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  • Writer's pictureMaya Linnell

Criminology, pilates and writing in bed with Kimberley Allsopp

Read an excerpt of Love and Other Puzzles HERE

(for the answer to enter the giveaway!)

Author spotlight with Kimberley Allsopp

Do you have a good luck charm or a special token that sits on your desk/in your office?

No, and in fact, despite how horrible it is for my back, if I could, I would write solely in my bed and not at my desk at all. I think my desk is harder for me because over the past two years, I do my work-work at it and I like to have a clear break between the two!

Favourite exercise to counteract all the hours sitting at the keyboard?

Pilates. Even if I don’t feel up to a class, a fifteen minute Pilates stretch session makes me feel a little less like a hedgehog, curled up in a ball.

What’s your go-to weekday dinner dish?

If I could eat halloumi for all my meals, I would. It’s easy and goes with everything (don’t fight with me on this). I’m not one for cooking so it’s all about quick and easy for me.

Which career would you choose if money wasn’t a factor and writing wasn’t an option?

I always thought that writing wasn’t an option, so I’ve been working in books for over ten years because I think that’s the next best thing! I would also love to do some screenwriting which I know is also writing but I think it’s a different beast so that’s an acceptable answer!

Chocolate, potato chips or cheese?

Cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese. Once I ate a whole wheel of cheese and made myself violently ill. I would do that again, no doubt in my mind.

Have you done anything special with any of your advances?

No, at some point in my life, without my knowing, I morphed into a boring adult and I have just put all my book money into my savings account. It truly breaks my heart to type that as a response.

I am planning to flee my family home for a week in the near future, though, to make what I hope will be some serious headway on my next novel so that’s a bit more exciting than accruing interest…

Spot where you seem to get the best bursts of inspiration?

There’s that magic period of time when I’m straddling being asleep and awake and that’s the best time for me to write and be creative. It only lasts an hour or so, so I need to pray that my daughter doesn’t also wake up and burst the bubble. Makes it even more special, with that element of danger.

Agent or no agent?

Agent. Despite having plenty of connections because of my job in publishing, without the wonderful Margaret Connolly, Love and Other Puzzles wouldn’t be the book that it is today and I’m sure that there wouldn’t have been that urgency for publishers to come back to me. I also had the manuscript go around without my name attached because I wanted people to read it without having me in their head and I wanted them to feel like they could be honest in their feedback.

Do you have a writing ‘uniform’?


Aussie novel you’re most looking forward to in 2022?

There’s a new novel from Felicity McLean coming out this year called Red. It’s a contemporary retelling of the Ned Kelly story and while I’ve never quite understood the Australian obsession with Ned Kelly, it’s set in 1989 with a 14-year-old female protagonist which sounds like an exciting fresh take. I loved Felicity’s previous novel, The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone, when she wrote that she got me as a fan for life, so I’ll be reading Red as soon as possible.

Best one-line sentence from one of your book reviews?

It’s early days in terms of reviews but the lovely Meg Mason said ‘Witty, charming, so full of heart. The millennial Heartburn, with top notes of Maria Semple.’ And that’s insane.

Share a quirky habit or something readers might be surprised to discover about you.

That’s a tricky question! I thought when I eventually wrote a novel that it would be a crime novel. I love the genre in both novels and television and I started doing my Masters in Criminology a couple of years back because I am so interested in it but that’s just not the voice that came out in my writing and I don’t think you should force that kind of thing! I do have a crime novel idea but who knows if it will ever see the light of a word document!

Where can people find you online?

Mainly on Instagram – too much on Instagram… @kimberleyallsopp

Love and Other Puzzles

Following the clues doesn't always lead you where you might expect ...

A witty, warm-hearted and appealing novel about how stepping out of our comfort zones can sometimes be the best – and worst – thing that can ever happen to us.

Rory's life is perfectly predictable, ordered and on track – just the way she likes it. She walks her 12,000 steps a day, writes her to-do list and each night she prepares her breakfast chia pods and lays out her clothes for the next day. She's doing everything right. So why does everything feel so wrong?

Deep down, she knows her life and career – not to mention her relationship – are going nowhere, and so Rory, in a moment of desperation, takes an uncharacteristic step: letting the clues of The New York Times crossword puzzle dictate all her decisions for a week. Just for a week, she reasons. Just to shake things up a bit. What's the worst that could happen?

A delightfully witty, deliciously original and astringently refreshing rom-com that reads like you're inhaling a zingy citrus cocktail made by Nora Ephron, at a party thrown by Dolly Alderton and Beth O'Leary.

Meet the author... Kimberley Allsopp

Kimberley Allsopp has had her work appear in Kidspot, The Sunday Telegraph and WHIMN (now Body & Soul) and she co-hosts the rom-com podcast, Meet Cute, which allows her to justify some of her otherwise questionable life choices. Kimberley has worked in bookselling and publishing since 2008. Love & Other Puzzles is her first book. She lives in Sydney with her partner and daughter.


Head to the WIN page for your chance to win a copy of Love and Other Puzzles, thanks to Harper Collins books. Contest closes February 13.


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