Look at my Desk – Katrina Germein

For the latest Look at my Desk we get to peer into the Creative Space of the wonderful Katrina Germein. Katrina dwells in South Australia and creates delightful picture books and, like someone else I know (me), she uses the kitchen / dining room table for her creative space! I caught up with Katrina a few years ago so it is wonderful to have her here appearing on these pages.

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Katrina Germein

Katrina Germein

Of the eight houses I’ve lived in since my twelve-year-old son was born, this is my favourite. It has generous rooms, high ceilings and lots of light. It even has a small, gorgeous sunroom.  “Perfect,” I though when we moved in. “A sweet, sun filled office just for me.” And for the first two weeks it was perfect. Tucked at the back of the house where the kids would forget to find me, I began taping up inspirational quotes and artwork. It was the ideal hideaway with a view of the back garden and all my writerly tools in one nook.

ordered files in the sunroom

ordered files in the sunroom

Then we had the Wi-Fi connected. It delivered perfect connection into every corner of the house, except the sunroom, which is at the very back, sort of tucked around the corner and separated from the kitchen by a double brick wall. (Apparently this shouldn’t matter but it does.)

Now my cosy, dream workspace has become a kind of writer’s junk room and I usually work in the kitchen. The kitchen table is close to my ‘office’ should I need something from my hoard of writing artefacts or if I want to stand in the sun and look at the garden; it’s also handy to the kettle. Occasionally, I work in another room or in bed.

kitchen desk

kitchen desk

It doesn’t matter really. Most of my stories grow from personal experiences and imaginings rather than research. I wrote Big Rain Coming on scrap paper while sitting in my classroom supposedly planning my students’ week. My story Thunderstorm Dancing will be published by Allen and Unwin next year. I drafted it on the back of old dockets and anything else I could find in my handbag.

Much of my writing happens in my head. One of the many wonderful things about writing picture books is you can hold a 300-word story in your mind and redraft without a pen or a keyboard. I like a quiet space but otherwise I don’t need much. I don’t really need a special, sun filled room. But then, I guess shouldn’t really need Wi-Fi either…

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Katrina’s Latest titles are:

  • My Dad Thinks He’s Funny, illustrated by Tom Jellett (Walker Books Australia, Walker Books UK, Candlewick Press USA)
  • My Dad STILL Thinks He’s Funny, illustrated by Tom Jellett (Walker Books Australia)
  • Somebody’s House, illustrated by Anthea Stead (Walker Books Australia)

… so do grab a copy – or one of each! You can find Katrina at her brand new website and at her facebook page.

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