At The Desk: With Erica O’Rourke

A Look at the Writing World of Author Erica O’Rourke

We moved to this house less than two years ago, at about the same time that I’d sold my first book. Our old place was tiny, and I did most of my writing at the kitchen table, which was also the homework/crafting/baking/bill-paying table. In this house, I have an entire room to myself.


(Kind of.)


I write in my laundry room, which I share with staggering amounts of laundry, and my cats, Maya and Per, who keep their litterbox in here.

My oldest daughter made a sign after I won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award. All three kids made a jingle bell door chime, so that I wouldn’t jump out of my seat and scream the house down every time someone came in to ask me a question.


Low tech but much loved.


Ready to go in?


This room is bigger than my old kitchen!


Someday, I’ll have time to hang up these pictures: Jane Austen’s house in Bath and a picture of Meg Cabot and me after I won the Golden Heart. The pile of papers in front is work I absolutely positively have to get done this weekend, and next to that is a sketchbook I use to outline my novels.


The to-do pile is usually much larger.


My desk is pretty basic — it’s just a countertop on legs — but I love everything on it. I have a TARDIS cookie jar to hold snacks, because I’m a huge Doctor Who fan, and Hermione’s wand, from a family trip to Universal’s Harry Potter park. My daughter made the tiny blue dish in pottery class. I use yellow legal pads for everything.


The cookie jar makes the traditional TARDIS “whoosh-whoosh” sound when I open it.


I use the outside door as a giant magnet. Some of the stuff is just for fun — beads from my trip to New Orleans, covers of two of my books, a coupon book of “good deeds” from my middle daughter, etc. But it’s also practical — I have maps of both Chicago and New Orleans, a calendar with writing goals and work-related travel, and most importantly…a giant envelope to hold tax receipts.


This picture reminds me that I need to do my taxes. Sigh.


I don’t think one needs to have a fancy office in order to write, but for me, having a dedicated space makes it easier to concentrate on my writing. It shows my family that writing is a job, not just a hobby. And when writing time is over, it’s much easier for me to close the door and give my family 100% of my attention. Which is exactly as it should be.


Author of the TORN (available now), TANGLED (Feb 2012) and BOUND (Fall 2012), from KTeen/Kensington Books. Mob, magic, murder. And cute boys. Always with the cute boys.!/erica_orourke


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