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This blog was featured on 09/06/2019
Taylor Jenkins Reid on Researching Your Novel
Written by
She Writes
September 2019
Written by
She Writes
September 2019

This month our Fall 2019 semester of She Writes University is kicking off and New York Times bestseller Taylor Jenkins Reid (author of Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and more) is leading the charge with the first class: Researching Your Novel.

In her first-ever online class, Taylor will talk about about the extensive research she did for her books from reading rock n' roll bios to studying dynamic figures like Elizabeth Taylor and Lucille Ball. Learn the methods that make her novels so compelling that she got the attention of Reese Witherspoon which led to her Daisy Jones TV deal with Amazon Studios.

We got the chance to sit down with Taylor and talk about her writing habits, the moment she began to feel like a writer and why she thinks it's so important to teach a class to other writers.

SW: Briefly set the scene for your writing habits: Where do you write? How do you write? What's your routine? 

I write at home in my office. I need iced tea and some quiet, so lately that means I have noise-canceling headphones because I have a toddler.

SW: What is the first thing you can remember writing?

When I was twelve, I spent a few weeks writing four-page thrillers that were awful and all of the characters were named very 90s names like Chandler, Keanu, and Winona. My grandmother would read each one and act as if I was Stephen King. It meant a lot to me. 

SW: Describe a moment when your own writing scared you or surprised you.

I think my characters sort of take on a life of their own inside my head even though I don't set out for them to. I'll find myself typing something I didn't really consciously think about before typing it -- and that, each time it happens, ends up freaking me out a little bit. 

SW: At what point did you begin to truly feel like a “writer”?

When I finally started admitting to people that I was writing something.

SW: What’s one of the lessons in your She Writes University class that you really wish YOU had learned earlier in your writing career?

The more you research a time and a place, the easier it is to bring a reader there. 

SW: Why do you feel it’s important to offer a writing class to other women writers through She Writes University?

Because I want to keep reading good books, especially stories that haven't been told before. So we have to encourage new writers if we want new stories. 

Make sure you check out Taylor's class and the rest of the She Writes University Fall lineup today!

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