The island of Nantucket owes a lot to Elin Hilderbrand. In many of her 29 romance novels, it becomes another character in the narrative, and its allure is so strong that some of Hilderbrand’s fans—“Hilderbabes,” as they’re known—make an annual January pilgrimage there in the name of the Elin Hilderbrand Bucket List Weekend. (Yoga, sipping, and shopping are all part of the itinerary.) In advance of the paperback release of The Hotel Nantucket, her most popular novel yet, Hilderbrand shares her key components to the good life. —Ashley Baker

Airline: Emirates. It’s not a stretch to say my flight from Dubai to J.F.K. in business class was a top-five day of my life.
Airport: SFO, for the food and the halo mirrors in the bathroom.
App: Notes. My novels live here.
Bike: I’m Peloton-obsessed. My favorite instructor is Jenn Sherman.
Car: Jeep Wrangler, top off, filled with sand.
Child: Whichever one agrees to be photographed with me and posted on my Instagram.
Cocktail: Veuve Clicquot.
Cocktail appetizer: Pigs in a blanket or any kind of onion dip.
Dinner, weekday: Grilled swordfish, Boursin potatoes, corn on the cob, and Bartlett’s tomatoes.
Dinner, weekend: The chicken frites at Nautilus.
: I call it “Deep January on Nantucket”: Sam coat, knit South Carolina Gamecocks hat, Ray-Ban aviators.
: Maybe the most competitive field on here. I’ll go with Alexis.
Enemy: The Dallas Cowboys. (Lifelong Eagles fan here!)
: St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Excuse: “I wish I could … but have a deadline.”

First Lady/First Man: I would have said the Kennedys set an impossible standard until the Obamas came along.
Flaw: My temper. Ask my kids.
Friend: Get yourself a friend who’s an executive coach.
: Auberge du Soleil, in Napa. Nirvana.
: Dancing front row at the Chicken Box.

“You always look so nice in those jean shorts.”

Last Meal: Mahi B.L.T., slaw, and fries from Blanchards, in Anguilla.
Lunch, weekday
: Grilled-salmon club, yellow-tomato gazpacho at home.
Lunch, weekend
: Cobb salad, chopped, from Galley Beach on Nantucket.
: Love Story.
: Martha’s Vineyard.
Nonfiction book
: The Official Preppy Handbook.
: Family Happiness, by Laurie Colwin.
Pants: Jean shorts.
Piece of advice
: “This too shall pass.”

Podcast: SmartLess, and my favorite SmartLess host is Will Arnett.
Restaurant: On Nantucket, Languedoc. In the rest of the world, the Palm Beach Grill.
Saying: “Onward!”
Second spouse: Dr. Biden.
Shoes: Mystique jeweled flip-flops.
Singer: Bruce Springsteen.
Street: Lily Street, Nantucket.
Television series: Succession.
Theme song to your life: “Vienna,” by Billy Joel.
Time of day: The golden hour in summer—from six to seven p.m.—with a cocktail.
View: My kids’ faces around the table.
Wake-up time: 5:30 a.m. Time to get after it!
Work of art: Renoir’s The Umbrellas.

Elin’s Essentials

Clockwise from left: an Alexis dress; Renoir’s The Umbrellas; Ray-Ban aviators; Veuve Clicquot champagne; a Jeep Wrangler.