My Not So Perfect Life (Kinsella) - Author Bio

Author Bio
Aka—Madeleine Wickham
Birth—December 12, 1969
Where—London, England, UK
Education—B.A., Oxford University, M.Mus., King's College, London
Currently—lives in London, England


Madeleine Sophie Wickham (born Madeleine Sophie Townley) is an English author of chick lit who is most known for her work under the pen name Sophie Kinsella.

Madeleine Wickham was born in London. She did her schooling in Putney High School and Sherborne School for Girls. She studied music at New College, Oxford, but after a year switched to Politics, Philosophy and Economics. She then worked as a financial journalist (including for Pensions World) before turning to fiction.

While working as a financial journalist, at the age of 24, she wrote her first novel. The Tennis Party (1995) was immediately hailed as a success by critics and the public alike and became a top ten bestseller. She went on to publish six more novels as Madeleine Wickham: A Desirable Residence (1996), Swimming Pool Sunday (1997), The Gatecrasher (1998), The Wedding Girl (1999), Cocktails for Three (2000), and Sleeping Arrangements (2001).

Her first novel under the pseudonym Sophie Kinsella (taken from her middle name and her mother's maiden name) was submitted to her existing publishers anonymously and was enthusiastically received. She revealed her real identity for the first time when Can You Keep a Secret? was published in 2005.

Sophie Kinsella is best known for writing the Shopaholic novels series, which focus on the misadventures of Becky Bloomwood, a financial journalist who cannot manage her own finances. The series focuses on her obsession with shopping and its resulting complications for her life. The first two Shopaholic books—Confessions of a Shopaholic (2000) and Shopaholic Takes Manhattan (2001) were adapted into a film in February 2009, with Isla Fisher playing an American Becky and Hugh Dancy as Luke Brandon. The latest addition to the Shopaholic series, Mini shopaholic came out in 2010.

Can you Keep a Secret (2004), was also published under the name Sophie Kinsella, as were The Undomestic Goddess (2006),  Remember Me (2008), Twenties Girl (2009), I've Got Your Number (2012), and Wedding Night (2013). All are stand-alone novels (not part of the Shopaholic series).

A new musical adaptation by Chris Burgess of her 2001 novel Sleeping Arrangements premiered in 2013 in London at The Landor Theatre.

Personal life
Wickham lives in London with her husband, Henry Wickham (whom she met in Oxford), the headmaster of a boys' preparatory school. They have been married for 17 years and have five children. She is the sister of fellow writer, Gemma Townley. (From Wikipedia.)

Extras
Excerpts from a 2004 Barnes & Noble interview:

• "I am a serial house mover: I have moved house five times in the last eight years! But I'm hoping I might stay put in this latest one for a while.

• "I've never written a children's book, but when people meet me for the first time and I say I write books, they invariably reply, 'Children's books?' Maybe it's something about my face. Or maybe they think I'm J. K. Rowling!

• "If my writing comes to a halt, I head to the shops: I find them very inspirational. And if I get into real trouble with my plot, I go out for a pizza with my husband. We order a pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea and start talking—and basically keep drinking and talking till we've figured the glitch out. Never fails!"

• Favorite leisure pursuits: a nice hot bath, watching The Simpsons, playing table tennis after dinner, shopping, playing the piano, sitting on the floor with my two small boys, and playing building blocks and Legos.

• Least favorite leisure pursuit: tidying away the building blocks and Legos.

When asked what book most influenced her career as a writer, here is her answer

My earliest, most impactful encounter with a book was when I was seven and awoke early on Christmas morning to find Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in my stocking. I had never been so excited by the sight of a book—and have possibly never been since! I switched on the light and read the whole thing before the rest of my family even woke up. I think that's when my love affair with books began. (Interview from Barnes & Noble.)

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