AT MY DESK: Charlotte McConaghy

AusRomToday Charlotte McConaghy


At My Desk
Charlotte McConaghy


Thank you for having me today! I thought in the spirit of Desk-Love I would talk a little about my Writing Process.

I get up late in the morning, wander around the house for a while, contemplate silly hypotheticals, daydream, traipse down to the shops for a coffee or two, look at the ocean and pretend I’m a wind-swept heroine from Game of Thrones, slug back up the hill vowing to get fit tomorrow, waste some time watching tv, read a few chapters of a book… And then afternoon hits! And suddenly I’m a completely different person. I can’t type quickly enough to keep up with my mind. On a good day I work all evening and late into the night. I go to bed and can’t shut my mind off, which means I inevitably toss and turn and sleep late, and when I wake up I reread last night’s work with a sheepish laugh of bemusement. It’s not a masterpiece. It’s just… a little bit of me, and I never know if it’ll be enjoyed by anyone, but that’s the hard bit, right? The trust you have to have in your voice, and the hope that someone might one day enjoy your work…


Sometimes I start with a character. Sometimes I start with a world or a story. Sometimes I plan my novels, mapping out the key beats of action or the emotional arcs of my protagonist, but other times I don’t. Sometimes I just sit down and start writing whatever the hell comes out of my head – and in moments like these I hardly feel responsible for the words. My characters teach me about themselves, and I learn from them.

I wrote my most recent novel ‘Thorne’ at this desk, day and night, for one month. It has to be like a home, your desk, for it’s the place in which you channel every ounce of creativity you have. Now, as I write my seventh novel – the sequel to my sci-fi book ‘Fury’ – the desk is my home once again, though I must say this novel is taking quite a lot longer than a month. Some stories come quickly, simply, while others need to be chipped away at, one tiny piece at a time.

Work Space

Let’s be clear: I’ve been writing since I was 14, I’ve published six novels, and I still haven’t got the writing process quite figured out. I doubt I ever will. Everyone works differently and the best way to feed creativity is to work out your patterns and find a way to support them. I think I understand my patterns, but even so I have as many moments of doubt as I do inspiration. I get tired. I have to input before I can output. I feel lonely. I am obsessed with stories. I fall in love with my characters one day and then am disappointed in them the next. I get assailed by moments of complete stubbornness – no, I will not write today, I refuse to be a slave to it! And then inevitably run to the computer. Like all writers I crave experience. I worry that I haven’t had enough adventures of my own. But every time I sit down to work, I feel incredibly lucky to have found the thing I am most passionate about, and despite it sometimes being a bit anguished, most of the time it’s actually just the best thing in the world.

I have two series of novels, a romantic fantasy series called ‘The Chronicles of Kaya’ and a romantic sci-fi series called ‘The Cure’. Both can be found at all online bookstores.



About the Author:
I started writing when I was fourteen, living in the small city of Armidale, NSW. It took me several years to get my first book ‘Arrival’ published and released, but it’s finally out there. I still write every day, otherwise I start to go mad! I’m very excited to release my new romantic sci-fi novel ‘Fury’, Book One of The Cure Series, and my fantasy novel, ‘Avery’, as they’ve both been labours of love – and exciting starts to new series.  I have recently graduated from a Masters in Screenwriting at the Australian Film, Television & Radio School, which allows me to follow my passion for writing film and television. I’m a huge movie buff ­– I go to the cinema at least once a week!



Find Charlotte online:




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