While I Owe You One is the name of Sophie Kinsella’s latest book, I do, in fact, owe her one.
Because I do not think-no, I KNOW-I wouldn’t have a career writing what I love if I hadn’t picked up her book one night wandering through a bookstore.
It’s funny how vividly you can remember those life-changing moments, even if you don’t know it is one at the time. I was wandering through a Borders Books, (now out of business) when a pop of bright pink caught my eye. I came over to the book on the table and thought the illustrated cover was the cutest thing I had ever seen. Then the title: Confessions of a Shopaholic. As someone who loves to shop, this had me right there. I flipped it over, read the back, and I knew I wasn’t leaving without this book.
Within a day, I had devoured it. I was entranced. I had never read anything like it. It was light. Engaging. I laughed out loud, which is something I rarely do when reading. Her heroine, Becky Bloomwood, had flaws-but I understood them. It was all told from her point of view, too, which I loved. I liked not knowing exactly what was in Luke Brandon’s head-and when it was revealed, it was like opening a gift.
I remember thinking this book is something I’d love to write, but having been told over and over contemporary romance was the way to go, with dual points of view, I didn’t think it was possible.
But after reading Sophie’s book, I knew it was. I could write the book I had been longing to write, but always feared nobody would want to read it. Sophie was proof people did want that kind of story.
And this moment, of me discovering Sophie in a bookstore, led to one years later. When I sat down to write a timeline-obsessed heroine who has the rules changed when she meets a man called William in a book called Connectivity.
So indeed, Sophie Kinsella, I owe you one. You gave me the belief I could write what I loved. And I’m forever grateful for it.