Inside the writing den of Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Nanny Returns

Nanny Returns authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus work in tight quarters. ”Luckily,” says McLaughlin,”we enjoy looking at each other very, very close up.”

Their plaque
After The Nanny Diaries hit No. 1 on the New York Times list, St. Martin’s gifted the writers with a framed copy of the list. ”It’s alternately inspiring and terrifying,” McLaughlin says. ”That’s a pretty high bar to try to reach. [But] we keep it there to sort of pinch ourselves.”

Their inspirations
The Post-it on McLaughlin’s computer quotes a line from Kathleen Tolan’s play Memory House: ”Just do this because it’s the thing in front of you.” Kraus’ Post-it quotes an old letter from Harvey Fierstein, whom the author wrote to as a 12-year-old fan. ”He wrote, ‘Just keep your heart and ears open always. The rest is easy.”’

Their computers
Sorry, John Hodgman, these authors are Mac girls. ”I feel affection and passion towards this computer,” McLaughlin says. ”We need big screens. We distract very easily.” Good thing a statue of Ganesh — ”a remover of obstacles” — can encourage them to stay focused.

Their pup
The writing duo can hardly fathom trading in this space in Kraus’ Brooklyn apartment for a bona fide office. ”We’d miss each other’s dogs,” Kraus says. The pooch pictured is Billie, Kraus’ Jack Russell terrier — and she has two more named for children she cared for as a nanny.

Nanny Returns
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