The Aisling Authors“Aisling would’ve been very sensitive to people who have notions.”

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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Notions. We’ve all had them, we all know other people who have them. Aisling, now featuring in her third book, has no time for people with notions. But that doesn’t stop Ryan Tubridy from getting Aisling’s creators, Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen, from designing a statue of the heroine of Once, Twice, Three Times an Aisling to be erected in O’Connell Street. Someone in the studio this morning was definitely suffering from notions. What does this imaginary statue look like, Ryan asks. What is she wearing? Well, she’s wearing her shumper, of course. Her what? Ryan asks. It’s a shirt-jumper hybrid, they tell him. What colour is it? In the case of Aisling’s (apparently full-colour) O’Connell Street statue, a very muted pastel.

“And then she’d have maybe like a sensible pencil skirt on the bottom and definitely a pair of runners.”

She’d also be carrying her battered Brown Thomas bag containing either her lunch (a ham slimbo) or additional footwear. Her hair would be done up in a “sensible, low ponytail”. What about make-up, Ryan wonders, or fake tan?

“She wouldn’t be into the fake tan, now.”

“Oh God, no, it smells like biscuits.”

This is the sort of nonsense that was going on in Studio 6 this morning and Ryan, Emma and Sarah sounded like they were having a great old time. But then Ryan thumped the desk and accused the authors of making fun of their creation. Nothing could be farther from the truth, they assure him.

“Because we’re such Aislings, I think we get away with being affectionately slaggy towards her.”

Ryan is having none of it. Not only are Emma and Sarah not Aislings themselves, they’ve become sniffy and condescending towards their unfortunate – but best-selling – character. No, no, it’s the opposite of that, they tell him. They started out poking gentle fun at Aisling, but that’s changed now.

“We have now written so much about her, she’s grown from just kind of a one-dimensional girl with a BT bag to a girl with a life and family and love.”

And Ryan is brought round, just like that. Then it was time to talk about notions. What exactly are notions (they’re always plural, aren’t they?) The Aisling authors had a definition:

“If anyone had anything that was a bit better than yours, then they had notions and they were to be distrusted.”

This leads to a number of examples from Emma and Sarah, which vary between hilarious and vaguely alarming and lead to Ryan confessing that he’s never had hummus. No notions on that fella, then.

“Aisling would’ve been very sensitive to people who have notions.”

And who can blame her? Once, Twice, Three Times and Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen is published by Gill Books.

You can hear all of Ryan’s chat with Emer and Sarah, as well as the rest of The Ryan Tubridy Show here.

© The Listener 2019

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