Caroline Petit says:

My room is on the downstairs floor of our two-story flat in what was the old Holeproof Bathing Suit Factory. The hardwood floors are very scarred from the trolleys used to cart around the garments. I like the idea that people once worked where I sit. Just outside the door in the large hallway area, I had bookshelves built. It is wonderful to have a library so close at hand.

The old photographs on the wall are people from both sides of my family: one set of grandparents lived in India – he was a colonel in the Indian Army – and the other Russian and Polish Jewish immigrants to New York in the rag trade and later ran booze during prohibition. I like the contrast and the knowledge that they are watching me write.

The Chinese posters made during the 1920s and 1930s, I bought in Hong Kong. I like the detail on the dresses and the furniture. My two novels – literary thrillers – take place in the 1930s and 1940s in Hong Kong, Manchuria and Macau so I use them rather like props.

I keep the blinds half-closed so I’m not distracted by the Brunswick life outside my window. My Mac is wonderful; my desk is functional.  Once I read about a writer who when he had a best seller used his earnings to buy a beautiful desk. This is my fantasy, the desk, more than the best seller.

I usually start writing about 9:30 and hang on until about 2:00 pm. The large chair, a castoff, is for curling up and reading in. The room has its own heating unit so it is cosy. I like the comforting disorder in the room, but my mind is always clear.

Right now I’m working on a couple of short stories and a novel that takes place in early Melbourne.

Upcoming in this series: Paul Morgan and Damon Young. If you’re a writer, feel free to email me something, see ‘About Angela’ for contacts.

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