Sleep is Pierce Brown’s muse. Boasting a New York Times bestselling trilogy, he thrives in dreaming up dystopian, sci-fi creations from his bed.
With a fourth book and a movie in the works, Brown keeps busy writing and creating. But at night, he finds solace in his bedtime rituals. We sat down with Pierce to talk about his nighttime routine (hint: lots of reading), his pup, and his passion for expressing the human experience.
What’s keeping you up at night right now?
Pierce: Story ideas. The old ticker likes to meander and tie itself in knots.
What do you wear to sleep?
Pierce: The suit god gave me.
Go-to late night snack?
Pierce: Peanut butter and honey.
What was your last dream?
Pierce: Last night I fought a dragon on a motorcycle, only it wasn’t a dragon, it was yogurt shaped like my 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Love, and the motorcycle was actually a hamster. Freud would have fun with that.
Last thing you do before going to sleep?
Pierce: Kiss my dog and tell her good night.
How many hours do you sleep?
Pierce: Generally six.
What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Pierce: Put in my eyes. I’m blind as a bat.
What makes you WANT to get out of bed?
Pierce: The smell of bacon downstairs.
What else do you do in your bed besides sleep?
Pierce: Gentlemen don’t kiss and tell.
What makes you fall asleep?
Pierce: I’m a shifter by necessity. Right side, left side, quarter right, one third left. Bellyflop. Traditional box spring mattresses and Tempur-Pedics kill my lower back and triggered pressure points. Especially that nasty slump in the center of old mattresses. I fall asleep quickly when I have firm support that doesn’t trigger pressure points.
Why is writing important to you?
Pierce: Writing is important to me because storytelling is the pillar of the human experience. Song, dance, art, architecture, every artistic medium is about the expression of an emotion or a tale. Writing just so happens to be one of the purest forms of that. It’s a pleasure and a struggle every day.
What gives you energy throughout your day?
Pierce: Mostly my espresso machine. I see people extolling the virtues of the non-caffeinated lifestyle, but then I cackle and go back to my doppio ways.
How does sleep impact your day?
Pierce: It makes my day. I sleep only six hours a night, so I need them to count, and I need to wake up recharged, not aching like I just road 20 miles bareback on a mule through the Rockies.
What’s your relationship with your electronics? Do they sleep with you?
Pierce: My bedroom is for two things. One of those is sleep. The other isn’t staring at a screen. When my brain knows what a place is for, my body gets on board right quick.
What is your bedtime ritual?
Pierce: I read poetry before bed. Right now I’m re-reading The Little Prince. Sometimes I read Calvin and Hobbes. I’ll shower then hop under the covers. For some reason it reminds me of childhood and has a quieting effect.
How do you deal with stress?
Pierce: I have to burn it off or it cocoons me.
If you have an extra 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
Pierce: Spend it teaching my dog to shake hands. She’s stubborn.
What do you want to be when you wake up?
Pierce: A Jedi.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
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