When it comes to creating the optimal setting for writing, Austin-based author Karen Olsson likes to keep things simple. To craft her second novel, All The Houses, the former editor of The Texas Observer and contributing editor to Texas Monthly dedicated her mornings to her desk. “It gets cluttered with stuff that I might use for research or inspiration or just the other things that end up on your desk, but I’m always happiest if I can clear that stuff away and just have the desk and my writing pad,” Olsson says.
Spaces are important to Olsson, especially as she imagines new characters and the worlds they might inhabit. “I do think that I try to figure out the room that they’re in or the space that they’re in,” Olsson says, “I populate their external world first.”