Ann earned degrees in Physics and English Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, before falling into a career as a science writer nearly 30 years ago. These days, she slings corporate, science, and technical verbiage for a living during the day and writes fiction at night.
Thank you, 7 Criminal Minds, for allowing me to "stake a claim" on your blog for the day!
As for where I write ... I write wherever and whenever I can. I go about armed with the "old technology" of paper notebook and pen, and usually travel about with my trusty laptop as well. (I'm enviously eyeing the compact "computer notebooks" but waiting to see if prices will fall). Fortified by these "weapons of mass creation," I can pretty much write whenever the mood strikes (and/or when deadlines loom).
My favorite places to write, however, depend on where I am in the writing process itself. For the initial musing/brainstorming of a book, I find ideas popping up at odd and sometimes inconvenient times (while driving, in the middle of client meetings, grocery shopping), so paper and pen are handy (and sticky notes. Forgot to mention those.).
Once I move into the drafting frontier for "Chapter 1 and Beyond," I prefer to stick close to home, close to all of my reference books, maps, printouts, etc. This means I can mostly be found hunkering down in my extremely messy home office. (The photo to the left actually shows my home office in a neatened-up, previous incarnation ... imagine a whole lot more bookcases, paper strewn about, books out of shelves and in piles, and an updated desktop system). I've also been known to take over the guest rooms of friends (i.e., author Camille Minichino/Margaret Grace) when faced with the crunch of finishing a first draft.
Editing, however, is a different story. When I'm editing—whether individual chapters or the book as a whole—I find it best to "Exit, stage left." (Those of who who remember Rocky and Bullwinkle might remember this phrase.) My favorite places to edit individual chapters include places that offer high-octane caffeine, such as my local Peet's and Panama Red coffee houses.
Probably my all-time favorite location for editing the reams-of-paper-in-a-binder that constitute "the whole damn thing" (as I'm wont to call my completed drafts) are libraries. I've edited my books in the Santa Fe Public Library in New Mexico, Livermore Public Library in California, Lake County Public Library (in Leadville, Colorado... yay!), and others that don't pop to mind right now. I think the appeal of these places is that 1) I'm removed from home distractions and 2) I'm "surrounded but separate" from other people, which seems to help me focus on the task at hand.
Ann's website is http://www.annparker.net