Is Sophie a closet knitter? Is her life as crazy as Becky Bloomwood's? And which cocktail does she recommend to cure writer's block...?! Here are 10 of our favourite questions and answers from her recent Facebook webchat for you to enjoy...
Q. What made you become a writer?
A. I read other people's novels every day on the train and I thought 'I want to do this'. And one day I plucked up the courage to try. Simple as that!
Q. What's your one bag or accessory that you can't be without?
A. I have a gorgeous Prada bag that I will keep for the rest of my life...
Q. What made you decide to change your pen name? And do you prefer Sophie to Madeline?
A. It's my middle name and my maiden name so it feels like 'me'.
Q. How much do you write each day?
A. Ha! Well, in theory, 1,000 words is my aim. Sometimes it happens. Sometimes I beat my target. Sometimes I give up and go round the shops instead.
Q. Is your reality ever as funny and crazy as Becky Bloomwood's?
A. I do find that life imitates art, although mostly I seem to imitate Emma in Can You Keep A Secret, with klutzy moments and my clothes unbuttoning themselves as I walk along the street...
Q. Crocheting and knitting are both mentioned in Shopaholic and Baby and Can you Keep a Secret. Are they your hobbies too?
A. Well, no, I have to confess not. My mother is a brilliant knitter and has made me lots of lovely things, but I never managed to get the technique. I'd love to be able to, though.
Q. Have you ever been tempted to write a book in an entire different genre?
A. I once tried to write a gritty thriller. Ha. The plot bit was OK, but as my agent said, 'All the people are far too NICE'. So I gave up and stuck to what I know!
Q. How do you go on with the story when you come down with a severe case of writer's block?
A. I officially don't believe in writer's block, as an older and wiser writer once told me, 'Never admit to it and then your brain won't believe it exists!" However, if I get to a glitch, I find that going out with my husband, ordering mojitos and discussing the thing till we crack it usually works. (It doesn't have to be mojitos. Margaritas also work. :)
Q. If you weren't a writer, what would be your job?
A. Ooh! What would I be? Well, in an ideal life, if I could sing, I would be a singer-songwriter. SInce I can't, I'll settle for anything creative. Maybe in advertising. I'd love to write ads.
Q. Which book do you wish you'd written?
A. Alice in Wonderland. I would love to have that mind!
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