Dawn O'Porter, So Lucky

Dawn O'Porter“Even the most prudish woman, in her head, will go to dark places”

As heard on The Ray D'Arcy Show

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In a world where living your best life has become a job, Dawn O’Porter says her latest novel So Lucky cuts through the fakery of many a perfectly curated existence.

“It kind of smashes the facade on the idea that everyone is doing great except you.”

The writer, TV presenter and Instagram sensation chatted about her new book with Kathryn Thomas today on The Ray D’Arcy Show, as they bonded about life at the sharp end of a toddler tantrum and much more.

So Lucky tells the story of three women living apparently perfect lives but struggling desperately underneath. Kathryn zeroed in on the “raunchy” side of the book straight away. Dawn says there is a fair bit of sex in there, but it’s not in a way you might expect.

“It’s fun to read about raunchy things, isn’t it? It’s also fun to read about the unglamorous side of raunchiness, the kind of real side of it, the slightly perverted and dark side of it.”

Dawn admits she has the decency filter turned on for the benefit of daytime radio, but she says she doesn’t censor herself when she’s writing. She told Kathryn that she’s grateful to her editor, Kimberly for always encouraging her not to hold back.

“If you can’t go for it on the page, then where can you really go for it? When you’re writing in first person like I do, you can’t give a fluffy version of someone’s thoughts because even the most prudish woman in her head will go to dark places, whether she says it out loud, you can still have these kind of thoughts. When you’re writing in first person you have to be honest about how people think.”

Dawn and her husband, Roscommon actor Chris O’Dowd, live in L.A. with their two sons, surrounded by a home-from-home community they’ve created for themselves. They spend weekends and holidays with other couples from this part of the world who’ve also ended up in Tinseltown. Never one to fall for her own fiction, Dawn turns her famous honesty on herself when speaking about her kids

“They are wild animals that live in your house – that’s the only way to describe a toddler.”

She’s also very up front about the loss of her mother just before her 7th birthday, its affects on her personal pursuit of fame, her parenting, but also on her writing. Dawn says she enjoys exploring the mother-daughter interactions in her characters, particularly when the relationship is complicated.

“Not every woman thinks that their mother is a nice person. I feel like when you really examine a woman’s relationship with her mother, any child and their mother, you can really get to know them, because it’s such an important relationship in your life and if it’s not positive, that’s something you definitely carry with you.”

You can hear more about Dawn’s latest novel, her life in L.A. and her tricks for getting a book finished in the full interview here.

Dawn O’Porter’s novel So Lucky is published on the 31st October by Harper Collins.

Ruth Kennedy

© The Listener 2019

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