Super-Dad’s Fortress of Solitude?

So, since the entire family has relocated back to Casa Hunty for the duration of the current contretemps, the increase in relative population density has made the serene act of writing, communicating with the muse, and milking the author cow’s creative teats for the milk of creativity a somewhat more fraught business than normal.

That is when I noticed a seven-foot-square-sized scorched Earth corner of the garden, more or less hidden away from sight from the house, in a shady weed-cleared nook where nothing good will grow in that benighted corner of the garden.

Or will it?

Spying this derelict terrain, my mind was immediately filled with spinning visions of the kind of man-shed-cave that regularly features in A.J’s Head to the Shed section of the Idler magazine (see – yes, Alex Johnson, author of the Haynes Shed Manual, and creator of, you have a lot to answer for!

Super-Dad's Fortress of Solitude?
Super-Dad’s Fortress of Solitude?

I mean, Dylan Thomas wrote in his bike shed. Philip Pullman has a fine and very large author’s shed in his Oxford garden (actually, the garden’s more like a private parkland). My distant relative, Roald Dahl, built a one-room cottage in his garden to pen his works. So why not me?

Imagine the calm. The quiet. The warm comfort of snuggling up to a wooden desk in a snug environment! The lack of distractions. Why my word count could climb to epic 1930s Pulp-author proportions!

However, I suspect that by the time I can actually get a shed installed – either DIY-style or by greasing the palms of a socially distanced local shed-engineer with a few of my hard-earned Galactic Groats, our tiny home office will be returned to a state of tranquility by the subsidence of matters medical beyond my realm.

So, to man-shed or not to man-shed, that is the question of the moment? I’d like you to vote on it using the poll at, please.


I am an author of various fantasy, science fiction, crime and other genre books from Gollancz, Hachette and HarperCollins. Some day I hope to grow up and be an astronaut. Exploring Mars would be nice.

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