Guest Post: Q & A with Sophie Kinsella

I sat down with the lovely Sophie Kinsella and had a chat about her bookish inspirations, her favourite genre to write and any advice she has for aspiring authors. Grab a cuppa and enjoy!

1. You write both adult and YA books, which do you prefer and how do you keep the two genres separate?

That’s a very interesting question! I can’t really say which I prefer because when I wrote Finding Audrey I never intended consciously to write a YA book. Audrey came to me as a character and it became clear to me very quickly that she was not an adult protagonist. I think naturally I just tell the story that comes to me – and whichever book I’m writing at the moment is the one I prefer!  Similarly, I don’t think of different genres in my head, I just tell a story – so I don’t feel like I’m keeping genres separate.

2. What children's authors/books inspired you to read/write when you were younger?

I adored Alice in Wonderland as a child. Alice is a great character, so enquiring and adventurous. I also devoured anything by Judy Blume. And I read a novel called Fifteen by Beverly Clearly over and over, until the whole thing nearly disintegrated! Finally, I can’t not mention Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I got it for Christmas one year and read the whole thing in one sitting. It taught me how powerful and engrossing a book can be.

3. What's the general time scale from having a first idea of a story entering your head, to holding the finished product in your hand?

Ooh, well it depends. Sometimes I have an idea at the back of my mind for years before it finally makes its way into a novel. Other times, the plot comes to me quickly and I get to work on it very quickly. Either way I spend a lot of time planning before I actually start typing. From the moment I decide that a certain idea is going to be my next book to the moment when I type “The End” is probably about nine months, but as I say it all depends. Of course, it’s often then another nine months before the finished copy appears in the shops.

4. For any aspiring authors out there (myself included!), could you share with us any advice you have or advice you were given to get your books published?

Yes! First, find an idea that really excites you, because writing a book is going to be a long haul and you’ll need that motivation to keep you going. Write a book that you’d love to pick up in a book shop. Find a plot or character or set up that would make you say ‘I must read this!’ And finish it!

5. A fun one to finish. What is the last book that you read that really made an impact on you and why?

Every book I read has an impact on me – usually for very different reasons. But one book, for example, which has stayed with me a lot is The Circle by Dave Eggers. I found this such an exciting book and it affected me a great deal in my view of the technological advances of the world and especially the overwhelming influence of social media. A gripping read!

BIO: Sophie was born in London. She studied music at New College, Oxford, but after a year switched to Politics, Philosophy and Economics. She now lives in London, UK, with her husband and family. Sophie Kinsella has sold over 36 million copies of her books in more than 60 countries, and she has been translated into over 40 languages. You can find her here.

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