Author Work Space: Jonathan Freedland


Strange to think this is the place where I sit for so many hours. The desk is a long workbench which, looking at it now, I realize encourages bad habits: there’s so much room, it allows me to keep piles of papers that I should probably throw out. Still, you can discover pretty much all you need to know about my writing method from these pictures.

The fountain pen and the pad: that’s where I do all my thinking, plotting out a scene or a section in longhand. I don’t know why, but that’s how I’ve always done it  – whether it’s sketching out the argument for a newspaper column or laying out a chapter in a novel. The computer: that’s where the writing happens. I’m of a generation that can’t imagine doing it any other way.

You might glimpse the old radio to the right of the computer. I tend to listen to the news headlines at least every other hour or so. Otherwise, I often put on BBC Radio 3, a station that plays classical music. Sometimes I have that on when writing: if there’s a vocal, I have to switch it off. Once there are words, it’s too distracting.

And most important, the window: it looks out onto the garden. When I’m sitting at the desk, all I can see are the tops of the trees. But in summertime I can hear my children playing. Oddly, I don’t find that sound distracting at all.

Jonathan Freedland
Jonathan Freedland is an award-winning journalist, a number one bestselling author, and a broadcaster. He is the Guardian‘s executive editor for Opinion and also writes a weekly column. He is a regular contributor to the New York Times and the New York Review of Books, and presents BBC Radio 4’s contemporary history series The Long View. In 2014 he won the Orwell special prize for journalism. He has written five thrillers under the name Sam Bourne and, under his own, has two non-fiction titles. His latest thriller, THE 3RD WOMAN, is available now.

The United States and China have struck a shocking bargain: In return for forgiving trillions in debt, the People’s Republic of China—now the world’s dominant global superpower—has established a permanent military presence on US soil. Years of decline have left America economically vulnerable, and evidence of China’s cultural and political dominance is everywhere.

Journalist Madison Webb is obsessed with exposing the lies and corruption that have corroded her once great society. When her sister is savagely murdered, the police insist it’s an isolated crime. But Madison suspects the cops are hiding something. Digging for answers, she discovers her sister’s death may be one of many . . . and part of a dangerous conspiracy. Even though her life is on the line, Madison refuses to give up on the story. And sooner or later, she will have to confront the consequences of exposing the powerful forces intent on hiding the truth.