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Diary of a chick lit author: Somehow a hangover turned into an opportunity

I was morto about coming into work after my so-called 'date' with Hollywood A-lister Jonny Crofton. I knew Orla would want the nitty-gritty and I didn't have the heart to tell her I disgraced myself by drinking a bottle of wine on an empty stomach in under an hour and nearly driving poor Jonny back on the drink. Plus, I think I quoted Eamon Dunphy and did that annoying finger-air-quote thing I usually hate.

The only arms Jonny fell into were those of his AA sponsor. I had my worst shame spiral since I drank a two-litre bottle of Linden Village at a school disco 15 years ago and spent the night puking in the toilets. Maybe I'm the one who needs a sponsor, I thought, from my pit of despair. So, I took a duvet day -- and I never usually ring in sick.

In a fit of cowardice, I sent Orla a text, saying I had an upset tummy. I knew she wouldn't buy it but she texted back: "Got lucky, did you? Enjoy xxx." I didn't want to spoil her fantasy, so I didn't reply. Let her think what she likes -- the truth is too embarrassing.

Anyway, as I was borderline suicidal, I decided to start the day by making buns. Marian Keyes has started baking as a remedy for the blues. I know a hangover isn't quite clinical depression but I was willing to try anything to try and shake the feeling of doom, so I went to Spar and got flour, eggs, vanilla essence and butter.

The buns turned out a bit lopsided but I made tea and took them and my laptop back to bed. I spent the day writing, writing, writing. I wrote 2,000 words -- usually unheard of for me in a day. And yes, I wrote Jonny into my novel as a character who comes to the remote village where Aine is caring for her sick father because he's on location for a movie. And yes, Áine does manage to get herself plastered on her one night out a month and does cringe-inducing karaoke to Lady Gaga's Poker Face.

I've made the character a bit more humane than Jonny though. He joins Aine on stage and duets with her to Especially for You by Kylie and Jason. She tells him all about what it's like caring for her father and he listens -- even though she's plastered -- and brings her home.

He opens up about his battle with the booze. Before I turned off my laptop, I emailed what I'd written to Valerie, of the Donnybrook Divas writing group, and asked if I could come back next week. Who knew something constructive would come out of my most humiliating experience ever?


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