51. Sarah Breen and Emer McLysaght; Co Authors of the ‘Aisling’ books on the Irish Celtic Tiger, Crazy Nights in Berlin and Vegas and Creating the Irish Bridget Jones - The Big Travel Podcast

Episode 51
January 8 , 2019

51. Sarah Breen and Emer McLysaght; Co Authors of the ‘Aisling’ books on the Irish Celtic Tiger, Crazy Nights in Berlin and Vegas and Creating the Irish Bridget Jones

A hungover conversation one day in Dublin between two best friends Sarah Breen and Emer McLysaght led to the creation of a loveable character called Aisling, who quickly became a Facebook phenomenon, then two best-selling books is now being made into a film by an Oscar winning production co. This episode explores the quirks of life in every small town, moving to the big city, the wild days of the Irish Celtic Tiger, crazy nights in Berlin, even crazier ones in Las Vegas and so much more. 


On this episode we cover:

Oh My God What a complete Aisling

The Importance of Being Aisling

The phenomenon of their character’s success

Turning their friendship into a career

Living the dream

How a hungover idea became Aisling became Facebook phenomena

Who are the people who buy brown mascara

The people who buy boot cut jeans (from the first time round)

Wearing chokers

Free gifts from Brown Thomas in Dublin

Being approached by a publisher

Being approached by an Oscar winning film production company Element Pictures (who produced Room with Brie Larson)

Googling how to write a novel

Plotting the novel in the pub

Thinking no-one would ever read their book

How people have fallen in love with Aisling

Ireland’s being highly sought after as a tourism destination

Small towns the world over

Growing up where everyone knows everyone

The joys (expensive ones!) of Dublin

How tourism is off the charts in Dublin

AirBnB strangling renters and creating a shortage of properties

The insanity of the Celtic Tiger boom

Free drinks and money being splashed around

Why buy one house when you can also buy an apartment off-plan in Bulgaria

Ireland having the highest ownerships of helicopters in the world

Champagne quaffing tradesmen in Irish pubs

The travel magazine dedicated to first class travel

Decking and cocaine all over the country

Patio heaters and hot tubs

The aftermath of the post Celtic Tiger recession (slippy decking for a start)

The current housing shortage in Ireland compared with full AirBnB flats

Dublin being party central

Dodging vomit in Temple Bar on your way to work

Terrifying Dublin seagulls

Terrifying Brighton seagulls chasing babies

Seagull and rabbit myxomatosis

Tiny towns all over Ireland and getting stuck behind a tractor

The dodgy Irish infrastructure

‘The ancient East’ branded by the irish tourism board

The Blackstairs Mountains

How Sarah’s hometown of Borris has become the wedding capital of Ireland

The Borris Viaduct

Emer’s home in Killdare and producing Grand National winners

Wonderful Irish village pubs

Moving out of the village to Dublin

How the journey ‘down home’ in important to many Irish young people who’ve away

Aisling’s Group On travel deals, bringing tea bags to a hotel and the crime of missing the hotel breakfast

Stealing hotel toiletries and dental kits

The wonder of pancake machines and tiny pastries

Aishling’s crazy trip to Berlin – the Berlin Wall or Reichstag, techno clubs and ecstasy

Lisa’s trip to the Kit Kat Club (S&M in Berlin)

Irish gals in Las Vegas and thinking you’re Paris Hilton

How melon is the ultimate filler fruit in the 85 dollar Vegas fruit bowl

The rite of passage of camping in France in the pouring rain

Getting drunk with a box of wine at the campsite disco

What is more environmentally friendly – a box or a bottle of wine?

Their road trip from Phoenix in Arizona to San Diego

Losing a passport at the California border

Confessing to all sorts of crimes in guilt

A seal colony in the hotel lobby in San Diego

Constant emails about vaginal discharge (Sarah working at a teen magazine)

Living in Portland, Oregon. (and Portlandia of course)

Driving down the 101 through wine country and the redwoods

America’s great national parks (and the freedom to have a camp fire)

How America’s great and varied landscapes

Emer’s recent trip to New York

Travelling around Ireland to literary festivals in coastal towns or Cork and Kerry

Ireland’s terrible weather ‘the wild Atlantic way’ another tourist boardism

The emotional connection to Ireland

Ellis Island’s brilliant recreation of the immigrant experience

The Tenement Museum in New York

The great Irish exodus and how this must have felt

The huge wave of emigration from Ireland in the 80s and more

How Canada, Dubai and the Middle East have taken over America as a place for Irish to go to

What’s next for Aisling (the third book and film)

The Irish Bridget Jones – in the Guardian

Aisling’s books arriving in Germany, Serbia, Korea and more

Meeting Marian Keyes and other heroes

Being thrilled to be mentioned in the same breath as other successful Irish authors including Marian Keyes and Cecelia Ahern

Rill Rill and Florence and the Machine