Πέμπτη, 24 Σεπτεμβρίου 2009
Interview with Cecelia Ahern, author of "P.S. I Love You"
Ο περιορισμένος χώρος συχνά μας αναγκάζει να περικόπτουμε κομμάτια από μια συνέντευξη. Επειδή κάποιοι (αγγλομαθείς) φίλοι έδειξαν ενδιαφέρον, σας παρουσιάζω το πλήρες κείμενο της συνέντευξης της Cecelia Ahern...
-Tell me ten things, that we all must know about you…1. My name is Cecelia Ahern and I’m the author of seven novels, PS I Love You, Where Rainbows End, If You Could See Me Now, There’s No Place Called Here, Thanks for the Memories and The Gift.
2. I live in Dublin, Ireland.
3. I first wrote my debut novel PS I Love You when I was twenty-one years old.
4. PS I Love You has been made into a film starring Hilary Swank, Lisa Kudrow, Kathy Bates, Gerard Butler, Jeffery Dean Morgan and Gina Gershon. It was written and directed by Richard laGravenese.
5. I have a US comedy series called Samantha Who? which stars Christina Applegate and Jean Smart. Jean Smart won an Emmy award for her role. It’s a half-hour comedy about a woman who is the victim of a hit and run incident and wakes up with retrograde amnesia which means she can’t remember anything about her life. She discovers she was a horrible person and goes about trying to start afresh.
6. I received a degree in Journalism and Media Communications in college in Dublin. I was going to do a Masters in Film Production but I left to write PS I Love You.
7. Where Rainbows End, If You Could See Me Now, There’s No Place Like Here and Thanks for the Memories have all been optioned by film companies to be adapted to film.
8. Last year I wrote my first play which was based on a novella I wrote called Mrs Whippy. It is currently touring theatres in Ireland and will soon move to the UK and the US.
9. In each of my novels we first meet the character when they have reached the lowest moments of their life. They have either suffered a tragedy or are feeling lost. I like to pick them up and bring them on a journey of self-healing and self-discovery. I believe that when we are happy we don’t question much about our lives, but when we are going through difficult times we question everything. We are constantly searching. It is during times like these that we discover our true selves and we discover that we have more strength inside us then we ever believed possible. I like to write novels about the human spirit.
10. Though my novels are about ordinary people, they each have almost magical extra-ordinary story lines. I’m intrigued by the unknown, by possibilities, I like the idea that we don’t know it all, and that when we are searching in our lives, it is easier for us to believe in things that we would never believe in when things are all going according to plan.
- You did a degree in Journalism and Media Communications how did you make the jump from that to writing novels?
The course was very broad and very practical so we studied film studies, tv production, radio broadcasting, media law, creative writing, print journalism etc. I was always more interested in the practical side of the course and always knew I didn’t want to work in print journalism as it didn’t appeal to me. I decided to study a Masters in Film production afterward but left to write PS I Love You. I had been writing ever since I was a child but never thought of it as a career. It was always something very personal that I liked to keep private. But PS I Love You was different. It moved me in ways I can’t described and I knew it was the best thing I had ever done. I wanted to send it to somebody in the publishing industry to see if I had any talent. I sent it to an agent…and this is what happened.
-What was the inspiration for There’s No Place Like Here?
It started off as a humorous idea at the beginning, about a place where all the missing things go. I found that items like socks, jewellery or keys would just vanish, practically in front of my eyes and in my imagination I toyed with the notion of a place where all of these lost things go. But then I realized that people go missing too and so the book immediately took a darker turn. I wanted to write about this in-between place where things and people who fall through the cracks in life disappear to. I created a character called Sandy Shortt who searches for missing people, a complex woman who spent most of her life running from the people who love her to find those who she doesn’t know but obsesses about. She realizes she’s missing, in this in-between place. The story is really a great big metaphor for how we can all lose ourselves. The character wakes up one day in a world she doesn’t recognize, she has wandered off the wrong path, doesn’t know who she is or where she is or how she got there and she must rediscover herself before finding her way back home again.
-You have any obsession with missing things?
Generally I don’t, but at the time of writing this book, I did. I find that with each novel I write I investigate some sort of fascination that I have with parts of life. Then when I’ve finished the story I feel “healed” as though I’ve figured it out. And so now I no longer have such a fascination about missing things but have become more interested in the serious topic of missing people and the loved ones that are left behind. I find it a heartbreaking situation and very difficult for those who just can’t give up the search, who can’t give up hope. The story deals with very serious issues but I like to balance it with humour too as it makes the pill easier to swallow.
-Your novels quite often focus on problems of relationships, particularly family and friends, why does this happen? You have anything in common with your heroes?
I focus on characters who are going through difficult times and who are learning about themselves in order to get through the darkness. I think that we are all on journeys of self-discovery and that’s what life is about. We learn about ourselves through the relationships that we have with other people. That is my journey too but I don’t share any particular story with my characters. They are all fictional but I do understand their struggles.
-Is it true that it was your mother who encouraged you to get your first book published? What was your father’ s opinion?
Yes my mother was reading the chapters of PS I Love You as I was writing them and she was enjoying them so much she encouraged me to send my work to somebody in the publishing industry. Her support was so important to me. If she hadn’t of encouraged me to take that leap I probably would never have done it and I would have kept the story to myself. She is incredibly supportive, as is my father who is so happy that I’ve found something that I adore. The success is the icing on the cake. It is more important to find something that you love.
-After P.S. I Love You, you became famous all around the World. Money, fame… How they influenced your life and relations?
PS I Love You has changed my life because when I wrote it, I was living at home with my mother. I had just finished college, I had no job, I had little savings from my part-time job that I’d just given up and I didn’t really know what to do with the rest of my life. While I was waiting to decide, I wrote PS I Love You and suddenly I had a career, I was traveling the world, I moved out to my own home, I was meeting readers, publishers, I got a film deal. Life changed for the better because it allowed me to do what I love for a living. I’m incredibly blessed and I only have the readers to thank for that because without them I’d still be living with my mother and writing stories at my kitchen table!
-Did you meet the actors of “P.S.”? What do you think about them?
Yes I met all the actors, Hilary Swank, Lisa Kudrow, Kathy Bates, Gerard Butler, Jeffery Dean Morgan and Gina Gershon. I was invited on set in Dublin and New York and I had a wonderful time talking to them and watching the film being made. I was also involved in the promotion junkets in LA and the premiere and every body was so kind to me, I really enjoyed the experience.
-What kept you away from Greece? Have you ever been here?
I’ve never been to mainland Greece but I’ve been to Crete many times. I visited King Knossos Palace and was so excited to see the place where all the legends and myths I’d learned about at school had taken place. I love the weather, I love the food, I love the people and the music. I was so excited to go to Athens but unfortunately due to my health I was unable to go. I look forward to going in the future and seeing the beautiful city of Athens and meeting my readers who I’d like to thank so so much.