Vanessa Greene is the author of The Vintage Teacup Club which is out on the 11th of October. Check out our review here.
Over to Vanessa to tell us about her writing room...
My Writing Room by Vanessa Greene
This is the desk I wrote The Vintage Teacup Club at. I’ve moved home since, and now write in a shared office, but this is still the place I think of as ‘my writing room’ -- it was in the sunny garden flat of an Edwardian house in south-east London.
On top of my printer are two vintage teacups that inspired me as I wrote – one’s a beautiful 1950s teacup made into a candle that my sister gave me, and has a handwritten tag with its history, the other a charity shop find.
The natural light from the window really helped me wake up on cold mornings! I also loved the view of the garden, which is home to a family of foxes. There was a white-tailed young cub last year, who was feisty in that urban-fox way. Sometimes he would come right up to the window and watch me as I wrote.
There would often be music drifting down from in the flat upstairs, but the room was always peaceful – although it rarely felt that way with three lively female characters and their families in there with me! It was surprising how real the women I wrote about in Teacups were to me by the end – at the risk of sounding nuts, I still sometimes have the urge to email one and catch up.
When it was time for a break, I’d go to the park, or walk round some local charity shops. I love finding unusual objects and thinking about who owned them in the past. With The Vintage Teacup Club, my hobby became research – and (at least I told myself this) afternoon teas with friends counted too!
I keep a diary on my desk and a chart that helps me stay on top of my word count, plus an inbox full of notes and admin I too often ignore, but there’s also a couple of Mad Men DVDs on my desk here – when I was working from home my personal and work life crossed over a bit.
I prefer to edit on paper, so I print out drafts of chapters as I go and get the red pen out – I can see better what’s working and what isn’t. When revising like this I usually sit on the sofa with a cuppa and read as I would if I was reading someone else’s book – then if I find any slow bits or continuity errors I’ll mark them up.
While I was packing to leave this flat, I found hidden in a cabinet the secret diary of a tenant from years before. As I’m a bit nosy, the temptation to read it was pretty enormous! It was interesting to hear how another girl, in her mid-twenties, had lived in my ‘writing room’, but unable to settle into London life, decided to go back to her village.
For me, this room was the start of my life as a writer, and a really positive new beginning.