Today we welcome, Helen Lacey who writes contemporary romance. Her first release, Made for Marriage, was released January 2012 and hit Australian shelves in June.
What time of the day do you write? I write anytime really. I set hubby off to work in the morning and unless I have errands, to run try to write at least four hours during the day. This time includes blogging, Twitter time etc. We’re empty nesters and since I now write full time I am pretty flexible unless I’m on deadline. I also like to write at night and usually turn in around 11.
Where do you write? I have my own office which has a lovely big window and I can see the Pacific Ocean and my horses – so I feel very lucky. I’ve tried writing away from my office but haven’t had much success.
Is there any particular rituals you do to set the mood / harness your muse? Nope. I’m pretty low maintenance – just need my computer and my muse usually kicks in. I like to have music playing, something quiet and unobtrusive like Songs From A Secret Garden.
What’s the first think you do before you begin to write? I usually re-read what I wrote the day before.
Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser? Panster. Panster. Panster. Did I tell you I was a panster? I edit as I go, and have a couple of fabulous crit partners who keep me on track.
Do you have a schedule that you follow for your writing time? I write every day and aim for 1k.
Do you use whiteboards, posters, visual aids to help in your creativity? Not really. I do a basic character chart in a notebook, write a short outline for my agent (because he despairs at my panstering ways) and start at Chapter One.
Do you take time out to stretch, rest your eyes etc and if so do you do any exercises at your desk or between sessions? I tend to my horses morning and afternoon. I put tools down at 3pm and usually don’t go back to it until around 7.30 (unless TV beckons). I always feel recharged after spending time with my horses and dogs.
Can you name five objects that are always on or near your work desk while you write? Messy or neat? Um . . . messy. But I have a great view! And the things on my desk – I usually have a cup of green tea on the go, a notepad, my ragdoll cat Oscar and my Dogue De Bordeaux Barney are never far away.
What is your favourite form of procrastination? Procrastination is my old foe J When it comes to getting words of the page, some days are diamonds, some days are stones – but I don’t sweat the small stuff. I try to approach my work as a writer the same way I did in my job before I started writing full time. But during those times when the words won’t come I usually head outside and spend time with my horses, or maybe watch a chick flick or read a book.
What’s the last thing do you do before you finish your daily writing session? Backup! And make a note in my diary of how many words I managed for the day.
Web address – www.helenlacey.com
My next Harlequin Special Edition, Marriage Under The Mistletoe, is out in the US in November 2012.
Helen, thank you so much for sharing a day in your writing life. We wish you every success with your writing and your next release.