The 26-year-old Dubliner co-created the ABC sitcom Samantha Who?, one of the season’s few new hits. P.S. I Love You, the weepy movie based on her first novel that stars Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler, hits theaters this month. And her fifth novel, There’s No Place Like Here, is just landing in stores. It’s about a woman who tracks down missing people for a living — until she gets lost herself.
The Chelsea Effect
Though her father is Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern, she doesn’t help write his speeches: ”Dad deals with reality and I deal with fiction.” Even so, she’s become a staple of the Irish press. ”Everyone here knows my personal life,” she says. ”I like to travel because I can actually talk about my stories.”
So Much for Slacking Through Her 20s
”I finished college and the next step was going to be a master’s in film production,” she says. ”I’d be making coffee for someone somewhere if I hadn’t started writing.”
Ahern cops to the many Oz parallels in No Place: ”I love The Wizard of Oz. I watch it every Christmas. That and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.”
How does she manage to produce Samantha Who? from Dublin? ”A lot of conference calls.” But she does see Hollywood’s allure: ”When I went to pitch the show at that massive lot in Burbank, there was a big casino for Ocean’s Thirteen and a Pirates of the Caribbean set. I felt like I was in Disney World.”