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My Office Has No Walls

Chuck Greaves photo (4)My Office Has No Walls

My office has no walls, but it does have a fence. It has no desk or chair, but is trellised with nearly four miles of 13-gauge high-tensile wire. Oh, and it has plants – over 1,500 of them.

My office, you see, is a vineyard. Okay, so it’s not the place where I do my actual typing and editing, but rather where I perform a daily ritual that is infinitely more essential to my writing. It is where my characters sprout and blossom; where my plots lengthen and ravel in sinuous synch with my viognier and pinot noir vines.

Writers are often asked about process. My typical workday involves mornings hunched at a laptop and afternoons sprawled among vines. These are not, to be sure, independent labors. Whatever strides I might make at the former are retraced as I toil at the latter, where the mundane chores of watering, weeding, and pruning that give form and substance to the vineyard do nothing less for my novel-in-progress. Simply put, my novels grow in harmony with my vines. I am, when puttering in my vineyard, quite literally tending to both.Chuck Greaves photo (5)

Personal experience – most notably my 25 years as an L.A. trial lawyer – has always informed my fiction, and I’ve long wanted to introduce my readers to this other, more bucolic aspect of my life. With publication of THE LAST HEIR (Minotaur), the third installment in my Jack MacTaggart series of legal mysteries, this one set in California’s Napa Valley, I’ve finally been able to do just that.

It made for one heck of a year at the office.

Chuck Greaves’ 2012 debut novel HUSH MONEY won the SouthWest Writers’ International Writing Contest, received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, was a Critics’ Pick from Kirkus Reviews, and was a finalist for the Shamus, Rocky, Reviewers’ Choice, and Audie Awards, to name a few. THE LAST HEIR, in bookstores June 24, 2014, is his third novel in the series, following 2013’s GREEN-EYED LADY. All are from St. Martin’s Minotaur.