Sex and our city ... meet Dublin's own Candace Bushnell
A Dublin divorcee set to become Ireland's answer to Candace Bushnell found love while looking for inspiration for her first book.
Siobhan McKenna (45) from Howth has penned The Lingerie Designer, which hit the shelves this week, and she told the Herald how writing the romance novel brought a special someone into her own life.
Last October, TV3's The Morning Show with Sybil and Martin ran a Write a Bestseller Competition in search of an unpublished author with an original piece of work, and the glamorous Dublin divorcee won and received a three-book publishing deal.
Candace penned the smash hit Sex And The City.
She told the Herald: "I started on the very first draft five years ago but I didn't complete it. I'd do a little bit and then leave it. It was only when the competition came up that I thought I'd polish it up.
"I wrote about this Italian character in a wine bar and he was a younger man, but then low and behold I met Graziano. It was like I wrote him into my life, and I had to change it so that the character in the book wouldn't reflect Graziano."
The Italian owns Il Panorama cafe in Howth and the pair have been together for two and a half years -- and Siobhan, who is a Deepak Chopra instructor, is convinced that the laws of attraction were at work for the two to meet.
"He is the nicest, and most genuine person. And I think he has an old soul.
"I've used a lot of background from the clothing trade which I worked in. It really is about a woman and her personal development.
"Her name is Helen Devine, and it's a play on Hell and Divine, she struggles with staying in a job that's providing her with financial security.
"Her best friend is Poppy Power, a wild redhead who's a holistic therapist and a bit of a hippy, and she looks at what she loves in her life. Helen goes to Vietnam where her father was killed in the war."
Siobhan now plans to travel to Italy with Graziano, and possibly her daughters April (20) and Sophie (16), to research her next book.
"I'm writing the next book, and it's probably going to be set in Italy. It'll give me a good excuse to spend some time there."
She explained that she now has the courage to go after what she wants in life, and writing The Lingerie Designer was part of that.
"I've learned to very much live in the now. We spend too much of our lives worrying about what could happen."