From London to Bali via India and California
I am from London but now I live in Bali in Indonesia. I wrote Hunting Lila while I still lived in London and worked full time for a non-profit. I would write it on a borrowed laptop in my bed after my daughter was asleep!
I wrote the sequel Losing Lila on Patnem beach in Goa, India. I would sit drinking chai and with my toes buried in the sand. It was heaven.
I started Fated sitting at the kitchen table of the legendary author T.C Boyle (a family friend). His house in Montecito, California (where Oprah lives) is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever stayed.
Now we’re settled in Bali and I write at my desk in my studio. It overlooks our garden and the rice paddies beyond. My husband and I share the desk which is a piece of reclaimed Tamarind wood that we found on the side of the road and had sanded and polished. I love it – it’s about 10 feet long.
One wall of the studio is painted with blackboard paint. I use it to plot out books and screenplays.
I write up to 6000 words a day and I have a bad back so my chair is the most important piece of furniture I own. I found this squashy, spinny leather chair in the only real furniture store in Bali and dragged it off the showroom floor. It has not let me down.
On my desk
- A cup of coffee
- A bottle of coconut water (at a safe distance – I knocked one over about six months ago and fried my computer)
- A photograph of my daughter
- A photograph of the three of us.
- A stack of my books!
- Two bookends – both picked up at Brooklyn Flea Market. One says ‘Be Kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle’ and the other is of Brooklyn Bridge (I love Brooklyn and NY!).
- A wooden artist’s model that my husband has annotated and drawn all over – it was an anniversary present.
- A stack of recycled scrap paper – for notes and to do lists
- A jar of pens (I’m always running out)
- Bug spray (there are lots of mosquitos around at night)
On the walls
- Photographs of my niece and nephews
- Framed pictures I’ve drawn
- A painting I bought from a year 12 Balinese student at Green School. The Balinese are very talented artists so I’m hoping one day it will be worth gazillions. J
- Notes from my daughter
- Post it notes with quotes from books and the Buddha including my favourite: ‘This too will pass.’