Every Wednesday, I feature a writer and his/her workspace.  My aim is to get to know fellow writers better through their workspace and writing habits, and have them  share some of their writing wisdom here.

Today, I am most eager to welcome Angela Ackerman,co-author of one of my favorite writing books, THE EMOTION THESAURUS. Along with Becca Puglisi, Angela has also co-authored two other wonderful writing books – THE POSITIVE TRAIT THESAURUS and the NEGATIVE TRAIT THESAURUS.

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You can find Angela (and Becca) sharing writing tips and techniques at 

Welcome, Angela!


Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living? What genre do you love to write? What are some of your hobbies or interests? Do you have a hidden talent?

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Author Angela Ackerman

I am a full time writer and mom to two crazy and hilarious teen boys living in Canada. About two years ago I switched city living for semi-country living, which is a great backdrop for many of my stories. I write middle grade and young adult contemporary mysteries, but right now, all of my writing time is going into producing books for writers like The Emotion Thesaurus. I love to travel and have been to some interesting places. Not sure I have any super-interesting hidden talents, but I am a decent cook!


On Workspace


1. Where do you do most of your writing?

For the most part, I write from my office. As you can see, I have a great view of the woods, and quite often deer stroll through my yard. This house also came with a chipmunk (dubbed “Lightning” by the previous owners) who lives in the woodpile, and his tree acrobatics keep me well entertained.

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Angela’s workspace


2. Where did you get your desk? How did you go about arranging your work area?

I bought this desk at Staples, and the window was the best spot to place it. I have built in bookshelves and the third wall is actually an open balcony, so I didn’t have a lot of options, but the view more than makes up for it!


3. What are some important things on your desk? Are there specific things you need to have around you as you work?

I tend to keep a lot of note paper around, because I am notorious for note taking. Being an author means running a business, and my day is pretty packed with marketing as well as writing. Notes keep me on track. I also keep my business plan right within reach, so I am always reminded to stay on task. I have a great library of books on writing craft that I like to have handy.

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Writing books

4. What do you love most about your workspace? Do you have any favorite objects on your desk, or things you use often?

I draw inspiration from the weird, so I have a keychain voodoo doll collection hanging in my window, and an army of zombie gnomes to keep me company.

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Angela’s Zombie gnomes

5. What’s your writing beverage? What do you love to drink while you’re writing?

Coffee. Always coffee!


On Writing


1. Who is your favorite author? Who inspired you to write?

Oh, tough question! Favorite author? Just one? This is like asking me to pick a favorite son! Okay, I would have to say the late Robert Jordan is one of my favorites, but it was both Stephen King and Terry Brooks who inspired me to pick up a pen. Love all three!


2. What’s your typical day as a writer like? Do you have any writing-related rituals or quirks?

I start the day usually messing around a bit while I drink that first cup of coffee. I play some Clash of Clans, do my rounds on Twitter and Facebook, and check my email for anything important. I do a bit of marketing too, and analyze our efforts and visibility as well as look at possible opportunities for further visibility. Once it’s time to get down to business, I set a Pomodoro timer or turn on Rainymood and start writing. I often write until 4 or 5 pm, and then my brain gets the dumb and I focus on more social media or spend time with the family.


3. Do you write everyday? How many hours a day do you spend writing? What are some of your worst writing distractions? (You can provide a picture of this if you want—like if you have cats or games that distract you)

I write monday to friday–I love it, I love sharing the worlds inside my head. Some days are bigger “marketing” days, so it’s more blogging type writing than book writing, but each weekday I write. The books Becca and I are working on now (two Setting Thesaurus books) are very research-heavy, so depending on the setting we’re working on, there might be more researching than actual writing. My biggest distraction is probably social media, but it’s one of those necessary evils as I really need to do it well in order to find my audience and foster relationships.


4. Any writing tips or techniques or words of wisdom you want to share with us? How about a favorite writing quote?

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This might seem like an odd quote to draw inspiration from, but it reminds me how amazing stories often misdirect the reader. When you read this quote, you think it’s going one place, but it takes you somewhere else entirely. I think one of the most incredible feats is surprising the reader.

Thanks so much for featuring me today! This has been super fun talking about my writing process!



Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your writing life, Angela!

Wednesday Writer’s Workspace is an ongoing series, and if you’re interested in being featured here, simply leave me a message in the comment box, and I’ll be sure to email you.

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11 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Angela Ackerman”

  1. Loved learning more about Angela and her workspace and writing schedule. So awesome her desk overlooks the woods.

  2. Sheri Larsen says:

    Hi Angela!!

    Zombie gnomes… #snort Love those!

    I tend to keep an ocean of paper around my desk too, Angela. Usually, by mid novel I’m drowning in it all.

  3. Zombie Gnomes! That’s awesome. Gosh, the deer and chipmunk might distract me. :)

  4. Angela says:

    Ha, thanks guys! Sorry the one picture is so dark…I had to choose between daytime and showing you my view, or night and less shadows, but a dark window. My kiddo messed up the blinds so they can’t be opened or closed #lesigh

    I love those gnomes. I actually have two zombie ones…two friends independently bought them for me. How scary is that? Haha!

  5. Would be interested in preparing a blog for you for late November as I’m preparing for a month-long trip to the States. Fran Silverman sent me an email.

    I spend most of my time in Costa Rica where I look out on a beautiful garden as I sit at my computer. I just participated in the International Book Fair held in San Jose. I’m about to publish a third book; have 40 pages to go on a fourth before I start editing it.


  6. Yes! More Thesaurus books, please.
    I dig your gnomes, Angela.

  7. Hilary says:

    Hi Nutschell and Angela .. (and Becca) .. quite agree re the more Thesaurus books – they are a great idea. Gorgeous views .. but the blinds must be frustrating! Children .. beloved as always …

    Cheers to you both – Hilary

    • Yes, my son…and he messed them up literally a week after helping me fix them. The window is huge, and so the blinds are super heavy…one of these days I’ll drag him in to help me fix them again! Thanks for stopping in Hilary!

  8. I have yet to play “Clash of Clans” but I might give it a try now.

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