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Author Features

MEET: Laura Hankin author of “The Daydreams”

Laura lives in Washington, DC, where she once fell off a treadmill twice in one day.

author Laura Hankin
The Daydreams by Laura Hankin

What was the last book that you read that you’d now recommend?

Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan! Fair warning: be ready to cry.

Have you read any classics lately that you were reading for the first time?

I finally read The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro last year, and it blew me away. (If it’s not classified as a modern-ish classic, I firmly believe it should be!)

Do you re-read books   And if yes, what was your last re-read?

Yes! I recently reread Wild by Cheryl Strayed, and loved it just as much as I had the first time.

What are your go-to genres?

I’m a big fan of contemporary upmarket fiction, in that sweet spot between literary and commercial. And I always love a good rom-com or thriller!

What is your favorite childhood book?

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – I must have read it about twenty times.

What books are on your bedside table right now?

Sam by Allegra Goodman (which I’m loving), Drunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory (a queen of contemporary romance), and then three to five other novels, somewhat perilously stacked. My bedside table is a disaster.

Do you bookmark or dogear your page in a book?

Bookmark! (Unless I don’t have one handy and am really desperate.)

What is your ideal reading setting?

On a comfy couch in front of a roaring fire.

Tell us about your favorite indie bookstore?

My local indie, East City Bookshop, is so warm and welcoming. Everyone who works there is a gem. Their selection is great across genres, they’ve got an excellent events schedule and nice couches for hanging out, AND they put up photos of neighborhood dogs on the walls. What more could you ask for?

Laura Hankin's favorite bookstore

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

In second grade, we had an assignment to write a story about ourselves and share it in front of the class and our parents on Parents’ Night. While a lot of my friends wrote about their favorite color or the sports they loved to play, I wrote the saga of my family history, complete with multiple somewhat-sensitive family secrets. Also, I ended it with my own birth, entirely leaving my little brother out. (He was not pleased.) It was thrilling to see how my story affected people, but I also realized that words had consequences and could potentially hurt people too.

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

I absolutely geeked out over visiting Louisa May Alcott’s Concord, MA home where she wrote and set Little Women.

Where do you get most of your writing and editing done?

In various spots around my apartment. I have a very nice desk, yet you’re just as likely to find me typing furiously while sprawled on the couch. I need to move around a lot! My ideal working location is sitting at an outdoor café table on a beautiful day, but I’m at the mercy of the weather on that one.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It depends. A good writing day can energize like nothing else. But on a more normal day, when I’m spending hours staring at my computer and feeling like nothing great is coming out, I end up wanting to take a long nap.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Currently I have one that is sitting in a file on my computer, having been roundly rejected by editors years ago, and one that I’m in the middle of revising, but which should be published next year!

Do you read your book reviews?  How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I try to read some of the nice ones and avoid the bad ones, because I find that just one bad review can really convince me that the book is terrible, no matter how many other readers have said good things about it. A very healthy way of thinking!

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

We all hear about dazzling debuts bursting onto the scene, but lots of authors have an unpublished novel in a drawer, or a first book that doesn’t do particularly well, and that doesn’t mean that your career is doomed. It just means you’ve got an opportunity to get better as you go on, to grow and learn and push yourself further.

When you’re not reading or writing, what are you doing?

Hanging out with friends and family, taking long walks, learning to sing and play overly-emotional songs on the guitar, and watching comforting rom-coms from the early 2000s.

What are your three favorite things right now?

This will probably be dated by the time this comes out, but at this moment: 1) Reading way too much about Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski trial, 2) Frozen waffles and 3) Looking at the beautiful blossoming trees in my neighborhood (I’m pregnant and haven’t been able to do that much because of morning sickness, so these trees have really taken on an outsize importance for me.)

What is your favorite travel destination and why?

I’ve been lucky enough to go to Italy twice, and would like to spend so much more time there. I feel like I’ve just begun to scratch the surface of all the natural beauty, culture, and pasta it has to offer. Also, I love Asheville, North Carolina – beautiful mountains, incredible food and drink, and a bookstore/champagne bar!

What’s your favorite meal and go-to drink order?

I’m really excited for the day that I can have a spicy tuna sushi roll and/or a dirty martini again.

Laura Hankin's favorite food

What six people, living or dead, would you invite to a dinner party?

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Toni Morrison, Nora Ephron, Oscar Wilde, Drew Barrymore, and my mother.

If a movie was made of your life, what genre would it be, and who would play you?

Romantic comedy, and I’m going to dream big and say Natalie Portman. (Twice, people have told me I look like her, and I really cherish those memories.)

What’s the last TV show or movie you watched that was really good?

I’m watching the new Succession season now, and very into it!

You have to sing karaoke; what song do you pick?

Sk8er Boi by Avril Lavigne.

If you were being taken to a deserted island and could only bring one book, what would it be?

Maybe it would be a good excuse to finally read War and Peace?

The Daydreams by Laura Hankin book

Buy The Daydreams by Laura Hankin from: AMAZON / BOOKSHOP

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