This blog was featured on 05/22/2017
Laura Dave's writing process


Just how does an internationally bestselling author write? We sat down with Laura Dave, author of Eight Hundred Grapes, The Divorce Party and London is the Best City in America, among others, and her newest novel Hello Sunshine, to find out. Her book Eight Hundred Grapes was called "impossible to put down" (Elle Magazine) and was named a best book of summer by Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Marie Claire and US Weekly. Here's how Laura creates this magic, time and time again. 

First things first

I can find any excuse not to write (those bath sconces aren’t going to buy themselves!), which is why I aim to get to work first thing in the morning: no turning on the internet to check social media first, no running a quick errand. I’m at my desk—or, rather, my favorite table at the local coffee shop—first thing in the morning and I sit there until I’ve hit my word count.

Get started early

I try to start on the early side (it is always best for me to get going before 8 AM) and write until 1 PM or so. I do this five days a week.  Toward the end of a project, I work almost every day, and do a second session at night—sometimes working all through the night. 

Get in the groove

Music also plays an important part in my writing process.  I listen to the same song on repeat while I’m working. If that sounds a little nutty… give it a try!  Rhythmically, listening to the same song keeps storytelling in check. I always have a sense of picking up where I’ve left off. I take it as a major compliment that so many readers have written to say they couldn’t put one of my novels down – that they read it in one or two sittings. I owe a big thank-you to the music for helping accomplish that pacing. And I enjoy writing to music. A really good song and a great cup of coffee is a pretty great way to get into character everyday.  And it’s a routine I look forward to. It makes me want to get back to work. And makes me happy while I’m in the middle of it.


About Laura

Laura Dave is the international bestselling author of Hello Sunshine, Eight Hundred Grapes, The First Husband, The Divorce Party and London is the Best City in America. Her novels have been published in 15 countries and optioned as major motion pictures. Dave's writing has appeared in The New York Times, Glamour, Self, Redbook, and Cosmopolitan. She lives in Santa Monica.

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  • SarahBishop

    To publish a book really must put a lot of effort and enthusiasm. Thanks for sharing the interview with Laura.
    192.168 1.1

  • Of course nothing is going to make writing an easier, but at least this way you clearly see what you’re facing – and what’s up next.

    Research paper writer

  • Lori A. May

    I'm definitely in favor of early starts, too. If I don't get to my desk first thing, my day derails quickly and it's hard to get back on track. Great tips in here. Thanks, Laura and Kristin!

  • I tend to check emails and posts on social media before I begin writing; it is a carry over from my days in the Corporate world. I'm learning however that changes need to be made as I transition to writing full time. As for the music, I have a playlist I use all the time when I am writing. The music relaxes me and I am more productive with the music filtering through my head. 

  • Kristin, great post!  I'm always intrigued by other writers' "process" -- particularly when it doesn't include:  "I start with a fifth of bourbon"...

    I, too, live in Santa Monica and I write a column for a local newspaper.  I'm always on the prowl for interesting locals I can profile.  Would you be willing to either email me Laura's contact info (at HayesRaitt at aol dot com) or send this note to Laura inviting her to contact me for an interview?

    By way of introduction, here's a recent column I wrote -- interview with Joyce Carol Oates about writing about grief:  (Oates was in LA for the LA Times Book Fair, which gave me the local angle I needed.)

    I realize this is incredibly cheeky of me, and I hope I haven't offended!  I'm just always looking for ways to promote and support fellow writers.


    Kelly Hayes-Raitt

    Mosey on over to my web site and sign in for your free gift -- an mp3 of me reading my book's first chapter about a beggar in Iraq! ...And a pre-publication discount!
    Columnist, The Argonaut

  • maggie brooke

    routine, discipline and fun. what a great work environment!