Sophie wrote as a child but stopped at 15 out of embarrassment. After university she worked from home for the Great Taste Awards.
“Then I moved to London and worked as PA to the Managing Director of Harper Collins. I spent four or five years working for them and went across to editorial.”
She went freelance when she had written the first draft of the debut.
“I wrote it through the 2020 lockdowns. When things were terrible, it was wonderful to escape, and write about this beautiful, Regency world.”
Who is Sophie Irwin?
Date of birth: 1994 in Dorset.
Education: The Gryphon School in Sherborne; Oxford University, English. “My dissertation was on Georgette Heyer. I’ve always loved the genre.”
Home: South London.
Family: “I have a big extended family and live with lovely housemates.”
The Day Job: Writer and freelance editor.
In Another Life: “I’d love to have my own bookshop. I worked in one in the holidays from the time I was 13, until I finished university.”
Favourite Writers: Georgette Heyer; PG Woodhouse; Jane Austen; Kevin Kwan; Mhairi McFarlane; Amor Towles.
Second Novel: “It’s set in the same world and is about a widow with a fortune living in Bath.”
Top Tip: Keep going. “The book will be terrible for a long time. The trick is to carry on through. The difficult part is working out a ‘B’ plot and meshing it in.”
The Debut: A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting. Harper Collins: €16.99. Kindle: €10.33.
After her parent’s death, the Talbot sisters’ home is to be repossessed. Unless, that is, the eldest, Kitty bags a rich husband in the next 12 weeks. Staying with an aunt, she launches herself into the season, and soon has several suitors. But there are family secrets she needs to hide. And Lord Radcliffe seems set on thwarting her plans.
“I love Georgette Heyer, but her heroines were always rewarded for their moral purity. They weren’t allowed to be after money, but they would have been, because they’d have been prepared for a good marriage their whole lives. I thought I’d put someone mercenary in that world.”
The Verdict: A Regency Romcom written from the heart. I absolutely adored it!
Published in the Irish Examiner on 14th May
© Sue J Leonard. 2022.