A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
I write this sitting in the kitchen sink…
Not really. My feet fit, but my draining board appears to be a bit smaller than Cassandra’s,’ and despite that being quite possibly the best opening line of any book (and one of my favourites*), I don’t think it would work for me. I’m quite particular about where I write.
I do write things sitting in the kitchen. Well, the open plan living room bit of the kitchen. My desk is near the large window, but faces the wall, a framed picture my toddler painted, and lots of post-its covered with notes, questions, thoughts and ideas about the book I’m working on. It’s my absolute favourite place to write. There’s no music, nothing to see (apart from the notes and some avant-garde art) and absolutely nothing to distract me.
I can’t write in other people’s houses, not if the people are still in it. It’s too distracting. I suddenly become aware of every noise, wonder what they’re doing and, however well meaning, saying ‘no thanks, I’m good for cushions/dinner/pencils/conversation right now’.
The National Theatre café is my second office when I’m editing. I can’t write there; it’s too noisy and it’s perfect for people watching (eavesdropping optional), but conversely, the hustle and bustle works to my advantage when I’m editing. I know; it’s weird. Now I’m such a regular I have a loyalty card and can highly recommend the hot chocolate. The courgette cake is good too.
Back home I’ve tried sitting on the sofa with a notebook and pen (no) and I’ve tried a laptop tray (dear me, no). I’ve even tried writing on trains (London-Edinburgh is ideal) though as I often travel with a toddler, I spend any train time reading picture books and/or singing.
Ultimately I need a desk. And a comfy chair. And my laptop. I might jot down notes on paper, but when I’m writing, the thoughts come so thick and fast I need to type quickly to keep up (I’m a touch typist). I also need easy access to tea and coffee. And silence. And a sink. My feet might not be in it, but I’m happiest near the kitchen.
*I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Sarah Baker has worked extensively in film, with roles at Aardman Features and the Bermuda Film Festival, and as Story Editor at Celador Films. She has also been a writer and blogger for vintage fashion magazines. Sarah currently lives in London with her son. THROUGH THE MIRROR DOOR is her first book, a time-slip novel for 9+ that’s perfect for fans of Emma Carroll, Katherine Rundell and Robin Stevens.