Laini Taylor’s Diary: Photos by The Author of ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’

Laini Taylor’s Diary: Photos by The Author of ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’

Here at Bookish HQ, we’ve been paying attention to your #YAWednesday recommendations. Laini Taylor’s “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” has been catching a lot of buzz and we totally understand why. We loved the story of azure-haried Karou and her chimera father-figure, Brimstone. Her book is so imaginative (really, we haven’t read anything like this) that we got curious about Laini and how she works. Instead of a Q&A, she obliged us with a photo diary of her typical writing day. Not only did we find out how the author (who has an awesomely bright hair color, just like her protagonist!) writes, we discovered what adorable motivation waits for her at home.

I used to write at home. But with a beautiful two-year-old distraction at home [Laini’s daughter, Clementine Pie], I now write in a café. Here, she has just said, “No mama go bye bye.” *sad face*

Skulking off with my laptop in my backpack. Since I walk to the café, the backpack is essential. I used to have a messenger bag and it just about killed my shoulder.

Right now, the walk is lovely. But this is Oregon. Much of the year umbrellas and raincoats are involved, and this year I vow to finally invest in essential Oregon gear: galoshes! Perhaps with polka dots.

Doo dah doo. Walking along. It’s morning by the way. Eight-ish.

I used to believe that I needed a perfectly quiet and controlled environment to write. I didn’t even listen to music. But necessity will teach you what you can and can’t do. It turns out, I can write in a café, as long as I take certain measures.

It has to be the right café. My current spot is big and quiet, with spacious tables and power outlets. Also, bonus: it has a stone tower.

Essential café writing equipment part I: coffee

“As soon as coffee is in your stomach, there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move. . . similes arise, the paper is covered. Coffee is your ally and writing ceases to be a struggle.” – Honore de Balzac

What he said.

Essential café writing equipment part II: Bose noise-cancelling headphones, which are kind of like a portable mini-world all your own. Nothing gets in.

I keep at it until 1 p.m., then make my way home. My husband works in the afternoon [he’s an illustrator] while I take care of Clementine.

The day passes as days pass, and then, after Clementine falls asleep, I begin again and write as late as my brain allows, which sometimes isn’t very. We have recently moved so I don’t have a nice orderly writing space set up yet, but all you really need is something to write with/on and somewhere to sit.



  1. Love this! I haven’t been very good at writing in cafes because I tend to get distracted easily. *Oh Squirrel* But I haven’t tried the noise cancelling headsets. Will definitely give that a go.

    Clementine is beautiful. I can see why you would need to take the office out of the house, though. I wouldn’t be able to resist the puppy dog eyes. ;)

    Can’t wait to read the book. Just watch the trailers and they have me hooked. :)


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