Broadcaster turns radio diary into new book

Roundstone native and 2FM presenter Ciara King (centre) at the launch of her first book “Ciara’s Diary” with Nicole Shanahan (left) and Maire O'Halloran of The Clifden Bookshop, during the 40th Clifden Arts Festival at the Station House Theatre.

A Galway author who has been described as Ireland’s (older) answer to Adrian Mole has turned her radio diary into a bestselling book.

And 2FM presenter Ciara King, who launched her book this week at the Clifden Arts Festival, said that the inspiration behind her parody publication came from her teenage years growing up in the village of Roundstone.

The Connemara woman began her diary for the 2FM show she co-presents with fellow Galwegian, Furbo native Chris Greene – before a publisher asked her to turn it into a book

“Chris and I said that one day for the craic we would read out my diary because the two of us like to poke fun at each other on the air and five or six years later I was still writing Ciara’s diary for the show.”

People close to Ciara had already suggested to her that the segment was a natural fit for other mediums.

“People had always said to me: oh Ciara this is definitely a book or this could be a TV series and I always used to just shrug my shoulders and say ‘ah yeah sure’ but then it actually became a reality when Gill Books got in contact with me and I would have been absolutely crazy to say no,” she says.

Ciara says that while she initially imagined her readership to be similar to her, she reveals that the book seems to have reached a broader audience than she expected.

“Anyone that grew up in any pocket of Ireland can relate to it in a lot of ways. It started off as being for people my age in their late twenties or early thirties with all the pop culture references in it but it turns out that other people are enjoying it too.

“You wouldn’t believe the amount of messages I’m getting from lads that are reading it and absolutely loving it – which sounds unusual because it’s a book written about a teenage girl but I thought that that was absolutely brilliant,” Ciara revealed.

While the hilarious coming-of-age tale will be eerily familiar to many around Ireland, it is only loosely based on her experiences – and Ciara reminds readers that the book is not a biography.

“It’s based on my teenage experience and if you read the book there’s a lot of ridiculous stuff in it so I have found over the course of the publicity of this book that I have had to come out and say: listen guys the entries are not 100% true and the characters are fictional.

“But there are real experiences too; for example Robbie Williams was one of my first big gigs in Slane in 1999 which is touched on, and my brother did have a pet snail called Billy the Whiz,” Ciara added.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.