Chic-lit author Sophie Kinsella is one that certainly ‘holds up’ (see Kincaid’s quote) in the writing stakes. Through the eyes of her characters I have laughed out loud many times. Her writing has savvy and the way in which it always creates a familiar comfort is a great style that any writer might like to adopt.

A former journalist, Kinsella has a way of getting information across that does not waffle or overly linger. Not feeling lost and getting distracted half way through, although this is often how one of her most popular characters Becky Bloomwood, from The Shopaholic series feels. The Shopaholic creations are particularly popular, becoming a movie also. The books however, are the medium of preferred choice.

We are introduced from page one to the character through a formal letter from her bank which creates immediate empathy and familiarity for the character, (Becky Bloomwood’s name has changed to Brandon after she marries in Shopaholic Ties the Knot) Some excerpts from Kinsella:


“Dear Mrs Brandon

Thank you for your letter. In answer to your question, yes there will be an overdraft facility on the baby’s bank account – although naturally I would not expect it to be used!

Yours sincerely…”


And on the next…


“Dear Mrs Brandon

Thank you for your letter.

I was intrigued to hear about the ‘psychic message’ you recently received from your unborn child. However, I’m afraid it is impossible to access the overdraft facility at this stage. Even if, as you say – ‘the baby wishes it’.

Yours sincerely…”



Kinsella’s Shopaholic series continues the formal letter theme throughout her Shopaholic books, both at the start of the stories and throughout the entirety of the book. As though to keep the reader in check and remind us of the core flaws of the character, the reality check that she is an irrational obsessive, but human too.

 The dialogue is effective throughout as the characters face each other often with the main protagonist in denial about her financial status and alongside this, we see Becky’s voice in her head as she flits in and out of the real world.

The Voice then is very much at the heart of the texts.

The craft to copy then and to pass on as a ‘teacher’ is the ability to create great characters that the reader feels a connection, familiarity and empathy. To share the style of witty dialogue and quirky formalities such as ‘the formal letter’ trait that Kinsella creates in her texts would be a start to success.

The natural speaking voice (reminiscent of Becky Bloomwood), without it sounding amateur or clichéd would be a nice addition to any writers’ page. We see this continually in Kinsella’s writing. To be raw and make a reader literally laugh out loud or feel the warmth of familiarity is what can be achieved from reading Kinsella’s writing.