What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
My genre is chick lit/romantic comedy. To be honest I think the name does it a disservice, because I write about all aspects of women’s lives, from frivolous stuff like cocktails and fashion, through to work, to relationships with lovers, friends and family, and the roles we play in society more widely. That sounds terribly pompous, I know! But I wanted to write about things that would resonate with my readers, rather than just about men and how to get one.
Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?
Not really. I have started work on a new novel while working on my launch plan for The Truth About Gemma Grey, but I haven’t got very far with it yet. Now Gemma has been released I’ll need to get my skates on!
Do you work with a writing/critique group?
No. A few years back, when I’d just started writing my first novel, I found a local writers’ group and went along to one meeting. It was held in the upstairs room of what must be the grimmest pub in London. Although the people were lovely and the pub cat was very cute, the wine was undrinkable and the surroundings were just so depressing I couldn’t bring myself to go back.
Can you remember your first reading book?
My mum was a passionate believer in teaching children to read early. She had five of us, and by the time I came along I think she’d figured out that the best way to get a bit of peace and quiet was for us to have our heads in books, so she taught me when I was two. I can’t actually remember ever not being able to read.
Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat?
I try not to. I’ve been known to have a glass of wine while writing in the evening though.
Tidy desk or a bombsite? Describe your writing area with us.
I write on a laptop at our dining room table. It’s terrible for my posture but it does force me to be tidy!
Are you published in the traditional manner or self-published? Share your journey.
I was lucky enough to be signed by the lovely Peta Nightingale, who was then at LAW, in 2012. Peta did receive an offer from a publisher for It Would Be Wrong to Steal My Sister’s Boyfriend (Wouldn’t It?), but advised me not to accept it, saying that self-publishing was the future for books like mine. The novel reached the top 10 on Amazon so I guess she was right!
Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?
There are far too many to choose a top three! When I was writing It Would Be Wrong, though, I reread the Adrian Mole diaries, Ruby Ferguson’s Jill books and Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love, because their first-person voices are so strong. It was such a helpful thing to do and I am sure it influenced the way I wrote the novel.
What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?
Cut, cut and cut some more. Every writer benefits from editing. If you can’t bear to do it yourself, ask someone you trust. And always have your manuscript professionally proofread.
If the movie rights to your novels are purchased, who would you like to play your main characters?
Gemma in The Truth About Gemma Grey is beautiful – properly model-stunning, although she doesn’t really know this herself and I try not to shove it down the reader’s throat because for me there is nothing more annoying than a writer constantly bigging up their heroine’s looks. So I could pick a really beautiful actor to play her, but I’m not sure who!
Do you have an eventful tale to tell relating to an everyday, boring event?
I’m a runner, and while running is sometimes boring, it can offer wonderful snapshots of the world. I’ve seen and overheard all sorts. A couple on a bench arguing: “But I love you!” “Well, I don’t love you.” (ouch!). A little boy coming up to me and saying, “Excuse me, have you seen my daddy?” (I hadn’t, but fortunately his mother turned up a few seconds later). A man training squirrels in Hyde Park (my personal favourite).
Genre: Chick lit/romantic comedy
Release Date: 19 June 2017
Life isn’t working out quite as Gemma had planned. Her breakthrough job turns out to involve writing clickbait articles about cats. Her boyfriend Jack is off travelling the world with his glamorous BFF and her mum’s social life puts Gemma’s own to shame.
Then, after a late-night online rant, Gemma’s YouTube channel goes viral and everything changes.
Suddenly, she’s living the dream – only it’s not turning out entirely as she imagined.
Gemma realises she’ll have to choose between fame, real love and being true to herself – because she can’t have it all. Or can she?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sophie Ranald is the youngest of five sisters. She was born in Zimbabwe and lived in South Africa until an acute case of itchy feet brought her to London in her mid-20s. As an editor for a customer publishing agency, Sophie developed her fiction-writing skills describing holidays to places she’d never visited. In 2011, she decided to disregard all the good advice given to aspiring novelists and attempt to write full-time. After one false start, It Would Be Wrong to Steal My Sister’s Boyfriend (Wouldn’t It?) seemed to write itself. Her second, third and fourth novels followed, and a fifth is due for release in Spring 2017. Sophie also writes for magazines and online about food, fashion and running. She lives in south-east London with her amazing partner Hopi and Purrs, their adorable little cat.
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7233995.Sophie_Ranald