Creative Spaces — Guest Post by Leigh Michaels

Creative Spaces

My working space has gone through a whole lot of changes in the 29 years since I was first published, so as I thought about what my office means to me, I’ve journeyed down memory lane.

In 1988, my office was located in the smallest bedroom of our American Foursquare house – a space that was hardly big enough for a twin bed and a dresser. Yes, I really did write more than a dozen books in this room. That’s an IBM PC with a 10-megabyte hard drive and a 14-inch green-screen monitor – and believe me, that was a big step up from my first computer! Off to the right is the state-of-the-art printer which tapped out each letter with a rotating ball, just like those old electric typewriters. I’d start a chapter printing and have to leave the room because of the echo.

Creative Spaces Guest Post by Leigh Michaels

Leigh’s First Office

The photos at ceiling level are the covers of my first few Harlequin Romances and Presents, and the two shelves at the right of the photo hold what I grandly called the Collected Works – one copy of each edition.

If I closed the door so I could concentrate, I soon ran out of oxygen. 😉

Not long after the photo was taken, we moved into a new house. This is my office today. It has two big windows – one looking out over the woods, one toward the front of the house so I can see visitors coming and decide whether to answer the door.

Creative Spaces Guest Post by Leigh Michaels

After 29 years of publishing, author Leigh Michaels needed a bigger office.


The Collected Works (one copy of each of the editions of my 83 romance novels and 20 non-fiction books) now occupy the shelves at left – that’s 62 feet of bookshelves, if you’re counting. The framed photos have moved to the hallway which leads to my office, where they’re limited to one cover from each language – though we had to stop doing even that when we ran out of wall. A few years ago my husband and I ripped up the carpet and laid the parquet floor (the sort of job which makes you eager go to back to writing). And as time has gone on, I’ve added the extra filing cabinets and counters so I can spread out with my various projects.

I now rely on dual 24-inch monitors and a laser printer.

I think some of those same reference books are still hanging around, though. And I still need my glass of ice water and cup of coffee – and quiet — before I can really settle in to work.

Creative Spaces Guest post by Leigh Michaels

Because I also teach (at Gotham Writers Workshop — — where I offer online classes in romance writing) and I edit books for our small publishing firm (PBL Limited – – which specializes in local history books and niche-market non-fiction), I use every inch of the practical desk space. Those piles on the counter are non-fiction book projects and source material, waiting to come together so they’re ready to publish.

Though I’ve moved on from my original publisher – as well as switching from contemporary romance to historical, and from sweet stories to spicy ones – I’m grateful to Harlequin Books for a lengthy and rewarding career. That’s why the one-of-a-kind Harlequin marionette is still a prized feature in my office. He watches over me as I work.

I haven’t included a photo of my sitting room, where I leave my laptop set up – it’s another book-lined room, and I retreat there when I need to fall into a story and not be bothered by phone calls or email. I do better at knocking out words when it’s not so easy to page back to edit and fix and continually revise – and that’s made much less tempting when I’m working on a smaller screen. And sometimes I move to the bay window in my living room, where I can work a jigsaw puzzle while I write or plot or brainstorm, as well as watching white-tailed deer and wild turkeys wander across the acre of back yard that we refer to as The Garden of Weedin’.

Thanks go to my husband, photographer Michael W. Lemberger, for providing all the photos.

Bio: Leigh Michaels is the best-selling author of more than 100 books, including historical romance, contemporary romance, non-fiction (On Writing Romance), and local history. Her current Montlake Romance release is The Birthday Scandal, a historical set in the Regency period and featuring the intertwining romances of two sisters and a brother. She’s also just released a self-published sweet contemporary romance, Return to Amberley. Her website is and you can find her on Facebook and Twitter @leighmichaels.

The Birthday Scandal by Leigh MichaelsThe Mistress House by Leigh Michaels      The Wedding Affair by Leigh Michaels      Return to Amberly by Leigh Michaels


  1. Leigh–
    Thank you for sharing your amazing creative space. That entire wall of books–wow, you’re an inspiration to all of us!

  2. Violetta Davis says:

    Love all the bookshelves. I could use those and more. I have all of your romance books, but none of the non-fiction. My two favorites are September Hill and Buy Me a Dream. I like them all.

  3. Oh, my goodness! I LOVE that wall of books! Great post!

  4. Your office spaces and how creative and organized you are recall exactly how I envisioned a writer’s life long before I was ever published. What an amazing, diverse collection of published works you have! Your students at Gotham Writer’s Workshop are incredibly blessed to have you as their teacher.

  5. Thank you for the warm welcome, Victoria! I spend so many hours a day in my office that I’ve stopped really noticing it, so it’s lovely to “see” it through the eyes of others. But I will say that looking at that wall of books makes all the work worthwhile. 🙂

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