Saturday 17 March 2018

The loves of my life: Louise O'Neill, author

'Reality bites': Author Louise O'Neill
'Reality bites': Author Louise O'Neill

The author won't choose between any of her family for very practical reasons, while Wannabe by the Spice Girls gets a mention.

The person

I couldn't possibly choose between my mother, my father, and my sister Michelle. Namely because my parents might cut me out of their will, and my sister might just cut me

The memory

After reading too many Enid Blyton novels as children, my sister and I were desperate to go to boarding school. After refusing to allow us to go, my mother woke us up in the middle of the night to have an impromptu midnight feast. There was a lot of hushed laughter as we drank our ginger ale (she couldn't source any ginger beer, sadly)

The moment of the day

I'm a morning person. I love the sense of possibility that this could be the day in which my entire life changes.

The song

If I was trying to be cool, I'd say anything from Live Through This by Hole, but secretly, it's Wannabe by the Spice Girls. Girl Power 4 lyfe

The movie

Heathers is infinitely quotable. I say, 'Fuck me gently with a chainsaw' more than is strictly appropriate

The hero

My dad. He is the kindest man I've ever met. He also has the ability to talk me down out of any tantrum that I may be throwing, which is useful

The book

The one book that I re-read frequently is Ariel, a poetry collection by Sylvia Plath. When I was 16, I felt like Sylvia (yes, we're on a first-name basis) was the only person who understood me

The outfit

My mother bought me a dressing gown that looks like a bear costume and, as anyone who follows me on Snapchat will be aware of, it has become my go-to writing uniform. I'm fairly certain she regrets that purchase on a daily basis

The accessory

My Chanel 2.55 handbag. It was a present from an ex-boyfriend who was far too good to me. It makes me feel super fancy

The gadget

My iPhone. I wouldn't say I'm addicted per se, but I feel incredibly irritable and break into a cold sweat if it's not within eyesight at all times

The pet hate

I cringe when I see French manicures. They're so tacky. Having worked in retail, I find people who wander into a shop at three minutes to closing time for 'a quick look' to be utterly unbearable

The friend

I love making new friends, but I like to alternate my favourites to keep them all on their toes. Can't have them getting too complacent

The beauty product

I still haven't found the beauty product that will transform my face into Winona Ryder circa 1993, so this is a difficult question to answer. If you want your skin to look good, you need to avoid the sun, smoking, sugar, and fun. I'm also partial to glycolic acid

The hobby

Lecturing people about gender politics. I'm a delight at dinner parties

The holiday

When I was 20 and my sister was 22, we hired a purple Chrysler convertible, bought matching Roxy sweaters, and went on a road trip down through Big Sur in California. She's a great travel companion, as we both need regular bathroom breaks and an endless supply of books in order to survive

The piece of advice

Other people's opinions of you are none of your business. I spent a lot of my 20s worrying about what other people thought of me, and it is a complete waste of time. Far better to pay attention to how you feel about yourself

The drink

Grey Goose vodka, soda water, and fresh lime juice. It still makes me feel like I'm winning at life when I buy something other than Tesco Everyday Value Vodka

The bar

I've had some of the best nights of my life in De Barra's pub, Clonakilty. There's magic contained in those walls

The hotel

The production company who are making a movie of my first book, Only Ever Yours, put me up in one of the biggest suites I've ever seen at Soho House, New York. I now insist that everywhere I stay has a chandelier, and a barman that comes to my room at 6pm to fix me a drink of my choice. My parents have refused both requests so far

The part of my body

This is a family newspaper, so I really shouldn't say. My second favourite part of my body is my liver, as it never gives up, despite all the abuse I've inflicted upon it

The celebrity

Karl Lagerfeld's cat. Sometimes I lie awake late at night thinking about how much easier my life would be if I could magic a Freaky Friday-style swap with Choupette

The virtue

I forgive people easily. You could stab all the members of my family to death and I'd probably call it quits if you sent a really sincere note of apology

The vice

Whenever I do anything I consider to be Proper Adulting - opening a bill, filing a tax return, going within five feet of my bank - I need to hide under my duvet for 20 minutes afterwards to recover

The smell

New books. I like to wander around bookshops and surreptitiously sniff them when the staff aren't looking.

The taste

My father owns O'Neills butcher shop in Clonakilty, and it's the only butcher shop in town that has its own abattoir. You haven't lived until you've tasted his home-made sausages

In 'Reality Bites: Asking For It' Louise explores our entrenched attitudes towards casual sex, slut shaming, the issue of consent and the rise in sexual assault and rape in Irish society today, RTE2, Tuesday, November 1


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