Thursday, October 17, 2013

My Writing Space - B.J. Daniels

I'm continuing my series about something that interests me personally: writing spaces. I love to hear about that creative nook writers make for themselves in order to encourage the word-smithing genius. Therefore I've asked some of my author friends to share a picture and description of their personal writing spaces. 

This week I am thrilled to have USA Today bestselling author B.J. Daniels talking about her writing space. B.J. has published over 60 novels and is the poster child for bestsellers in Intrigue. But moreover, I find B.J. (Barb) to be a fabulous person. She and I met when I attended the Romance Writers of America conference this past July. She happened to be talking with me at a moment when I was feeling particularly overwhelmed -- and like I couldn't possibly belong -- at the Harlequin author party (surrounded by people like her who had written dozen and dozens of bestselling books, compared to my measly just-barely one). She put her arm around me and said, "You're one of us now." Her other advice included "Just write your books one at a time."

The clincher for the "Barb is a Fabulous Person Award" came when I asked her if she would be willing to talk about her writing space a few weeks ago. I wasn't even sure she would remember me, but she did. And she said -- twice -- she'd be "honored" to be a part of the My Writing Space segment. Graciousness of that type says a lot about a person.

But believe me, the honor is all mine.
My Writing Space - From the desk of B.J. Daniels:
We moved about seven years ago to a small town in north central Montana. The house we bought was a two-story stone structure with four large bedrooms. I quickly realized when my husband began remodeling that I didn’t have a writing room.

“We’ll have to buy you a building.”


BJ Daniel's office as it looked when it was built in 1915
He had one in mind. It was a tiny structure along the main drag that had once been the telephone office. Built out of concrete like a bunker, it had large glass block windows with lots of light and two levels with a bathroom. I moved my furniture in and went to work.

Now, after seven years, my husband is going to remodel my office. I can’t wait. I have all kinds of cool plans for what I would like it to be. We’ll see. :-)

Since I have nine-foot ceilings, I’m thinking cool drop lights, bamboo floors, a small kitchen in the back and another bathroom. The other bathroom is on the second level. I want lots of bookshelves and bright colors.

One of BJ's quilts
I love my space even as it is because it’s very quiet and sunny and all mine. I write in one area and quilt in another. Yes, I can see my sewing machine and projects from my desk, but I don’t sew until I have written my ten pages a day.

Whenever there is a parade, it goes right past the front window of my office. Since being a telephone office, this building has been everything from a church to a flower shop. I love that it was built in 1915 and you can still see the word TELEPHONE in the front, though only barely.

My desk, while large, gets completely covered by the end of a book. So my ritual is to clean off my desk before I start another book. My desk calendar is usually covered with writing. I scribble everything on there including character names, appointments, birthdays and notes to myself. I keep the calendars because I often have to go back and find something important that I wrote down. :-)

I have no organization, which you’ve probably already figured out. But it works for me. I used to file papers on the floor. I don’t do that anymore now that I have plenty of space to stack them somewhere else. :-)

I love my space because I can escape the house. The office is about four blocks away from the house – just far enough since we get a lot of company.

Info About B.J. Daniels 
USA Today Bestselling author B.J. Daniels was born in Texas but moved with her family to Montana at the age of five. Her first home was a cabin in the Gallatin Canyon and later a lake house on Hebgen Lake outside of West Yellowstone.

Most of her books are set in Montana, a place she loves. She lives now in a unique part of the state with her husband and three Springer Spaniels.

When she isn't writing, she loves to play tennis, boat, camp, quilt and snowboard. There is nothing she enjoys more than curling up with a good book.

You can find her current release FORSAKEN at her website:


  1. It sounds wonderful! How does it look outside now? Do you usually walk to work or drive? And when it is snowy, as it often is in Montana, do you still go in to your office? Obviously, as a quilter, I love that your creative space includes your needlework. But do you only quilt there? Or do you take handpiecing home sometimes? Okay, enough questions :). Love your space, love your books!

  2. It sounds like a fabulous place to write! I have a home office, and that's very distracting at times. Even more so since I decided to write in my craft room because of the happy surroundings!!

    I looooove old buildings, and yours sounds sooooo wonderful!!

    Thanks so much for sharing!!

  3. That building is awesome !
    Good luck with the remodel.

  4. So you needed an office and your husband bought you a building! I'd say that man is a "keeper".

  5. Thank you guys so much.I love my office space. I sew down there on my sewing machine and hand quilt at home.. My office is close enough I can walk if it isn't too cold or icy. It is really light and quiet so a great place to work.