Sophie Kinsella is an international bestselling writer. She is the author of many number one bestsellers, including the hugely popular Shopaholic series. She has also written seven bestselling novels as Madeleine Wickham. This year she published the first of a new series of books for younger children – Mummy Fairy and Me. She lives between London and the country with her husband and family.
Describe a typical day for you?
If I’m writing then I like to start early, write 1,000 words and then spend time with my family. I often go out to coffee shops to think about my plot. If I’m promoting then I could be doing anything from a TV interview to getting on a plane.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
I think having five children whilst holding down a job is close to the top of my list! I’m proud of the books I’ve written and I’m always thrilled to hear when readers say they’ve enjoyed my books and (even better) they’ve laughed at them. And I’m very proud of my wonderful children.
What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
Which one?! I seem to have various bags around the house into which I will fling my purse, keys and sunglasses in, depending on what the weather is and what I’m wearing. What this means is that if I look deep down in the bag I might find a boarding pass from a flight two years ago, or a lipliner that I love, or a pair of earrings I thought I’d lost…. Not to mention all the conkers and stones which my children have given me to ‘look after’.
What helps you when self-doubt sets in (as it does for all of us)
I’m very lucky to have a supportive family. And by supportive I mean that they take me away from my characters, my plots and my continuous self-editing and bring me back to real-life. If I’m agonising over this plot or that character, they remind me that there’s more to life than the fictional world inside my head. They usually do this with ingeniously subtle prompts like: “What’s for tea, Mummy?”
What advice would you give a budding author?
Write a book that would please and thrill you. Make sure your idea is so exciting that you will still feel motivated when you reach chapter 11. Finish! And above all, enjoy yourself.
What advice would you give a first-time mum?
Buy Infacol, loads of vests and stacks of muslins. Be kind to yourself. Take naps whenever you can. Above all, remember: it’ll be OK. Babies have been born since forever, and somehow mums and dads get through. I remember the panic when I got my first baby home from hospital. I had no idea what to do! All the advice from the classes I’d been to, flew out of my mind. But we got through – and he’s 21 now!
Finally, happiness is…
Thinking of a new plot twist. Making my children laugh. Dancing.
Sophie Kinsella’s second book for younger children, Mummy Fairy and Me: Fairy-in-Waiting, is out now. You can buy a copy HERE.