference books. I keep the reference and research books I use the most right at my desk. On the wall to the right of my desk are two huge bookshelves housing the rest of my reference books and reading materials.
Coffee mug. If I am writing, there IS a mug of coffee next to me!
Candles. I love to burn candles while I am working. I also have candle sconces on the walls and other candles scattered throughout the room. If I am writing at night, I like to turn off all the lights and write by candlelight.
A big window. To the left of my desk is a huge window. When I am working during the daylight hours, the room is flooded with sunlight.
A space heater. I am always cold.
Sam, the Golden Retriever. Sam’s my writing buddy. When I work at my desk, Sam likes to sleep right behind my chair. I mean RIGHT behind my chair. Sometimes, I get trapped.
Thanks for visiting my office!