Author Work Spaces: Jessie Chandler
Editor’s Note: From time to time, we check in on authors and ask them to send us pictures of their office/writing spot. It is always fun to see where they spend their time crafting these tales of deceit and treachery. Today, we peer in the windows of Jessie Chandler.
Yes, I write under a bed! It was a great idea at the time, thinking we could raise the bed up and put an office in the spare bedroom for me. However the reality of the situation is that the ceiling is too low, and you practically have to roll onto the mattress up above. Oh well, gives me a nice little working cave!
As a look at the pictures I’ve taken, I realize I really have made my cave into a bit of a shrine to Borders Books. I helped open the suburban Minneapolis store where I live, worked there almost 10 years, and when Borders imploded, helped close my store. A tight, core group of about six of us, including the general manager, made that journey from beginning to end. The death of any bookstore is horrifying. It’s a trip I never want to make again, but the friendships and camaraderie we have can never be replaced.
Taped on the shelf above the desk is a row of pink Post-its with one or just a few words on each. These are my “globals” that I need to check each entire manuscript for. Repeated words, overused phrases, that kind of thing. Turns out I overuse a lot of words and phrases! And there’s new ones added with every new book I write.
When I get stuck and bummed out, all I have to do is look at this sign that my wife, Betty, hung up for me. Makes me smile every time and then I can get back to work!
The written word was embedded in my DNA. My mom was a school librarian for thirty-four years, so of course I cut my teeth on books. It’s no surprise that I wound up penning novels of my own. The thing I love about writing is that I can make any kind of a world I want, populate it with people I love and people I hate, and know that I can make absolutely anything happen. Boy, talk about a god complex! Each book is a journey, and even when I think I’ve learned everything I possibly could from the previous journey, I find there’s always something new to tangle with next time around. I wouldn’t trade this crazy, fun, frustrating adventure for the world.