One of my favorite chick-lit series is The Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. Her British wit pairs well with the crazy antics of her quirky heroine, Becky. Who doesn't love a good read dedicated entirely to shopping? I certainly do! So, naturally, when word got out about her brief departure from mainstream adult fiction to contemporary young adult, it sparked my interest big time. Luckily, I was able to chat with Sophie to get the inside scoop on her latest project, Finding Audrey: A Novel. Available in bookstores and online retailers on June 9th, this fan favorite author hits the mark once again with a fabulous summertime read.
1. What inspired you to write a YA novel?
When I came up with the idea for Finding Audrey, I had three characters: Audrey, a teenage girl with social anxiety; Frank, a boy obsessed with computer games; and their mother, just trying to keep everyone together. I didn’t intend it to be a young adult book, but when I started to write, it became apparent that I was writing for young adults.
2. Finding Audrey is a laugh-out-loud book that touches upon many modern-day issues facing teens. How did you come about incorporating a social anxiety disorder into the storyline?
I think teenagers have life hard these days. Social anxiety is one of the more common problems affecting them, so I was naturally drawn to it as a storyline. I find that in all my books laughter and tears go together, because that’s what happens in real life.
3. As you were writing the book, did you feel a certain connection to one of the characters?
I always feel a special fondness for my heroines. Audrey is wry, and I see my teenage self in her. But if I’m honest, I’d have to say that these days I’m more like Audrey’s mom! I spend my life worrying about my family and looking up what the latest food supplement is to make sure they’re getting enough!
4. Are you currently at work on your next novel? If so, what can you share with us?
I’m currently writing the next Shopaholic book, and it’s so lovely to be back with Becky.
5. Are you involved in any charitable causes that have influenced you in a personal or professional way?
For many years I have been involved with a charity called The Children’s Trust, based in Surrey, England. It’s a charity that provides support to children with acquired brain injuries, often from car accidents. I first came across them when I was working on one of my books under my real name, Madeleine Wickham, called Swimming Pool Sunday. It’s a wonderful charity, and over the years the children there have shown me what true courage and resilience are.
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