Sophie Kinsella is the author of many number one bestsellers, including the hugely popular Shopaholic series and Finding Audrey, her first YA novel.
Q: What books did you read when you were a child?
A: I loved Milly-Molly-Mandy and all of Roald Dahl’s books. Then I moved onto The Chalet School series, Harriet The Spy, the Jill pony stories by Ruby Ferguson and some wonderful books by Rumer Godden such as The Diddakoi and Miss Happiness and Miss Flower. I also loved all the books by E. Nesbit.
Q: If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
A: I’d be Alice in Wonderland. Her adventures are extraordinary and all the characters she meets are so comical.
Q: What is the best thing about reading?
A: When you read a really brilliant book, you forget who you are and where you are. You’re living the story with the characters, and that can be such a wonderful, exciting experience. Whenever I finish a good book, I feel bereft!
Q: What is your all time favourite book?
A: My favourite book changes all the time. I love everything by Jane Austen, but today I’ll pick Philip Pullman’s trilogy: His Dark Materials.
Q: Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
A: I love anything that encourages children to be creative. Games of consequences are very good, and playing with Story Cubes. My family are all addicted to a game called Telestrations which is like Chinese Whispers mixed with Pictionary, and gets everyone laughing and describing each other’s drawings.
Q: How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
A: They fostered a love of books – we used to read all the time – and they both invented bedtime stories every night. In fact, my parents rarely read to me, which might seem strange, but that’s because they preferred their own stories! My mother would create characters and series that went on for weeks. It led me to believe that inventing people and stories was a natural thing to do.
Q: How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
A: I have children of all ages and reading is hugely important to us. I love sharing picture books with the very youngest – my favourites right now are The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson and Stuck by Oliver Jeffers. I’m reading Five Children and It by E Nesbit to my 9 year old as he’s just old enough to get the wit and humour.
Read more author interviews here.