View from my desk: grandma and small son not included
This is the latest instalment in an occasional series of blogposts, in which some of our authors and illustrators share their favourite working spots. Today, David Solomons, author of My Brother is a Superhero, takes us inside his room with a view…
The secret to writing a novel is a room with a view. No, wait, the secret is a room without a view. Green hills or a brick wall? It’s a cliché, the toiling writer at his desk, head bent over the latest chapter, only raising it in order to take in and – deep contented sigh – be replenished by the prospect of rolling hills through the cottage window. On the other side of the razor-wire fence, some writers consider any kind of distraction fatal to their process. Of course they appreciate the distant wooded hillside and the clouds scudding across the ridgeway. They just don’t want to see any of that stuff while they’re in their writing bubble.
While I understand where they’re coming from, I’ve always yearned for a view. And now, after many years of lusting after clean-lined studio spaces in design magazines, I finally have my own Style section-ready writing room. Well, almost my own. There’s an old Jewish joke about Mrs Plotnikoff’s fabulous diamond ring. It comes with a curse. And what’s the curse? Mr Plotnikoff, of course. You see, I share this splendid garden room with my wife, who is not only another novelist but, quite inconsiderately, a better one than I am. Though she can’t spell for toffee.
Married friends and acquaintances wonder (loudly and often) how we can work together in such close proximity. It’s true that the worst noise in the universe is the sound of one spouse typing, but the shocking truth is that we enjoy working together.
As well as pursuing separate paths as novelists, we also write screenplays as a team. Chairs are drawn up side-by-side and we spend the day in a state of low-level irritation, bickering over the intention of a scene, disagreeing over every line of dialogue. Fun! Actually, it is fun. And we always end the day still talking to each other. Occasionally we wonder about altering our writing set-up, but then something like this happens: this month my wife’s fourth novel, The Song Collector, and my first for children, My Brother is a Superhero, came out on the same day. It must be the view.
Thank you, David! My Brother is a Superhero is out now – you can take a look inside the book below, and order it online here.