08-26-2009 08:37 AM
hey Sophie i'm so happy that u're here!!!
i immensely enjoyed the shopaholic series but have to say that can you keep a secret? is so far my fave.
My loooong train journeys have become so much fun thanks to your books!
The books go by so fast one after the other that I'm already waiting for the nxt one.
You make writing look so easy!!!
Can't wait to catch up with Becky n Suze again ........
Hi, Thea18 -- I'm glad you mentioned Can You Keep A Secret -- I remember reading it and thinking "Wow, Sophie Kinsella is going in a new direction!"
Sophie, do you deliberately try new things -- or do your characters/ideas lead you in "new directions?"
08-26-2009 08:41 AM
I feel as if my books are like my children, I love them all the same! Having said that, if I absolutely had to pick one it would be the first Shopaholic book, simply because that's where I first met/created Becky Bloomwood.
It's also the book that I wrote the quickest - I was so excited by it! Twenties Girl took the longest simply because I started it, then got taken up by film stuff and had to put it aside, then resume. So in calendar months it took a while.
Sophie, it's interesting to hear that you took the longest to write Twenties Girl, because I definitely felt a difference between the first and second half of the book (I liked the second half much better, which is not to say anything bad about the first half, just that when you got further into the grandmother's feelings, I was hooked). Was that the division?
08-26-2009 08:44 AM
My best time to write is in the morning when my head is clear. When I'm in the middle of a book I always wake up and think about it, planning the scene for the day. Then I go to my computer, make some coffee (essential) turn on loud music (essential) and switch off the phones (essential!!!) I try to write 1,000 words a day or more if it's going well. I spend time with my kids after they come back from school. Then I might go back and edit my work. Since I got a MacBook Air I find that I write all over the house, it's so portable.
Favourite thing to give as a gift right now: a tote bag which says 'Keep Calm and Carry On Shopping'. I love it! It's from this great British website, notonthehighstreet.com. And favourite thing in my closet: an orange Oscar de la Renta dress I bought for the screening of Confessions of a Shopaholic. It's so bright, it's crazy!
Sophie, I LOVE that you posted the web site for the tote bag; I keep seeing KEEP CALM posters etc. and have been wanting to find something...
08-26-2009 09:45 AM
Good morning, Sophie! (Or afternoon for you?)
Two more Q's--
#1--Do you a set amount of hours that you write for each day?
#2--What advice do you have for an aspiring author who wants to write his/her first book but hasn't the foggiest clue where to begin?
Thanks so much for participating in this! I know so many people appreciate being able to interact with you!
08-26-2009 10:17 AM
I love Agatha Christie's novels because they are so easy to read, so addictive, and so brilliantly clever. They evoke a bygone age so they tickle my nostalgic spot, and although they generally contain one murder (at least!) they are never remotely dark. Both the characters of Miss Marple and Poirot are wonderful and there is something very soothing about the familiar.
I wouldn't say that I have ever been consciously influenced by Agatha Christie other than aspiring to do what she did: create entertaining, unputdownable escapism which is easy to read.
Who knows, maybe one day Becky Bloomwood will turn detective!
08-26-2009 10:24 AM
The necklace in Twenties Girl came purely from my imagination. I wanted something magical and talismanic. I love dragonflies, they are so iridescent and beautiful and seemed to capture the flighty, ethereal nature of Sadie. I also knew that they were popular in the 1920s, as was glass jewellery.
In a spooky coincidence, after I had finished the book I went to look at the website of a friend, Claudia Bradby, who designs jewellery - to discover she had designed a long necklace of yellow beads with a silver dragonfly charm!! I think we must have been psychic... of course I bought one at once!
PS here's the necklace I bought:
08-26-2009 10:27 AM
I think my work as Madeleine Wickham isn't around much because it's older. I know The Wedding Girl has just been released in the US, so maybe that is more available?
08-26-2009 10:32 AM
Plots, for me, are a mixture of instant flashes of inspiration... and days of hard work, thinking and planning. Some ideas pop into my head and I instantly know they'll work as a book, I just don't quite know HOW. It's the HOW that takes the time. Sometimes you can have too many ideas, and have to whittle some away. Sometimes you know something is missing but you're not sure what...
I try to be patient, think it through and hope for another flash of inspiration. It all else fails I go out with my husband, order mojitos and talk about the plot till we have the answer!
08-26-2009 10:42 AM
I have never deliberately thought 'I must go in this direction', but I do love the challenge of new ideas. Writing a ghost was maybe my biggest challenge yet!
I like to be open-minded and I definitely go where my characters lead me!
08-26-2009 10:44 AM
That's interesting! Actually it didn't really work like that. I started the book and got some way into it. Then I had some time off, came back to it with some new ideas and basically rewrote it again from scratch!
08-26-2009 10:53 AM
Good afternoon Lisa! (It's tea time here )
I don't have a set amount of hours, but I try to aim for a word count each day - usually I aim to write at least 1,000 words. Sometimes it takes me a couple of hours, sometimes I'm still sitting there in the evening!!
My advice to any aspiring author is to find an idea that really excites you, as writing a book is a long slog and it's all too easy to give up. You need to be able to get that spark back as you remember why you wanted to do it in the first place. Write the book you would love to read yourself. Imagine going into a book store and finding the PERFECT book for you. Does it exist? If not, maybe YOU need to write it! Keep a notebook and pen with you. Don't tell everyone 'I'm writing a book!' They will only ask you all the time how it's going, or pitch in with their own ideas. Keep it to yourself or share only with someone you really trust, until you've finished or at least have a substantial piece or work that you're pleased with. And enjoy it!
08-26-2009 01:23 PM
Thank you for your time, have enjoyed your books for sometime, got hooked when a friend recommended "The Undomestic Goddess", very excited to hear you have another adventure with Becky coming out soon. Keep that pen to paper we love the product!!!
My question is when you start a novel do you know the ending or does the ending unfold as the story develops?
Best wishes, DG
08-26-2009 01:30 PM
Me again, wanted to say how much I enjoyed "Twenties Girl", love the necklace you bought, it looks like the one on your "Twenties Girl" book jacket, very fun and should go great with your new orange dress.
Best regards, DG
08-26-2009 02:27 PM
Thank you for your quick responses to all of my questions.
I have a couple more for you..
When did you discover your passion for writing?
How would you describe your first attempt at finding an agent?
08-26-2009 03:29 PM
Sophie - I finished reading Twenties Girl a couple of days ago and have told everyone I know to read it. It was fantastic! It was different from your other books yet similar. I like the different spin. This past spring I read Cocktails for Three and told every one of my pregnant friends they needed to read it! I've yet to be disappointed in one of your novels (both as Sophie Kinsella and Madeleine Wickham).
I love how your characters are so realistically quirky. I often cringe when reading about one of the mortifying situations they get themselves into (i literally dropped the book and covered my eyes when Lara and Ed had their first encounter!). I see myself in your characters too often . Do you come up with characters first or situations? or both simultaneously?
In my book, you've totally acheived the "entertaining, unputdownable escapism" that so many of us look for in a good book. Thank you for that!
08-26-2009 06:40 PM
Thank you for the shopaholic series. I love those books soooo much.
I am 29,000 words into my book but I think a little training would help with my writing. Have you taken any writing related courses and if so what did you study?
08-27-2009 09:26 AM
Thanks for the great advice for writers!
I especially like what you said about not mentioning you're writing a book to a lot of people because you'll get asked about it over and over. So true!
Are there plans for any more of your books to be made into movies?
Thanks again for participating in this!
08-27-2009 04:55 PM
I always have an ending in mind when I start the book, but sometimes I end up writing a different ending. The characters have always made the same journey, though, even if the details end up being diferent. I couldn't start a book with absolutely no idea of where I was going - I have to have a road map!