Guest Post & Giveaway: My Favorite Spot to Write by Anita Hughes

Monarch Beach by Anita Hughes looks like another great summer read, and it will be published on June 19.  The debut novel tackles what it means to cope with love and betrayal as Amanda Blick thinks she has the perfect marriage only to discover her cheating husband is having an affair with his sous-chef.  She takes up her mother’s offer to get away with her son Max to St. Regis Resort in Laguna Beach.  While she should be relaxing and getting her life back on track, life throws her another curve ball as a divorcee enters the picture and showers her with attention.

Unfortunately, I don’t have time to review every great book out there before publication, but these are the moments I live for — writer’s willing to share their writing spaces with my readers, and today, that’s just what Anita Hughes is going to do.  Please give her a warm welcome.

I am very fortunate when it comes to choosing a favorite writing spot. I live in what is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world. Six years ago, my family and I moved into a villa on the grounds of the St. Regis, Monarch Beach. It is an interesting place to raise children – the year is marked not just by the school calendar – but by the Easter Egg Hunt on the Grand Lawn, the Monarch Butterfly Release every Saturday during the summer, and the carolers who come to the hotel each Christmas.

Living at the St. Regis also gives me more beautiful places to write than any author could ask for. For months, when the idea for my debut novel MONARCH BEACH was percolating, I sat at the table in front of CRUST, the resort café, gazing out the window. This became my regular spot and the staff at CRUST knew not to ask if I wanted a coffee or chocolate croissant. I only wanted to soak up the ambiance, and let the story form in my head.

When I was ready to put the words down on my laptop, it was time to change locations. I didn’t want to be influenced by my surroundings; I only wanted to be guided by my thoughts. I looked around my villa to find the ideal writing spot. I considered the sofa in the living room that faces the bookshelf. But I always found myself gazing at the lovely covers of my book collection, and couldn’t concentrate on my own burgeoning manuscript.

Finally I settled on the love seat in my bedroom. It sits next to the window that overlooks the golf course. It is the perfect spot and I have written all three novels there. (Two more come out next year). Occasionally a golf ball lands in our garden and scares our dog, or I see baby bunnies and have to stop to admire them. But there is no Internet connection, no glorious view of the Pacific Ocean, no smell of fresh coffee or chocolate croissants to distract me. When I write, I like to leave the world I am in and submerge myself in my writing. Even though I am surrounded by so much natural beauty, I am bit like a horse with blinders on. I only want to see what is right in front of me: the words appearing on my computer screen.

Thanks, Anita, for sharing your writing space with us.

Photo by Sheri Geoffreys

About the Author:

ANITA HUGHES attended UC Berkeley’s Masters in Creative Writing Program, and has taught Creative Writing at The Branson School in Ross, California. Hughes has lived at The St. Regis Monarch Beach for six years, where she is at work on her next novel.  Please check out her Website.

Win a copy of Monarch Beach by commenting on this post how you react to obstacles. Giveaway is open internationally. Deadline June 15, 2012.


  1. Phoenix Carvelli says

    Obstacles are a part of life that grow as you grow! I try to take a step back and look at it from all possible angles before deciding on a strategy. With raising children though, I have found you just need to wing-it at times (and pray) that you make the best decision. I try to remember to enjoy life even through difficult times.
    PhoenixCarvelli at gmail dot com

  2. Anita Yancey says

    I try to overcome obstacles in my life, and if I can’t I try to find a way around them. I would love to read this wonderful book.

  3. Sounds like a great book! I handle obstacles generally by freaking out for a few minutes, and then taking a deep breath and making a plan. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Sounds another good beach read. Affairs always make for a juicy book!


  5. i try to take…and live…one day at a time…to the fullest 🙂

  6. I hope I can overcome obstacles which come my way. Planning and thinking it through would be my way.

  7. amandasue says

    I’m horrible with obstacles, I usually handle it by geting advice from friends.

  8. It must be wonderful to live on a resort. Jealous! 😉

    I read when I’m faced with obstacles because first I must calm down. Only then can I think about how to proceed.

  9. I overcome obstacles by planning, I am a listmaker and a planner, so I try to plan my way out of a mess!

  10. I surmount any obstacle that shows up in my life. Right now I am battling a fierce illness and will overcome this. Many thanks.