My Favourite Room - Peter Wells
Iíve always loved this house because my grandmother lived along the road and I used to come past all the time. Itís such a big, simple house and thereís something quite endearing about that. It came on the market and my partner Douglas Lloyd Jenkins and I bought it while we were still living in Auckland.
The house was in three flats and this room was one of them.
Before I moved down, I used to look at the room and think it would be the perfect writerís space Ė it has two big windows and a view of the garden Ė so I snaffled it quickly. I like to be able to lift my eye off the computer and look out. There is something restorative about gardens. My furniture fitted in rather nicely so in a way itís a combination of a sitting room and a study. It gets the sun in the afternoon absolutely brilliantly Ė it just pours in.
I like my workroom to be peaceful and quiet and I think this room has those qualities, although itís a bit amusing because thereís a lane outside with about ten houses down it and people drift by. If they look in, they can see me working away Ė ďwriter at workĒ. They probably think Iím an accountant, actually.
I have a set and quite boring pattern of writing. I get up and come in here after breakfast as if it was my job. In the morning I write creatively and after lunch I revise my work. Itís very much a nine to five existence in a funny way. I found early on that a routine made writing easier; itís not a case of waiting for genius to visit.
Iíve got all my favourite little bits and pieces and pictures around me. Some I inherited from my brother Russell and that funny stuffed dog I bought in an auction Ė heís rather endearing and forlorn. My latest book is about a returned serviceman and, when Iím writing, objects become magnetic, such as my fatherís regimental number. The chaise longue was my brotherís. The rug is just a tatty old rug that I like. My furniture and I are like a sailor and his ship: we keep each other moored. Madam was a stray cat, dying of starvation, who adopted me one Christmas a couple of years ago.
Peter Wells was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2006 for services to literature and film. His latest book, Lucky Bastard (Random House NZ, $27.99) is set in the aftermath of World War II, it tells of a family trying to understand their ailing fatherís experiences, first as a Japanese prisoner then as a war crimes investigator in conquered Japan.
Story: Interview with Vivienne Haldane
Photographs: Paul McCredie