Monday, December 3, 2007
Cecelia Ahern
For a moment, she considered writing under a pseudonym. But 26-year-old Cecelia Ahern is proud of the name she has as the daughter of Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern. In fact, she's used it to successfully author four fiction novels.

At 21, she received $1 million to write her first novel, "P.S. I Love You." It was a worldwide best-seller and is being made into a movie staring Hilary Swank. She is now writing her fifth novel and is serving as co-producer for the TV series she co-created, "Samantha Who?"

Ahern would inevitably be in the political spotlight because of her family, but, thanks to her personal successes, she has created her own spotlight in the film and literary worlds.

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live Video interview
Oh my goodness, just 26?! I saw 'PS: I Love You' in the bookstores the other day, but I did not realize she was just 21 when she wrote it! Amazing storyteller.
I would ask her what her first book signing ever was like- was it what she had expected? Was she nervous?
I would like to ask her if she already got another book deal. Her first book deal was about 5 books and she is about to publish book number 5 next year. So did she get a new contract?
Hi!!
My question is...
From what I've seen of the movie coming out December 21st and the book that you wrote...were you happy with the changes? I've read the book by the way and thought it was fantastic.
Cecilia, I loved PS I Love You and have since read all of your books, which I also enjoyed. I think you have a wonderful talent and was wondering if you plan to do any writing for television since you are working in the industry now?
Ms. Ahern, you are a very talented writer! I love your books and am looking forward to seeing "P.S. I Love You" on film. As such a young person, how do you get inside the mind of older people (thirtysomethings) so well? What kind of research do you do? Please keep writing! Maeve Bincy has been a favorite author of mine for a long time, and now you are, too! Thank you for sharing your creative talent with the world.
How did she go about getting a $1m advance for her first novel?

I'd love to know so I can stop trying to write my own novel with the scraps of energy I have left after working full time.
I just love all her books and I think she is so creative. My question for her would be, how did she come up with the concept for P.S. I love you? The grief in the book is so real. Did she ever experience something like that before? Can't wait for her new book.
Wow, congratulations! To have this amazing success at such a young age must be a fantastic feeling. I too am 26, and have always wanted to do what you’re doing. Having majored in International Business and now working in a dead-end low paying job, I guess my question is this:

How did you break into the field? What prior experience did you have that enabled you to receive a $1 million advance for your very first book at only 21 years of age? Thanks! And cheers to you for actually doing what most of us only get to dream about.
While I am happy that Ms. Ahern is enjoying her success, it is only fair to point out that being the daughter of an Irish Prime Minister inevitably opens doors that are out of reach for the vast majority of people. In my opinion, this lessens the inspirational quality of her achievements. Most unpublished authors struggle to have their work read by an agent or publishing house, and even then are likely to receive a modest advance in the low thousands -- NOT $1MM for one's first effort.

Sadly, the main lesson here is how much it pays to be born to the right family.
First and foremost, I'd like to say that I am happy to see young people setting out and following their passion, let alone be a success at it! Unfortunately however, I think it is really sad that some people have post comments about how this author must credit her success to being the daughter of a Prime Minister. If that's the case, what about the people in Darfur who are suffering because of the family they were born into? She has achieved success simply because she is a talented writer!
To babymidnight723:
Not many people are critisizing her writing ability - simply the label of Ahern being a "self-made" woman who could be admired for achieving her goals despite all odds.

She achieved success, yes, and of her own right. But while one shouldn't say her success came from being a PM's daughter, one can understandably assume her success came MUCH earlier b/c of it. NOW she has become successful of her own right but to simply dismiss the fact her father's position did not open doors to her quite early on in the game would be utterly delusional. Indeed she has achieved success thru her own ability but to say she faced many of the obstacles faced by ordinary writers starting out would be to give credit where it does not belong.

Furthermore, the people in Darfur ARE suffering b/c of where they were born. Just as much as Ahern has not suffered b/c of where she was born. Simple as that. Are you saying that the people in Darfur are suffering for reasons OTHER than being born there? That somehow those people personally set themselves up for what is happening to them? I'm not sure how you were trying to discredit the comparison.
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