By Sophia Whitfield
Bestselling novelist Cecelia Ahern has sold more than 22 million copies of her books. At the age of 21 she released two books in one year. P.S. I Love You was published in January 2004 followed by Where Rainbows End (Love, Rosie in the US) in November 2004.
Ten years after it was first published Where Rainbows End has been adapted for the screen. The film took on the US book title, Love, Rosie and stars Lily Collins and Sam Claflin as Rosie and Alex, childhood friends destined to be together.
When Cecelia Ahern created Rosie Dunne she had a very clear image of her. So is Lily Collins how she pictured Rosie? Ahern says, “Collins has now become my Rosie. She captures her essence with an amazing performance.”
Although Ahern is increasingly working more in TV she had no input when it came to the screenplay for Love, Rosie which was written by Juliette Towhidi, Ahern says she is always excited about the prospect of someone else interpreting her story. “Juliette’s adaptation was honest and respectful to my work. She brought humour and a touch of coolness to my story."
Having just published her 11th novel in ten years and working on yet another TV series Ahern has plenty of experience when it comes to storytelling both on the page and screen. She admits to having three criteria when it comes to her work being adapted for the screen. "The adaptation must retain the heart of the story, the core characters must be the same and the ending must remain unchanged.” This way Ahern says the essence of the story is retained.
The Irish charm that is so prevalent in Ahern’s novel shines through on the screen. The filming of Love, Rosie took place in Ahern’s beloved Ireland, except for two days filming in Toronto. It was filmed during a beautiful summer last year and brings all the magic of Ireland to the screen. Ahern claims she would prefer her book adaptations to be filmed in Ireland as it is better for the Irish film industry but she does understand the need to film elsewhere. Filming in Ireland was a bonus for Ahern.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the stunning novelist was asked to step into a cameo role during a pivotal wedding scene in Love, Rosie. In the end she was cut from the film as it was deemed too distracting. Something she finds amusing.
Ahern continues to write in the same voice and style that first made her a household name in 2004. The only aspect of her writing that has changed is that she now goes to an office to write, something she has done for the last four years. With an incredibly disciplined approach to her writing we look forward to reading many more books and watching the numerous adaptations of her work on screen. She is likely to get a second shot at that cameo role! One we will all get to see.
Love, Rosie is released in cinemas across Australia on Thursday.
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