New York Times bestselling author Greg Rucka has written countless comics and has worked on characters including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Punisher. He’s also the author of over a dozen novels. ALPHA, the first in a trilogy starring Special Forces operative Jad Bell, is out in paperback now.
And he has an amazing office.
My office is in our basement, what was once the mancave/rumpus room for the original owner of the house. When we moved in, it reeked of stale cigar smoke from, we figured, 1938. We repainted, put the shelves you see in, etc. The approach is through a door from the main basement floor, which is where almost all of the comics we own are shelved.
The Baker Street plaque is a memento from a trip to London in… 2002, I think it was. It was the first time my wife, Jennifer, had ever been, and it was only my second time over, the last almost 20 years prior.
I am, as they say, a Sherlock Holmes fan. You no doubt can tell by the picture of the Baring Gould Annotated Sherlock Holmes. Yes, I also own the Leslie Klinger New Annotated, as well.
When I sold my first novel, Keeper, I bought myself a “real” desk. I spent a lot of money on it, thinking it was going to be a good investment, and that I needed a solid, well-made desk, instead of the particleboard piece of detritus I’d had since college. It was a pretty good desk, but we never really clicked.
After my grandmother passed away, I was asked if I wanted my grandfather’s old desk. I jumped at the chance. That desk was the desk of my childhood - I remember spending hours at it, going through the treasures in its drawers, drawing and writing and generally occupying myself with the wonder of it. That’s the desk I work at now; that’s the desk I’m sitting at - in my grandfather’s chair - as I write this. This desk is old school, solid, and magical. I love this desk.
The desk hierarchy is now that Grandfather’s Desk is where I actually write; it’s where I type, and it’s where I take my serious notes. Published Novelist Desk is the editing desk, with an… well, editing desk on it. I tend to do my longhand breakdowns for comics there when that’s the way I’m working on a comic this particular week (don’t get me started; I have something like five or six different methods for comic scripting at this point, and I’ve no idea why I pick which one when except to say that sometimes one method works where another doesn’t). It’s also where I work on page proofs/galley proofs/copy edits and the like for my prose.
The shelves are pretty much full of books I either 1) love, 2) hate and keep to remind me of that hatred, 3) have no idea how I got it but I’m keeping it, 4) need for research, 5) hope to need for research, 6) cannot bear to part with for one reason or another.
Yes, I’m a big Star Wars fan. The painting behind the figures is by Jason Alexander (no, not that one), who did the art for the Queen & Country arc, “Operation: Blackwall.”
The image was the cover to the first issue of the story. There’s similar bits and pieces of art and action figures and the like scattered around the office. These have been collected over the last 20 years. The art is mostly from projects I’ve done that were of particular importance to me.
When I’m working on multiple active projects, I keep binders for each of them. When I’m working on a novel, I do the same, though the binder’s purpose is different; for comics, the binders store EVERYTHING; for novels, the binder is only for the hardcopy pages I’ve typed. I find it infinitely easier to edit on hardcopy for prose, and part of my editing process is to read what I’ve written aloud, and that’s easier for me if I have the paper in front of me to mark-up as I go.
As to the tools, well, I’m a writer, and we fetishize our process and find ways to procrastinate wherever and however we can. I love pens. i love paper. I love a good pencil. So sue me.
You can see in at least one of these images, I think, my current writing set-up, which I switched to about six months ago. I tried a standing desk for a while, but it wasn’t working for me, so I invested instead in a laptop stand and a new freestanding keyboard.
I am passionately, dangerously in love with my new keyboard. It’s a DasKeyboard Model S Professional for Macintosh, and I suppose you either understand where I’m coming from or you don’t, but it CLICKS and it RESPONDS and I can FEEL when I am typing and I can HEAR when I typing and it’s like silk and music and the way someone you love looks at you and I’m probably veering into dangerous territory but… suffice it to say, I type a lot, I type quickly (I’m about 140-150 wpm on a roll) and this baby keeps up and does it like a champ.
And no, they haven’t paid me to say this.
And no, you cannot have my keyboard. Get your own. You try to take my keyboard, I will cut you, I swear to God.