Scissors, Sisters and Manic Panics was published in the UK by Egmont on July 1st and is the sequel to Dads, Geeks and Blue Haired Freaks. Thanks to Ellie for this guest post!
Where I write / My writing lifeby Ellie Phillips
I write in the spare bedroom of my house overlooking the back garden and, more importantly, overlooking my neighbours’ back gardens, which are really lovely.
I live in Sheffield, which is ten minutes from the Peak District and ten minutes from the City Centre and I do completely love it. I’ve always lived in the South-East and am so pleased I’ve discovered the North of England finally.
Years of living in London has made me a city person. I can’t cope without late night shops and decent coffee, but I was brought up in the countryside and, as Sheffield has both, it suits me just perfectly.
The room where I write is nice and quiet – which is pretty key for me. I don’t tend to write to music – very occasionally – but I’m so easily distracted (closes Facebook window!) I really need peace and quiet. My street is one of those that has tumbleweed blowing down it – it’s a dead end so nobody comes up it unless they live here, so there isn’t even much traffic noise. Next to my computer is my ‘Wall of Inspiration’.
There are some family pictures but I’ve also sneaked in a postcard of Charlotte Bronte’s writing room at Haworth (Pretentious? Moi?) I visited there during my honeymoon last year and the house is truly inspirational and of course very sad as all the Bronte’s died so young and were so extraordinarily talented. There’s also a postcard of a Norman Rockwell painting called ‘The Most Beloved American Writer’. It supposedly depicts Jo March from Little Women, scribbling away in her garret. I read this book about 150 times when I was young and of course I loved Jo March, although my sister tells me I was more like Amy!
Unlike a lot of creative people (e.g. my husband who’s a musician) I am a complete morning person. I go to bed looking forward to getting up again – sounds insane to most people. I was even like this as a teenager, sad! I’m fairly bad with late nights – hate working at night although I do have to do it sometimes. At one point I used to work shifts – sometimes up until midnight and it practically killed me. I really have a huge amount of energy first thing in the morning, which doubtless means I’ve annoyed various flat-mates and friends over the years. I used to have a dog so it was always a great excuse to get up and walk the dog first thing in the morning, but really I don’t need an excuse. Now I have a very greedy cat called George who wakes me up most mornings demanding food.
I try to keep ‘office hours’ when I’m writing. I share the spare room/office with my husband who also works partly from home. I work until 3.30 most days which is when my son gets home from school, and occasionally I work in the evenings as well if I’ve got a heap to do. I absolutely hate having writing log-jams and I will work (reluctantly) through the night in order to avoid them. I write for lots of different publications and websites as well as writing books, and I also manage an academic journal a couple of days a week for Sheffield University so I’m pretty busy. Because of the variety of work that I do I have different writing styles depending on what I’m writing for, and sometimes I think I should literally be wearing different hats for different jobs to get me in the mood!