Tom Hanks has made his debut as an author...but what's his book about?

Tom Hanks on why and how he wrote his debut book- Uncommon Type.


Tom Hanks admits: "I’ve made a lot of movies that didn’t make sense – or money", and so he decided to invest his time in trying his hand at something new. While making movies in New York, Berlin, Budapest and Atlanta, Hanks used his downtime to write.

Hanks book is a compilation of short stories revolving around his obsession with typewriters, his love for ordinary and eccentric characters, his experiences with family trouble, his respect for war veterans and his approach to romance to name a few ideologies. 


I wrote in hotels during press tours. I wrote on vacation. I wrote on planes, at home, and in the office. When I could actually make a schedule, and keep to it, I wrote in the mornings from 9 to 1.”

Hanks doesn't want his book to be well-received just because he is already a celebrated actor and instead wants his writing to speak for itself. His stories are tragic, heroic, poignant, romantic, heartwrenching, dreamy and wistful leaving you with a warm feeling of belonging and wanting more.

He uses his vast knowledge of books and film to create unforgettable characters that go back in time to form layered and riveting personalities. Through his book, Hanks hopes his readers can travel to live in the house that beholds a passionate three-week relationship, experience New York in 1939, learn from a WWII Veteran about life, make a living with an amateur actor just stepping into Hollywood, et al.

The story that's probably closest to Hanks' heart is "A Special Weekend" – one about a little boy whose weekend is torn between his divorced parents. Hanks admits that he didn't have the best childhood since his own parents split-up early on and he was raised by his father, who was a cook, and a series of stepmothers. Hanks looks back on his own childhood to bring out a child's innocent viewpoint of divorce.


He is reported to have enjoyed the freedom that came with being an author. Hanks was too used to being directed to act in the manner asked of him, but as a master of his own work, he was able to make his own momentary decisions. His editor from Knopf, PRH claims that Hanks with his broadly-dispensed smile was an incredibly humble writer to work with.

In my day job I provide the raw material and someone else makes all the decisions; the order, the editing, the lighting. So I don’t have any problems with someone coming in saying, ‘I think it should be like this.'"

His book, Uncommon Type, became a bestseller on Apple’s iTunes store and is already being translated into foreign languages in seven countries. 

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