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Duo behind popular Facebook page ‘Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling’ bring character to life in their first novel


15-06-2017 14:00
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Duo behind popular Facebook page ‘Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling’ to bring the character to life in their first Aisling novel, to be published this September.

 

The phrase ‘what a complete Aisling’ is one that has been slowly leaking into the Irish vernacular in recent years with the popularity of the Facebook page, Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling. Founded by journalists Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen in 2008 and now with over 35,000 Facebook fans, the page is dedicated to recognising and celebrating a uniquely Irish girl.

 

The character has developed to such an extent that her creators are now set to publish the fictionalised version of Aisling’s life - the nuances of her familiar world hilariously recognisable.

 

So what is an ‘Aisling’?

 

In her late twenties, an Aisling often lives at home somewhere down the country with her parents, commuting to her mid-level, pensionable administrative job in Dublin. Sensible and reliable, she’s the only one who knows how to work the office fax machine and always has paracetamol for her co-workers (but nothing stronger, codeine is fierce addictive).

 

But Aisling is good craic. She goes out every Saturday night – usually to Flannery’s or Coppers, hoofing into the Coor’s Light, the West Coast Cooler, or the Vodka and Diet Cokes if she’s ‘Out Out’.

 

Twice a week, Ais spends the night at her boyfriend’s in Drumcondra – Generic John (GJ), an engineer and confirmed ‘fine thing’ from down home where he has good road frontage – always doubling up on contraception, because god forbid she might get caught out.

 

The character Aisling was originally conceived by Sarah and Emer in their Stoneybatter sitting room, when they began to observe certain traits, characteristics and quirks of a very particular type of Irish girl; one they identified around them and one they identified with.

 

Emer and Sarah’s circle of friends embraced the concept of Aisling as a stereotype they all knew and could relate to, and soon little “Aislingisms” were being shared among them:

  • Aisling has never once gone to Tesco without a Bag For Life and her Clubcard.
  • Aisling loves a good bit of drying and thinks tumble driers are a sinful waste.
  • Aisling has never dyed her hair. She has natural highlights and a wonderful kink.

So they set up a Facebook page to collect them all up. Friends told friends. Dozens joined, and then hundreds, all exclaiming “Yes! I know her” or “Oh God, this is me”.

 

The novel takes up with Aisling and John at a crossroads in their relationship. Aisling wants the ring on her finger but when a week in Tenerife together doesn’t end with the expected engagement, she calls a halt to things and very soon she’s surprised herself and everyone else by agreeing to move into a three-bed in Portobello with stylish Sadhbh from the third floor and her friend, the mysterious Elaine.

 

Home will always be where they heart is – and of course there will be guest appearances from the extended Aisling cast of characters including ‘Mammy’ and ‘Mad Tom’ - but newly single and relocated to the big smoke, the adventures of Aisling are only just beginning!

 

#OMGWACA

 

’Aisling’ illustration by Lauren O’Neill and Cover Design by Graham Thew Design.

 

Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling will be published by Gill Books on Friday, 15 September, priced at €14.99. For further information contact Teresa Daly, Marketing and Communications Manager, Gill Books, 01 500 9521, 086 838 3559, tdaly@gill.ie.

 

About the Authors

 

Like Aisling, Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen are ‘from down the country’, Emer from Kildare and Sarah from Carlow. They met in 2003 while studying journalism at Ballyfermot College of Further Education and formed a firm friendship, which led to that day Aisling came to be in their shared Dublin 7 flat five years later. Both have gone on to work extensively in journalism and media. Not good pensionable jobs like Aisling’s, but creative enough to find themselves in 2017 writing a book about their beloved heroine.



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