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 fellow Write On member Ann Ormond Fennell, author of that fun blog Inkpots N’ Quills.

Welcome, Ann!


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?

Ann Ormond Fennell

I am Irish. I spend part of the year in the US where I work in a university department. The rest of the year is spent in my hometown in Ireland. I am a wife, a mother of four grown children and a grandmother of two of the most adorable baby boys.
I have grappled with the “What genre do you write” question.  But no more! I seem to have just discovered historical fantasy/romance.
Besides the obvious writing and reading, my interests are pretty much all over the place. I have just taken up horseback riding. Taking lessons twice a week. I knit, love cooking and have a keen interest in archery. I have always been a history fiend and travel is another great love. I can pack a suitcase in 20 minutes flat! Then there is opera and theatre to loves passed down by my parents.

I have absolutely “NO” hidden talents!

On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

I have two lovely desks but I do most of my writing on my laptop at the kitchen table or in my bed.

Ann’s Workspace

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

As I said I have two beautiful desks. I purchased both in antique stores one is a roll top and the other is kidney shaped and yet I use the kitchen table….go figure!

Ann’s Irish kitchen table

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

I must have Mozart playing. It seems to drown out all the other surrounding sounds and for some reason puts me in writing or creative mode. My characters seem to know when they hear Mozart their presence is required. They will usually make an appearance. Though sometimes the appearance may be fleeting.

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

There is a photograph of my family, a feathered quill and ink pot, a dictionary (both Webster and Oxford) multiply thesaurus’ and other sit proudly on top of the desk I don’t use!

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

A pot of Barry’s Tea must be at hand. Mozart and Barry’s….there is no writing without them!

On Writing

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

I have too many favorites to list, but a few are Jane Austin, the Bronte’s (all of them), Oscar Wilde, James Michener, Leon Uris, Maeve Binchy, Cathy Kelly, and Colm Toibin.

My Grandfather, the founder of the local paper in our town in Ireland. He used to bring me into the back room while the paper was rolling through the machines being printed. The smell of the ink always brings his smiling face to mind. He prided himself on his spelling. A strength I did not possess. He brought home a first print off and offered me a shilling for each misspelled word I found. Needless to say I didn’t get rich on this endeavour.

Ann at age 2, and her mother, Tess

2. What’s your typical day as a writer like?

After work I feign tiredness, go to my bed and take out my laptop.

3. Do you have any writing related rituals or quirks?

There is nothing like a relaxing bath at the end of the day, with a little Mozart playing, closing my eyes and seeing what my characters have been up to while I was trying to balance spreadsheets.

4.  Do you write everyday?

Yes, well I try. On the days I don’t actually write I am doing something related to writing. Reading a book on writing. Researching sometime relevant to my writing or editing something I have written.

5. How many hours a day do you spend writing?

At least an hour. More if I am on a roll.

6. What are some of your worst writing distractions?

The internet.

7. Why do you write?

I don’t really know. I have always written. I need to write. I need to get all the goings on…..going on in my head out of there!

Ann, at age 12

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

The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it.  –  Jules Renard


Thanks, Ann, for giving us a glimpse into your writing life.

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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10 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Ann Ormond Fennell”

  1. L'Aussie says:

    I’ve known Ann for quite awhile and it was absolutely lovely to read about her writing space and habits. Lovely photos. What a great series. I think this is only my second hit but I love it.

  2. mooderino says:

    I think Mozart would have written quite different music if his first name had been Barry.

    Great interview.


  3. Ciara Knight says:

    Nice to meet you, Ann. I like how you pretend to be tired so you can steal some writing time. :)

  4. Tyrean says:

    Nice to meet you Ann! I love that quote!!! I know how the desk thing works. I don’t have a pretty desk, but I do have one . . . under all the junk I pile onto it. I just cleaned it off yesterday, but here I am writing at the dining room table – as always. My favorite cup of tea for writing is decaf vanilla chai.

  5. Lovely writing space and that ritual of a hot bath and Mozart at the end of a writing day sounds exactly right!

  6. Arlee Bird says:

    Enjoyed this peak into your world. I’m with you on the Mozart. It’s not always Mozart for me, but that’s among my favorite writing background music.

    Wrote By Rote

  7. Ann, so nice to see you here. I’ve missed you at Write On!

    I liked you pretending-to-be-tired method. And I write a lot at my kitchen table too.

  8. Ann says:

    Thank you Nutschell for featuring me on your blog.

  9. That is the beauty of laptops … you can set them up anywhere. Very enjoyable interview!

    Kathy M.

  10. Miranda Hardy says:

    What beautiful pictures. I love that she’s a traveler. I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland.

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