Author Override: Elisabeth Barrett

Author Override is the place where authors take the reins and take you on a journey into their world. Some may allow you into their private writing dens. Others may take you along with them on research trips or interviews. Whatever the case may be, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride because here you’ll get an in-depth look into an author’s musings.

My Mobile Office by Elisabeth Barrett

I am always fascinated to learn about locations where other authors prefer to write. Almost everyone I know writes by sitting in front of a computer, but where that computer is can vary widely.  Some of my friends write at desks piled high with papers, notes, and stacks of research. Others prefer minimalist work spaces, all tidy and neat, to help keep their brains fresh. Still others sit right at their kitchen tables and go at it. Writers’ retreats in secluded locales are very popular, too, and I especially enjoy hearing stories about writing that takes place at quaint cottages (which so many authors seem to describe on social media).

Me? I work out of my car.

“What?” you may ask. “How can that be comfortable?”

Oh, but it is. So comfortable.

Really, I have made it comfortable because I have no other choice. With three young kids and a job that requires me to be on the move, I’m constantly picking up and dropping off, stopping and starting, coming and going.  If I went back to my house after every single activity, I think it would leave me with a total of 17 minutes each day to write, and I’d probably still be working on my first novel.  To be fair, on laundry day, I head home and then my kitchen table (right next to my washer and dryer) is the place where I write. But when I’m on the go (most weekdays), I make sure my laptop is charged up, head to one of my favorite parking spots (of course I don’t write while driving and I have scouted out the surrounding neighborhoods for the safest, best-lighted lots), and type away! Yes, I am that strange woman in the mom-mobile sipping an iced tea and staring at her computer screen while you chatter on your cell phone or sneak a smoke. I’m not watching you. I’m working.

Well, maybe I am watching you a little bit.

I didn’t realize the benefit of my set-up until I completed the last book in my Star Harbor series, which features the four Grayson brothers living and working on Cape Cod in each of the four seasons. Deep Autumn Heat is the story of Seb Grayson, a famous chef who returns to Star Harbor for a weekend of R&R, and finds much more than he bargained for with a feisty local restaurant owner. Blaze of Winter features Theo Grayson, an introspective writer who comes back to town to get his writing mojo back and ends up falling in love with a social worker who’s great at helping everyone . . . except herself. Long Simmering Spring, which was just released, focuses on Star Harbor’s sheriff Cole Grayson, and how he overcomes his past and learns to face the future with the help of a beautiful doctor. And Slow Summer Burn (which comes out in August), features Val Grayson, a soft-spoken DEA agent who finds love with a stunning socialite shop owner.

Through the windows of my car, I watched the leaves change in autumn, the wind blow in winter (it doesn’t snow in NorCal), the flowers bloom in spring, and the trees turn to deep green in summer, providing just the right amount of inspiration to write the Star Harbor scenes. When I needed to choose the brothers’ cars, I just stared out my car windows until the perfect vehicles materialized. Most of the time, though, I wrote while lost in my own head, the little town of Star Harbor living and breathing inside my brain. Inside my car, there are no distractions—no books, little food, and most importantly, zero internet. Just me and the words on the page, which for me, is how things need to be.

Final Long Simmering Spring About Long Simmering Spring:

Spring comes to Star Harbor, bringing unexpected passion for a sexy sheriff, as the next Grayson brother finds love with the town’s beautiful doctor.

Julie Kensington grew up in the same small town as the Grayson brothers and remembers when the boys were nothing but trouble. As teenagers, Cole’s rugged sex appeal set Julie’s heart ablaze, but she did her best to ignore it. Now a grown woman with a medical degree, Julie still can’t resist her searing attraction to the roughest, toughest Grayson. He’s ex-military, tormented, and sexier than ever, but are his wounds too deep to be healed by her loving, gentle touch?

Even back in high school, straight-arrow Julie had a way of making Cole think twice about his bad-boy lifestyle. When Julie decides she’s finally ready to embrace her wild side, Cole knows he is just the man to show her the way, unleashing years of pent-up desire. Neither of them counted on falling in love, but when Cole’s demons threaten to derail their relationship, it’s up to Julie to show him that together, they can overcome the past . . . and build a future.


About the author:

Elisabeth Barrett lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and spends her days teaching, editing, writing sexy contemporary romance, and enjoying time with her sometimes-bearded husband and three spirited children. She is constantly perfecting her home-work-writing juggling act, but in her free time she loves to hike open space preserves, grow orchids, bake sweet things her husband won’t eat, and sing in grand choruses.

Elisabeth’s Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Up for grabs is a digital copy of LONG SIMMERING SPRING! Trust me, you want this! Open internationally!

Leave a comment and tell me if your ideal work space matches up with your real-life work space. Are you happy with your set-up?

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Amanda Brown

Thanks for a chance to win, looks like a great read.

Zita R

No my ideal work space does not match up with my real life work space. Wish it did! Used to have an office years ago at one of my jobs that I loved because I could personalize it a bit and close the door to block out all the conversations going on and concentrate on my project of the moment. One of these days I will create a nice work space at my home for when I work from home. This book sounds great. I look forward to reading it. Thanks for the give-away!

Krysten M

I would definitely need a room to myself, with anything and everything I could possibly ever need/want while working.. Right now, all I have is a portion of a desk in the living room 🙁

Barbara Elness

When it comes to work, my ideal isn’t a cubical, but at least mine has two real walls, only one cubie wall and a window, so it’s not too bad. At home my work space is a whole room just for my desk and books, but I’d love to have a nicer desk and more comprehensive, matching bookcases. I have kind of a mishmash of book shelves – 3 oak ones, two white ones, an oddly shaped one, and two small dark brown ones. They do the job but are not very pleasing to the eye. My desk is old… Read more »


My current office, no windows, my door looks right into the men’s restroom, I’ve complained about it, sort of at the top of the stairs, … but that is now my old job… looking forward to a new job on Monday and maybe a better fit for my hope for a big office window, and a pretty view outside, and maybe something to daydream over occasionally … lisagk(at)yahoo

Amber H

Well it used to! Im currently unemployed. I’ve worked for 2 different bookstores and absolutely loved working at them! But they both have closed. I used to work for Waldenbooks lke 5 years back and they went out then I was just at a Barnes and Noble and they closed my location. 🙁 So no not ideal anymore.


Interesting question. No, mine does not match – I have to wear headphones in the office when I work to block out everyone’s conversations or I would never get anything done. I would love to have an office or space where I could shut the door and work in peace.

Texas Book Lover

I have been unemployed for the last year so this question doesn’t really apply but my last work space was great. I had it set up just how I liked it!

Sebella Blue

I love my office. It is customized to my specific level of sloppy boutique crossed with library.


My employer lets me do whatever I need to carve out my “perfect” workspace. It’s perfect!

Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
elizabeth @ bookattict . com