Scene of the Crime – Duane Swierczynski

In a new addition to Scene of the Crime, Duane Swierczynski, author of Revolver, reveals his writing places throughout the years

Posted on August 9, 2017 in Scene of the Crime
Tags: Scene of the Crime

We Have Always Written in the Bedroom.

By ‘we,’ I mean ‘me.’ I have almost always written in a bedroom. Or someone else’s.

I wrote my very first stories in high school on a typewriter in the back bedroom of my parents’ house in Philadelphia. A block away, trains on the Frankford El (an elevated train) would rumble and hiss to a stop every few minutes. On the other side of our house was a fire station, and every so often there’d be the din of piercing sirens. There is where I learned to block out any noise, giving me the ability to write through practically anything.

I wrote my first novel at a desk in the bedroom of my apartment in Brooklyn. I was a newlywed, so my bride had to share me with this weird mess of a book I was struggling to put together over the summer of 1998.

I wrote the next dozen novels at our house in Philadelphia, starting out in the smallest bedroom (which was painted pink) until our daughter was born. For a while, I had an actual office in our basement level – until we decided the kids needed a play area. After that, I moved to a dark, windowless alcove in our bedroom. Damn, I miss that basement.

Since moving to Los Angeles last summer, I’ve set up shop in the corner of… yes, you guessed it, our bedroom. But this time, it’s different. I have windows! I have a view of an actual palm tree! And if I part the Levolor blinds and peer over the tops of the buildings, I can see the back side of Mt. Lee, which is famous for its HOLLYWOOD sign (on the front side, naturally). Yes, folks, I write with a view of the ass end of Hollywood. Which only seems appropriate.

Sure, I do stray from the bedroom once in a while. I like to take my laptop to a local bar here in Burbank—Barney’s Beanery or The Story Tavern—and write while sipping beer. (I read that Quentin Tarantino wrote some of the script for Pulp Fiction at the original Barney’s.) If I’m grabbing a bite before a movie at either the New Beverly Cinema or the historic Egyptian on Hollywood Boulevard, I’ll jot down some thoughts and ideas in a little notebook I carry with me.

But most of the real work happens in the bedroom. As always.

Pretty sure that when I die, it’ll be at my desk in a bedroom somewhere. I just hope there’s a decent view.


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