My office is a little tiny laundry room. It’s so narrow that if someone wants to use the washer or dryer, my chair gets bumped as they pass. (A good excuse for typos!)
People think I’m crazy, that I should move into a bigger space and spread out. Especially, they point out, as my children have gone to college and space is freeing up. It does seem crazy—I have typed fourteen novels in this laundry room and I host a weekly radio show in it.
But I just can’t seem to move. I’ve tried a couple of times and find myself migrating back to the laundry room.
One of the reasons is very practical: the laundry room is in the heart of the house, right off the kitchen, so I can jump up and get the phone, get dinner started, answer the door. The laundry room is painfully short on horizontal surface space, I admit, but it is valuable real estate.
There’s another reason that is harder to explain.
Years ago, when I took the plunge and decided to write a novel, I kept it a secret. I spent four months in that little laundry room, quietly typing away. I didn’t tell anyone I was writing a novel. Not my husband, not my sister, not my children, not a single friend. When I was done with the first draft (remember—the first draft is the ugly draft), I made an announcement at the dinner table one evening. “I wrote a novel,” I proudly said.
My sons, who are so extremely sensitive, looked at each other and said, “That’s why there’s no food in this house!” True story.
I’m getting sidetracked. Like usual.
Fast forward a year or two. One Monday afternoon, the doorbell rang and set the dogs off on their typical bark-fest (Labrador retrievers take greeting responsibilities very seriously). I opened the door to the UPS delivery guy. He was grinning ear-to-ear. Next to him…were six stacked boxes of books.
My first published novel.
The laundry room is off the kitchen, but if you were to look at the footprint of our house, it’s actually situated only a few yards away from the front door. I’ll never forget, as I held my first novel in my hands, with that fresh-from-the-printer-y smell, the realization that it all started in that tiny laundry room, with an idea. It traveled to an agent, to editors, back with zillions of rejection letters, at long last, back came an acceptance, then revisions to the manuscript, back and forth with the editor. And here it was, back home again in another form. What a long journey!
Suzanne will be giving away a copy of her latest release, The Lesson, on Friday. Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book for your chance to win!