08-15-2009 08:38 AM - last edited on 08-24-2009 09:08 PM by Kristine_S
Sophie Kinsella is a former financial journalist and theauthor of the bestselling Shopaholic novels, including Shopaholic & Baby,as well as The Undomestic Goddess. She lives in England with her family.
FIVE FUN FACTS ABOUT SOPHIE KINSELLA:
When she was five she decided that she was Scottish and tookto wearing kilts every day and dancing reels around the house.
Her new addiction is Cadbury's Giant Chocolate Buttons.
She's always had a secret yearning to read the news on TV.
Her latest fab purchase is a replica retro American payphonefor her kitchen.
She has never done a bungee jump and never plans to.
08-21-2009 01:56 PM - edited 08-21-2009 01:57 PM
First off, let me say that I am a HUGE fan. REMEMBER ME? is one of my favorite books!
My question is: What was your inspiration for the "Shopaholic" series? Are you a big shopper?
08-21-2009 05:10 PM
08-21-2009 06:15 PM
I LOVED twenties girl. I found myself laughing out loud, and I didn't care where I was!
Sadie reminded me of my grandmother in so many ways, it was very comforting.
And, the cover....my sister and I had this standing joke about dragonflies before she died, since then I seem to find them everywhere, so when I read about the book, I knew I wanted to read it, but then when I actually saw the cover, I knew I HAD to read it.
Thank you so much!
08-24-2009 08:11 AM
Good morning, Center Stage visitors! I'm pleased to share a few questions-and-answers that Sophie Kinsella was gracious enough to endure on our behalf.
Center Stage: Tell us about how your new novel fits inwith OR stands out from your body of work/previous work.
Sophie Kinsella: My new novel is a departure in some ways asone of the main characters is a ghost: a 20-something girl is haunted by hergreat-aunt, who comes back as a 20s flapper girl. I have never written anythingsupernatural before, so that was a brand new challenge. In other ways though,the novel is in a similar vein and explores the same sort of territory to myother novels: women's lives, loves, careers and fashion. (This time with avintage twist.) It is primarily a romantic comedy like my other books, and Ihad great fun exploiting the comedic possibilities of a ghost! But it's perhapsmore poignant too.
CS: What's the most interesting thing areader has ever asked you?
SK: A Japanese reader recently asked me to signthe photograph of me that he had enclosed. This was interesting because thepicture was not of me, but of Isla Fisher, star of the movie of Confessions ofa Shopaholic!
CS: What's the one thing no one has everasked you that you are dying to make known?
SK: No-one has ever asked me about my prowess atunderwater handstands. (Not at all bad, since you ask!)
CS: Whose books would you like to havewritten if not your own?
SK: I would have been very glad to have writtenanything by Jane Austen, PG Wodehouse or Agatha Christie, due to the immenseamount of pleasure each of these authors has brought me, not to mentionmillions of other people.
CS: If you weren't a writer, you'd be?
SK: After a voice transplant, I would entertainpeople from the piano as a singer-songwriter to worldwide acclaim. Or if thatdidn't work out, maybe a kindergarten teacher (I love crayoning).
08-24-2009 09:07 AM
I picked up Confessions of a Shopaholic while I was on maternity leave. Having just had twin boys (therefore, lacking free time and money), I was captured by this wonderful story that made me laugh out loud and often, get so irritated at the irrationality of it all! I loved the series and have read all of your other books.
Where did you get the idea for Twenties Girl? I couldn't put it down-loved it!
Will there be other books about Lara?
08-24-2009 11:11 AM
You have ignited a gentle sort of war between my daughter and me. She doesn't read romance, but she'll read women's fiction. I'll read women's fiction, but I'm addicted to romance. I discovered your books first. I read CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? and it became an instant favorite. I read THE UNDOMESTIC GODDESS next. Then the anthology GIRLS NIGHT IN. Then REMEMBER ME. Then I discovered the Madeleine Wickham books, starting with COCKTAILS FOR THREE. And TWENTIES GIRL is at the top of my TBR pile.
I started passing books on to my daughter, urging her to read them. Meanwhile, she'd discovered your SHOPAHOLIC books. She's addicted to them. She even saw the movie -- and she'll rarely see a movie based on a book she liked. (She said it was okay but the book was better.)
My favorites are still REMEMBER ME? and CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? while she lobbies to put the Shopaholic books in the top spot. I guess the majority of book buyers agree with her, but I hope you'll still keep writing the single title books, too!
08-24-2009 11:34 AM
Sophie--I have another Q for you! With three young children, when do you find the time to write?
08-24-2009 12:44 PM
I love all your books and pretty much give you full credit for my addiction to chick lit...errrr... women's fiction
In your email newsletter last week you mentioned working on the next Shopaholic book. Can you give us ANY tidbits at all as to what Becky is up to now?
08-24-2009 01:11 PM - edited 08-24-2009 01:13 PM
Hello Sophie!! I'm such a huge fan of yours. Whenever a new book of yours comes out, I rush out to buy it and sit at all day devouring it. I loved "Twenties Girl" and I'm so excited for the next Shopaholic novel.
My question is:
Both you and your sister are successful authors- were books and writing a big part of your childhood? And have the two of you always wanted to be writers?
08-24-2009 01:45 PM
Thank you so much!
My inspiration for Becky Bloomwood came partly from me, partly from my sister, partly from friends... and a lot from just seeing the comedy potential of shopping! I am indeed a shopping-lover, I do feel the lust that Becky feels and I do get obsessions about gorgeous things. And I have always had total shock and denial at every Visa bill I have ever received. So all those passages, I write from the heart. But luckily I have a tad more self-control than Becky!
08-24-2009 01:50 PM
Thank you so much for sharing that story about your sister, I was very touched by it and glad you enjoyed the book!
08-24-2009 01:54 PM
First of all thanks for making time in your schedule to read my books! I can only imagine how busy you must be!!!
I'm so glad you enjoyed Twenties Girl. I had been playing around with writing a ghost story for a long while, and then had the idea of a 1920s flapper ghost. The idea appealed to me at once - I adore the glamour and fashion and feistiness of the roaring 20s. I also loved the idea of a bossy ghost who would come and create havoc in some modern girl's life... and so Sadie was born.
I'm not planning any more books about Lara at the moment, but I am also a great believer in never saying never...
08-24-2009 02:03 PM
Wow, you have certainly been gobbling up my books! I appreciate it! I was interested to hear about the 'gentle war' between you and your daughter I think a lot of people fall down on either one side or the other - some prefer the stand-alone books. Others have a soft spot for Becky.
I am somewhere in between! I adore Becky Bloomwood but I would hate to be constrained to writing that series and nothing else. The stand-alones give me the scope to try out new heroines, situations and ideas, which gives me a huge buzz. Having said that, I am currently working on a new Shopaholic book - and I am just loving spending time with Becky again.
Please say hi to your daughter and thanks for posting!
08-24-2009 02:10 PM
You've unmasked me!
Yes Sophie Kinsella is a pseudonym and the reason is that I was writing in a particular style under my real name, Madeleine Wickham, when I had the idea for the first Shopaholic book. I knew instantly that I wanted it to be in a different style, but I didn't want to confuse my existing readers... so a pen-name seemed like a smart move. Sophie is my middle name and Kinsella my mother's maiden name.
As for writing books with three kids... I'm not sure how it all happens, it's a bit of a blur! Seriously, I have a very supportive husband (who is making supper for them right now as I'm typing.) I also have a fantastic mother and generally great help. I feel very lucky that unless I'm travelling, I get to work a lot from home, and try to keep my major writing blocks to when they're at school, although when I'm really into a book it does tend to take over...
Thanks for posting!
08-24-2009 02:12 PM
Thank you so much! And you're right, I'm working on a new Shopaholic book....... unfortunately that's all I can tell you at present.
Oh, OK. Since you were so nice, I can excusively reveal that it will star Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood). And Luke Brandon. And...
That's it. For now.
08-24-2009 02:35 PM
Thanks so much for your support!
You are quite right, my sister Gemma Townley writes novels, too. She has a very similar sense of humour to mine, so I always enjoy reading her books. I especially loved 'The Importance of Being Married' and can highly recommend it!
In answer to your question, I certainly never planned to become a writer. I'm not sure about Gemma, maybe she did! (The truth is, we don't talk a huge amount about writing when we get together - we're more likely to discuss shoes!) However, I think a massive influence on both of us was my mother - she would tell us stories every night when we went to bed, straight out of her head. So we both got used to the ideas that telling stories was something that was easy and natural - and fun.
08-24-2009 03:25 PM
What are you going to reading over the Labor Day weekend? And what books have stuck with you from childhood?