You know that thing you do, where you're having a really good hair day, decide to immortalise it on Instagram, but then after taking 10000 selfies decide that maybe it's a terrible idea because even with a Lumi light and some light face-tuning you still don't look like Kylie? That happens to best-selling authors too.
"My heroine Katie suffers from flaws I think we all can relate to," says Sophie Kinsella of her new book, My Not So Perfect Life. "She looks at people's 'perfect lives' on social media and believes them, and then she feels the need to project her own life in a 'perfect way."
And yes, the book, out today, was definitely inspired by Kinsella's own experience. "I'm guilty of both flaws myself. I'll take ten pictures before posting the most attractive one on Twitter. And I definitely look at people's amazing houses / children / holidays and think, 'Why isn't my kitchen that cool?' "
My Not So Perfect Life is the very-of-the-now story of a young woman who on social media appears to have it all—a cool job at a creative office, plenty of time to hang out in trendy London cafes taking pictures of trendy desserts etc—while in reality it's just a very well-edited front that hides what's really going on just outside of that perfectly cropped frame: She's got a scary boss, her flat is tiny, she has no friends, and she can't actually afford to buy any of those above-mentioned trendy desserts.
Kinsella, the Brit wit behind the ridiculously successful and beloved Shopaholic series of books, says that even as a writer she isn't immune to a little bit of stage-managing.
"I have been photographed—and have myself posted photos—of me sitting at an immaculate, orderly desk apparently 'writing'. All fake! Before anyone takes a picture I clear away the papers, file cards, old paperbacks and coffee. That's the less glamorous truth..."
Want a chance to meet Sophie Kinsella? ELLE Canada culture editor Sarah Laing will be in conversation with her on Saturday, February 11 in Toronto. Click here for more details.