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The book factory

I'M a town mouse.

I can go to the countryside for a day but I love museums and coffee shops and thrive on stimulation, so when I moved to this central Edinburgh apartment in 2008, from the larger suburban house where I'd brought up my daughter Molly, it suited me well. I'm also the world's most dangerous driver, so one of the great things about moving here was I no longer needed a car. These days I take taxis everywhere.

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I thought I would move into town and be terribly chic and when Molly went to college I'd become this wonderful international traveller, which I'd never been able to do because for most of her childhood I was a single mum and had to be around. Six months after moving here I met Alan, who became my husband, and he came with a lot of equipment. We love it here, but we have had to build an extension in order to fit in Alan's stuff. He is a music enthusiast, so there are a lot of guitars, and he is also a geek.

This room is part of the original house. When I moved here it was the sitting room but as my writing became more successful, we built an extension which is now the sitting room and this became the study. It looks on to the garden, which is north-facing which everyone thinks is awful but it is good, clean light.

We had a war when Alan moved in because even though I'm a writer and I love books, I carry them in my head. He had 36 metres of book shelving, so the ones you can see are the books we finally decided it was OK for him to bring. I have three tiny shelves and the rest is all his. For me, the stories are all in my head but for him, the books are a totem of what he has read.

In one of the presses, I have a medicine chest of poetry. I find it the most intense form of language and if I'm feeling tired, I will read poetry.

If I am working on a story I will sometimes write in bed but all the admin happens at this desk. I do a lot of research here too. I wake up at 8am and if I am writing, I just pick up the laptop in bed. There are days when Alan comes home and I am still on the laptop at 7pm, in bed, completely unwashed and there is no food in the house. You do get obsessed with it. Other days I am in here. I work a good 12 hours most days.

Sara Sheridan is at the Borders Book festival on Saturday, June 14 www.bordersbookfestival.org. England Expects, the latest book in her Mirabelle Bevan murder mystery series, is out in paperback on July 3

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