Scene of the Crime – Brenda Novak

Scene of the Crime

Brenda Novak, author of HER DARKEST NIGHTMARE, talks about where she writes for our regular Scene of the Crime piece.

Posted on September 6, 2016 in Guest Author, Scene of the Crime
Tags: Author Content, Brenda Novak, US author, thriller, where i write

I love what I do for many reasons. I’m an introvert, so I don’t mind spending hours and hours alone, working independently of others. I have always been enthralled by the magic of story, since I first found the shelf of classics in the school library at eight years old and fell in love with the written word. And writing gave me a vocation that did not necessitate me leaving my children with someone else (something I was loath to do after catching my daycare provider drugging my first three with cough syrup to get them to sleep all day while I worked as a loan officer). But what I like most about being a novelist is that I can set my own hours and work from almost anywhere. As long as I have my computer with me, I can write on a plane, in a waiting room, on a beach, leaning back on the pillows of my bed after just having awakened in the morning (without so much as a shower!) or while enjoying a drink at Starbucks. I could even do it in the bathtub if I could devise some way of making sure my computer didn’t fall in! If that doesn’t recommend the life of an author, then mentioning the fact that I can work in any clothing I like certainly will.

I am often asked about my schedule and habits – when I write, from where and how many hours I spend each day at my craft. I work Monday through Friday all day long, just as if I had a corporate job (one where I stayed late all the time). If I’m not writing, I’m on social media interacting with my readers or planning fun promotions for those who subscribe to my mailing list. And, as I mentioned above, I write from almost anywhere. That means I could show you fabulous pictures of some of the vacations I’ve taken in the past to Alaska, the Kingdom of Tonga, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Hawaii or the Caribbean. But those types of pictures can be easily found online or in any travel brochure, so I’ll go with the less exotic and show you where I most often write – in my home.

Brenda Novak's Office

Once four of my five children were raised, we downsized to a smaller place. I’d lost my interest in cooking and cleaning, and a smaller house and yard were easier to manage. I wanted to be able to throw myself into my stories and fulfill the many contracts I had signed without a great deal of other responsibilities. I felt like it was time for me to cut loose. The one thing that I loved when viewing my current home was its very large master bedroom. It has provided the perfect place for a desk, a couple of filing cabinets and the requisite bookshelves, where I put my favourite research books, my collection of autographed novels by my favourite authors, such as Ken Follett and Diana Gabaldon, various awards and many of my sentimental trinkets (mostly things my kids have made or given me over the years). These are the things I love most because they remind me of what I hold dear in life – my family, my books and my career.

I thought I was all set up. Then, without the demands of motherhood to keep me running all the time, I realised I was sitting WAY too much. I read somewhere that ‘sitting is the new smoking’, which meant, by that yardstick, I was going through several packs a day. This shone a glaring light on probably the worst downside to my job – it’s too sedentary, especially for a deep concentrator like me who prefers to finish whatever she’s doing to even getting up to eat. So I purchased a ‘walking desk’, and that’s where I try to work for at least a couple of hours each day. It hasn’t been easy to get used to typing while moving, but with 3-4 books due each year, I’m steadily working away and slowly getting used to it.

Brenda Novak's Walking Desk

I often post pictures of my family, my activities, answers to various reader questions and giveaways on my own social media, so follow me at if you’d like to know more about me, my work or my process of creation. I’d love to have you join the fun!

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