Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Shopaholic debuted in 2003 and since then has snowballed into an extremely popular and successful series that not only boasts 10 books in its line-up, but also has a movie adaptation of the first book starring Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, Krysten Ritter, Joan Cusak, and John Lithgow – to name a few.
Now, Kinsella has released the 10th book in the series, Christmas Shopaholic, where Becky is faced with the daunting task of hosting the big family holiday celebration at her place. With every step she takes to make everything perfect she worries if she can really pull this off.
We were able to catch up with Kinsella recently to ask her a few questions about her latest release and what she sees on the horizon for both Becky and the Shopaholic series.
Audiobooks.com: What do you look for in an ideal audiobook narrator?
Sophie Kinsella: I love to hear characterful voices. When I write, my books are all first person and so the voice is very clearly in my head. I love it when an audiobook narrator taps into the narrative voice I have had in my head when writing.
Audiobooks.com: What do readers gain from listening to the audiobook that they miss out on if they just read the print version?
Sophie Kinsella: When I read books that I like, I often whip through them very quickly, and think afterwards that I’ve missed some of the subtlety and wit of the writing. With audiobooks you have the opportunity to luxuriate in the writing.
Audiobooks.com: In Christmas Shopaholic, Becky’s family has long-standing holiday traditions. Does your family have any similar, fun traditions that you’ve kept up over the years?
Sophie Kinsella: We play a brilliant game where you have to put on hats and gloves and scarves and eat a chocolate bar with a knife and fork. We also read ‘Twas the night before Christmas every Christmas Eve before we put out mince pies and sherry by the fire for Father Christmas to find.
Audiobooks.com: Becky is tasked with hosting the holiday festivities and chaos ensues. Did you draw on your own personal experiences with hosting family over the holidays? And if chaos ensues, how do you deal with it?
Sophie Kinsella: I don’t know what you mean – there is never any chaos when I host Christmas… Seriously, I think it’s easy to panic over Christmas arrangements but I’m lucky that we as a family are all quite forgiving of each other – and a box of candy and a small glass of sherry will always smooth things over!
Audiobooks.com: In this installment of the Shopaholic series, in typical Becky-fashion, she strives to host the perfect holiday get-together and get everyone the perfect gifts. What do you think it is about Becky that causes your readers to have such a soft spot for her?
Sophie Kinsella: It absolutely thrills me that Becky has such an enduring appeal. I think she feels real to a lot of my readers – she certainly feels real to me! She has grown and matured over the years, even though she is the same Becky and still gets into trouble. And although she has flaws, she also has many qualities which are inspiring – her optimism, her good-heartedness, her ingenious solutions to problems, and her relationships with her family and friends. She always tries her best, even if her best usually backfires.
Audiobooks.com: And more personally from your own perspective, what is it about Becky and her story that makes you want to keep returning to it again and again?
Sophie Kinsella: I love Becky like no other character! She’s the only heroine I’ve created that I keep returning to. I just love writing in her voice and seeing the world through her eyes. She’s so optimistic and can-do and has her own special logic.
Audiobooks.com: Where do you see Becky and her family in 10 years?
Sophie Kinsella: I’m sure Becky will have given up shopping and she and Luke will be a sensible ordinary couple… or not!∎
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