Friday, July 24, 2009

Writers' desks - Alex Beecroft

Well, technically it's Friday, if only just. ;) I'm posting this a little on the early side (aka the crack of dawn) because we'll be here there and everywhere over the weekend and I'm not sure I'll have internet access. So, without further ado, here's the latest in my series of writers' desks, this week gay historical author Alex Beecroft:


"I was about to start this entry with a deprecating little mention of the fact that although I like my desk tidy, no other part of my house reflects that. However, I see, now I'm looking at it, that my desk isn't that tidy either.

My desk is in what the estate agents called 'the dining room'. We soon turned the dining room into a sort of study, and it now contains four bookshelves, my desk, and my husband's desk (directly behind me).

When my desk was nothing more than a computer table, it used to fit into the corner and I would sit staring at a blank wall and feeling vaguely claustrophobic with all my reference books around me on the floor. So I asked for the desk for my birthday last year. It's been wonderful! Because it's so big, I'm now able to see out into the conservatory (aka the dining, sewing, exercise and general lumber room) and thence to the garden. I can also put my books into the desk drawers/shelves and have them easily to hand rather than scattered around my feet.

The fan comes in handy, as the conservatory tends to become oven-like during the summer. My in-box is a music stand, which is great because it takes up less room than a traditional lie-down one. I have an 18th Century clay pipe (replica) underneath it, which I find is better to chew on in moments of contemplation than a biro is. And that's my HMS Victory letter opener standing upright in the crease of my diary. Made from the oak and the copper-bottom of HMS Victory. (Another birthday present, but a different birthday.)

Apart from that, there's a drink and plate from my breakfast, sellotape, the beads from a broken necklace waiting in an envelope until I can re-thread them. Tonic (I forget to take it if it isn't staring me in the face.) And a black bag with the chain for my fob-watch in it. The watch itself is being repaired.

When False Colors was published, they sent me a stack of 'cover flats' – which is basically the cover with no book inside it. This was very nice indeed, and I put one of them up as a poster. But the rest are inside the desk waiting for me to think of what to do with them now!

It's a little messy and cheerless, which is exactly what you can say for the rest of the house. But then perhaps that's why I'm in the business of escapism!"


Alex can fight with spear and battleaxe and has helped to construct a Saxon manor house from the ground up. But she still can't operate a mobile phone.

Her first novel, Captain's Surrender, is an Age of Sail romance set in the 18th Century British Royal Navy. Her second novel, False Colors, of Amazonfail fame, came out in April 2009 from Running Press. Currently working on a contemporary romance, she has plans to turn her hand to rural fantasy and historic murder mystery in the near future.

You can find her at her website.

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