Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Guest post by Michelle Moran, author of The Heretic Queen (with giveaway)

I'm thrilled to welcome one of my favorite writers, Michelle Moran, author of Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen (read my reviews here and here) to Diary of an Eccentric! Michelle is here to talk about one of my favorite topics: writing spaces!

Welcome, Michelle!

One of the questions I am asked most frequently has to do with my writing space. Every author has a place that is sacred; a place where reality stops and the world the author has created begins. For me, I write in an office on my first floor, looking out of my window onto a garden of over two hundred roses and eight fruit trees (none of which I can take credit for, by the way. The woman who sold the house to us had retired and spent her life gardening!). I have a variety of images hanging in my office. One is a black and white photograph of the Wright Brothers taking flight, the other is a beautiful Didier Lourenco whose paintings evoke life on the Mediterranean better than any other artist I know. But there has always been a space to the right of my desk that has gone unfilled since we bought our house, and back when Random House commissioned a painting for the cover of Nefertiti: A Novel, I had the brilliant idea of purchasing it. After all, what better image could fill my empty wall than one that represented my first success?

So immediately, I contacted the representative for the artist Doug Fryer, and the more I thought about it, the more I wanted the painting. I told myself that I would purchase the original at whatever-the-cost, imagining that whatever-the-cost would probably mean around $500. Or maybe $600. When Doug’s agent emailed back, however, I discovered that for the ten by fifteen inch oil painting, I would need to fork over several thousand dollars (the agent also mentioned that this was a bargain, and that the artist’s other paintings go for thirty thousand). So I looked at my husband, and he looked at me, and to my great surprise he said, “Well, there will only ever be one debut novel.” So now I sit beneath the gaze of Egypt’s most fascinating queen, and it’s worth every dollar!

Thank you, Michelle, for taking time out of your busy schedule to stop by my blog! I'm so looking forward to your next book!


Michelle is generously offering 2 hardcover copies of The Heretic Queen to my readers!

To enter:

1. To make things interesting, you must answer a question:

If you are a writer, what would be your ideal writing space?

If you're not a writer, tell me your favorite place to curl up with a good book.

2. You must leave your email address so I know how to contact you if you win!

This contest is open internationally and will end at midnight EST on Sunday, March 1.

Good luck!


bermudaonion said...

Don't enter me - I have the book. I love her story though. I'm so glad she bought the painting!

Blodeuedd said...

I do love a good historical book :D

I like to see myself as a writer, and hopefully for real one day. And I can write anywhere, but I do like to relax somewhere that's comfy and let my imagination run wild. So my bed is great for that

Julie P. said...

Don't enter me, but I just wanted to leave a comment! I LOVED THIS BOOK and I definitely consider Ms. Moran one of my must-read authors. Her books are wonderful. I can't recommend them enough! :)

Linda said...

I do basically all of my reading in one of two places: during the day on a corner of my loveseat; and propped up in bed for about an hour at bedtime. I've been wanting to read this novel since I read the first review of it some time ago. Thanks for the giveaway.

Ana S. said...

That's a nice story about the painting :) My favourite place to read is my big chair by the window - one of those huge windows that are also sliding doors. I love sitting there with a book, especially on Saturday and Sunday mornings in the sunshine.

Thank you so much for opening the giveaway internationally, Anna and Michelle.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Michelle sounds like a very likeable person, as well as her husband! Thank you so much for introducing her to us! I am not a writer (although I've always aspired to become one!), but when I read, I have a special oversized chair with a kick-out footrest in the corner of the living room that I use. Consequently, I also have deemed this my "drinking chair" as well, where I sit with my glass of wine and share my day with my husband. I could live there.

My e-mail is rnawrot at cfl dot rr dot com. Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

I love that Michelle's husband didn't hesitate to buy the painting!

I have two favorite reading/writing spots. One is in bed, natch. The other is in a very comfy chair/ottoman in our living room. The room isn't completely "done", but I have a lot of family pieces in there and it's nice and cozy.

Thanks for the opportunity, Anna. I haven't yet read either of Michelle Moran's books, so I'll be keeping my fingers crossed ...

dawn [at] sheIsTooFondOfBooks [dot] com

Serena said...

No need to enter me into the contest, but I want to say...OMG...I can't believe she spent that much on the painting, but I guess it is worth it to her.

bethany (dreadlock girl) said...

I really want this book!!!

I have one spot I write at, nothing exciting as it is also where I read. It is on a futon couch in the living room. I just like to sit there, maybe the lighting is just right or something.

Thanks for hosting this giveaway!!

Ti said...

I write a bit but don't have a sacred space. I read a lot more and to do that I prefer to be on my living room couch, away from the kid noise. My living room is surrounded by large windows so I feel as if I am reading outside. I plan to buy a special reading chair in the near future.

I'm glad that she bought that painting. It's important for women to feel as if they are worth an expensive painting or two and what that painting represents far outweighs the cost.

Ti said...

Forgot my email addy:


Anonymous said...

I would love to be entered.

I'm a reader, not a writer. My favorite place to curl up with a good book is on the hammock in the backyard on a nice, warm summer day.

carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

Kaye said...

I can barely write a review without a lot of angst, so anyone who has written a book has my utmost admiration.On that note, I can hardly ever see myself as a writer but I read incessantly. Best place, in the recliner in the family room over looking the pool and lanai. All the reviews of Ms. moran's books are wonderful and I would love to win it.


Erika Powell said...

I love reading outside in the summer. with a big glass of sweet tea. so its not really curled up but it is the epitome of happiness

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Don't enter me, either -- I need Nefertiti first.

As for writing space... how to make it better in here? I don't know. Fewer books that make me sigh when I walk past them 'cause I want to read them. I do. Maybe a flat-screen monitor, but only if I could have a nice big window to write in AND still be able to see the XM radio dashboard.

In other words, I'm almost at perfect. Or else, after almost 13 years, I've adapted!

Wendy aka Misswendiki said...

I like to read while taking a nice long bubblebath.

Anonymous said...

Please enter me - aerinblogs AT aol DOT com -

I prefer to write out in nature, anywhere from my backyard to the Botanic gardens, on a notepad with pen, in actual longhand, but I end up writing either in bed with said notepad and pen, or at my desk on my laptop.

Amanda said...

O please enter me!! I'm not a writer but I love reading in a cozy comfy chair with my legs thrown over the side. Unfortunately with our apartment, we don't have the room. So I read in bed.

Oh. And I LOVED the artwork on Nefertiti too. I love that she bought the original. I know it's worth every penny.

Unknown said...

I would love to have a Michigan room added to our house. It's basically a screened porch that you can use until winter hits. There's nothing better than curling up in a comfy spot and enjoying the view when writing.

Sage Ravenwood said...

I would love to be the writer *winks* but alas I'm not (at least not yet). So the question would be my favorite space to curl up with a book. If it's in the winter on my couch snuggled in an indian blanket, a cup of tea nearby and a roaring fire. It's also Ideal conditions when I'm online blogging.

In the summer anywhere in the woods surrounded by the serenity of nature, I'm at home. I can lose myself in my surroundings and the book I have with me.

I would love to be entered in this drawing please. Thanks! Indigo


Adele said...

I'd really love to get a copy of this book.
I have never really thought of writing, but if I did, i'd work on my laptop at my bureau. It's a beautiful wooden desk that closes into a locakable cupboard, all the shelves and drawers are built in. It belonged to my Grandpa and I was fortunate to get it when he died, it's my non negotiable bit of furniture, wherever I live it lives and I love working at it, resting my laptop on the leather inset.

Adele said...

oops sorry hagelrat@googlemail.com

Unknown said...

My favorite place to curl up with a book is on a hammock. But a big comfy couch works too.


Mari said...

I love to curl up with a good book in bed, the most comfortable spot in my house. When I get an itch to write it is always at the table with my laptop in a quiet room. A coffee shop is filled with just too many distractions.

teabird said...

My favorite places to write: in bed (of course- me and Edith Wharton, ha!), and at a corner cafe table at the Barnes & Noble down the hill. I have a huge cup of English Breakfast tea, a warm blueberry scone, my Moleskine for a bit of journal writing, and then - I can write for at least 2 hours without anyone asking me questions, without seeing housework that needs to be done, and with enough anonymity to be invisible. (Note: remember to bring extra cartridges for the fountain pen...)

teabird 17 at yahoodotcom

I'd love to win this book - and I'm so, so happy about the painting!

Anonymous said...

Please enter me for a chance to win - I am not a writer, but my favorite place to read is a 1 1/2 person chair that sits by our piano - no distractions in the room! It is cozy and comfy!

kherbrand at comcast dot net

Anonymous said...

My favorite reading spot is the gazebo in my backyard in the summer with the fan blowing on me and a glass of iced tea near at hand. That, my dear, is relaxing at its finest.

Dawn said...

Okay, I never win, but I would say
my favorite place to curl up with a good book is in my bedroom. I like to have peace and quiet and comfy pillows! ;O)

Please enter me Anna! Your review was amazing!

Anonymous said...

Hey! Enter me please. Thanks! My favorite place to curl up with a good book is on the couch, though my bed is comfortable to.


KR said...

In winter, I curl up on the couch. In summer, a lounge chair on the deck in the sun!!!

Anonymous said...

I love to curl up with a good book in my favorite chair with a cozy blanket (provided it's not summer!), a mug of something warm, and my cats. :)


Staci said...

If I was a writer I would love to live on a lake with my view looking outside, but I'm not!! But my favorite place to read is outside on my front porch with a glass of tea or pop, dog at my side and a nice warm breeze blowing!!!


Thanks for the interview and the giveaway!!

Ladytink_534 said...

I bet that's a neat picture! Not for that kind of money but I do love the cover of your book :)

No need to enter me, I already have an autographed copy from a previous contest. Everyone should sign up for this!!!

mindy said...

on the couch with a good book a blanket wrapped around me and a big bowl of popcorn thanks for the giveaway

Isabel said...

I have a laptop and I write sitting in a rocking chair and my desk is a modern one, which I can turn in three different directions.

I write in my bedroom, which I don't share with anyone.

Thanks for having this contest.

Bella Foxx said...

The place i read most often is the commuter train to NYC.

My favorite place to read however, is my bed, all cozied up with my blankets.

Teddy Rose said...

No need to sign me up Anna, I have this book and am looking forwad to reading it!

I blogged about your giveaway here:


scottsgal said...

My favorite place to read when it's warm outside is on my front porch on a comfy recliner. Nice and quiet.

Kat Bryan said...

I'm not a writer except on my blog and in my journal. My favorite place to read is hubby's recliner, with a blanket and a cat on my lap.

Debs Desk said...

Please include me in your drawing. My favorite place to curl up with a good book is the big chair in my bedroom.

Anonymous said...

I love curling up with a good book in an overstuffed armchair in my living room. It's even better if it's rainy outside. utgal2004[at]yahoo[dot]com

Deborah said...

My favorite place to curl up with a good book is under my "blankie" on the sofa. asthenight at gmail dot com

darbyscloset said...

My fave writing space I guess is the space where I write, which is on my couch on my laptop. Yet this would not be my fave writing spot by desing.....I'd love to have a beautiful office with big windows looking out at the land.
Thanks so much,
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

darbyscloset said...

My fave reading space is out on my lounge chair in the sunshine!
Thanks so much,
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Amanda said...

No need to enter me in the draw, as I already have a copy of this fantastic book! Whoever wins is in for a great read!

Its lovely to know that Michelle has that special painting watching over her work. The universe, karma, The Force, its alright and balanced as that painting is right where it should be.

Anonymous said...

The perfect place to curl up with a good book is right in bed. I prop my pillows up so that I can sit up, pull the covers up over my leg, get a cup of something next to me, and I am ready to read.


eyeslikesugar said...

I love to curl up with a book in my bed, under a blanket. Although, I love to read Alice in Wonderland outside, in the summer; preferably surrounded by nature. Thank you so much for offering this giveaway! eyeslikesugar [at] gmail [dot] com

Unknown said...

Hmm. Well, my ideal writing space would probably be curled up in bed with my laptop and my fiance, although that would likely just distract me. I'm also rather partial to a quite room with a nice desk and some tea.

My email is in my profile :). Thanks for the cool giveaway!

Lindsey said...

My favorite place to curl up with a book is our couch. I even have some letters above it on the wall spelling "Read" (blogged about that not too long ago, lol).

Now if I could do something about the little 9-mo locomotive crawling around, lol.

ladyufshalott at yahoo.com

Sheri S. said...

Even though the painting was expensive, I'm sure the sentimental value is priceless!!

My favorite place to curl up with a book in the wintertime would have to be in a comfy chair by the fireplace where I can keep warm. In warmer weather, I love to sit outside under a shady tree and read.

Thanks for the giveaway :)

Bcteagirl said...

Right now I am just a reader. But for both processes I think my 'ideal' would be a quiet cabin in the mountains.. rustic with a fireplace, plenty of tea (and food!) but no TV or phone. Sigh...

Jo-Jo said...

Oh I would love to win this book..pick me pick me! lol
My favorite place to read is at home on my big oval couch, with a big blanket and my dog lying next to me, and of course a fire blazing away in the fireplace!

Anonymous said...

My favourite place to curl up with a good book is on my soft, leather couch. I get a warm blanket, a hot coffee and my book and off I go into 'Literary Land' lol :-)
Thank you for hosting this Book Giveaway!
Please enter me, I would love to win a copy.



Anonymous said...

I do all my readings prop up in my bed with a warm blanket especially on rainy days.

Thank you for hosting the giveaway. I would love to win a copy.


Michelle Moran said...

Thank you so much to everyone who has entered! And wow - great question! My favorite reading place is probably my leather couch. In summers it's nice and cool, and in the winters I have a beautiful red afghan that a very, very kind reader knitted for me over the holidays. I curl about with that and a cup of Earl Grey and I'm set!

Iliana said...

What a great story about the painting. Good for her for getting that!

When I'm in the mood to write poetry, which has been a long while, I usually just go to a coffee shop or the library. I need to do it away from the computer. Now for reading, we have this great chair we got at Ikea which is super comfy. Problem is we only got one chair so my husband and I fight over it on the weekends :)

Thank you for the giveaway!

Lisa (Southern Girl Reads) said...

My favorite place to read is in my bedroom in my recliner that sits between 2 corner windows. My cat sleeps there during the day when I'm at work, but when I read there, he lays on the top of the chair and looks out the window. Its very cozy and the light is great to read by! I'd love to win this book!! My email is:


Melissa said...

THanks for the great giveaway!

My favorite place is anywhere I can put my feet up. The couch, the recliner, the kitchen counter. After working all day I just need somewhere to lean back and relax.

Lady Roxi said...

Love to have this.
My favorite place is either the bath or my big chair with both of my cats and of course a glass of wine.



Michelle Olsen Sasak said...

I like to curl up in the overstuffed chair in my living room :) Thanks for the chance to win, the book looks great!

A Reader said...

I like to read in bed with a hot cup of tea. Thanks for the giveaway!

Gwendolyn B. said...

I do most of my reading in bed -- usually a couple of hours between midnight and 5:00 a.m. But my CHOICE would be a nice comfy sun-soaked sofa. I love it! And, I'd love to win a copy of this book - it's been on my wish list for too long! Help me! (Thanks for the chance!)
geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Angela C said...

I usually curl up in bed when I am reading a book.

Estela said...

I long for summer days, when I can once again claim my favorite reading spot on our porch swing. Right at dusk, when the heat has abated and the cooler breezes have taken residence on the porch, I curl up with a book, light throw, and a cup of coffee. Perfection!

Toni said...

I like a big chair by a window...or belly down on my bed looking out on the patio... I really like it quite when I read so I tend to do a lot of reading in my bedroom.

I would LOVE to win this book. :)

Shelley said...

My favorite place to curl up with a book is on this big, comfy chair in my living room. I also love to read outdoors, but I don't have any good furniture out there!

saz AT chainreader DOT com

Jenners said...

This is such a cool story! I loved it -- and I love the support her husband showed her. It is so good to celebrate your successes!

And I don't need to be entered ... I am so behind in my reading that it would sit and that wouldn't be fair to others. Thanks though!

Unknown said...

I am not a writer but my favorite reading place is my worn out sofa, placed in the living room, right by a huge window which gives me plenty of light during the day.

Anonymous said...

I'd really like to win this book.
I always read books sitting in my bed and its next to my cd player.

Anonymous said...

forgot my email: crimson_haze[at]hotmail[dot]com

carlene said...

Please include me in your drawing. Favorite place to read in on my back porch in my favorite chair.

The Bookworm said...

You have really made me want to read this book!
great post :) How cool that she bought the painting of her book cover.

my fav place to curl up with a good book in on my living room couch with plenty of throw pillows, a blanket and a hot cup of tea.


Renee G said...

I'd love to read this. My favorite place to curl up is on our living room sofa with a soft comforter, a cup of tea, and a great book. (Usually this is the quietest room in our house. My boys are usually hanging out in the family room.)


Annell said...

Sounds like a great book!!!

My favorite place to read is in my plush red chair that has dragonflies on it. It used to be my great grandmothers chair that my husband had redone for me. Love it!!


The Brunette Librarian said...

LOVE reading outside in the front yard...:)

rachie2004 at yahoo dot com


Carla Ribeiro said...

Well... There are many places where inspiration might flow, but my ideal place (though I never tried) surely would be one of those ancient castles. Imagination can show up anytime and anywhere, but I'm quite sure that interesting ideas would show up in such a place.

carianmoonlight (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

since I am (sadly) not a writer and am simply a lowly graduate student trying to enjoy books as well as finish my degree, I will let you know my favorite place to read a good book. For me, since I am in college and have rowdy roommates that are ALWAYS HOME, I like to either read in my car (if the weather isn't too cold) or at my university's library (although it is never very quiet).

I have had my eye on this book for so long but have had to cut my book budget because of the economy. Good luck to all! And thanks for your reviews! I enjoy them so!
- Cassandra


Teresa said...

My MOST favorite place to curl up with a good book is in my comfy chair on the porch at the shore. For the other 11 months I must "settle" for the recliner in the living room, with a good light and a handy place for a glass.

However, I must say that anywhere that isn't excruciatingly un-comfortable is a good place to read.

Anna said...

This contest is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered! I really enjoyed reading your comments, though I wasn't able to respond to them individually. I will announce the winners soon!