Guest Post: Writing Space of Lucinda Riley, author of Girl on the Cliff

The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley, author of The Orchid House, will be released later this month by Atria Books.  Grania Ryan, the protagonist, returns to Ireland following a devastating heartbreak in New York.  She meets the young Aurora Lisle on the cliff edge, and little does she know that she’ll change Ryan’s life.  Her mother warns her to be careful of the Lisle family, but it is not until she finds a trove of family letters dating back to 1914 that she realizes how entwined the families have been.

Check out Lucinda Riley’s writing space:

I have a strange aversion to ‘offices’, mainly because it makes me feel as though I’m actually working. And writing for me isn’t a job, it’s a way of life. The nearest to an inside office space I have is my drawing-room at home in the winter, but the minute the sun shines I hop through a window and sit on the bench outside. Because I record the first draft of the story into a dictaphone, which basically means talking to myself for four months, it makes me ‘portable’ and able to work anywhere. And being outside in the fresh air is my preferred location. So, my three ‘outside offices’ are the gardens at our Hall in Norfolk, the terrace of our house in Thailand and the balcony of our house in the South of France. The kids are used to seeing Mummy wandering around in a bikini with a microphone strapped to the top of it. I’m sure this method is unusual, but again, a bikini signals a ‘holiday’, rather than ‘work’ and this takes the pressure off psychologically and helps the words flow. However, being permanently ‘strapped up’, I must always remember to switch off and remove the tape recorder before I go for a swim or, er, other activities …! The method I use works for me fantastically well, except for the fact that when I’ve been dictating into the tape for long periods of time, it has been known for me to ask the children; ‘hello comma darling comma how are you question mark space new line’! When the first draft is finished I begin editing with a red pen onto the typed-up manuscript.

At present, as it’s October and becoming colder here in England, I’m in my winter ‘office’. Our 300 year old Hall is far too large to heat during the day. And if I sneakily turn the switch to ‘on’, my husband always finds me out! So, I wrap up in layers and sit by a roaring log-fire working on editing the new book. I have an ancient, threadbare chair, a stash of red pens and a pot of tea on the table beside me.

And now … I will confess that I have a perfectly lovely ‘office’ here at home, where my PA works happily. But to this day, I can honestly say I’ve never written a single word in it. And guess what? I’m sitting writing this in the kitchen.

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


  1. I think this book is definitely one that I’d enjoy! Thanks for sharing!
    Julie P.´s last blog post ..Review: I Love Cinnamon Rolls!

  2. I’ve never heard of anyone recording the first draft of their book like that. How interesting!

  3. Wow, what beautiful writing spaces! I think it’s interesting that she dictates the first draft, but since I really enjoyed The Orchid House, I’m glad that method works for her. Can’t wait to read this book!
    Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)´s last blog post ..Review: Searching for Captain Wentworth by Jane Odiwe