Jenny Colgan is a best-selling author of romantic comedy and, courtesy of a string of Doctor Who novelizations, science-fiction. Among her stand-alone novels are Amanda’s Wedding, Looking For Andrew McCarthy and The Christmas Bookshop, while Welcome To Rosie Hopkins’ Sweet Shop Of Dreams, the first in her Rosie Hopkins Sweet Shop series, won the 2013 Romantic Novel of the Year Award. Her most recent work, Midnight At The Christmas Bookshop, was published in October.

What’s the last book you read?

It’s called Numbers Go Up by Zeke Faux, a Forbes journo who saw through crypto and Sam Bankman-Fried very early. It’s eye popping. The chapter where he has to infiltrate the crypto bro community by putting all his savings into buying a monkey NFT is one of the tensest things I’ve ever read.

Favourite living author?

Kashuo Ishiguro is quite something.

If you’re a fan of graphic novels, what’s the best one you’ve ever read?

From Hell by Alan Moore. It’s a magnum opus, a great work of art. I also really love The Thrilling Adventures Of Lovelace And Babbage by Sydney Padua.

What’s the last film you saw in a cinema?

The Creator. It’s wonderful, I don’t know why more people aren’t talking about it. The most beautifully imagined future world.

Barbie or Oppenheimer?

Barbieheimer, totes both.

Recommend a novel …

The Fraud by Zadie Smith, a genuine Victorian novel to lose yourself in.

What music are you currently listening to a lot?

I really like Blue Rose Code [Edinburgh-born musician Ross Wilson]. His voice is just the most beautiful instrument.

The Herald: BlurBlur (Image: free)

Blur or Oasis?


Vinyl or MP3?

Spotify all the way.

Favourite singer?

Kate Bush. Her music has meant everything to me.

What have you watched that you think was completely over-rated?

Oh I don't think anyone sets out to make anything bad. I tell you the one thing everyone from the internet to the broadsheets to my dad and best friends told me was wonderful was Schitt’s Creek, and I didn’t get it at all. I watched 36 episodes and laughed twice, both times when the daughter gets married by mistake.

Recommend a podcast …

I’m Not A Monster. Exactly what the BBC is for. Brilliantly researched and so carefully done. Both series are superb.

Favourite actor?

Bradley Whitford [Josh Lyman in The West Wing], because I would like to have got off with him. I hate it when people lie about these questions and pretend it’s because of their talent or something.

What has been your most formative cultural experience?

Weirdly, it was a touring production of Rocky Horror. I was about 15, very fed up and then my parents let me and my friend Lesley-Anne go and it was so funny and outrageous and dirty and everyone knew the words and the songs, and it had been in the film Fame, and this was in Ayr! It totally blew my mind. That the world was full of funny weird people, even right next door. That and my first trip to the Edinburgh Festival, also around that age, that made me apply to go to university there, made me fall in love with comedy, and I live there now and write comedy books.

What was the most memorable recent theatre show you saw?

I took the children to Ocean At The End Of The Lane on tour, none of us knowing a thing about it, and we were all rapt and totally enchanted. It does what theatre is meant to: builds you a new world for two hours.

Favourite song ?

This week it is Blackbird by the Beatles.

Recommend an album …

Ghosts by Siobhan Donaghy. Overlooked cult masterpiece by the Sugababes singer.

The Herald: The Lazarus ProjectThe Lazarus Project (Image: free)

Recommend a TV box-set …

The Lazarus Project. Not enough people watched it because it has a terrible title, but it’s great.

What book haven’t you managed to get around to yet but will when you have the time?

I’m saving War And Peace in case I am imprisoned (for a crime, NB., I didn’t commit).

Who or what do you always turn off?

Ken Bruce. He’s like your most sarcastic geography teacher ever. I cannot bear to listen to him, I lunge at the dial. People who work with him have told me in person he is a delight and I am sure this is true.

You’re in a station or airport ahead of a journey. What magazine do you grab?

Viz, of course!

Favourite comedian?

I saw a very early Eddie/Suzy Izzard show attended by 12 people in Greyfriars Kirkhouse, the one with the French monkeys, and it remains a life highlight.

What’s your go-to YouTube video?

Abandoned dogs nursed back to health. I particularly like the spoiled ones that are too fat to get up the stairs then two months later they are galloping about. But any rescue finding their forever family will do. Bonus points if they also have a tortoise best friend.

Favourite film?

Shakespeare in Love. It's beautiful, romantic, sad, and considering it is a fantasy, bizarrely true to a writer's life. All writers love that film.

Favourite font?

My favourite font is Palatino, as it is classic and elegant.

If you’re a gamer, what’s your current favourite game?

I am so annoyed at Cities Skylines I have gone back to playing Sim City 3000. The new Zelda is beautiful. And I play a concerning amount of online scrabble.

Recommend a musician …

Karine Polwart. She has an ear for a melody like very few people in the world; music flows from her like a bubbling stream.

The Herald: Sean ConnerySean Connery (Image: free)

Irvine Welsh or Robert Louis Stevenson?


Tetris or Call Of Duty?


Fiction or non-fiction?

Both, alternating.

Who was the second best James Bond?


Midnight At The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan is published by Sphere (£14.99)