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 Emilyann Girdner, author of the fantasy novel, The Labyrinth Wall.

You can find Emilyann blogging at

labyrinth wall modified

The Labyrinth Wall is the tale of a young woman who discovers that although labyrinth walls confine her and her enemies try to repress her, the power of hope can set her free.

Araina’s isolated teenage life is forever altered when she witnesses a man emerge through a rippling wall into the dark labyrinth she calls home. As a result of the stranger’s arrival, Araina’s Creators have unleashed a series of magical attacks using the labyrinth against its inhabitants. Now Araina must decide if she will trust potentially deceitful allies in order to reach safety on the other side of the labyrinth wall.

Find it here: The Labyrinth Wall


Welcome, Emilyann!


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?

Emily ann girdnerAuthor Emilyann Girdner

I’m a Communication Specialist at organizational development firm in Florida. My primary responsibilities involve writing weekly blog content, producing graphics and monitoring social media.

As for my favorite genre, I prefer fantasy fiction (and explore many possibilities within that realm).

A hidden talent you ask? I usually have a knack for guessing movie plots long before they’re revealed. However, I feel like that’s getting rusty.



On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

This is tough, because I change up my writing locations a lot. Sometimes I work on my laptop on the couch, sometimes at the kitchen table and sometimes on the desk in my room. For the sake of narrowing things down, I’ll say I work on the couch most, because that room is brighter.

emily workspace modified

Emilyann’s Workspace


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

Since I work on the couch, I use the coffee table for my water or powerade zero. The coffee table was a piece from Walmart.


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

Well, standard on my coffee table you will find a lit candle, coasters, and a tic-tack-toe board. Beneath it are my photo albums, which are nice to have close by. But when I write, you’re likely to see my sketch book where I draw inspirations or characters. But no matter where I’m writing in the house, you’ll almost find my cat Benny beside me, and my iphone set to a Pandora station.


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

I like the comfort of the couch and the brightness of the room. Definitely Benny’s presence and music are musts for my writing comfort. I love to have Pandora set to the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter stations.


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

Ice water is a favorite, because I’ve got a terrible habit of chewing on the ice (not because the water is healthy). As I mentioned, I love Powerade Zero. Sometimes if I’m being mischievous I like to drink sweet tea.

 emily favorite picture modified

My favorite photo: The side ponytail is my signature, I love the 80’s and this was a fun 80’s dress up night at my dorm and it brings back memories of my freshman year at college which was one of the best times in my life

On Writing

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

Terry Brooks is my favorite author. The Elf Queen of Shannara has been my favorite book since I first read it in eighth grade, which is also about the time my love of writing truly began taking hold. Over the years many encouraging people like family and teachers have inspired me to write.


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

It all depends on the project as far as the ritual. There is almost always some research involved no matter what to get me in the right frame of mind and get my ducks in a row. It’s funny because I asked my husband about his perspective on this question, and he said my quirk is that I don’t sleep. It’s true, when I’m done outlining and really prepared to jump into a project, I have been known to pull all-nighters. When I get in the zone, it’s hard to stop.

emily with labyrinth wall modified

Me with the very first printed proof copy of The Labyrinth Wall


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

I do write everyday between my day job and my personal projects. But that can range from thirty minutes to hours. As far as my creative projects outside of work, they usually happen in spurts. I’ll pick a period of time (say a month) and let everyone know I’m not available. During that time I write whenever I can including after work, lunch breaks and the weekend

benny modified

My writing buddy and kitty pal, Benny


4. Why do you write?

I wrote everyday in high school (but it was very dark writing) so when I went to college and my outlook on life became much more optimistic, I quit writing (almost completely) for a couple years. There was a big fear that if I tried to go back to, I’d get sucked back into a dark place. But as I got close to graduating college with an Art degree, I realized there was something missing. As much as I loved the visual form, I couldn’t express and explore everything I needed to in that medium. So the summer before I graduated I tried writing again, and couldn’t stop. I wrote my first novel that summer. So to summarize the moral of the story, I write because it completes me.


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

It’s always odd being asked for advice, because everyday I’m learning more and still growing. That being said, there are a couple lessons from my journey that I can share.


These are little notes I keep around to keep me on track:

  • ·       Write because you love it, not because you want to be loved.
  • ·       If you doubt your message, others will doubt you.
  • ·       Always enjoy your creative journey, because it is yours to shape.



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

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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8 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Emilyann Girdner”

  1. Emilyann says:

    Thank you so much for the lovely interview, Nutschel. I very much enjoyed it. And speaking of sweet tea, now I have a craving, lol! Also, for any other Terry Brooks lovers out there, watch for the new Shannara series that’s coming. I can’t wait =)

    Thank you again, Nutschel.

  2. Terry Brooks! You rock, Emilyann.
    And yes, that is a true 80’s look on you.

  3. Great interview! Not sleeping is totally a quirk of mine, too, haha. And aww, Benny is so adorable! :)

    • Thank you, Heather. Haha, I suspect many of us writers share that habit. It’s hard to stop typing sometimes.

      And Benny thanks you. He’s purring beside the keyboard as we speak =) lol

  4. Pat Hatt says:

    Nice writing buddy haha great interview and wise final tips too

  5. Karen Lange says:

    Nutschell, It’s nice to meet Emilyann! Thanks to both of you for sharing the post. :) Meeting other writers is inspiring. Have a great week!

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