It’s been nearly a year since we bought our new house. And even though the floor boards are uneven and the colour scheme is dated, but not quite old enough to be fashionable again, we love it. It has character and we have the space we longed for for years. We are surrounded by the bush on one side and our beautiful garden on the other. It’s a house worth waiting for – and wait we did!
We have four distinct seasons in Canberra and it’s been wonderful learning how the house and garden are in each season, discovering the different blooms in the garden, seeing the colours of the leaves change, learning how the bush sounds different every season, finding the coolest place in the house in summer and the cosiest corner in winter.
But as beautiful as the garden is, and not to underestimate how much I love my bed, my favourite room is definitely my study. OK, study nook, but it’s vastly superior our old place where my ‘study nook’ was a desk in the corner of the lounge room.
I’m close to the kitchen, near the action, but far enough away that my kids can’t see me. I can still hear them, which is both a blessing and a curse.
I love that I’m surrounded by books, which always makes me inspired. I have enough desk space to accumulate all those piles of paper that I can’t bare to throw out – to-do lists, reminders, story notes, scene lists. That tax return I haven’t filed yet which is just sitting there, looking at me, making me feel guilty.
There’s enough space for my CDs – yes, yes, I still have them (as well as a collection of cassette tapes). Just like paper books, I still love having an actual solid CD. I also still have a stack of records stored away, though no actual record player, but that’s beside the point.
There are a few pictures of my family, a calendar and some old greeting cards, because when you can’t bear to throw them away what do you actually do with them? I have two cork boards – one has pictures my daughter has drawn for me and the other has one of my to-do lists and reminders stuck to it. I’m a list writer. Not always a list follower.
And last, but far from least, is my computer. It’s a MacBook, an old one. I’ve had it for about four years and before that it was my husband’s for even longer, so I suppose it’s doing pretty well. It must be about 70 in computer years. And I’ll probably regret writing this but although its given me a couple of frights it hasn’t actually packed it in completely and lost any of my work. I have a special keyboard – not for OH&S reasons but because I need the forward delete button. What is with that Apple? Why do you still make keyboards without it? I know there’s a short cut, but really? Isn’t the forward delete more important than ` and ~? Rant over.
But the real reason I love this place is not because of my forward delete button, but because of the things I get to do here. I get to create new characters, let them breath and talk and do silly things. I get to create new places and populate them with people doing fun, sad and amazing things. I get to dream and escape. The rest of the world falls away when I’m writing, just like it did when my study was just a corner. You don’t need a room to write, and though a forward delete button is great, if you want to write then a pen a paper and an idea will do.
Katherine Bright is one of Australia's most acclaimed television journalists. She's interviewed presidents and brought down corrupt governments but her ratings are plummeting and rumour has it her show is about to be axed. Katherine has given up a lot for her career, so when the network offers her a chance to keep the show running, she'll take it – no matter what she has to do.
Foreign correspondent Liam Kennedy has recently returned to Australia and when Katherine meets him at an awards night, he seems a perfect distraction from her troubles. Liam is the whole cliché: tall, dark and totally kissable. Except for one thing. He's younger than Katherine. Much younger. And when Katherine realises she needs Liam to save her show she finds herself in an impossible situation.
Can one of TV's most successful women stay true to herself and her ambitions and defy convention to be with the man she loves?
Justine is the award winning author of fun, contemporary romances. She has spent her professional life writing legal advice – which some may say is similar to creative writing– but the lack of sexy heroes and happy endings led her to try writing romance. She loves Earl Grey tea, talking about which of Jane Austen's novels is her favourite, and searching for the perfect frock. She will read anything, but loves romance most of all.
She is published with Destiny Romance and her third book The Reluctant Lover, is out on 15 March 2016. You can find out more and connect with her at justinelewis.com.