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Novelist Abigail Hing Wen is the midst of one of the biggest weeks of her life. The New York Times best-selling author is currently on set in Taipei, Taiwan, for the film adaptation of her first young-adult novel, Loveboat, Taipei. On top of that, her highly anticipated second book, Loveboat Reunion, was just released last week, so these days, her routine looks a little different than when she’s back home in the United States. In between filming and interview requests, Hing Wen shows us her morning rituals during a very busy season in her life.
Keep reading to see what a typical morning looks like for an author during a whirlwind press tour.
Since my morning starts later in the day in California, I am usually bombarded by emails that need responses. The sequel to my first novel, Loveboat Reunion, was released last week, so I’ve had a lot of interviews to respond to and event planning for the book tour. I end up doing all this before I even get out of bed. This is a very bad habit but, fortunately, temporary!
I usually chat with my family over Zoom, which can be quite early in Taipei since they’re on West Coast time. Fortunately, they’ve been able to join me here for the last weeks of shooting.
Afterward, I'll brush my teeth (my dentist recommends these Nimbus Extra Soft Toothbrushes) and wash my face with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. Sometimes, if there's extra time, I’ll take a relaxing bath or go out to find food that I can only find here.
I had to learn to do my makeup for on-camera interviews when Loveboat, Taipei was published, and I like to keep it very simple. A seamless makeup application starts with great skincare, and my tried-and-true products include Fenty Skin Fat Water Toner Serum, Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream, and Colorscience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield.
Now it's time for makeup! I'll take my beloved neutral Dior Backstage Eyeshadow Palette and apply just a bit on my lids. Afterward, I'll add a hint of blush and contour on my cheeks, then mascara and eyeliner, and powder to finish things up. I'll spritz some setting mist to make my skin look like skin again. A fun tip I picked up from Hillary Clinton — I sometimes have to take meetings while I’m doing my makeup to fit everything in.
Today, when I was getting ready, I got a briefing from my film manager prior to a meeting with a major teen-focused entertainment network.
Our hotel provides fresh fruit every day, including guavas, which is one of my favorites. During breakfast, I'll check my social media and respond to comments on my posts from my followers since my usual posting time back home is the middle of my night here. I love seeing the excitement around the film and book launch!
I have meetings with Los Angeles at this time for the film project. Everyone’s working on different parts, whether it's tinkering with the script, selecting costumes for each scene (which is a ton of work), finalizing locations, and reporting on shoots, so it’s helpful to have group check-ins to make sure everyone is coordinated.
I'll head down from my hotel room to the shuttle van that takes me to set. I’ve run into different cast members, including the groups of kids who play the Loveboat students a few times, and it's always super fun to ride with them!
Before we get on the actual set, we have to do a COVID self-check questionnaire and get our temperatures checked. And three times a week, we'll get PCR tests. Safety first!
Our line producer’s assistant, Kai (pictured in green), gets coffee for the whole crew twice a day. My go-to drink is a decaf oat milk latte since soy chai lattes are scarce around here! However, if I can get a hold of boba tea, I’m there.
I'll usually run errands during my breaks, which don’t line up with normal times. Lunch on set happens exactly six hours after shooting begins, so sometimes it can be as late as 2 a.m.!