Over the course of the year we’ll be asking our authors to share pictures of where they work, and it seems unfair to ask someone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself! So I’m going first: here are a few photos of my desk in its usual state of slight scatter and mess.
This is my desk caught at a fairly normal level of untidiness though it can be a lot worse. I tend to pile stuff up during the day and then sort and tidy before I leave. There is only one coffee cup; this is unusual. I really should put up more pictures to cover the holes in the wall. At the moment there’s just the LEXICON paperback jacket, staring at me. And a picture of a fox on the left, I can’t remember where that came from.
The top shelf is my collection of SAINT books - we’re reissuing the thirty-five novels Charteris wrote solo. I’m aiming to fill it completely by the time they’re all out. Underneath is my file copy shelf, with gaps where books are in production and a few on loan. I’m about to run out of space.
My ‘Go away I’m editing’ mug from the brilliant Literary Gift Company, a present from a friend. It’s on top of my business cards, next to the box and bowl where I keep elastic bands and other bits and bobs.
A magnetic hedgehog for paperclips (from my aunt) and a wind-up dinosaur pencil sharpener (birthday present from colleagues). Neither get much use but they’re nice and cheerful. And I’m a hoarder.
New books and reprints that have just come from production. Above them are murder mystery bookmarks, a present from an author.
Covers waiting to be checked in my inbox. Next to it is a little closet for coats, which is also a pinboard for covers and other things we like. Sabine Durrant sent the top postcard (an old Iris Murdoch cover), Kate Rhodes the bottom one - it’s a picture of children at the Foundling school, which features in her next book. In the middle is the first-ever British painting of a guinea pig, put up by my office-mate Francesca in honour of her guinea pig Albertina.
Some old paperbacks of the Saint, used to check our reissues. The first 2014 edition of Red Herrings, the CWA’s magazine. An Eat napkin. A silly coaster, a present again. And that’s a souvenir from my visit to Bouchercon a couple of years back on the pinboard. I love noir-ish things and I had a great time there so I keep it around!
And that completes the tour… now to tidy up. And check the urgent covers.