News & Politics

Inside the Office of a Best-Selling Author

David Baldacci penned his latest novel in this Northern Virginia space.

Inside the Office of a Best-Selling Author
Photograph by Dan Chung

If it weren’t considered the federal government’s factory town, Washington might be known as a literary capital. But never mind—the two are interrelated: The intrigue that happens here daily is a fine muse for novelists, in particular David Baldacci. The author, who lives in Northern Virginia, has produced one bestseller after another, dating back to Absolute Power in 1996. He wrote his latest, Memory Man—as he did some two dozen of his 30 novels—in this cozy nook in a nondescript office park off Fairfax County Parkway in Reston. Odd location? Not for Baldacci, who says: “No matter where I am, I can write, but the office is quiet and I can be creative here.” He’ll write out the first chapter and edit it by hand. For the “big edits,” he moves to the contraption opposite him on the round table and sits in the “Hemingway chair” (right), an homage to the writer Baldacci says was a model for him.

This article appears in our April 2015 issue of Washingtonian.