Workspace: Paula Hawkins

The author wrote her smash hit The Girl on the Train from her home study. Now working on her next book, Hawkins tells us what she needs around her to write a bestseller.

My desk

I have a study on the ground floor of my house, which is where I work. I’m no good at working in cafés or libraries, I like to be at home, without distractions. I don’t listen to music – in fact I get very grumpy about there being any noise at all.

I live on quite a quiet road, so generally I’m ok; I work with my back to the window to minimize time spent daydreaming or spying on the neighbours.

On the wall in front of my desk are many Post-its, detailing the plot of my new book. I find it really helpful to be able to look up and see where I am. Sometimes I’ll also pin up poems or quotes or pictures I find inspiring.

Paula Hawkins desk

My cluttered home study

On the wall behind me is a calendar showing me where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing over the next couple of months.

The room is pretty cluttered – it also serves as my gym, so there’s a treadmill and weights in it, too.

I have two large bookshelves where I keep books that are yet to be read, or ones I know I’m going to want to refer to often. I also have a shelf of my own foreign editions.

Paula Hawkins home study
Hawkins' study-cum-gym

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