17 Things You Didn’t Know About Author Louise O’Neill

The bestselling author spills the tea

Idol is my favourite book I’ve written, obviously! The latest book is always my favourite. I’m like a magpie looking for something shiny and new.

Rachel’s holiday by Marian Keyes was an important book for me and remains one of the best depictions of addiction I’ve ever read. The opening line “They said I was a drug addict. I found that hard to come to terms with” is iconic. 

My dream Sunday afternoon is a swim at Inchydoney beach followed by a 99 cone. Throw in the Sunday Times Style magazine and I am in heaven. 

I have a handful of very, very close friends, all of whom I feel lucky to know and love. But my oldest best friend is a woman called Aine, We’ve been in each other’s lives since we were four. I’m godmother to her son, a responsibility I take very seriously. 


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My grandmother used to go to Day Care centre where they did arts & crafts. After she died, I framed one of her paintings, which is my most prized possession – it’s a yellow and red flower. I miss her every time I see that painting. 

My uncle lives in Thailand, so my mother and I went to visit him in 2019. It was the first time I had the opportunity to meet his partner and see his home, and it made me happy to see how settled he was there. 

My favourite app is our favourite app is video doorbell, and I am obsessed with watching live footage on the app. It’s allowed me to indulge all my Harriet the Spy fantasies. 


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A friend made me watch Love Island in 2019 and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Amber Greg! Maura Higgins! Ovie! What a dream. 

The thing I’m most proud of in my life is covering from an eating disorder. Nothing else even comes close. 

My death row meal is French onion soup, my mother’s four cheese lasagne, and bread and butter pudding for dessert. Throw in a Butler’s hot chocolate too. I’ll probably die of the IBS before I can be executed but it’ll be worth it. 

Oprah, Michelle Obama, Meghan Markle, and Beyonce are my dream dinner party guests. I would sit and eavesdrop. 


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Honestly? My favourite thing about being an author is that I really like being able to work in my pyjamas. 

I always said my earliest memory was my third birthday party, but I realised recently that it couldn’t possibly have happened the way I remember it. I used that experience in Idol, memory is a huge theme in the book. 

Before I would have said I could spend infinite money in Brown Thomas but now I am a woman in my thirties, it has to be homewares. Maybe Anthopologie? Send vouchers, please. 

My most-needed tech is my laptop. I have a love-hate relationship with my phone, but I need my laptop for writing and I need my laptop for writing and I need my writing to keep sane. 

My quirk is that I’m allergic to a blue pen, but I feel comfortable writing in black ink. Is that odd?

My parents will have to share the honour of being my personal idol. My mother, because she’s the warmest, most loving person I know. And my father because he’s so wise and compassionate. 


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