I started Daughter of the Queen of Sheba as a way of having a dialogue on the page with someone I couldn't access in real life-- my mother's incarnation as Sheba, when I was twelve. Like all writers, I kept notebooks; I'd kept diaries as a girl. But my mother kept going, into dizzying flights of bipolar-powered fantasy, and I wanted to see what came next. It was like living with a shapeshifter, a glamorous shapeshifter. And I wanted to capture her. I love the Japanese cover most.
I'm not fussed about where I write. As a journalist, I've written in bus stops and Kurdish mountaintops, on boxes in alleys and more hotel rooms than I can count. People can walk past me and I am oblivious. But this is a favorite spot: the window seat at Renvyle House, where we do our annual writers workshop, "Love Comes in at the Eye." Yeats visited here, and Seamus Heaney too.
Daily practice. Patience, with yourself. Your version of peace, be it solitude or multitudes. A vision of yourself working, and that space that contains only you and your inner voice, wherever you may be. And don't get up from your chair for more than a few minutes. I feed the birds, do a yoga stretch, and head back upstairs to my desk. This, however, is someone else's desk which they gave me for a day in Napa Valley.