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 Clarissa Draper, author of The Sholes Key.

the sholes key

Welcome Clarissa!


Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living?

Well, I live to write. I don’t have another job other than that. Although I don’t make a lot of money writing, I Couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

What genre do you love to write?

My main genre is mystery/thriller but I do like to write short stories and other genres such as science fiction and general fiction.

What are some of your hobbies or interests?

Besides reading and doing research, I love mathematics and numbers puzzles. Nerdy, I know.

Do you have a hidden talent?

I’m great at origami. Does that count?

On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

I have an office in my bedroom but because I write early in the morning, I usually write on the sofa in the living room.

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

A friend actually gave it to me for free. She was getting a new one so I got her old one. I cannot write when things around me are messy, I try to keep my desk very tidy.

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Clarissa’s workspace


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

you as you work?

My Cambridge dictionary. I love the smell of the pages.

I write much better with coffee. Also, my boxer keeps me company. I have been known to bounce ideas off her once and awhile.


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

Even though my office is in my bedroom, it looks like a professional work space and makes me feel like a professional writer.

My husband recently gave me a chalk-outline post-it note set.

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


On Writing

1. Who is your favorite author?

I have so many, how can I choose? Right now I love Val Mcdermid and Shirley Wells.

Who inspired you to write? Agatha Christie. She dreamed up the best plots.


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

I wake up really early in the morning. I try to get in an hour worth of writing before I start the rest of my day (at least 500 words). I break up my writing into three parts: (1) Writing (2) Recording (3) Planning. I spend the morning writing. In the afternoon, I record notes about what I wrote into the timeline, the character cards and the chapter outline. Then I spend a few minutes in the evening planning what I’m going to write the next day.

Do you have any writing related rituals or quirks? I need my office to be neat before I can write. Fortunately, I dont’ keep my office a mess and I can get on with the task of writing straight away.


3.     Do you write everyday?How many hours a day do you spend writing? What are some of your worst writing distractions?

Do you write everyday? I try.

How many hours a day do you spend writing?
At least one to two hours writing, recording and planning.

What are some of your worst writing distractions? Stress is my number one distraction because when my mind is muddled, I can’t focus on writing. Social media doesn’t distract me much because I would rather be writing than on Facebook.


4. Why do you write?

Because I have to.


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

Writing is hard work. I believe you have to write regularly to keep creativity high. That’s why I try to write everyday.

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration. – Thomas Edison





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

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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23 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Clarissa Draper”

  1. A couple hours a day writing is good.
    Like the notepad set!! perfect for a mystery writer.

  2. Thanks for hosting Clarissa!

    Clarissa – I love how clean and, well, airy your writing space is. Like you, I need to keep my office neat, so I know what you mean. Oh, and Alex is right. That notepad is terrific.

  3. I love your organized desk. I keep mine clean, too.

    I need to bounce some ideas off my cats. They have to be good for something besides furring up my keyboard.

  4. That notepad set is ideal for you, but than that’s why hubby got that one. My writing area is neat only because I have a teeny-tiny desk.

  5. Thanks for hosting Nutschell! I love that notepad too Clarissa and origami is my passion.

  6. Tyrean says:

    Thanks for hosting Nutschell!
    Clarissa – origami is fun! And that chalk outline notepad is cool! I also love that you have such an organized schedule – I’m working on that.

  7. Mason Canyon says:

    The Writing Nut, thanks for hosting Clarissa.

    Clarissa, such a neat desk. Mine usually includes a couple of cats. Love the notepad and who could go through a day without coffee. Wishing you much success.

    Thoughts in Progress

  8. Sia McKye says:

    Mathematics and number puzzles? They drive me nuts. I have a friend who love sudoko–my skills in that are dismal. Origami is such a beautiful passion. :-)

    Love your notepad guy with the pen stuck in him–great for murder and mayhem.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

  9. I always like seeing other writers’ writing spaces and learning about their work habits. This was great, and that post-it notepad is awesome! It’s the perfect gift for a mystery writer.

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  10. I’ve never read any Agatha Christie. I guess I should change that. It was nice seeing your very spotless writing spot, Clarissa.

  11. Nice to see Clarissa here. Oh, that’s an excellent notepad!

  12. Hilary says:

    Hi Nutschell and Clarissa – great to read a few insights – gosh that desk is clean! Interesting about the writers … presumably Shirley Wells is the Dylan Scott mystery writer .. I loved her Presumed Dead. Agatha Christie and those early detective/murder mystery writers were always in my hands …

    Love the notepad – clever hubby! Cheers to you both – Hilary

  13. Old Kitty says:

    I am totally loving the chalk outline post it note set! LOL! How brilliant is that!

    And love your minimalist work station too Clarissa! It’s fabulous!! And I am in awe at how organised your writing day is! Good for you!

    Take care

  14. I can’t write in a mess or with a muddled head either. Love the post it notes!

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