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Women Who Inspire: Q&A with Cecelia Ahern on writing Roar

November 23, 2018

About the author:

Cecelia Ahern was born and grew up in Dublin. She is now published in nearly fifty countries, and has sold over twenty-four million copies of her novels worldwide. Her bestelling debut novel, P.S. I Love You, published in 2004, remains her most popular novel. Her YA novel Flawed, published in 2016, was described by The Guardian as ‘one of the best dystopian books around.’ Two of her books have been adapted as films and she has created several TV series. The much-loved author and her books have won numerous awards, including the Irish Book Award for Popular Fiction forThe Year I Met You.

Ahern lives in Dublin with her family.

Purchase a copy of Roar here 

Read our full review of Roar here

Your book Roar is a collection of thirty stories from the perspective of thirty different women. What inspired this idea?

The inspiration has been women. Every single woman I meet or have met and observe and talk to, has inspired every single story in this book and I think they represent all the different facets of our lives.

Thirty stories and characters is quite a significant number. Were these stories/women inspired or informed by your own personal experiences or people in your life?

One story that resonates with me is The Woman Who Found Bite Marks Under Her Skin – it’s about a mother who is returning to work after maternity leave and she finds these bite marks all over her skin which grow by day and she realises that the guilt is eating her alive. Many of us are made of guilt and feel it so easily, we have so many different relationships in our lives and we often feel guilty that we’re not being enough for all those people in our lives. This story I wrote at the end of a workday. I was going through my own struggle of why I’d left my two kids crying, to go and sit in my office. I was feeling that guilt.

Your book is an ode to female strength and resilience, a topic that is as relevant as ever in today’s current political and social climate. What do you want people to take away from this book?

I want people to escape, to laugh- but also to connect with something deep in their minds that perhaps they’ve never said aloud. More than anything I want them to feel better about their lives when they close the book.

The title Roar evokes so many different feelings and images. What does the title embody/mean to you?

I’m a firm believer that we are all responsible for our own lives. I know the universe can throw horrible things at us but you can be in control of how you react to it and how you respond and in these stories the characters are taking responsibility for their own lives. They are assessing where they are, how they are, how they got there and what they can do for themselves to make things better and that’s their ROAR moment.

Who are the women in real life who inspire you most?

Michelle Obama. I adore her. She’s so inspiring. She’s always encouraging people to have their own voice and go on their own journey. I just think she’s a people person, emotional, passionate and smart.

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