Design: theSkimm | Photo: Michael Buckner
life·4 min read

Taylor Jenkins Reid on Her Writing Process and Dream Book Club Guests

The bestselling author shares her WFH essentials (including her go-to comfy outfit), her fave productivity hack, and more.
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Aug 30, 2022

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If we had a penny every time someone at Skimm HQ said Taylor Jenkins Reid was their favorite author…we’d be very rich. (She’s behind “Daisy Jones & The Six,” “Malibu Rising,” and “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo,” to name a few.) Her newest read, “Carrie Soto Is Back,” drops today — and let us just say, you’ll love it. In between book tour stops and her busy schedule, she spared us some time to let us in on her writing process and share her go-to recs.

Three things that are always on my desk when writing…

My to-do list is the most important thing on my desk on any given day. I always have a Cambridge notebook [HQ loves this one]. I have a Uni-ball Signo pen, in black. And then I usually have my tea. My favorite lately is Teavana Earl Grey Crème. It’s good hot or iced.

Snack I like to have on hand…

I’ve started trying to balance out my snacks and choose ones with more protein, so I act like this trail mix from Target is good for me when I’m really just in it for the chocolate and peanut butter chips.

My best productivity hack for staying on deadline…

Sometimes I need peace and quiet to get my work done even when there is no peace and quiet in my house. The Calm app has been amazing at helping me tune out the world around me and focus.

What I read while writing “Carrie Soto Is Back” and what I’m reading now…

I found Andre Agassi’s “Open” and Billie Jean King’s “All In” to be really helpful during my research process for “Carrie Soto.” I am currently reading “Drunk on Love” by romance queen Jasmine Guillory and am loving it.

My favorite comfortable chair to work in…

I love collapsing onto the sofa in my office. It’s deep and comfy and perfectly nappable. I have it in cream and somehow it has remained that way despite how often I spill on it.

Go-to comfy outfit when WFH…

I live in black sweatpants. Never met a brand of them I didn’t love. And I’m excited for the weather to cool down so that I can go back to living in these shirts from Richer Poorer. I have them in multiple colors but especially love the “Stretch Limo.”

My favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day of writing…

I live a very privileged life in which, at the end of the day, if I ask nicely, my husband will make me a very carbonated seltzer water using our SodaStream and then squeeze multiple whole limes into it. And then I just take a sip, say “ahhh” very dramatically, and put my feet up.

My dream book club with my own characters…

Carrie Soto loves Hollywood gossip just as much as me, so I’m pretty sure that she and I, plus Daisy Jones, would get a big kick out of reading “Scandals of Classic Hollywood” by Anne Helen Petersen together. Though I think Carrie would love another book I just finished, “Siren Queen” by Nghi Vo, too.

Psst: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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