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Tuesday 19 September 2017

Saved by cake ... novelist Marian reveals how baking helped her fight depression

AFTER nearly two years of silence, Irish author Marian Keyes has opened up about her battle against depression.

The best-selling writer poignantly told fans that her condition had been so severe that at times, she struggled to live a normal life, or even get out of bed.

Marian (48) explained that baking had helped her find comfort throughout her ordeal and she announced that she would be releasing a new book entitled Saved by Cake in mid-February.

"I think I mentioned the last time I wrote that, out of the blue, I'd started baking cakes because I was so totally unable to do anything else and I found it comforting and it got me through the day," she said yesterday.

"Every cake I made, Himself [her husband Tony Baines] took the most wonderful photos -- really quirky and cute and fun and it was a project that sort of kept us both going because it's been such a weird time and because I wasn't able to work, neither was he, because our jobs are so intertwined.

"I can't exactly say when we decided to try to put it together as a book , but somehow it's happened ...it's very chatty and fun.

"It's called Saved by Cake and I'm giving all of my Irish royalties to the (Society of St.) Vincent de Paul because of the brutal hardship being experienced by so many people right now."

The Dun-Laoghaire-based author also revealed that despite her illness, she was back working on a new novel.

"I'm doing the editing and I can't tell you how incredible this is because for months and months and months in the past two and a quarter years I've been unable to get out of bed or concentrate on a sentence or motivate myself to do anything.

"But somehow , in pockets of time , when I felt less terrified and terrible than usual , I managed to write this book and the strangest thing about it is that it's really funny."

The love-story encompassed in a thriller should be released in the autumn, she said.

Meanwhile, Keyes also shared her distress at discovering that her father had been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

"It's very, very sad and so prevalent , there barely seems to be a family who isn't affected in some way by one of its members having some sort of dementia," she said.

hnews@herald.ie

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