I’m lucky enough to have a home office. With a window. Of course, I keep the shade down most of the way so I won’t get distracted by a bird, or someone walking their dog, or a moving leaf. And my neighbor’s house is right there, so I don’t want to be caught looking out the window thinking about my next plot move and have them wonder why I’m staring at them through their window.

My desk is a mess, and my office has become the place we put stuff that has no other home. In short, it’s a minor disaster area. But I’ve found that I write best in my little disaster area.

My laptop and blue tooth keyboard fit squarely in between my To Do pile on the right and my writing notes on the left. My three hole punch on the right and my stapler and pen holder on the left. My super-sized coffee cup on the right and my water cup on the left. And my basket of fuzzy socks underneath.

I occasionally attempt to clean my office, but it doesn’t take long to get back to this equilibrium of piles of books and papers vs. space to walk.

My writing process is a little like my office. It consists of first checking email, seeing what’s new on Facebook (many times, like a teenager who keeps opening the refrigerator to see if any new food has magically appeared), listening to my “get psyched for writing” playlist on iTunes, and then figuring out what’s next in my book. I often write the fun scenes first, even if they’re out of order, and then scramble later to fit them all together.

Sometimes, I get frustrated with my writing progress and blame it on being stuck in my office for too long. And so I go in search of a different place to write.

I’ve tried working at the library, which has better hours now that the city budget crisis has lessened. But it has other people in it, some of whom want to share my table! Or make noise! Or  *gasp* walk behind me where they might possibly see my book!

Every once in a while, I try the local Starbucks, but I’ve had to admit to myself that’s just an excuse to pick up a venti, nonfat, no sugar added mocha Frappuccino. Even with headphones, I get distracted by the conversations around me and the people coming and going. I get impatient at the too small table and the too hot or too cold temperature.

So I head home. To my messy desk in my messy office. I plop my laptop back where it belongs and get to work.

Truffled to Death

Two best friends sell books and bonbons—and solve crimes—in this mystery from the author of Death Is Like a Box of Chocolates

Hoping to sweeten sales for their shop, Chocolates and Chapters, Michelle and Erica host a reception highlighting a new museum display of ancient Mayan pottery curated by Erica’s former mentor, Professor Addison Moody. The evening has a few hiccups, but the ladies soon smooth things over with ample servings of wine and chocolate.

Yet with the sweet comes the bitter. The very next day, the antiquities from the reception are discovered missing. The professor accuses Erica of having sticky fingers, claiming she wants revenge on him. And she’s only in more trouble after he’s found stabbed to death with one of the artifacts. Now Michelle must help Erica track down the real killer before someone else finds themselves in less than mint condition…


Kathy Aarons is the author of Truffled to Death, second in the CHOCOLATE COVERED MYSTERY series by Berkley Prime Crime. Her first book, Death Is Like a Box of Chocolates, was a national bestseller.

Research for the series was a hardship: sampling chocolate, making chocolate, sampling more chocolate, and hanging out in bookstores.

Kathy lives in San Diego with her husband and two daughters where she wakes up far too early and is currently obsessed with the Broadway Idiot documentary, finding the perfect cup of coffee, and Dallmann’s Sea Salt Caramels.

You can follow Kathy on Facebook or Twitter or visit her at: www.kathyaarons.com.