Lucy Silchester has received an appointment card. Actually, she's been invited along a few times to this appointment, but she keeps brushing the gold embossed envelope under the shag pile carpet. She's taken her eye off the ball and has busied herself with work (a job she doesn't love), helping out friends, fixing her car, feeding her cat, seeing her family and devoting her time to their life dramas. But Lucy is about to find out that this is one appointment that she can't miss. And she can't escape it either. Her Life is about to catch up with her in the most surreal of ways…The Time of My Life is the long awaited new novel from the No 1. Bestselling author of PS. I Love You and The Book of Tomorrow.
Cecelia Ahern wrote her first novel, PS, I Love You, at the age of 21. It quickly became a worldwide number one bestseller. This book was also made into a film, starring Hilary Swank and Kathy Bates and was a huge box office success. Cecelia was also the co-creator and producer of the television comedy series Samantha Who? starring Christina Applegate.
At just 29 years of age, all of Cecelia Ahern's books to date have been in the top 10 bestseller charts in the UK. All of her titles (in every format) have gone to number one in Ireland. Cecelia's book, The Gift, was in the Sunday Times Top 10 for thirteen weeks and The Book of Tomorrow spent eighteen weeks in the Top 10 between 2009/10. In 2008 The Gift was the second best selling hardback in the UK.
Cecelia Ahern is married to athlete and actor David Keoghan, most recently seen on The Tudors. She recently became a mother, taking last year off to spend time with her baby daughter, Robin.
The Time of My Life
Harper Collins Australia
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Question: What initially gave you the idea to write The Time of My Life?
Cecelia Ahern: I came up with the idea that life could be a person and the rest of the idea spiraled from there. The idea that if we were to treat a friend like we often treat ourselves, then they would no longer be our friend because we often ignore a lot of important issues and we don't spend a lot of time on ourselves. I wanted to turn life into a person and explore the relationship between a person and their life.
Question: How important was making Lucy Silchester a relatable, down-to-earth character?
Cecelia Ahern: Because I came up with the different kinds of ideas it was really important to come up with an everyday character that readers can identify with. Lucy Silchester is really ordinary, she is like everybody else with a couple of problems and she tells one little lie and because of that she becomes a compulsive liar and gets herself into a lot of trouble. Lucy needs help and her life shows her that she is stuck in a rut and she needs help to get out of that. Lucy is someone that people can identify with because she loves her family, she likes her job but doesn't love it and she is not overwhelmingly happy about anything - she is in the middle and a little bit bored.
Question: The Time of My Life is quite funny, did you intentionally do that or did it progress with Lucy's character?
Cecelia Ahern: It just happened because of the relationship between two of the characters. I could hear a lot of the dialogue in my head and he is always teasing Lucy and she would do that back to him. It immediately became fun and she has my sense of humour and I had a lot of fun with that, as well, I didn't hold back I would see how Lucy reacted to things, similar to how I would. Even though Lucy's personality isn't mine, the things that she says is pretty much what I would say (laughing)! I had a lot of fun with Lucy's character.
Question: How much of your inspiration comes from real life and real people?
Cecelia Ahern: I suppose without realising it, I absorbed everything around me and it feeds its way into the page. It is never a conscious decision, I never would meet somebody and immediately want to put them in my book or I would never go and listen to peoples conversations and write them down. I take everything around me in and then it may work its way into the stories, it is all very subconscious.
Question: Can you talk a little bit about your writing process?
Cecelia Ahern: I write longhand and always know the beginning, the end of the book and what happens in the middle and I let them flow together as I am writing. I write from 9am to 5:30pm everyday and I write from January to June (it takes six months) and then I spend July and August editing and my books come out, just before Christmas. I usually try and write a chapter a week, that is my aim, I don't do word counts but I am satisfied if I complete a chapter, a week.
Question: You wrote your first book at 21 years of age; what advice do you have for aspiring writers or artists?
Cecelia Ahern: I think it is important to find your own voice and don't try and write what you think people want to read, write what really moves you. They say "write what you know" and I think that it is important to write what you feel passionate about. Try and get as many people to read your work as possible, mostly for encouragement not necessarily to criticize; it is nice to have people cheering you on. It is important, when I am writing, that there is somebody who likes what I am doing.
Interview by Brooke Hunter