Where Do I Write?

Cheryl HollonCheryl Hollon writes full time after she left an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind the house, Cheryl and her husband George design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass and painted glass artworks.

You can visit Cheryl and her books at


This is a question that arose during a panel discussion at the SleuthFest Mystery Conference this year. I write everywhere. Honestly if there is enough room for me to have a small notebook on my knee; chances are that I am writing. These words for this entry are being written at 30,000 feet. I especially enjoy writing while flying where I produce words that quickly fly their way into the story. A typical flight will yield 500 words per hour – roughly the speed of the aircraft.

Another incredibly productive situation is during long distance train travel. The husband and I take Amtrak to visit the DC area in the spring and Savannah during the fall. On these trips I can usually create up to 3000 words in a day. That’s pretty amazing since I spend a lot of that time staring out the window. There is something about a moving vehicle that sends my muse into overdrive.

I’m not one of those writers who can go to a café and pound out an artful short story in the time it takes to consume a Frappuccino. I’m too easily distracted by the fascinating chatter and I slip into the role of observer on the lookout for interesting character traits. I also can’t work within hearing of a television or radio. I soon start watching what’s on or buzzing along with the tune. Fun but definitely not productive.

The best place is my writing retreat. It’s called Cheryl’s She Shed. It’s like a man cave in that it’s a separate outbuilding behind the house. I love the solitude that it provides as well as a perfect view of the birdfeeder and birdbath. This little shed has produced two draft manuscripts and countless revision passes through the books in the glass shop series. I look forward to many more.

About Pane and Suffering:

To solve her father’s murder and save the family-owned glass shop, Savannah Webb must shatter a killer’s carefully constructed façade. . .

Pane and SufferingAfter Savannah’s father dies unexpectedly of a heart attack, she drops everything to return home to St. Petersburg, Florida, to settle his affairs–including the fate of the beloved, family-owned glass shop. Savannah intends to hand over ownership to her father’s trusted assistant and fellow glass expert, Hugh Trevor, but soon discovers the master craftsman also dead of an apparent heart attack.

As if the coincidence of the two deaths wasn’t suspicious enough, Savannah discovers a note her father left for her in his shop, warning her that she is in danger. With the local police unconvinced, it’s up to Savannah to piece together the encoded clues left behind by her father. And when her father’s apprentice is accused of the murders, Savannah is more desperate than ever to crack the case before the killer seizes a window of opportunity to cut her out of the picture. . .