It’s always a privilege to interview anyone, but when one of your favorite authors in the world – when you have the chance to talk to them, well that is when everything changes. Cecilia Ahern’s writing literally changed my life – because her book P.S. I Love You, helped me move past loosing someone that I loved. I watch that movie on repeat.
She’s got a new book coming out, Flawed – which is – well, flawless. The book is a beautiful story. Here’s the synopsis –
Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.
But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule. And now faces life-changing repercussions.
She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found FLAWED.
In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where obedience is paramount and rebellion is punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her-everything.
Read what Cecelia had to say…
How long did it take you to write FLAWED, from when the idea first came to you to the last edit on the final draft?
I write a novel a year, my schedule is that I begin in January, it’s due for June, I edit during the summer and it’s published in the Autumn. Because I introduced writing YA into my schedule, it meant I was double-jobbing, writing at different hours from the norm. Because of Flawed and Perfect, I wrote four novels in two years so the timings are confusing to sum up, I just did what I could when I could! I wrote the first draft in 6 weeks, then the back and forth full editing process probably took another 8 weeks.
How did you conduct research for this book? Is research usually a major part of your writing process?
Yes research is incredibly important when I’m writing. I need to have a full understanding of the world that I’m creating. I always say if I can see it and feel it, then I can write it. I had some very bizarre and dark research days where I was examining the effects of searing and branding the skin, how it could be done, anesthetic used, and the timings of recuperation. Also because Celestine’s tongue is branded, I also had to look into the effects that would have on her taste and speech.But mostly this is an emotional journey and so a lot of the research is just me going into my own heart and feeling my way through it.
Was it difficult to create the alternate reality of FLAWED? Did that affect the way you approached the story?
It felt very natural, however it took a while for me to get a sense of place for the country. I played with setting it in the future but that style of writing is not where my strengths lie and I reverted back to the present. Because I haven’t said what continent Humming is in, it has a universal feel. It was only when I visited Prague before editing Flawed that I felt it was very much like the kind of city that I would like Highland to be like, rich in history and you can feel it all around. And because of its architecture there is a fairy tale feeling about the city. In the edit, I was able to properly develop the feel of Humming and it’s main city Highland. I knew then that Humming was a country that had seen a lot, that this Flawed issue was just another in a long line of turbulent history.
FLAWED has already been optioned for film by Warner Brothers! Congratulations! Who would be your dream cast?
I don’t know if I should say because if I choose someone who doesn’t end up in the film I’ll have to eat my words, but I do think Zendaya Coleman would be incredible.
What will surprise readers most about PERFECT? (No spoilers, please!)
If you thought things would get easier for Celestine, that they couldn’t hurt her anymore, you’re wrong!
What is the #1 piece of advice you would give to young writers who are just starting out?
Write with your own voice. Be yourself because then you will immediately be different. Nobody sounds or thinks like you, you are unique.