Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I met Sophie Kinsella yesterday!!

… That’s the author of the hugely popular chicklit “Shopaholic” series, as well as two other stand alones, Can You Keep a Secret and The Undomestic Goddess. Her books have the same impact on me that films like Legally Blonde and Monster’s Inc (two random selections, I know) do –they make me laugh, make me cry, and I totally connect with the fantastic central protagonists. So when I heard that Kinsella was doing a reading & book signing, naturally, I just had to go.

After I’d sipped at my complimentary cup of squash (they wouldn’t give me wine) for about 15 minutes, the lights dimmed and Kinsella walked up to the centre stage. She was dressed smartly and stylishly without looking too flashy in black trousers, a black shirt and a reddish pink jacket and gold belt. Furthermore, she was pretty in an intellectual way. I liked her immediately.

When Sophie (real name Madeleine Wickham) spoke, she exuded an unaffected, confident attitude. She spoke about her latest book, Shopaholic and Baby, as well as how her real life (she was pregnant 18 months ago) influenced her writing of the book. She also spoke about the importance of her family and how supportive they had been throughout, which I thought was lovely, after all, if you don’t have your family, then what’s the point of all the success?

I was a bit of an idiot and forgot to bring pen & paper, because although I have a hazy recollection of a lot of the witty things she said, I can’t remember them word for word. Damn. But I do remember the answers to the two questions I asked – yep, ME – come Q&A time. Firstly, I’d asked who she’d want to play Becky in the upcoming film version of Shopaholic. Her answer was a refreshing one – she wanted an unknown who could encompass Becky’s Shopaholic, airhead side, as well as her sweet, caring nature. And the other question I asked was why teenagers/women all loved reading about Becky/Samantha (from The Undomestic Goddess)/Emma (from Can You Keep a Secret), and her reply was that they were essentially good people, and when you read a book, you’ve got to like the protagonist. Totally true.

Anyway, Sophie also said that her aim in writing was to “write what you want to read.” She told all the aspiring authors out there not to pander to any particular readers, but to write for yourself. It was an absolute delight to hear Sophie speak in her classy-yet-customary way, juggling anecdotes about her days as a financial journalist with words like “diss.” And she showed that authors are every bit as human as their creations, as she told us that her proudest moment was hearing a reference to her books on The Weakest Link. That, and when a random Italian man told her “I am Becky Bloomwood.” Hehe.

Overall, it was a wonderful night spent listening to one of my favourite authors, as she talked about her penchant for Vivien Westwood wedding dresses, said that the Shopaholic books should be compulsive reading for all males of the species, and revealed (to my disgust), that the film version of her book will be produced by… Jerry Bruckheimer. MEH!!! For a woman who said that she “wrote to make people smile”, she also got the same effect through speaking. Sophie rocks.

Tags: ,


Luke said...

That sounds really interesting and cool! I'd love to go to a book signing of one of my favourite authors. Kinsella's new book keeps flying off the shelves at Waterstone's!

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why everyone loves this woman so much

Emma said...

Because she's funny. k?

Luke - I'm so jealous! I'd love to work in Waterstone's! :(

Katie said...

Emma, I h8 you!! You know I would have gone if I could and here you are, rubbing it in!

Have you thought about who would make a good Becky?

Rowena Julez said...

That's awesome, Emma! I'd love to go to a book signing. I've read Can You Keep A Secret? and I must tell you I like that book. Haven't read the Shopaholic series yet though.

P/S: Petr looks hotter with the safety helmet on. LOL.

Stace said...

Very cool Emma

Miss Positive said...

Wow! Where was the book signing and how did you manage to ask her questions too??? Were there lots of people too? I bet it was crowded since her books are sell-outs.

I'd love to meet a famous writer one day!