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It’s Simplicity and Company for Darcy Writers Amanda Grange and Jacqueline Webb

Amanda Grange and Jacqueline Webb have co-written a spin-off of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice that takes her characters to Egypt in Pride & Pyramids: Mr. Darcy in Egypt.

Pulled into the craze of Egyptology, the Darcys and their lively children embark on an expedition to find a hidden tomb and uncover its treasure. Not only are immeasurable riches awaiting them in the exotic land of the Sphinx, but also danger and betrayal and the chance to lay an ancient grudge to rest…

Today, Amanda and Jacqueline will share their writing spaces with us. I hope you give them a warm welcome.

Amanda Grange talks about the basics she needs for writing:

My writing space is simple and uncluttered, in fact it’s very much like a standard office. I like a distraction-free environment when I’m working so the decorations are very plain and there are no pictures or ornaments, other than a laughing cow which I like because it cheers me up if I’m suffering from writers’ block.

The essentials, for me, are a desk and chair, my computer – of course! – and very little besides. My desk is very large so that I can open a lot of research books at the same time if I need to, without running out of space. It also means I have room for all the scribbled notes I make during the course of the book, and I can open maps if I need to, or atlases, or anything else that is oversized.

I have a calendar so I can keep an eye on my deadlines and I have a bookcase crammed with research books, from simple things like The Oxford Dictionary For Writers and Editors to more specialised research books. Most of these are to do with the Regency in some form or another, so that I can look up anything I need very quickly without breaking my writing flow.

I always have a stack of paper and a selection of pens because sometimes I want to make notes in longhand, either because I’m working away from the screen – perhaps when I’m editing – or because my head is buzzing with ideas and even the act of turning on the computer might break the thread of my ideas.

I also like the stack of paper if I’m just brainstorming a selection of ideas and I know I will throw most of them away. There’s something cathartic about throwing discarded ideas in the bin, it seems to remove them from my imagination more effectively than deleting a Word file. So of course I have a large bin!

But the most important part of my writing space is exactly that, space. Space to think, space to write and space to dream.

Jacqueline Webb talks about the company she keeps in her writing space loft:

My writing space is in the spare bedroom in our converted loft. At one time it was our computer room but as our children got older and took over the laptops that seem to abound in our house nowadays, the loft has become much less sought after. I write on the bed on my laptop. My husband recently bought me one of those laptop trays which makes it easier to balance and I had quite lot of fun fiddling about with the lamp that comes with it, filling the little space for pens, although I hardly ever use them, and trying to find a use for the cup holder.

The loft is quite large and has a big window which gives a lot of light as well as lovely views across to the park. I often end up with a cat for company, as my two cats enjoy the peace and quiet, although they leave on the rare occasions our dog turns up as she’s too boisterous for them. Being at the top of the house means I’m out of the way and less likely to be disturbed.

Thanks, Amanda and Jacqueline, for sharing your writing spaces with us.

  • My writing space doesn´t usually look this tidy, either, I took the photo when I´d just finished a book and had decluttered. In the middle of a book it´s a lot messier! On one memorable occasion a photographer from my local paper was coming round to photograph me and so I tidied my study, but when he arrived his face dropped and he asked me to clutter it up. So I ended up taking all sorts of books and papers out of cupboards to make the whole thing look a mess again!

  • I love seeing writing spaces; they are so different and unique to each author. I think the loft space is more my style.

    • Neither of these is the perfect writing space for me, but they are equally lovely.

  • Jacqueline Webb

    Thanks for all your comments. My space might look organzed but I’m staring at it at the moment and it’s far from that! I’ve got a couple fo large atlases on the floor at the moment that I’ve been meaning to put away for about three days now. Also stacks of magazines and other books that I’ve read and haven’t made it back to the bookshelf yet

  • Such an organized space — Not like mine!

    • My space is organized, but I’m rarely in it.

  • It seems that peace and quiet is essential to both of these authors! I love getting glimpses of writers’ spaces. Everybody has their own version of writing nirvana. 🙂

    • I have quite a few versions of what my writing space would look like, but none of them have come to pass.

  • I am dying to read this one — I adore the cover and premise!! Loved this look at Grange’s writing space (as well as Webb’s) — and I so liked the little tidbit about actually throwing sheets away, banishing them so firmly — I’ll have to try then for when I’m stressing about things!

    • I haven’t read this one yet, but I can’t wait to get to it. I just adore Egypt etc…and I just love Darcy…so it’s a great combo for me.