Tuesday 17 October 2017

Cecelia Ahern: 'Growing up in the public eye made me careful of who to trust'

Cecelia and Georgina
Cecelia and Georgina

Hannah Stephenson

Author Cecelia Ahern has said that growing up in the public eye taught both her and her sister who to trust.

Cecelia enjoys success as a writer while Georgina is a full-time mum to her children with former Westlifer Nicky Byrne.

Cecelia said that although their father - former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern - was a prominent political figure, she really felt the impact of celebrity culture when her debut novel was snapped up by a publisher when she was 21.

"It completely changed my life," she said. "I had just got a degree in journalism and media communications, was still living at home and it was time to start looking for a job.

"I wanted to do film production but decided to write PS, I Love You instead, as the idea was taking over my mind.

"All of a sudden, I had a career, I had to travel the world, I was published in 47 countries. It was a two-book deal, so I had to begin writing another book.

"I think my way of coping with everything was just wanting to get back to my desk to write more stories. So I wrote one a year, sometimes two. It was overwhelming, but not in a negative way.

"Myself and my sister were a lot more aware of other people, of being looked at. It made us careful about who to trust."

Now Hollywood is knocking at her door again, as Warner Bros has optioned the movie rights to her forthcoming young adult series, Flawed And Perfect, due out next March.

"It's very exciting," said Cecelia. "It feels like a new beginning as it's a whole new audience. Getting the film deal was a real boost. It's the same team that made PS, I Love You."

Cecelia (34) recently spoke of the panic attacks she suffered for years.

"I was trying to explain where I was at when I wrote PS, I Love You. People couldn't understand how I could write a book like that at 21.

"At that time, I was at a vulnerable stage and very much trying to figure out who I was," she said.

"It was something I struggled with for a couple of years that made me very introspective and made me think about what's going on in other people's minds, but everything's fine now."

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