Above Photograph: Sophie Kinsella © John Swannell
We’re delighted to be part of a brand collaboration to promote the latest release from the amazing, international bestselling author, Sophie Kinsella.
Famous for her Shopaholic series, Sophie has now sold over 45 million books worldwide in over 60 countries, and enjoys a huge social media presence. Her legion of devoted fans always eagerly await her latest release and The Burnout will NOT disappoint!
We’d describe The Burnout as an uplifting and empowering romcom. It’s sure to the
be the perfect gift or self-purchase for Christmas 2023, especially alongside a box of self-heating eye masks or even better still, our Sensory Sleep vegan-silk eye mask. What a treat! The perfect cosy night in!
And talking of treats, we were lucky enough to quiz Sophie about the inspiration behind her latest heartwarming, laugh out loud book. She also revealed some of her favourite tips for avoiding creative burnout. Take a read of Sophie’s Q&A below.
We hope you enjoy this little insight into Sophie’s world.
Q: What was the driving force or inspiration behind your book, "The Burnout"
A: I kept reading articles and hearing about burnout – it’s a real issue at the moment. At the same time, I wanted to write a romance set on the beach, and so the two ideas came together. Where better to recover from burnout than on a Devon beach?!
Q: Can you share with us if any of the characters in "The Burnout" are based on people you know personally?Q:
A: I think I put myself into all my heroines because I write from the first person. They have quite a lot in common, even if they’re different, they have different flaws, they have different issues, but I think there’s a commonality to them and I think a lot of that comes from me. My life does spill into the books and the books spill into my life, but I try not to write my friends and family into stories, if I can help it!
Q: It's not uncommon for creative individuals to experience burnout. Have you ever encountered this, and how did you bounce back?
A: I have experienced burnout myself in the past and I see it around me everywhere, so I was keen to write about it. It’s a serious subject, it’s not something you can just bounce back from, and I hope I’ve done it justice, but – me being me – I have to see the funny and ridiculous side of any situation. So The Burnout is very much a comedy – a romantic comedy.
Q: As an author, maintaining mental well-being is crucial. Do you have any tips for our readers on balancing creativity and self-care?
A: As a writer, I have to treat creativity as a priority. I don’t wait for the muse to strike. I do need to get my own head space, so I often leave the house. I like going to coffee shops, for the note taking, which is such a big part of the process. I really am a planner, and I like to think the book through first, really feel like I know the characters, gauge when they’re ready to speak, they’re popping out, they want to tell their story. Then I have the energy to sit down and really go for it.
Q: Describe what you do for a job in 3 words
A: Write, sleep, repeat!
Q: What’s the best thing about your job?
A: I’m lucky enough to have met a lot of readers over the years and their lovely enthusiasm always boosts me.
Q: What's the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A: I did an event with another author, who was much older and wise and experienced. He said: “Whatever you say aloud your brain believes, even if you know it’s not true. Some part of your brain listens and digests it.” So, what I always say is: “I never get writer’s block, I never get stuck, this never happens.” I know it’s a self-fulfilling thing to say out loud. And if there is a sort of pause, I go for a walk. I think walking just clears the brain. And if it gets really bad, my husband and I go out and drink lots of cocktails and talk about it, until inspiration strikes. And I find the cocktails very helpful.
Q: Tell us a secret...
A: I get asked this a lot, especially since I wrote a book called Can You Keep a Secret? But of course, I can’t tell you, because then it wouldn’t be a secret, would it?
Q: What’s your favourite colour (this week)?
A: My team have used a bright yellow on my posters for The Burnout and I
love them, so at the moment that’s the colour that’s bringing me the most joy.
Q: Where is your favourite corner in your house?
A: My bed – always. I’m a bit like Sasha that way. Most things can be solved with a good night’s sleep. When you can’t go on a retreat to a Devonshire beach, at least…
Q: Are you all about long lie-ins or up with the lark?
A: Long lie-ins, definitely (if I can), especially if I have a cup of tea and a good book to ease me into the day.
Q: On my bedside table I have…
A: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – it’s a perennial favourite of mine. And an advance proof copy of Tackle! By Jilly Cooper.
Q: Favourite artist?
A: Vermeer, because I find the skill and artistry of his still life’s not short of miraculous.
Q: Tea or Coffee first thing?
A:Tea, in a favourite mug that always makes me smile!
Q: Do you have a bedtime ritual?
A: I like to exercise, play tennis, play the piano and dance. If I’ve done one of those activities during the day, I find it much easier to switch off at night.
Q: Instagram or TikTok?
Q: Who (4 guests) would you invite to a dream midnight feast? Dead/alive/animal?
A: I would invite my favourite authors. Jane Austen, George Eliot, Georgette Heyer and my great friend Jojo Moyes.
We LOVE the fact that Sophie’s favourite corner of her house is her bed and that she also loves a long-lie in just like the team here at Sensory Retreats! We couldn’t agree more! Sleep is so important to both our mental and physical health.
Don’t forget, you can still WIN a bountiful bundle of goodies, including some treats from Sensory Retreats too!
Here's what's up for grabs in this fantastic competition:
✨Sensory Retreat hamper of goodies.
✨Secret Linen Store bedlinen bundle of your choice
✨Spabreaks retreat in the form of a £250 voucher
PLUS, 3 runners up each receive..
✨A signed copy of Sophie's book, The Burnout
✨A Sensory Retreat box of heating eye masks (the ultimate relax and recharge package!)
✨A £50 Spabreaks voucher
To enter click HERE! GOOD LUCK and SWEET DREAMS!