We're HUGE fans of Cecelia Ahern (nine books, anyone?) and were thrilled when she made time to answer some questions! (Yay, yay, yay!) Did you know she's not just an author? She develops TV shows too... We delve into that and some other fun facts about Cecelia below. But first, her latest novel, ONE HUNDRED NAMES, is out in paperback now (it's just as good the second time around!) and is the perfect book to take on your summer vacation. So pick up your copy right away. And, if you leave a comment on this post, you'll be entered to win one copy (US). The contest closes May 25th at 8am PST. The scoop: Scandal has derailed Journalist Kitty Logan's career, a setback that is soon compounded by an even more devastating loss. Constance, the woman who taught Kitty everything she knew, is dying. At her mentor's bedside, Kitty asks her—what is the one story she always wanted to write?
The answer lies in a single sheet of paper buried in Constance's office—a list of 100 names—with no notes or explanation. But before Kitty can talk to her friend, it is too late.
Determined to unlock the mystery and rebuild her own shaky confidence, Kitty throws herself into the investigation, using her skills and savvy to track down each of the names on the list and uncover their connection. Meeting these ordinary people and learning their stories, Kitty begins to piece together an unexpected portrait of Constance's life. . . and starts to understand her own.
5 QUESTIONS FOR CECELIA AHERN
1. L&L: ONE HUNDRED NAMES is your ninth novel and the premise is so intriguing. How do you keep thinking of such great ideas? And how did you come up with this one?
Cecelia Ahern: I came up with this idea in the most unusual way. I was half-watching the MTV movie awards a few years ago and an actress appeared onscreen to introduce an exclusive trailer to her new movie. I thought that she said it was called ONE HUNDRED NAMES and immediately I stopped what I was doing and paid attention. In the time it took me to actually watch the trailer I created an idea of what I thought it could be about. A journalist finds a list of names, she needs to write a story which is incredibly important to her career, to her life but in order to write it, she has to find out who the people are on the list and how they're linked. The idea came to me instantly. By the time I had this idea I realized I had completely misheard the title of the movie and it was actually called 'The Hunger Games'. I was so excited that I had my new idea and title!
2. L&L: We just have to say this. Samantha Who? was one of our favorite TV shows and we were so sorry when it ended. Any plans to develop another TV program? And on that note, what are you watching now?
CA: I loved Samantha Who? It was such an exciting show to be part of and I certainly caught the TV bug after that. I've since created a TV movie called Three Wise Women for Hallmark, two TV movies for ZDF which aired in February called, Between Heaven and Here and My Whole Half Life. I'm currently developing more TV ideas for ZDF. My novels The Book of Tomorrow and Thanks for the Memories have both being optioned for TV series so I'll be involved in their development, so there's lots of TV activity.
My favourite show on TV is Homeland, I like Game of Thrones, and just started watching True Detectives, I never grow tired of Law and Order's Special Victim's Unit. BBC's Sherlock is exceptional.
3.L&L: When you are writing your books, do you think about the celebrities who you'd want to play your main characters in a movie? If so, who did you picture while writing ONE HUNDRED NAMES?
CA: No I never picture celebrities when I create my characters, I just create entirely new people in my mind and I never think about them becoming TV or films while I'm writing. I have to focus on my story as a novel, immerse myself in that, and if the TV and film people are interested in what I do, then that's a lovely bonus. I've been very lucky to have such incredible actors in all of my work so far.
4.L&L: What books have your read lately/are you reading now?
CA: I'm currently reading 'Life after Life' by Kate Atkinson which is so fantastic I can't wait to finish it but don't want to finish it at the same time. The book before that was The Never List by Koethi Zan, AppleTree Yard by Louise Doughty and before that was The GoldFinch by Donna Tartt which is definitely one of the best books I've ever read.
5. L&L: Can you give us any details about your next book?
CA: My tenth novel is called 'How To Fall in Love' and it's about a character named Christine who comes across a man on a bridge who is threatening to jump. In the panic that ensues she ends up doing a deal where she has two weeks to convince him that his life is worth living, that life can be beautiful. The problem is she is not feeling particularly joyful about her life at all, having just left her husband, and so they both go on a journey to try to fall back in love with life again.
Thanks so much, Cecilia!