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 magazine editor and author Katie O’Sullivan.

Katie’s latest book SON OF A MERMAID by Crescent Moon Press is now out in the world and ready for your reading pleasure.

SonofaMermaid_FrontCover modified

You can also find Katie blogging at

Welcome Katie!


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?


 Author Katie O’ Sullivan


I live year-round on Cape Cod with my family and two big dogs, and have a “day job” as the editor of a local online magazine,

We originally bought this house as a summer cottage, and several years back moved in full-time, thinking we’d expand it. (We’re finally getting around to that this year.)


On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

As I mentioned, we’ve been planning to renovate the house, so my “temporary” office is in the middle of the living room. For the last four years. Really. Before that, I sat with my laptop at the kitchen counter. Closer to the coffee pot, but not good for my back.

My desk currently sits between the dining room table and the sofa. It works well while the kids are asleep or at school, not so much the rest of the time. Hopefully that all changes this year!


Katie’s Workspace


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

My desk and chair were Christmas gifts from my husband in 2009, the year I published my first book. The chair is fabulous – a Herman Miller Aeron chair that’s fully and completely adjustable. The desk I chose myself at Staples – it’s made of glass, and my thinking was that it wouldn’t take up too much visual space that way. (The only problem is the dust. And I hate to dust.)


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

Coffee. I need coffee to work. I have a set of Longaberger coffee cups that I love and use on a daily basis


Katie’s must have: Coffee!

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

As much as I hate to dust, I love to have little objects to daydream on – my current favorites are a tiny pewter mermaid, a mermaid crafted from a clothespin, a china swan I’ve had since childhood and a blue glass heart that my son bought for me on a visit to Nantucket last summer.


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

Coffee. Lots of coffee.

 puppy modified

Katie’s puppy: all grown up!

On Writing

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

I’ve been an avid reader since I was a kid, reading absolutely everything I could get my hands on. The works of Tolkien introduced me to fantasy, and Marion Zimmer Bradley got me hooked on Arthurian legends, but I also read a lot of Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Agatha Christie. Good thing I was an English lit major in college, because it gave me a good excuse to indulge in my book fetish!

But I don’t have a “favorite” author, only current favs. One of my current crushes is Erin Morgenstern, author of THE NIGHT CIRCUS. I so love that book!


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

I don’t have a “typical” writing day – I have three busy teens who keep my days pretty atypical. I do like to get up early (before their alarms go off for school) and check my email and such. I can’t settle down into writing or editing (or anything) if I think there’s an email waiting to be opened.


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

I do write every day – if only to write blog posts or future columns for CapeWomenOnline. The best days are the ones where I get immersed in a WIP and suddenly the kids are home and where did the day go? I love those days.

As for distractions, did I mention that I share the house with teenagers?


4. Why do you write?

I enjoy telling stories, but I express myself better on the page. Maybe that’s because writing gives me the chance to edit my remarks into something sharper and wittier than I could ever come up with on the spot.


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

One of my favorite sayings is “Writers write.” Someone said it at a writers’ conference, and the phrase stuck with me (even if I can’t remember who said it.)

It reminds me that if I want to be a writer, I need to get my butt into that chair and do the work.



Katie O’Sullivan lives with her family and big dogs next to the ocean on Cape Cod, drinking way too much coffee and inventing new excuses not to dust. She writes YA and romantic suspense, and works as the Editor for magazine. Her debut YA novel, SON OF A MERMAID, will be making a splash from Crescent Moon Press in May 2013.

Find her online:

Katie’s blog:




Like romantic suspense? Read UNFOLDING THE SHADOWS – available now in ebook and paperback at


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32 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Katie O’Sullivan”

  1. KatieO says:

    Thanks for inviting me over today! This was fun!

  2. Loved learning more about Katie. I’m like her with the moving work area and the need for lots of coffee.

  3. I write in the middle of my living room too, but without a desk… What a beautiful dog you have Katie!

    • KatieO says:

      Hi, Annalisa! How do you write without a desk? Actually, I did try that at first, using the counter or my lap. I’m much more productive at a desk, lol, since it feels like I’m supposed to be working 😉

  4. Hello Katie! Nice to meet you. How wonderful to live full-time in your summer home. Writing near a coffee pot is always a good thing, especially when you share your home with teens. I enjoyed learning about you and your work space :)

    • KatieO says:

      Hi, Jennifer! I can’t complain about the location one bit. The house itself could use some improving, but we’re on top of that right now. Finally. It’s all good 😉

  5. Shelly says:

    Hi, Katie. Coffee, candy, and puppies. I like you already.

    Hugs and chocolate,

    Hey, Nut: Your page keeps freezing up on me. ***shrugs***

  6. Pat Hatt says:

    I hope you don’t get a lot of junk email, opening all of them would take all day

  7. I like your reason for writing – that’s funny.
    Bradley wrote some good books.
    Congratulations, Katie!

  8. Lexa Cain says:

    What?! That itty-bitty teeny-weeny puppy grew up to be a St. Bernard?! WOW! lol
    Cape Cod sounds awesome, Katie, and I loved learning about you. Wishing you much success with Son of a Mermaid and all your other books! :-)

  9. My writing days aren’t typical either, Katie. For that matter, my whole life is rather chaotic.

  10. I love your St. Bernard!! I had one growing up. :)

    Thanks for the interview, ladies!

  11. mooderino says:

    I bet the dog doesn’t fit under the desk any more.


  12. Love the peek into your world! Your dog is gorgeous. And where you live, wow. Absolutely inspiring.

  13. Mary Pax says:

    Waving at Shell!

    It’s great to meet Katie. Love the title and cover of her new book. I have a cat under my desk instead of a puppy, and sometimes I really miss coffee.

  14. I need a writing buddy like that dog. But then he would end up being a distraction more than anything.

    I love the phrase, “Writer’s write.” There are so many writer wannabes that don’t understand that concept.

  15. I’m jealous of your chair. I’m in the process of replacing mine, and it’s a chore finding the right one.

    Great interview!

  16. Nas says:

    Great to meet Katie! And her writing space and her companion is awesome!

    Thanks for sharing!


  17. Jemi Fraser says:

    Great answers! Enjoy the fact that you have a desk – haven’t found room for one yet! One of these days… :)

  18. Hi, Nutschell & Katie,
    It’s always interesting to see other people’s writing space and hear how they organize their days. If I’m seeing right, Katie has an ergonomic keyboard. I never use anything else. Such a cool invention.

  19. Emilyann says:


    I love the “Writers write!” phrase. That is what I hear most from fellow writers. In fact I participated in a live chat with Terry Brooks on goodreads recently and that was one of his big pieces of advice for writers. He mentioned that just being in the chair in looking at a blank screen is sometimes part of the process.


    Thank you for another great interview :)

  20. I seriously love your interviews because it gives such a nice insight into other writer’s lives. 😀 And living in Cape Cod? How fun. Also – mermaids are awesome.

  21. TF Walsh says:

    Great interview, and I really love the sound of your book Katie. Such a nice twist from the usual female mermaid:) Plus, I love mermaid stories. Congrats.

  22. PK Hrezo says:

    Nice to meet Katie! And what a great cover!!

    Love the dog at the foot of that desk. Makes it extra special!

  23. What a hectic, but fulfilling life Kate. By the way, I’ve never tried M&Ms and coffee, but I’ll give it a try.

  24. VR Barkowski says:

    I can relate Katie, I’ve never had a typical writing day, either. Loved the pics of your pup, and I’m only a tiny bit jealous that you get to live (and write!) on Cape Cod. :)

    VR Barkowski

  25. I love Cape Cod and think that Katie is SO lucky to live there! I think it is awesome that she writes every day- as her schedule allows. How can you go wrong with coffee and M and Ms? :)

  26. I can imagine a house full of teenagers would be distracting.

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