Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Glimpse at Amy Shearn's Writing Space + Giveaway!

TLC Book Tours presents...

The Mermaid of Brooklyn
Amy Shearn

Page Count: 368
Release Date: 2 April 2013
Publisher: Touchstone (Simon & Schuster)
Genre: Women's fiction, Contemporary, Chick-lit

Sometimes all you need in life is a fabulous pair of shoes—and a little help from a mermaid.

Formerly an up-and-coming magazine editor, Jenny Lipkin is now your average, stretched-too-thin Brooklyn mom, tackling the challenges of raising two children in a cramped Park Slope walk-up. All she really wants is to survive the sweltering New York summer with a shred of sanity intact. But when her husband, Harry, vanishes one evening, Jenny reaches her breaking point. And in a moment of despair, a split-second decision changes her life forever.

Pulled from the brink by an unexpected ally, Jenny is forced to rethink her ideas about success, motherhood, romance, and relationships. But confronting her inner demons is no easy task...

A Glimpse at My Writing Space

I have a fascination with other people’s lists, notes found in library books, published letters, and, I think it follows, writer’s writing spaces. It’s as if, studying an image of a poet’s desk, one might discover how the poems get made: “Ah, so I see, you need a green pen, a chipped mug of peonies, and a bay window, and then you can write poems!” So it has been exciting to me to set up an office of my own after years of being forced by our tiny New York apartment to do my writing elsewhere. Of course, I have to admit that I still end up writing in coffee shops or the library more often than not; otherwise my children want to “help.”

But still, here it is, my corner office. Okay, so it's just a bit of our Brooklyn bedroom, but it works. The antique secretary desk was a Craig’s List find (the former owners left some secret old photos for me hidden in the drawers, saying they might inspire me!)—crucial for a failed neat freak like myself: hidden within the lid are six cubbies, a laptop, and 10,000,000 scraps of paper, but I can close it up and ignore the chaos.

We had a handyman build the shelves above the desk so that I can keep favorite writing books, anthologies, dictionaries, notebooks, journals, and other important ephemera at hand, like a globe of sand from White Sands, New Mexico that has become crucial to me for some reason.

I found the chair at a Minnesota thrift store during grad school, and recently my husband recovered it for me with this ridiculously cute Ruby Star fabric to help satisfy my unrequited typewriter lust.

The windows and plants are an important addition. Fresh air makes everything better. Even if it's sometimes a little sireny (the emergency vehicle kind). And of course talismans abound: a brass mermaid a friend found at an antique store and brought back for me (knowing that we all need a mermaid sometimes!), beaded necklaces my four-year-old made me, a portrait of my husband painted by a dear friend, a name tag from my first BEA conference that says my name and, under it, author—for those times when I need an encouraging reminder.

About the Author

Amy Shearn was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1979. Ten years later she wrote her first novel, which took the form of a spunky farm girl's journal (main character's name: Jenny). ​

She studied in New Mexico, Chicago, and Iowa, before receiving her MFA from the University of Minnesota. Then, for lack of any better ideas, she and her husband moved to New York City, where Amy worked as a ghost writer, web editor, and creative writing teacher at NYU-SCPS, Sackett Street Writers Workshop, and Gotham Writers Workshops. ​

Amy's first novel, How Far Is the Ocean from Here, was published by Crown Books in 2008. Her work has appeared in Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, The Millions, Poets & Writers, The L Magazine, Opium, Five Chapters, and elsewhere. She writes regularly for and ​

Her newest book hit shelves April 2nd this year, and is currently on tour with TLC. Amy lives in Brooklyn with her family. She is, as ever, at work on a new novel.


What a gorgeous workspace, Amy! I agree sometimes more public places are easier to work in because they don't have the distractions nor the comforts of home, but nonetheless your writing space is gorgeous and seems very inspiring. Thank you for sharing a part of a writer's life with us today.

We've got one print copy of The Mermaid of Brooklyn up for grabs to one lucky 
Books à la Mode commenter! To enter, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below :) Here's a fun comment prompt for extra entries:
What does your writing space look like? If you don't write, what does your typical reading space look like?
I contest to the fact that semi-public spots are best for concentration: outdoor cafés or the seating areas at Barnes & Noble or the library. This goes for both reading and writing! Although as a reader, I do have a penchant for cuddling up in bed for hours at a time. What about you?

Please make your comment meaningful and encouraging to the discussion. Comments only containing the likes of "Thanks for the giveaway" or one-worded answers will not be awarded the additional entries.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Rules and Disclosure:
Giveaway ends May 15th at 11.59 (your time).
Open to US/CAN residents only. Sorry, international readers! Check out my sidebar for all the current giveaways that are open worldwide.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be chosen.
Although I do select winners, I am in no way responsible for the prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤ Plus, you get extra entries ;)
Good luck!