Hazel Osmond's debut novel is Who's Afraid of Mr Wolfe and it was shortlisted in the Romantic Comedy category of the recent Romantic Novelists' Association Awards. Here, Hazel tells us about where she writes.
My Writing Room by Hazel Osmond
I’ve invaded the spare bedroom and turned it into my writing room, taking over all the bits that aren’t full of the sofa bed and the wardrobe. When we have anyone to stay I have to tidy everything away and work on a laptop, but the rest of the time it’s just my space.
I read somewhere that your approach to writing reflects your approach to life. I have found this to be true. I have times when I’m ferociously organised and the desk will be tidy and the book planned out perfectly and then the other side of my character takes over and the paper piles up, I go off piste with the writing (not always a bad thing) and our entire collection of mugs ends up here. I also seem to switch between working really hard and swanning around like an oaf.
I have, at various times in my life, tried to adopt a minimalist approach in my house, but it never works. I like having things that mean something around me and as I spend so many hours in this room, it’s important to look up and see something that makes me smile.
I particularly like the large custard cream tin on the desk. I realised after writing my second book that biscuits always seem to creep into them. I suppose it’s the comedy names – fig roll, garibaldi, hobnob. On the shelf is a mock Oscar and a feather boa, one a reminder that acting is very important to me and the other a present from a friend when my first book was published. She wants me to grow up to be Barbara Cartland I think. I also have a lot of beautiful bits and pieces I picked up in Japan – I’m fascinated by the place – and my bookshelves are where I hide my latest notebooks. I have a serious habit and it’s a bit of a joke in the family.
One other advantage to this room is that it’s on the ground floor so although I’m working, the noises of the house are still around me – someone in the kitchen raiding the fridge, people watching the telly. I like that because while I find music distracting to listen to when I’m writing, I can’t bear silence either. With the desk lamp and the flower lights on, the room has a really cosy feel to it, even if I have to work late into the night to meet a deadline.