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Literature Lovely - Cecilia Ahern

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Daughter of the Taoiseach and best selling author, Cecilia Ahern talks to us today about the release of her new book 'Thanks for the Memories', life with the Hollywood elite and the co-creating and producing of 'Samantha Who?' for the American TV network ABC.

Backround

Cecelia Ahern, is the daughter of the Taoiseach, Mr Bertie Ahern and his former wife Miriam. She has one older sister Georgina, who happens to be married to Nicky Byrne of Westlife!  She has two nephews, Rocco and Jay (Nicky and Georgina's twins!). She is a very proud Auntie and loves spending time with the twins.

Before embarking on her hugely successful writing career, Cecilia completed a degree in journalism and media studies.

She currently resides and works in Dublin.

It was the success of her first novel 'PS I Love You' that catapulted the Prime Minister's daughter to the dizzying heights of Hollywood A List.

P.S. I Love You

This was Cecilia's first novel, written at just 21 years old. It went on to be sold to over forty countries. It was optioned and adapted into a film by Warner Bros and Wendy Finerman Productions. The film opened theatrically in North American and Europe on 21st December 2007 and will be released on DVD on 12th May. Directed by Richard LaGravenese, the film starred Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow, Kathy Bates, Harry Connick Junior and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. PS I Love You was one of the biggest selling debut novels of 2004, reaching number 1 in Ireland and in the UK Sunday Times bestseller list and was also selected for the Richard and Judy Summer Read campaign (C4 Richard and Judy Show). It was also a best seller throughout Europe and the USA, staying on the best-seller list in Germany for over 52 weeks.

Synopsis

'Some people wait their whole lives to find their soul mates. But not Holly and Gerry.

Childhood sweethearts, they could finish each other's sentences and even when they fought, they laughed. No one could imagine Holly and Gerry without each other.

Until the unthinkable happens. Gerry's death devastates Holly. But as her 30th birthday looms, Gerry comes back to her. He's left her a bundle of notes, gently guiding Holly into her new life without him, each note signed "P.S. I Love You."

As the notes are gradually opened, and as the year unfolds, Holly is both cheered up and challenged. The man who knows her better than anyone sets out to teach her that life goes on. With some help from her friends, and her noisy and loving family, Holly finds herself laughing, crying, singing, dancing - and being braver than ever before.

Life is for living, she realises - but it always helps if there's an angel watching over you.'

Her Writing Career to Date

In November 2004, her second book Where Rainbows End (Love, Rosie/Rosie Dunne) also reached no.1 in Ireland and the UK, remaining at the top of the Irish bestsellers list for 12 weeks and again a bestseller internationally.

Her third book If You Could See Me Now was published in November 2005 and also became an international bestseller.

Cecelia's fourth novel, international number one bestseller, A Place Called Here, is out now in paperback and went straight to no 1 in UK and Ireland.

Cecelia was nominated for Best Newcomer 2004/5 at the British Book Awards for her debut novel PS, I Love You. She won the 2005 Irish Post Award for Literature and a 2005 Corine Award for her second book Where Rainbows End  (Fur Immer Viellecht) which was voted by German readers. In 2006, she was long-listed for the IMPAC award for her debut novel and in May 2007 Cosmopolitan US honoured her with a Fun Fearless Fiction Award 2007 for If You Could See Me Now.

Cecelia has also contributed short stories to the following anthologies, for which all her royalties go to charity: Irish Girls are Back in Town, Short and Sweet, Moments, Ladies Night 4, Girls Night in 2 and she has written a novella titled Mrs. Whippy. Other published stories are The Production Line for Express Magazine, Every Year for Harrod's Magazine, The Things That I Remember for Woman's Own, Remembering Mum for Express Magazine, Mallard and May for Woman and Home

Her Current Projects

Cecelia is the co-creater (along with Donald Todd) and producer of the ABC half-hour comedy television show, Samantha Who? which broadcasts on Monday nights at 9.30pm on ABC in the USA. Samantha Who? stars Christina Applegate, Jean Smart, Jennifer Esposito, Barry Watson, Kevin Dunn, Melissa McCarthy and Tim Russ and is about a woman who is the victim of a hit and run incident, wakes from a nine-day coma with retrograde amnesia, leaving her to rediscover her life, her friendships and her family - begging the question, if you start life all over again with fresh eyes and armed with the knowledge of who you once were, can you change?

The show won Favorite New Comedy at this year's People's Choice Awards, Cecilia was over the moon that an award was bestowed on her TV show.

Two of her books have been optioned by Gold Circle Films (the people behind My Big Fat Greek Wedding), If You Could See Me Now, which is in early development and Where Rainbows End (the latter was only optioned a month ago).


Her New Book - 'Thanks for the Memories'
'How can you know someone you've never met?'
Joyce Conway remembers things she shouldn't. She knows about tiny cobbled streets in Paris, which she has never visited. And every night she dreams about an unknown little girl with blond hair.
When she leaves hospital after a terrible accident, with her life and marriage in pieces, Joyce moves back in with her elderly father. All the while, a strong sense of déjà vu is overwhelming her and she can't figure out why.
Justin Hitchcock is divorced, lonely and restless. He arrives in Dublin to give a lecture on art and meets an attractive doctor Sarah, who persuades him to donate blood. It's the first thing to come straight from his heart in a long time.
When Justin receives a basket of muffins with a note simply saying thank you, he is sure someone is playing a trick on him. But then a series of gifts begin to arrive. Intrigued and disturbed, Justin is determined to found out who is sending them. What he discovers is about to change his life..
Plans for the Future
She wants to continue writing for as long as she enjoys it. She would like to experiment with different types of writing, such as screenplays and plays. She never really makes any plans, as they never tend to work out. She finds it best to go with the flow and so far, that has taken her to a very good place!

Her rise has been nothing short of meteoric, and there's no apparent end in sight!

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