This month we’ve been chatting to author Sophie Kinsella about her newly released paperback, I Owe You One – the perfect summer read.
Sophie Kinsella is an internationally bestselling writer. She is the author of many number-one bestsellers, including the hugely popular Shopaholic series.
She has also written seven novels under the name Madeleine Wickham and several books for children.
She lives in the UK with her husband and family.
Where do you go to recharge your batteries?
We are lucky enough to have a cottage in Yorkshire which has belonged to my husband’s family since 1940. It has thick stone walls and looks over the dales and when you’re there it feels as though the rest of the world melts away. It’s a fantastic place to go and recharge the batteries.
What was your favourite book as a child?
I had so many favourite books as a child but I will single out Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. I read them to this day and always enjoy the ridiculous humour, the absurd characters, and the whole surreal atmosphere.
Do you visit the destinations in your books?
If I set a book in a particular location I try to visit that place for research, which is a massive bonus of my job! I have set a few books in New York and have spent a lot of time there researching and soaking up the atmosphere. I particularly enjoyed researching Shopaholic Ties the Knot because this trip involved eating wedding cake, trying wedding dresses, and looking around fancy wedding venues. It was great fun!
What are your top three destinations on your bucket list?
There are three places that I have never visited and fully intend to. The Galapagos Islands is a dream destination. New Zealand is definitely on my bucket list – I just have to prepare myself for the flight! And Japan is a place I would love to visit, especially in spring for the cherry blossom.
If you could choose anywhere in the world to write where would it be?
I’m lucky – I can write pretty much anywhere. On a train, at home, or in a cafe. But if I could choose the perfect spot, I would be on a beach somewhere, sitting at a table, under an umbrella, hearing the surf as I write and looking up every so often to see the blue sea. I don’t mind which country this is in, as long as the sea is blue and sparkling, the sand is white and the coffee is good!
Have you ever been inspired to visit a destination based on a book you read?
A number of years ago I read Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. I was absolutely gripped by this novel and it inspired me to visit Amsterdam in order to see the Vermeers.
If you could recommend one book what would it be and where would you suggest to read it?
My all-time favourite author is Jane Austen and so I recommend Pride and Prejudice. I can’t think of anywhere better to read it than a teashop in the city of Bath, with a view of a beautiful Regency street.
What is the one thing you always travel with?
I always try to travel with a notebook and pen, because you never know when an idea will hit you. If by chance I forget my notebook and pen I have been known to use a lip liner and an old receipt dug out from my bag…but this is not ideal!
Thank you for talking with us Sophie, it’s been a real pleasure!
We’ve got 10 copies of I Owe You One to be won. Simply enter below: